Vocal Warm-up Advice

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“Hey Brent. When should I and how long should I warm up
my voice before I go onstage to sing a show?”

I’ve got to put this question into the top five vocal questions
of all time. What are the other four questions, you ask?
Well, you’ll just have to keep checking in on my blog to find
out!

Obviously a performer wants to be sure that his or her voice
is 100% on point and ready to go before taking the stage to
sing a show. But, how much vocal preparation is required
before you go on stage? After all, you don’t want to blow
your chords doing too long of a warm up backstage just
before your performance! That would be crazy. I feel that
a singer only needs to warm up his or her voice for 5 to 10
minutes before they step up to the mic. “What?? That’s
it?!?” Yep. That’s it. But, of course, this isn’t the only vocal
warm up you’ll do that day.

You’re biggest warm up should take place when you wake
up in the morning. Take some time to wake up. Have some
breakfast, watch the morning news, check your email and
Facebook page, whatever. Exercise is also good, so go on
a run, or swim a few laps in the pool. Then pop into a nice
morning shower. As everyone already knows, the shower
is a great place to sing. Not only are the acoustics nice,
more often than not you are relaxed and feeling good! This
is the perfect moment to start running your warm up routine.
Once you have finished your shower, if you want to turn on
your warm up CD, sing acapella or play a couple of your
favorite scales to sing along with on the piano, you are more
than welcome to do so. You should be able to accomplish
your morning warm up in a total of 15 to 20 minutes, tops.

After your morning warm up is over, guess what? You are
warmed up for the day, weather you choose to sing anymore
the rest of the day or not. “How could that be??” Well, here
is how. If you are using your speaking voice to communicate
with other individuals as you move through your day, all
the while maintaining your awareness of proper vocal
production, then you are essentially continuously keeping
your voice warm and in check all day long. Later on, the
quick 5 to 10 minute warm up just before the show, to check
and make sure everything is still working, and you’re good to
go!

Of course, there can be exceptions to this routine. For
example, If you decide to go back to sleep in the afternoon,
or you haven’t spoken much that day, you should consider
doing a lengthier warm up before you go on stage that night.

So, there you have it. My advice to you on warming up a
healthy voice before a gig. Take it or leave it! That’s up to
you.