Updated: Feb 15, 2022
You might be thinking that singers need a lot of time to warm up, but believe it or not, with an efficient warmup that covers all of the bases, we really only need about 10 to 15 minutes!
Now, what are these “bases?”
First and foremost, you want at least one exercise that deals with regulating your breath. That is going to be key when it comes to singing. We sing on the exhalation of our breath, and if we want to sustain long notes and long phrases on different pitches, we absolutely need to rely on a steady, focused airflow. Here are two of my favorite breathing exercises:
Next, we want concentration on Legato singing, using hums and closed vowels. Legato singing simply refers to smooth and seamless note connection, which helps keep a clear, supported tone while maintains consistent airflow. Legato singing should be every singer’s best friend! Any slow and deliberate exercise focusing on smoothly connecting one note to the next will suffice. You can even use a short, easy song on a hum/closed vowel!
Finally, we have Agility and Range. These could be separate exercises, or if you’re in a time crunch, you can certainly combine the two! Find an exercise that deals with light and quick singing. It could be simple scales going up and down, or something more elaborate with wider intervals. It could even be a fast melody (think “riffing)! Push your limits by gradually singing each exercise a half step higher until you feel close to reaching your limit, but WITHOUT STRAIN. You never want to strain or push a note for the sake of “getting it.” That’s a sure fire way to damage or fatigue your voice. Instead, by properly and safely warming up your voice just beneath your maximum limit, you will effectively strengthen your range over time.
I’ve created a couple of simple and effective short warm-ups here (incorporating everything I mentioned above), and these are the very warm ups I use before I sing on a gig. Let me know what you think!