When should a singer or speaker warm up?
~ A warm up routine should be done before each singing or speaking session. A session can be a singing lesson, a vocal practice at home, a gig, performance, concert, audition or any rehearsal involving singing or speaking.
Why should a singer warm up?
~ Singers who invest time warming up their voice before they sing, will find that after a few years their vocal stamina develops to a stage where they rarely get a hoarse throat after singing
~ Those who haven't invested this time will probably experience vocal fatigue such as a hoarse throat; sometimes after just one heavy singing session, gig or rehearsal.
How long should you warm up for?
~ As the singing process can be physically demanding, we suggest to our Beginners to practice and Warm up no more than 30 minutes per session.
~ Two to 4 quality practices each week gives the voice the opportunity to improve without overextending the voice. In experienced singers, the vocal muscles are more developed (part of 'vocal stamina') thus the voice can benefit from longer practices; up to 45 minutes a day.
~ However, the brain and body responds better to shorter, more frequent practices, e.g. 2 - 3 practices a day, up to 15 minutes each.
~ The practice must be quality practice, that is, consciously applying techniques you've been taught.
~ Never let your voice get to the point where it is hoarse at the end of a practice session (or singing lesson).
~ This hoarseness is usually due to incorrect singing and/or too much of it. If this is happening, supervision by a singing teacher is recommended.
Will a regular Warm up routine help with my singing?
~ Yes, it is important to establish a regular warm up routine tailored to your voice because it will develop vocal stamina.
~ Singers need to strengthen the muscles of the larynx (voice box) so that it is able to withstand the long haul of singing and the physical demands placed on the voice.
~ Overextending the voice can cause short or long-term vocal damage due to the strain on the larynx muscles.
~ Just as warming up before sporting activity is important to prevent over-extending and damaging muscles, the same is true for singing.
~ It is important to think in terms of a structured warm up routine for your voice rather than a series of random vocal exercises.