Are you looking for some fun ways to spice up your vocal warmup routine? While many singers rely on the tried and true ritual of singing scales to get their pipes ready to rock and roll, there are other options that just may make your warmup for a live music performance as fun as it is effective. These four ideas are just the tip of the iceberg, though – feel free to experiment to come up with others that are uniquely yours.
1. Pick your favorite song and change it up a bit.
This is not to say you should dive right in and start giving the high notes your best shot right off the bat; doing so could damage your vocal cords. Depending on the song you choose, you could start by humming or buzzing the tune in straight time, moving to a more stacatto feel as you warm up to work on your breath control as well. As you feel your voice becoming relaxed, start singing the words softly, working on your phrasing and paying special attention to your breathing throughout. By the end of the warmup, you should be singing along full-tilt, ready to take on your live performance with ease.
2. Take it to the floor.
Lying on your back as you warm up your voice is a great way to improve breath control and endurance. You could also mix it up with other unusual positions like hanging off of the couch, sitting cross-legged, or standing on one leg. Forcing yourself to do something out of the ordinary means greater focus and increased abilities down the line, both as a private singer and as a performing musician. If you are a yoga or pilates lober, chances are you already have a mat that is convenient for on-the-go singing sessions, so make use of it as much as you can; you may find that your favorite downward dog move is even better while humming the lyrics to your new single.
3. Find a friend.
Let’s face it – some things are just more fun with others, and your singing warmup may be one of those things. You could play musical games such as name that tune or musical charades to make your warmup more exciting at the same time. If you have band members, consider yourself lucky, as you have built-in singing buddies with you wherever you go. If you are a solo act, though, never fear – you can always ask a friend or family member to join in – you never know; they may be a ton of fun to sing with!
4. Hey Mr. DJ, put a record on!
Never underestimate the power of the radio. Or Spotify playlist. Or whatever music medium you prefer to use. The point is, challenging yourself to learn a new song is a great way to ease into a singing warmup since you will not be tempted to belt out the hard-hitting lyrics until you have learned the melody. Listening to new songs and types of music is also a great way to challenge yourself as a musician to grow and add to your musical arsenal.
No matter what singing warmup you choose, remember to have fun, take your time, and be thorough. In the end, it is about preparing and protecting your most valuable instrument – your voice – for years to come.