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The Essentials of Voice Warm Ups for Singers

How much control over your voice do you have?

Proper voice warm ups are the heart and soul of voice training for singing. The best performers are the ones that have full control over their breathing, the function of their vocal folds and mouth.

Pay Attention to Your Breathing

You should be aware of your breathing at all times. It is one of the most important factors in determining how powerful your singing is. Take the time to learn more about air flow. As a singer, you need to be fully aware of this.

There are many voice warm ups you can try to get a more controlled style of breathing.

Try these 2 steps for starters:

  1. Get a tissue and hold it with your fingers in front of your mouth. Do you see how easy the tissue is to move when you breathe out?
  2. Now, breathe in and try to exhale very gently.

Your goal is to keep the tissue motionless. This is a great exercise for getting better control over air flow.

Vocal folds

Even if you presently lack the ability to keep the tissue motionless while breathing on it, you are still more than capable of controlling the function of your vocal folds.

The vocal cords or vocal folds are the ones that generate sound when air passes through. This is the air that the diaphragm pushes up. Singers that lack control over their vocal folds will sound a bit “breathy.”

Knowing how to control the vocal fold tension is essential for the production of crisp, accurate tones. Voice training for singing puts a lot of focus on proper use of the vocal folds.

Your Mouth and Pronunciation

The manner in which you open your mouth will also determine the quality of the tones that come out of it. This is essential in becoming a better singer. Both the vowels and the consonants are dependent on the level of control you have over your mouth.

Many voice warm ups are designed especially for the purpose of improving mouth control and pronunciation. Remember, you are in charge! You are the one determining whether the vowels coming out are wide or narrow. By practicing more, you will be able to internalise these processes and simplify the task, making it second nature in execution.

Singing Control Myths

Though you have a lot of control over your body as a singer, there are certain factors that are somehow independent of your will.

The function of your diaphragm is one such factor. The diaphragm is a semi-involuntary muscle and the only way in which you could exercise some control is by holding your breath. Sooner or later, however, you will have to start breathing again and the diaphragm will regain its semi-autonomous function.

Working with a voice coach is essential for learning the basics of proper voice warm ups. Once you master the basics, you will become capable of exercising more control over your voice and improving the quality of your performance.

Joshua Alamu

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