Rock singers and musicians are part of a special non-conformist rebel clan. Sounding raw, powerful and natural are valued and important attributes. Yet, in aspiring to achieve these qualities we create and are daunted by our own nemesis. Aggressive singing, competition with band volume and often insufficient monitor support leads to the Frankenstein monster of “Vocal Blow-Out.”
Many years ago while still living and performing in Boston, these challenges motivated my extensive research to discover a way of helping myself and my fellow Rockers develop and sustain our voices and style of singing. One of the discoveries I made: The foundation of vocal strength, flexibility, stamina and power lies in a correct vocal warm-up.
To understand why vocal warm-up is important; let's take a look at certain realities of muscles. The sounds of your voice are created by small internal muscle movements. In fact your vocal folds (often inaccurately called “vocal cords”) are muscles which lie horizontally in the front of your throat, just behind your Adam’s apple.
If you decided to run a marathon without any preparatory conditioning, how long would you last? You might do alright for the first mile, but what about the second, fifth or tenth? You probably would not make it that far, but even if you did, your muscles would ache and you would be straining and panting for breath.
Singers do this with their voices all the time. Not properly prepared and developed, the muscles can’t perform the needed functions so the singer strains and pushes. A full-out vocal performance is the singer’s “marathon” for which preparation is simply practical.
Songs are always much easier to perform and often more powerful when using a voice brought to life by exercises that stimulate its natural functionality. Once limbered, the muscles are awake and ready to perform the functions you need and that are within their native capability.
In further posts about this I will give you specific warm-ups, but in the meantime, be sure to do warm-ups before singing. If you don’t know any warm-ups, you can find some in the free lessons section of my website.