This warm-up does as its name suggests: It wakes up the resonance of your voice. Resonance equals volume without force. This warm-up is also excellent for examining and developing the basic vowel sounds used in singing. Do this warm-up until you notice a difference in the relaxation of the muscles and the resonance of your voice within your mouth and throat.
1) Open your mouth and take a breath. Using a basic speaking volume, sustain a comfortable mid-range pitch, through an “NG” tongue position. To help you find it, say the word “Sing” and maintain the position of the “NG.” The back of your tongue will lightly close with your soft palate. Feel the sound vibration shimmer along the roof of your mouth and under your nose.
2) Try to maintain the same resonance from consonant to vowel, using the list below. Go back and forth between the “NG” and the vowel several times smoothly on one breath. Repeat on a new breath and then go on to the next vowel in the sequence. Use a medium volume only.
The sequence goes as follows:
- NG-AH (Wand)
- NG-EE (Seem)
- NG-A (Same)
- NG-AA (Apple)
- NG-Eh (When)
- NG-Uh (The)
- NG-I (Him)
- NG-Oh (Home)
- NG-Ooo (Soon)
Slowly sing the melody of your song with a smooth sustained “Ah” vowel – no lyrics. Work on connecting the “Ah” note to note. Maintain the same “Ah” pronunciation no matter the pitch. Do not exaggerate the “Ah” nor arbitrarily hold your tongue in some predetermined position. It must be relaxed and relate to your normal pronunciation of “Ah.” (This may take some practice and sort-out.)
Once you can sing the melody easily with a naturally pronounced Ah and no tongue tension, sing through the song again, this time with lyrics. Notice any differences?
Scheduling and Personal Differences
Vocal warm-ups should be done close to the time of performing or rehearsing. Your warm-up routine may need to vary on a day to day basis, according to the nature of the performance or rehearsal, time of day, the condition of your body and the condition of your voice.
With the right exercises and the correct approach generally, a 20 to 30-minute proper warm-up usually does the trick.
Vocal warm-ups help you avoid blowing out your voice, enhance the quality of your performance and extend your singing career. With a proper vocal warm-up done, you’ll be able to start your rehearsal or performance in high gear.
on June 17, 2014 at 1:59 AM said:Thank you Jeannie. I really like this warm-up and it's very effective. Your blog is great - really appreciated, thank you.
on June 17, 2014 at 8:36 AM said:Awesome! would love to see a video of this warm up! Thanks
on June 17, 2014 at 12:20 PM said:Dear Rachel and Lorine, I'm glad you like this warm-up. I'll plan to add video in future posts. Right now a video of this warm-up exists in my online school at devavocals.com.
on June 17, 2014 at 4:34 PM said:Thank you so much, Jenny, for all your generous, free-of-charge help! It's been so useful to us, and these warm-up tips are just brilliant. x
on June 17, 2014 at 8:57 PM said:You're welcome Richard. Thanks for entering the dialogue.
on June 18, 2014 at 6:38 AM said:Thank You ma'am. This was one of those exercises that I had to work on. This really does help.
on June 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM said:Yes! getting to that sometimes elusive "buzz" focuses the voice into an accurate place, very similar to me to tuning in a radio station before the days of digital tuners. Remember? You had to dial in on the frequency just right to hear the clearest reception.
on June 18, 2014 at 1:14 PM said:Hello Pieris, Sheryl and Bob! Thanks for reading my blog and entering in the dialogue here. This exercise can be tricky as it requires finding an energy balance and not tightening the tongue. I have come up with exercises that achieve many things in one exercise, and this one is well worth the attention to detail when practicing it! Enjoy!
on July 8, 2014 at 2:06 AM said:I really enjoyed these exercises and like the way you explain everything, even in print it is very understandable. Thank you so much.
on July 8, 2014 at 6:25 PM said:Dear Annie, You're welcome. Thank you for your positive feedback.