Welcome to my “Singers Survival Tips Series”! Want to know more about doing a proper vocal warm up and why you should do it? Watch this Part 1 video on why and how to do it right! Shortcuts! 0:00 – Welcome 0:37 – Why? 1:03 – What Matt Walst (3 Days Grace) Does! 1:11 – The Key Factor 2:15 – What Stefan Babcock (PUP) Knows! 3:25 – Important! 3:43 – Questions I get asked #1 4:03 – #2 – Best Warmup Exercise? 4:32 – Why Lip Trills Are So Effective 5:57 – #3 – Can You Do Them Wrong? 6:19 – How To?
Hi, I’m Mitch Seekins – The Vocal Coach. Welcome to my “Singer Survival Tips Series! Want to learn more about how to warm up the voice? This video is the first in a series on the importance of warming up and I’ll answer some questions about how and why you should warm up before a gig a rehearsal or a recording session. If you understand the reasons why you need to warm up, you’ll be much more motivated to do it… oh and if you find this video useful and that you’ve learned something please share and hit that subscribe button. I have much more to come.
I’ve been teaching recording artists, touring artists, and regular people how to sing maintain and even repair damaged voices so they can look forward to a less stressful, way more enjoyable and a much longer career. I performed and toured myself singing many different genres of music for 37 years, so I was able to develop and test all kinds of warm-up methods and this is what I teach my students.
Matt Walst (3 Days Grace) – “Vocally well, I do your warm-up, every… before every show. I do about 15 minutes of your warm-up every time.”
Warming up is a key factor for a vocalist before any kind of a performance. I have always viewed singing like an athletic event. Any athlete who is serious about what they do warms up before a practice or a competition. In terms of singing, getting the muscles moving and the warmth flowing into the area and knocking the phlegm and gunk off the cords is the best way to ensure your top performance and lessen the chance of hurting the voice. As a vocal coach I guide singers how not only to develop and strengthen their voices, but also how to maximize what they have at any given time. This includes being at the top of their game and healthy, as well as… not being at the top of their game and dealing with vocal fatigue or swollen cords or just being plain sick! I do get questions regarding how to warm up properly. As a student of mine, once the fundamentals are established, I create warm-up files for each individual student. This includes warm-up exercises that pertain to the level that they’re at, as well as their specific vocal range and abilities.
Stefan Babcock (PUP) – “I’d been doing warm-ups for maybe like, before shows, for maybe a year or so, before we started working together. you know like the warm ups that we do, uh, are a bit different. They’re much more gentle. It’s like about kind of really.. it’s not a it’s not five minutes like let’s go… it’s like really gentle, ease back into it. Spend 20 minutes or half an hour to get yourself going. I will not miss a warm up under any circumstances! There’s no circumstances that I’ll go on stage without warming up, because I know that that could lead to really big issues! So, yeah that means like it’s a bit different now like now that we, you know, always have like uh decent green rooms and stuff like that but there was a point four or five years ago where we were playing really small shows and we didn’t have a backstage and it was just like, well, I guess i’m.. it’s you know it’s negative 20.. I’m still gonna sit in the car or go for a walk and do this, because I won’t get on stage without doing the warm-ups!”
It is important that you do these exercises properly to get the most bang for your buck so to speak and obviously I can’t exactly monitor that here for you but I will be sharing in an upcoming video, some simple exercises for common ranges and at least get you started on the right track.
An example of some of the questions I get are:
What do I need to warm up? Chest voice, Head voice or Falsetto…. or all of it?
All of it.
- All parts of the voice are used in producing a good quality sound for a show or a session. Therefore, you need to stretch all aspects of your voice out!
Is there one exercise that does it all for me?
But there is one that comes close! It’s called “Lip Trills”. These exercises have been around for a VERY long time. I have the very first book ever written on vocal technique by Pier Francesco Tosi…in 1743! He talks about them in the book… but who knows how long they were around before that? He doesn’t claim to have invented them, he just says that they are an integral part to a vocal warm up for any voice type.
Lip Trills are a fantastic exercise that works through all the registers of the voice (chest and head or falsetto), and it forces you to relax while doing it… because if you get any tongue, jaw, throat or torso tension, the exercise stops working!
- It begins to move any phlegm or gunk off of the vocal cords
- It begins the process of learning to properly negotiate the passagio, or that “crack” we all have between the chest voice and the head voice. It’s not the be all and end all of learning how to do that, but it a great way to start.
- It stretches out all the registers (Chest and Head) from the very bottom to the very top of your range, working the muscles and getting the blood and warmth to flow.
- It begins the process, over time, of strengthening whichever register is weakest. One of the things I teach is something called blending which is all about mixing or blending the 2 registers together and learning to stretch through the passagio or “crack” that we all have. As opposed to flipping or cracking through it. It’s how you can increase your range and have full control of your sound without killing your voice! It’s a very important part to ANY voice but in order to do it you have to have an equal amount of strength in each register. Lip trills are a great way to begin this.
- It establishes good vocal placement, as you can’t do them in the back of the throat
- Overall they are a great way to start a warmup!
Can you do them wrong?
- However, they are very easy to learn to do right…to the point that afterwards, it’s difficult to do them wrong! If you don’t get them right immediately, have no fear. It’s only a matter of a little time for the chords to shift into the proper position… and in the meanwhile, as a warmup, they still work great!
- I will be filming and posting examples of how to approach them shortly…so stay tuned!
So once again if you found this video useful and you have learned something…. please share and hit that subscribe button…I have much more to come!