Just like any other muscle in the body, your vocal muscles need to be warmed up to work their best. A vocal warm up routine is crucial for people who consistently rely on their voice for performance, such as: singers, actors, TV hosts and presenters. Over time, a consistent vocal warm-up routine will help strengthen the voice, reduce voice cracking, improve breath control, and minimize the risk of injury.
Vocal exercises only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete and should be done before any rehearsal or performance. For those who rely on their voice, learn how to warm-up your voice before any performance:
1. Body Stretches
You cannot have a relaxed voice until your entire body is relaxed. Before a performance, give yourself a full-body stretch by standing up tall, taking a deep breath and reaching your fingertips up to the sky. You can continue to stretch tensed muscles by doing some side stretches, shoulder rolls and toe touches.
Humming is one of the best all-around vocal exercises. This warmup helps stretch the vocal cords and relax your facial muscles. Humming also develops your vocal tone and quality. To practice this exercise, place the tip of your tongue behind your bottom front teeth and produce a “hmm” sound with your jaw open and your lips closed. Hum notes up and down your range while keeping your mouth closed.
3. Tongue Rolls
Tongue rolls involve curling your tongue and rolling your “R’s” as you go through your vocal range. Be sure to hold the sound steady for several seconds to warm up your tongue and improve breathing. As your endurance improves, try tongue trills for longer durations.
4. The Straw Trick
Practice humming, or simply inhaling and exhaling, with a straw in your mouth. When your lips are closed around a straw, you’ll automatically focus all of your attention on your breathing, while keeping your face and body still.
5. Enjoying A Grether’s Pastille
Many performers use Grether's Pastilles before a performance as a part of their vocal warm-up routine. Enjoying a delicious pastille is a great way to soothe the voice before your next performance. Glycerin is a versatile ingredient that has a moisture-retaining and softening effect that stimulates natural saliva production and creates a protective film for vocal cords. Grether’s Pastilles are offered in five delicious flavors: regular blackcurrant, sugar-free blackcurrant, sugar-free redcurrant, sugar-free blueberry and sugar-free elderflower.