Below, I will explain the best 3 vocal warm ups. These are key to healthy voicing and establishing a most comfortable vocal effort (at your true vocal folds)
- Giggle to end of breath
Giggle to the end of the breath 5 times in a row – until you have no air left in your lungs. Laugh all the air out on an ‘ich’ sound or like a cheeky cartoon character. You will feel your abdominal muscles engage to help push all the air out. You will get a recoil breath. Start again. Once you have done this 5 times in a row, keep the giggle feeling in your throat and keep breathing in and out through your mouth. Is your breath silent? Get rid of the smile on your face but keep the east west stretch (the giggle feeling) in your throat. Is your breaths still silent? Then you are still retracted.
2. Silent cry/whimper like a puppy dog
Imagine you are a puppy dog and cry/whimper silently on an ‘ng’ as in ‘sing’. Repeat this 10 times. Feel your thyroid cartilage tilt?
On ng as in ‘sing’ (important, not sung as we need a high tongue!) go up and down your range like a siren. You are looking for a clean (i.e. no breath noise), quite and thin sound. It should feel easy on your true vocal folds to make this sound and easy to move you larynx up and down with pitch. You will feel muscular effort in retracting your false vocal folds and tilting your thyroid cartilage. Some things to watch out for:
- The sound cannot get louder at the top.
- The shouldn’t be any breaks in your siren.
- Your tummy needs to be soft.
- Check that you have no other extraneous tension i.e. your jaw, tummy?
- You might need to engage some head and neck or torso anchoring to give your larynx more stability.
Siren for approximately 5 to 10 minutes or until your siren is smooth and your voice feels warm.
The Siren is not only an excellent warm-up but it also increases flexibility of your larynx, establishes optimal tongue positioning, decreases airflow, and anchors the tone.
The above 3 warm ups should be incorporated into your daily voicing routine for healthy singing.