Vocal Warm Ups

Vocal Warm Ups

Vocal warm ups are essential for singers as well as for theater actors and mimicry artists, to some extent. These serve the same purpose for our vocal cords, as the warm up we do before a workout does for our body. This article gives you pointers on how to keep your vocal cords in good shape.
Ever wondered how singers, dubbing artists, and mimicry artists maintain their voice and how each time they manage to stun their audience with the magic in their voice? Let me explain this with the help of an analogy. Why do we require some kind of exercise everyday? The answer is simple - to steer clear of excess fat from our body, to tone our muscles, to keep fit, and to ensure good health. The same thing applies to singers and mimicry artists. The only difference is that they exercise their vocal cords to keep them fit, so that they are able to enthrall the audience through their charming voice. Vocal warm ups are a major part of these exercises. Listed below are a few to get you started.
Hum
Nothing conditions your throat and vocal cords better than just humming. Start at a soft and low pitch, increase the pitch as you go on, and do this until you have reached a point where you are comfortable and can no longer elevate it. Continue humming at this pitch and note.
Twist
Tongue twisters are very effective. The popular ones like She sells seashells on the seashore and the likes, are great for improving diction, loosening up the tongue (if it is tense), and in general, help in developing a clear speech. Repeating them aloud continuously, clearly, and slowly, works wonders. Singers suffering from problems of pronunciation are benefited in a great way from this exercise.
Breathe
Developing good breathing techniques is a significant aspect of singing warm ups. Even if the actors do not have to sing, it is an added advantage if they know how to get a grip on breathing. In intensely emotional scenes, having a control over your breathing is crucial. For singers, everything depends on how well can they control their breathing. Singing and breathing are like two sides of the same coin. Breathing control is very much essential for those who want to sing good.
Mime
Miming, again, can help gain a good control over breathing and relax lips and the area around the mouth which aids in pronunciation and diction. Breathe out through your mouth by vibrating your lips in accordance to the air supply and don't forget to relax while doing this. Here, the air is being controlled by the diaphragm. A sound 'brbrbr' will emanate while you do this exercise.
In addition to this, you can exercise your face by opening your mouth wide and shutting it and relax it by massaging the sides of the jaw, which will reduce the probable built up tension.
Eventually vocal warm ups are the trainers for your vocal cords, so don't forget to play (moderately) with your vocal cords before you deliver dialogs or even sing!