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Best Vocal Warmups Every Singer Should Use Pre-Performance

by | Master Your Craft, Vocalists

To achieve a healthy body, we must go through a process that includes eating healthy foods, working out, drinking plenty of water, and restraining from alcohol. Once we attain discipline in our lives, we start noticing effective results. If you are a singer, you must know that your vocal cords, face muscles, and lungs need to be trained to have smooth vocals.

Take any successful singer as an example; everyone has their own daily vocal practice routine. The key to giving your best performance is daily warmups and vocal exercises, especially if you have an upcoming recording or a concert. It is crucial to be prepared beforehand if you want your voice to sound its best. This guide will walk you through some helpful tips to warm up your vocals before your performance.

Breathing Exercises

We often take breathing for granted, but it is an integral part of your body and vocal workouts. The first thing you need to consider is to start your daily vocal warmups with a few breathing exercises. That will help you relax your vocal cords and expand your vocal range. You can incorporate the following techniques into your breathing exercises:

  • The Straw Trick: Sit in a comfortable positing and put a straw in your mouth to practice inhaling and exhaling. Focus on your breathing while keeping your body and head still.
  • Lay straight on the floor: Now, lay on the floor and place your hands on your stomach. Take deep breaths and feel your stomach going up and down. To have powerful vocals, you need to train your diaphragm, vocal cords, and lungs.
  • The Hissing Sounds: Another technique that you must add to your warmup routine is to make hissing sounds while exhaling. Put your hand on your diaphragm, take a deep breath in, and then exhale, making “sss” sounds until you are out of breath.

Lip Rolls

The lip roll exercises are a common part of vocal training worldwide and have many benefits when it comes to warming up your voice. Lip roll exercises help you strengthen your pharynx, cheeks, lips, and lungs. Whether it is a concert or a recording, lip rolls can provide instant results by warming up your face muscles. If you are new to this, you might find it hard to try the lip roll technique first. Imagine the sound of a “brrrr” motor, but in this case, you have to make this sound by just using your lips. Make sure your cheeks and jaw are not tight. 

“Ahs” and “M” syllables

Once you are done with the breathing exercises and lip rolls, now it is time to vocalize “ah”s and “Ma”s sounds. Just relax and think of this as just a warmup. Sometimes, we feel that we need to reach a perfect pitch even in the warmup, and we can’t make a blunder. The purpose of warmups is not to hit specific notes but to get your vocals prepared for your performance or recording.

Now, choose a suitable scale and make falling “Ah” sounds. Gradually, change the scale while making this sound and letting your vocals open up. Similarly, vocalize “M” syllables that are Ma May Me Mow Moo, while changing the notes. First, you have to go u by increasing one step each time. Once you have reached the maximum note according to your vocal strength, now gradually go down.

Bonus Tips

Here are some additional tips for all the vocalists out there to have more effective results:


  • Most of us assume that we can perform well just by following a vocal warmup routine. Singing can be a divine experience if you are taking care of your body well. Make sure you are getting enough sleep so that your body is energized.
  • The next thing is your water intake. If you are not hydrated, you will find it hard to focus on your vocals because of your dry mouth and lips. In addition to that, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking will also impact your performance. If you need a smooth vocal range, you have to make some changes to your routine.
  • Last but not least, you can also incorporate vocal practice into your shower sessions. The warm water will help your face and throat feel relaxed, making it easy for you to sing smoothly.

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