What are some good singing exercises

3 reasons for warm-up exercises

What is warm-up and why is it so important?

Our voice is a wonderful and unique instrument.
Singing in should wake up and warm up the body and the voice, i.e. the entire vocal apparatus. It is used to prepare for the “right” singing.
If you want to sing or learn to sing, the topic of singing should be studied. Often when you hear the word "sing in" you only think of singing exercises that you should do some before singing. However, there is more to a really effective singing-in than just singing exercises, which are trilled to you while you are in the shower or on the way to the performance. Singing no question is always good. But above all, if you haven't sung on that day, you shouldn't really get started yet. So don't sing at full volume yet. It also doesn't make sense to sing very softly, because that too is exhausting for the voice if it is not yet "warm". It is best to just take time for yourself and your voice and sing in quietly at a medium volume, based on a comfortable speaking volume. In the later course of the singing-in process, you can of course also demand your voice more. The whole body should be included in a good warm-up program. So the voice shouldn't run alongside when you're singing in, while you're actually doing something completely different. This is especially true for unskilled singers. You can only benefit from a good familiarization phase. In addition to singing exercises, physical exercises and breathing exercises are important elements that should not be missing in any good warm-up program.
You can sing in before a concert or rehearsal, but also before singing lessons or a longer practice unit. Some singers always sing in, some only sometimes, others just start right away without singing in beforehand. The opinion is often expressed that warming up is superfluous or totally overrated. In the end it is up to you what you do with your possibilities, how you develop them and how you deal with yourself and your voice. Basically, it always depends on how often you sing in general, how confident you are, how well you know your body and voice and how to use it, and what your general physical and mental state of mind is. In the long term, however, you are doing your voice no favors if you immediately put it under full load without any warm-up phase.
Yes, of course, singing is always possible, even without an intensive warm-up phase. The question is how.
When we talk in everyday life, we don't talk to ourselves, we just do it.
For professional singers or speakers, however, a certain warm-up program is part of everyday working life, and not without reason. Many problems while singing or after singing can easily be avoided through effective familiarization exercises. Of course, you can also improve your vocal and musical skills enormously. There are different ways to get involved and in the end everyone has to find out for themselves what is good for them in the long run and what really benefits them personally. Anyone who has never sung effectively or has never dealt with the topic does not know the difference and the benefit for the voice when it is sung and when it is not. In the following I would like to explain to you in more detail why effective singing-in is important for your voice.

1. The body is your instrument

When singing, our own body is the instrument. All functions in it must run properly so that free and economical tones can be sung.
All other instruments can be changed if they break.
A torn guitar side can be replaced and a burnt-out amplifier can also be replaced. It's different with singing.
The singer is the only musician who not only plays his instrument, but is his instrument, i.e. who works with himself without any material distance.
The vocal apparatus is a very sensitive and sensitive instrument, you can't even buy it again on Ebay. Once the voice is seriously damaged, you really have a problem, some of which are not that easy to fix.
A good warm-up always involves the whole body.
Only the primary sound arises at the vocal folds. What happens to this sound, however, depends on the person who creates it. So when singing, the physical and mental condition is of crucial importance. In order to be able to prepare well for singing, the ability to perceive oneself is required.
Regular intensive and conscious singing trains the ability to perceive.
However, it depends on how you sing in. For example, if you sing yourself in the car, as some singing teachers unfortunately recommend over and over again, your self-awareness of body, breathing and voice will certainly be neglected. Quite apart from the fact that an unskilled singer can also damage his voice while singing in the car. Driving a car is driving a car and warming up is warming up.
So if you take the time to get started and sing in a quiet environment, you have the opportunity to pay attention to your body, breathing and voice.
In this way you get to know each other better with your individual abilities, you learn to use meaningful body functions and you can expand your vocal abilities enormously.

2. Muscles and mucous membranes need some preparation time

When singing, hundreds of muscles are used and these should always be gently prepared for the upcoming performance. Without a certain amount of preparation, you can cause harm in the long term. In addition to the muscles, the mucous membranes on the vocal folds also need a short warm-up phase. If you start singing straight away without a warm-up phase, the mucous membranes of your vocal folds can quickly dry out due to the increased air flow in the windpipe. The mucous membrane of the vocal folds ensures, among other things, a clear and bright vocal sound and should always be able to stay moist.
By gently singing in at a medium volume, the mucous glands in the neck area are stimulated to produce moisture. This moist film covers the sensitive mucous membrane of the vocal folds in a protective manner. This protects the vocal folds and the voice cannot be damaged so quickly, even at higher levels of performance. Anyone who has to do with excitement and nervousness, for example, may be familiar with the unpleasant feeling of having a dry mouth. Preparatory exercises in the face and mouth area stimulate the salivary glands and thus also prevent dryness in the mouth. Yawning, for example, stimulates the production of saliva and widens the entire oral cavity, which is important as a sound space, as a resonance space when singing. Perhaps you know it when you start singing and all of a sudden your voice no longer sounds clear and your throat is seething.
When singing, stuck mucus that has deposited in the area of ​​the vocal folds often loosens. Often one instinctively clears one's throat or begins to cough. However, vigorous throat clearing should definitely be avoided because it is simply too much of a strain on the vocal cords. When you clear your throat, the air is pressed through the closed vocal cords. This creates high pressure and friction forces that damage the voice in the long term. And the mucus, which should actually be removed by clearing your throat, quickly re-forms because of the irritation. A short cough is allowed, but it is best to warm up the voice with gentle tones. In this way, excess mucus that lies on the vocal folds and in the windpipe is carefully made to vibrate and transported upwards.
This can then simply be swallowed and the covered feeling subsides relatively quickly. Especially in classical singing, it is essential to have a good singing in for a pure, clear vocal sound. In rock and pop singing, rough, smoky voices are often desired, where the voices are often not supposed to sound pure and clear.
Additional noises can even have a very attractive effect here and are used deliberately, among other things. However, some effects in rock and pop singing can put a lot of strain on the voice and, especially if you often sing to the limit, it is particularly important to prepare your voice well. Even at a concert, it can easily happen that you go to the limit of your vocal capacity, because of course you want to give everything under the influence of adrenaline and thus the ability to perceive your own body is no longer given. In such a situation, it depends on whether the body has experienced and learned meaningful mechanisms that can then be called up automatically, such as correct breathing or the use of regeneration phases within a song.
If the voice has not been warmed up before a stress phase, the risk of hoarseness and permanent damage to the vocal folds is sometimes very high.
When you're dealing with stage fright and you're excited, you often breathe shallowly.
And if you can't breathe well, you can't sing so well either.
Effective warm-up exercises also include breathing exercises. If good breathing exercises are done frequently, the body remembers what is good and meaningful for it and can call it up independently even in extreme situations. Singing in helps to prepare optimally physically and mentally for singing. Your voice will definitely thank you in the long term if you gently guide her to the performance ahead.

3. Singing in is hearing and rhythm training

When singing you should hear your own voice and of course be able to control it. It is important to notice what the other musicians are playing or singing and you have to be able to adjust to the accompanying music and maybe also to other voices. Warm-up exercises are an important hearing and rhythm training and offer an ideal opportunity to prepare musically and to switch from everyday mode to singing mode. So singing in is also listening. The abilities of your own hearing can be refined through familiarization exercises. By listening more closely, the control of the voice and thus also the vocal function improves.
Since there are intervals in many warm-up exercises, this aural training also trains intonation skills. This is especially important if you are not an experienced singer and have difficulty finding or holding the right notes.
A targeted approach can also help to prepare for the upcoming challenges in the repertoire and to resolve any difficulties beforehand.
I hope I was able to bring you a little closer to the importance of singing in.

In this sense, she would like to motivate herself to deal more intensively with herself, her body and your voice, to get to know each other better and to advance in her vocal development.

Kind regards,
Dorothea Schmidt

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