Sharing Vocal Warm-ups
Hey everybody, Chelsea Melcher here.
Today I am going to share with you some of my favorite warm-ups.
So before we go any further, I do not own these warm-ups.
I did not create these warm-ups, these warm-ups have been passed on to me through various teachers and coaches and wonderful people that I have worked with and learned from and my life.
So I don’t own any of these. But I love them. I love these warm-ups. And these are just a few of the ones that I use. But they’re the most popular ones that I use because there are certain things that I love about them. And very probably would be helpful for a choral as a choral program as well. But I will say that I use these with my private forest lesson shoots.
So moving forward, the very first one that I like to do is do some sort of fricative with certain consonants, whether they’re voiced or unvoiced.
So you have the V. I like to do a third on that one or some of the unvoiced you could have the F, or the TH or another voice one is Z.
Work with whichever one seems to be the best for you, but I like doing a fricative and then doing a third or a fifth or anything because it’s great using these because it kind of constricts the vocal tracts but without completely closing it.
And so one thing is when going up, and you’ll find that the higher that you go, of course, it’s harder.
Then a lot of times the students will think that they’re doing the V right and that they’re not because it’s not even really connected with the voice of the body and sort of coming from a different place.
So that’s one of the things that I love to do.
Also, the thing about that is keeping the airflow steady, because sometimes you’ll hear in people’s sounds that all of a sudden that airflow will go fast to go up to the higher one. And then to go back down, all of a sudden, they stop releasing the air.
That’s one thing that you’ll hear that kind of disconnection at the end, or vice versa where they disconnect going up to the top one.
So that’s helpful for me to just feel like the airflow is going and trying to keep it as steady as possible, and then connecting it with the voice. And so that one seems simple.
But I will tell you this, it’s hard. It’s taken me a long time to feel like I’ve really gotten that under my belt.
And especially with my students, my students are still working on it, because it’s very difficult. They think that they’re doing it correctly. And it’s tricky in that way. So I’ll give that disclaimer for that one.
One of my other favorites is the (HO) one. This one is about keeping everything flowing, keeping everything light, not bringing a whole lot of like, heft into the sound.
It helps, especially in the female voice, it helps really access the top, just kind of going up and down. And now it’s very similar to a siren, but it’s pitched.
And this also I like to do this with the male voices that I work with and when they’re working in their falsettos.
It’s great because especially once you get to the top, there’s a point where you might hear the student.
They’ll start to kind of cap out, and then they can’t access the whole thing like going way up into there.
And so this is one that I work with to help people discover more of their high notes and their whistle tone as well.
The BD (E Vowel)
The next one is the BDBDB that I love so much. And this one is I love the E vowel especially for myself because I find it easiest to have the most resonance on an E vowel.
After all, a lot of times when you hear people saying from the O vowels like (Oh) I like there are so many different versions of the O right? But the E is a lot easier for me to find the focus and the resonance of the sound.
And I find that with my students as well and the (BA) is a very good easy consonant to start it with and to kind of have that focus in that and so some of the variations are the (singing) Or you can do this one’s a little trickier.
Sometimes people try to go too fast and then they lose their accuracy. Or especially for younger kids or beginners, this one is not recommended until just a little bit later, just because it’s harder to find the pitches unless they’re awesome but (singing) so I love me a good BB.
GO GO GO
Okay, next, another one I love is the go, go, go, go. And this one, I love it because it’s descending. And so you’re already working with the soft palate dropping that or just kind of collapsing everything.
It’s really good to try to keep the dome and everything open when you’re descending.
And then also I like this one because it helps with the jaw and the tongue. And so doing the go-go, go-go it’s on a G. And then I like to feel like instead of because you’re going to see the students want to go like go, go, go, go, all of that where the jaws just chomping.
Then that’s a good way to be like, okay, remember, when you’re chewing like that, you’re just going to get tired.
There are all sorts of tensions that can happen. So it’s really, the focus of this one is trying to keep the base of the tongue and everything relaxed and move the tongue go, go, go, go, instead of ga, ga, ga, ga instead of the jaw. So that’s a tricky one.
And then also, this one is good for the laryngeal position. So if I feel like my student is having high lyrics. I’ll say I feel like it comes from down here, go go go go, a little bit more of this type of thing, where they’re envisioning a more of an open throat and more relaxed and less of that.
Then I’ll usually come back down with that and descend back through. So I love to go, go, go.
The Hee Haw
And then the next one is the Hee Haw. It’s kind of like a donkey one but a laughing donkey I suppose. And so I start, you can start with an A vowel or you can start with the (singing), I like to start with the E just to find the resonance.
And then I stick my OH through that E vowel, which is helpful for the tight. And then the whole goal is to kind of keep it moving. So that’s the basis of that one, I like this one for movement.
Working with Younger Singers
So especially with younger singers, if you’re trying to find something that moves instead of just sustained a lot of long legato lines, which is beautiful but it can get in the way sometimes, especially students that hold or that squeeze.
I like to find things that just keep moving, keep the breath moving, keep things light, keeps things light-hearted.
A lot of times I’ll talk about this one is very much like laughter and so then that automatically kind of helps them get it into like a Haha, place instead of like, hey, instead of trying to derive the sound in that way.
Another one that’s very similar to that is the US. And so you do three pulses. And then you hold the third one, and then you do a run. I like to do these fast because I like to keep my breath moving.
But you can also if you’re working on something where there’s some realism as in a song and it’s a little bit slower. It’s kind of at that level where you can’t just completely let go because it’s slow enough, but I think you know what I mean.
And so that one can be helpful if you slow that one down. But I like doing this one fast because it just kind of keeps things moving and keeps the air spinning and less tendency to hold or grab on something.
And so the really good thing about this is that you work on the initial onset because sometimes people will want to do the quad-like where everything’s kind of closed down too tight.
And you can work on the soft palate as well with that, and you can work on releasing the breath with each one. And then the cool thing about this one, now this one is more advanced.
So I don’t usually use this with my beginner students.
And it can work a lot into the technique. But I love this one because you can ask them to do all sorts of different things on the hold-up.
So you can ask them to just sustain it as steadily as possible until they go into the run or you can be like, let’s play rhyme with this and now we’re gonna do Messi Deveaux Che an interlude or you can do with a decrescendo.
So there are so many different things that you can do with that one. So I like that one. And also you can play around with vowels. So if there’s a vowel placement that is great for you like E.
Then you can also do this on in E sometimes where I have a student that they have a pretty good amount of residents in the mid-range, but then all of a sudden, when they get to the top they’ll sort of swallow that kind of thing, then I work through with an E.
And figure out exactly what that place is. So those are the ones that I do to really develop more of the range and the head voice. However, there are a couple of warm-ups that I love that have to do with a mixed voice and using the belt and mode one.
And so I will just be careful about the student that you’re working with and make sure that they’re using a good technique, like making sure that they’re not screaming or yelling when they’re doing it.
And so just use these with caution.
The Cam Cat
But one that I love is one of my go twos is cam cat. And so you go cam cat all the way up and you take that right through the break into the stratosphere, that one is really helpful.
The Hey Guys
And then another one that I like is Hey guys. And then going through the break as well with that one. So be careful about those. But those can be helpful too if you’re using them correctly.
So those are a lot of my favorite warmups, I hope you enjoyed them. And please know that it’s not a one-trick pony.
Maybe not all of these warm-ups would work well for you. Or maybe there’s some that you’re like, yeah, I don’t like that. That’s not for me, which is fine. I just wanted to share with you the ones that I like and enjoy.
They’re my staples.
However, I love to learn new warm-ups and why you like them, so please share those with me or share them in the comments, or share with me what your favorite warm-ups are.
Thank you so much.