Like athletes for any type of sport, it is important for singers to warm-up before they sing. Vocal exercises serve as a warm-up and remove the tension from your throat muscles so that you will be ready for the strenuous activities of your performance or rehearsal. This is very effective so that your vocal chords will not be damaged and so that you will not experience vocal fatigue.
Our vocal folds have little muscles that are more flexible and less likely to be injured when they are warmed-up.
Before the actual vocal exercises, you must also do body relaxation methods and stretching. The first is the rag doll exercise wherein you bend forward at your hips while standing up. You should also keep your arms and head freely dangling. Next, shake them for a while and let them hand for a couple of minutes or so.
Next, you should do a stretching exercise. This will be good for posture alignment which is necessary for air release and control. Start by standing with your feet parallel and hip-width apart. Your arms must remain at your side and then, rapidly bring them upward across the body until they are above the head in a circular motion. Inhale deeply and rise on tiptoes as you move your arms upward. Next, gradually exhale while bringing the arms downward and going back to your original standing position. You must remember to keep your shoulders back and your chest up as though you are still at the top of your stretch.
After the exercises for your body, you can now proceed with the vocal exercises.
The first vocal exercise will be the buzz. This can also be called the bubble lips, lip roll, or the lip trill. Through puckered lips, exhale to create vibrations which can make sounds similar to that of a motorboat. Start by doing this on a single note.
Next, you will do a variation of this exercise: the buzz slide. From the base tone, go up a fourth and then back to the first note (do-fa-do) or C, F, C in the key of C major. Now, repeat it by doing upwards half step every time. The buzz sound helps you develop good breath support but you can also do this exercise in vowel syllables like “oo” and “ee”.
The next vocal warm-up exercise is the fifth slide. Using the syllable “wee”, start on a fifth, and go down to the base (so-do). This will be G-C in the key of C major. With the syllable “zoo” this time, repeat it on the same tones. Next move half steps and do the exercise on both “wee” and “zoo”.
Then there is the five-tone descending scale. Start with the fifth tone and descend to the base (so-do-mi-re-do). Sing this first on the syllable “na” and then “nay”, “noh” and “noo”. After finishing singing it in these syllables, move half-step higher and apply it to all the syllables.
The next exercise is the descending 8-tone scale (do, ti, la, so, fa, mi, re, do). This can be sung on the “noo” syllable. With each repeat, like the previous exercises, move half-steps up. Other vowel sounds such as “nay”, “nee”, “noh”, “nah” or “mm” can be used for this. During this exercise, you should feel vibrations on your upper resonance or mask which is found in the nasal area.
The fifth warm-up exercise is the descending arpeggio: do, so, mi, do which is sung on the “nah” syllable. Repeat this on “nay”, “nee”, “noh” and “noo” syllable. Next, move half step higher and apply on each syllable as well.
Last vocal exercise is called the octave slide. This will be sung using the buzz and should be started on “do” as the base note. Slide up one octave and back down to the base. Try this next on the vowel syllable “oo”. Moving higher by half step, do this again on the lip roll and then the “oo”. Repeat this again by moving half-steps higher.