If you’ve been here before you can skip these beginning paragraphs and jump to the warm-up. If it’s your first time, read on! Every Wednesday I share a vocal tip or warm-up. After 17 years of teaching people how to sing I have so many tips!
As a voice teacher I am frequently approached for vocal warm-ups for use in a choir or as a soloist. I LOVE warm-ups and think it’s crucial to use them whenever you’re going to sing. I know it’s an easy step to skip when you are practicing (because who doesn’t want to get to the fun stuff like songs?), but it can also be THE tool that takes you or your choir from average to AHHHMAZING! The trick is knowing which warm-ups you or your choir needs, when to use it and why it works.
That’s A LOT of variables! It’s also the main reason why I don’t like giving a warm-up on the fly. Warm-ups are most effective when used mindfully. It’s really difficult for me to explain all the crucial elements in a short amount of time. Having warm-ups is one thing, but knowing how to use them is a whole other matter. My hope is that Vocal Wednesdays can help you not only find warm-ups you like, but help you learn what skill each warm-up can teach and then be able to use it at the appropriate time.
Looking for an exercise to improve diction, flexibility and encourage clear tone? Look no further friends, this is a great one. I recently started taking voice lessons again (turns out your voice changes a lot after 40) and this is one of the exercises my teacher introduced to me. It really moves the articulators, the lips and tongue while warming up the facial muscles as well. Win-win!
This is a buildable warm-up. I’ve blogged about other buildable warm-ups HERE and HERE. Basically, it means you can start with a simple 5 note scale, move to an 8 or 9 note scale, then add an arpeggio, throw in some staccato/legato or whatever creative add-ons you can think of and you got yourself a warm-up that can continue to challenge your singer.
Anywho, here is the warm-up.
Pronunciation: Biddy, biddy, biddy, biddy, biddy, biddy, biddy, biddy, bee
WHAT KEY OR NOTE SHOULD I START ON?
Start in the Key of C
WHEN DO I USE THIS?
This is a great warm up to use at the beginning of a lesson or rehearsal.
Use with all ages.
This is a great exercise to improve diction, flexibility and to warm up the facial muscles.
Because it’s a buildable warm-up you can be creative with it and sing a different version of the exercise every week.
- This is the 9 note version of the exercise. You may want to start with a 5-note and work your way to longer exercises.
- Encourage your singer to have pitch on the [b] and [d]. In other words, they shouldn’t sound like [p] and [t].
- It’s easy to sing this exercise with little breath, so you may want to add in an arm motion or a friendly reminder to keep the breath moving throughout.
- Believe it or not, there is such a thing as over-annunciating. Just watch out for those select few. Working too hard with the lips and tongue can create the not-good kind of tension and nobody wants that.
What vocal warm-ups are you using this week? Are you struggling with a technical problem? Write in the comments or message me on Facebook and I’d be happy to help you.