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The difference between warm up and practicing

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MB20
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I'm finding it hard to distinguish the difference between warming up and practicing. The latter should obviously be more intense, but do you do the same exercises? or cover more of a range? after doing some research, it seems some singers take up to an hour warming up, so it can't be the timescale. I'm trying to formulate both a solid warmup and practice regime as currently my practice is sporadic and my warm up almost non existent. Any suggestions as to what I could do, or advice on what you currently do would be greatly appreciated.

:D

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Hi MB20,

I am a voice student not an instuctor, and this is a controversial subject.

Some think you don't need to warm up, others are sure that you will harm your voice if you don't.

What seems to be true from my personal experience, is that after I have been singing for a few minutes my voice is more flexible and can do things that it wouldnt when I started. I am not sure if this is due to the "clearing" of the vocal cords or what, but it seems to be true.

Some experts that are far smarter than I am advocated practicing for sort periods then resting for a similar short period ( some even 10- 15 min). Clearly you couldn't do a 15 min warm up then....

For me, if I am practicing one of the full metal voices from the Complete Vocal Technique (CVT) I get tired before an hour is up, so I typically practice for 20 min and do something else for 20 min and so on for a couple of hours. I am not sure if others find this useful or not.

More than one excellent singer that I know says that clearing their throat is all they need to start singing.

I hope this helps some and hopefully others with greater experience will share there thoughts as well.

Doug

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MB20 - opinions on this subject will vary greatly. What I start out with is semi occluded phonations (lip trills and the "ng") using octave scales and arpeggios throughout my entire range - starting low and moving up a semi tone until the highest - but not pushing or challenging my extreme highs. I consider this my warm up. Then I move on to the same with open vowels. With the open vowels I go to my highest notes. I may add some octave and a half ascending and descenging arpeggios. then I move on to songs. I guess I would classify my routine as 1) warming up with semi occluded, 2) excersise with open vowels and 3) practicing songs.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm finding it hard to distinguish the difference between warming up and practicing. The latter should obviously be more intense, but do you do the same exercises? or cover more of a range? after doing some research, it seems some singers take up to an hour warming up, so it can't be the timescale. I'm trying to formulate both a solid warmup and practice regime as currently my practice is sporadic and my warm up almost non existent. Any suggestions as to what I could do, or advice on what you currently do would be greatly appreciated.

:D

mb,

i have learned to warmup the voice (as a discipline) instead of jumping right into singing. i always want to just start singing right away, but i resist my eagerness. it will make a huge difference (i.m.h.o.) if you warmup beforehand. the warmup will vary from singer to singer. you need to find a groove for yourself.

the reason i'm so pro-warmup, is you will find you can take your voice to places you may not experience without warming. i.e., wide range syrens. warming will also clean up the folds and open up your resonance tract.

again, just my opinion, but i personally consider it a mandatory requisite for exercising and singing.

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If I do not warm up, I'll have difficulties high, and won't be able to squeak Sweet Child o' Mine whatever I may try. Or maybe only through brute forcing.

My warm up consists mostly of some liprolls from lows to high, then some soft placement of the voice, finding all my different ways to produce notes in the middle part of the voice, and then a low song, a middle song, and then a high song. In approximately 15 minutes I consider myself good to experiment with my voice, which is my way practicing. Trying to fin new sounds at varying pitch, playing with volume, and lately, mostly, trying to experience support in a better way.

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Something else, in terms of practice. What I would often do is structure the practice set in a certain order. I might do the highest, most demanding song, while the voice is fresh and rested (warm-up aside). And then alternate songs of varying range.

Other times, just for giggles, I did all the high songs first. But mostly, I break it up in varying ranges and tempos.

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how long do people take doing their warm ups and practicing generally? I've heard suggestions like 20 mins prac then 20 mins rest but that seems like you would need a long stretch of time to get a really good solid session in..

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I sometimes warm up for a few minutes, mainly getting my twang on. My practice set might run for 30 minutes to 40 minutes, with rests in between for a minute or so. Your average song is between 3 to 5 minutes. I don't practice scales, per se. But I will use 3 or 4 note riffs. Sometimes, even part of a song and trying it in different timbres, falsetto, full voice, low as I can go. Lately, I've been practicing descending sirens, softly.

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in some ways, warmups and practice can interchange depending on what you're doing. i get days where i'm really wanting to push my voice (correctly) listening to my body for guidance.

when it seems i'm hitting the law of diminishing returns that is my clue to warmdown and call it a day.

that can be 30 minutes or as much as an hour again depending on what you're working out.

again, i'll say it...because some people just don't get it...if your goal is professional-caliber vocals, it is going to take a lot of work.

i have made gains just by trying to keep up with lou gramm and freddie mercury, lol!!!

now i'm trying some sam and dave...yeeech! keep working bob!!! lol!!

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