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Do I need to warm up before exercising?

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Etchy
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I know warm-ups are important before singing...but there are some days when I only have about 30 minutes to do exercises and that means I have no time for a warm-up... So is it really necessary to warm up on exercises too? Will I hurt myself if i exercised without warming up?

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I know warm-ups are important before singing...but there are some days when I only have about 30 minutes to do exercises and that means I have no time for a warm-up... So is it really necessary to warm up on exercises too? Will I hurt myself if i exercised without warming up?

yes, it's very important to warm up the voice. you need to prepare the vocal apperatus before stressing it. but like stan said lip bubbles, humming, light falsetto slides, and start lighter and work up before you hit the more intense portions.

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So I should maybe just do a small warm-up...then start my exercises light and get more intense as i move along? Ok I'll give that a try thanks :)

for some singers a vocal warmup and an exercise routine are one and the same.

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My workout starts with the same exercises - lip bubbles and "ng" with tongue sticking out - throughout the full range, scales and arpeggios. Those are basic warm ups. If I don't have a lot of time, I at least do those.

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I think it can differ from vocalist to vocalist. I've met/read about some who do nothing and others who do over an hour. Your not so much stretching/preparing muscles as you are finding co-ordination and getting yourself in the right mindset. Try out some different approaches and see what works for you. Personally, I have always found warming up beneficial, especially when working on more demanding stuff.

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My workout starts with the same exercises - lip bubbles and "ng" with tongue sticking out - throughout the full range, scales and arpeggios. Those are basic warm ups. If I don't have a lot of time, I at least do those.

I tried that once and at least it was better than not warming up at all! :D I'll be doing that from now on :)

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I think it can differ from vocalist to vocalist. I've met/read about some who do nothing and others who do over an hour. Your not so much stretching/preparing muscles as you are finding co-ordination and getting yourself in the right mindset. Try out some different approaches and see what works for you. Personally, I have always found warming up beneficial, especially when working on more demanding stuff.

Well i'm the kinda guy who needs about 30-45 minutes of warm-up so that's why I was asking what I should do if i only have 30 minutes to practice. I guess I'll just go with the light warm-up then

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Etchy: If you only have 30 minutes to practice, make sure you spend about 15 minutes fairly early in the day... while going to work, on break, whatever... to do some light hummed onsets and sirens. By the time your practice period arrives, your voice will be quite close to readiness to sing. Then, begin your singing period with vocalises that develop technique for 10 mins, and then work songs for the remainder.

I hope this helps.

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Etchy: If you only have 30 minutes to practice, make sure you spend about 15 minutes fairly early in the day... while going to work, on break, whatever... to do some light hummed onsets and sirens. By the time your practice period arrives, your voice will be quite close to readiness to sing. Then, begin your singing period with vocalises that develop technique for 10 mins, and then work songs for the remainder.

I hope this helps.

That's what I try to do and sometimes I just do some lip bubbles then go into practice but I wanted to make sure that it's not hurtful to practice without the full warm-up!

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Just a thought.

One needs warm-up to sing, where as most people don't warm-up to speak. Could this be another indication that singing and speaking are not the same thing?

I don't really believe singing is the same as speaking...it's like saying sprinting is just like walking

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I don't really believe singing is the same as speaking...it's like saying sprinting is just like walking

i agree, but the warmup before singing demanding songs is m-a-n-d-a-t-o-r-y, especially when you get older.

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Actually, I never thought the question needed asking but yes, Etchy. Warm-up before exercising. Hey, Ron, what do you do? I am so glad you asked. Unlike some others, who start out in baritone and work their way up, I start out in head, with a light, sometimes falsetto weight, with descending sirens, sometimes, descending tri-tones. Then I will work on scales. And not just the 8 note octave on whole notes. I work on intervals. I realized that some of my earlier mentions of my work may have gone over some heads. Even though I am self-taught in both guitar and voice, I have had music theory in a class, though, by that time, I had already studied much of it on my own. I and a bunch of music freaks in high school took the class as a "blow off" course. The teacher was the choir director. She didn't mind. We were relatively well behaved for a group of miscreants and we always did the homework assignments she gave. For example, in our junior year, we formed the Music for Art Society, complete with a teacher for a sponsor, and gathered in the film theater to create our cacaphony. And never got our group picture in the yearbook. In our senior year, no sponsor, no meeting place besides music theory class, we got our picture in the yearbook, no sponsor or charter, as the Reggae Club, though none of us played reggae. The picture of we grinning idiots is getting away with our "ruse." "Mama's not to worry, I've been a bad, bad boy ..."

We kept it down to a dull roar. And the performance of our homework was both an exercise in the assignment and a public performance issue. Can you think of an harder audience than a group of guitar freaks for your own (my own) classical original composition? And to have it well received?

Anyway, I digress. I work on intervals. I - II - I. For example, let's say the tonic or first note or note of the key is E. Then the scale is E - F - E. Then, I - III - I. E - G - E. Then, I - V - I. E - B - E. And I start at a low head note and work up. Other times, I cross train by doing sirens upside down. I start high and descend, and then ascend back to the starting pitch. And the next cycle starts higher.

I firmly believe in Frisell's general position on it. Start in head voice and then, for the most part, stay there. If you are a tenor, train as a tenor, not a baritone or bass.

But yeah, start out with some loose, light vocalization. It doesn't have to be pretty. Just get loose. And don't be afraid to warm-up again in the middle of exercises. Especially if you feel yourself straining or getting tight.

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. I work on intervals. I - II - I. For example, let's say the tonic or first note or note of the key is E. Then the scale is E - F - E. Then, I - III - I. E - G - E. Then, I - V - I. E - B - E. And I start at a low head note and work up. Other times, I cross train by doing sirens upside down. I start high and descend, and then ascend back to the starting pitch. And the next cycle starts higher.

It's a great thing to work on intervals in common scales. However, I'm not sure the terminology is accurate here Ron. If capital Roman numerals are major chords and lower-case Roman numerals are minor chords, then an example such as I-II-I=E-F-E doesn't make sense. Just a small point which jarred with me since I'm studying music :) Training intervals like you say is of course a fantastic tool, often used in classical or choir training, but rarely used for contemporary singers!

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You mean it's not possible to sing an E major, then up to an F major, and then back to an E major? I wrote capital roman to imply major tones and you are correct on that. Though they usually apply to chords. And I often think in that term of analysis, especially for chords. For example, most blues songs are I - IV - V. Especially in the standard 12 bar format. And yes, a scale could include transitioning from the tonic to a minor interval. For example, in the E major chord, it is E-B-G#. The E minor chord would be E-B-G. And I can see where the confusion would be. An interval of E to G I - iii. So, I did make a mistake in notation there, but not on F. my apologies. F is not a minor note in the key of E. But G natural is and I did screw that up in notation. Sorry.

Sometimes, I have a blonde moment and a senior moment all rolled into one. Awkward!

And yes, I do get those interval scales from the classical method. Nor is that without precedent, even in modern music processes. I would invite you to check out Lunte's "Staley." It might be classical but has an application in rock singing, I think, though I could be wrong.

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I do find that some of these "classical" ideas have a lot to help us singers. Singing some good old scales is super useful, and I would never let anyone tell me otherwise. And you're right that F is not a minor note in the key of E, it is a chromatic note here. The supertonic of E (major or minor) is F#. To use F natural over an E tonic would imply Phrygian or Locrian.

Lunte's "Staley" rocks. Simple. Plain. Rocks.

I don't like to get caught up in this stuff but it's inevitable when everyone is taught/learns a different way of talking about the same thing.

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True. And a number of singers who just started out wanting to be singers have not learned music theory and the appropriate terminology. And the whole thing of E4, C5, that's a singer thing. In the normal music theory I learned as a guitarist, we didn't call it by octaves. It was simply a note that you played on guitar.

But I think everyone can gain value from music theory. For it helps you understand what the band is doing, helps with music appreciation, makes recording with pros and singing with pros much easier. And every single classical source I have read suggested that singer get some rudimentary training in another instrument. Way back then, it was either piano or violin. These days, i think guitar is just as good.

And I invite other guitarists such as Geno or jonpall to chime in.

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I'm a guitarist too...Actually It helped me out a lot because I've seen other singers who are actually better at singing than me but don't quite get the harmonies,tempo,timing...or the actual overall spirit of the song that I actually understood by playing music before singing

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I'm a guitarist too...Actually It helped me out a lot because I've seen other singers who are actually better at singing than me but don't quite get the harmonies,tempo,timing...or the actual overall spirit of the song that I actually understood by playing music before singing

Yeah, the nice thing about playing an instrument is that it can help teach rhythm. However, I had stymied myself in recording against tracks. I am so used to playing and guitar and singing at the same time that my cues would come from what my hands are doing. In recording, I had to learn to lead the beat as far as a breath take goes. Otherwise, I was late, from listening for the beginning of the musical phrase.

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