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Vocal "Warm-Ups"... or, Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract Posture Applications

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Robert Lunte

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Here is an article I just posted on the main site, thought I would throw it up here on the rowdy form community. Thoughts?



If you are on this forum and have not registered for the main site yet, please do so... there is a lot of great content there and cool applications and features.


1). They balance the sub-glottal and super-glottal air pressure (above and below) the vocal folds and thus help the singer to create more efficient phonation and balance with the increased velocity of air required for singing. Inherently, speech vocal mode is not efficient compared to phonations used in singing, so the semi-occluded vocal tract exercises increase the efficiency of the relationship between the singer’s respiration and vocal folds.

2). Semi-occluded vocal tract exercises establish a resonant track. They help the singer to get into a seamless passage through the vocal bridges (breaks), thus preparing the voice for good bridging from the lower vocal registers to the higher registers, namely, (chest to head voice).

3). They lift the voice out of what we call at The Vocalist Studio, “bottom-up phonation” into more healthy and successful “top-down phonation”. It excites the resonators (mouth, nose, sinuses), gets the overtone production placed in the “mask” and removes throaty singing.

To call these semi-occluded vocal tract postures “warm ups” do not give them justice. They do far more than just “warm up” the voice and at the end of the day, what does “warm up” really mean? I hope this explanation helps to shed some light on some popular vocal “warm ups” that so many people have done, but may have never really understood why.

I would love to hear from all of you on your experience here and from my professional colleagues.

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I would love to know what a semi-occluded vocal tract posture is. You don't actually describe what it is in the article, help a noob out :)

Mr Bounce: Its a vocal-tract posture (positioning) that provides resistance to airflow above the larynx, so that there is less difference in the subglottal (below the glottis) and supraglottal (above the glottis) air presures.

In addition to the bubbles and buzzes mentioned by others, there is a group of voiced consonants that are semi-occluded as well: V, Z, voiced Th are my favorites, as they provide more 'back' pressure. M and N are also semi-occluded, which is why they are so often used in vocal exercises. Even putting your hand to your mouth can be used. :-)

Interestingly, the pic that Robert posted is not representative of what these exercises look like typically.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello Robert

The "warmup" sounds fascinating, but neither here nor by the article on the main site do you demo the exercises ... or have i missed something?

Happy New Year to you and all on TMV!


Nigel - Establishing The Resonant Tract is part of The Four Pillars of Singing training system. However, Rob has generously shared a video explaining this exercise:


In addition, you may view Vocal Lesson videos from The Vocalist Studio / Rob's youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=EACC436716B0686B

Happy New Year!

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