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Warming Up in Front of People That Don't Understand it?

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Jarom
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We all know that warming up is very important to our singing careers, but how can we do this when people don't understand or apreciate warming up? If I am at home alone or with family i can warm up and make funny noises because they understand the importance of it. However, if i have friends over most of them dont sing so they wont let me warm up they think i should just sing and that warming up is only for opera singers. My one friend who does sing also feels the same way and refuses to warm up. Whenever we are together and we feel like writting and playing music together he will always refuse to warm up. he says rock singers dont warm up. this frustrates me because it makes it very hard for me to sing in public or at camps because the people around me look down on warming up and singing becomes very difficult for me if I don't. what are some ways you can warm up in around people that look down on warmups?

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@Jarom but tell me, how come they "dont let" you? They get mad at you is that it???

'they think warming up is ''uncool'' and therefore look down at it and say things like ''just sing warming up is stupid'' or ''warming up is only for opera singers''  or they will hear me making funny noises in my warm up and say ''you suck at singing'' and then when i actually start singing they refuse to listen because my warm up sounded funny.... my friend who sings is just super stubborn and physically won't let us warm up because he is impatient and wants to sing RIGHT NOW!!!

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Rock singers don't warm up? No, it's like this: Rock singers who are comfortable with gambling with their vocal health don't warm up. Any singer who understands the voice, and doesn't warm up, is comfortable with that. Either that, or they're ignorant as to why they should be warming up. Judging by his comment about "Rock singers", it sounds like ignorance is his issue.

Some people go a long time and don't have any problems. That has absolutely nothing to do with their ability though. Basically, that's like parking in a space where you're not supposed to park, again and again. Just because you haven't gotten a ticket just yet doesn't mean that you should keep parking there.

Singing is a science though. Many people don't want to put the time into learning and understand what's behind it. And it likely has something to do with the myth that singing ability is something you have to be born with being perpetuated. People think they don't have to do anything else.

There are plenty of things you could show these people about why they should warm up, but it's their voice. It sounds like stubbornness is accompanying that ignorance. Ignorance is definitely the case with the friends who think only Opera singers warm up.

I'd just warm up anyways. When the day comes when they can't sing with you, just say that you told them so.

 

 

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Yeah I always felt that there was a pressure to "sing on demand", without needing preparation. If I'm forced to do this, I'd sing much simpler tunes (ie stuff that I could easily sing 3 years ago without knowing a thing about bridging, support, etc). If I know I'm expected to do some more technical stuff later ("oh, you sing? Sing for us later!"), I'll make sure to do my warm-ups some time before (even if hours before), and keep the voice warmed up lightly (hum to myself, etc) until I need to sing.

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Well, learning how to deal with this things is not easy. I feel for you. Consider this experience as you're 'confidence warm-up'. People get even more annoying when you go on stage or sing/play at gatherings (where someone has to stand-out by being the joker).

What can you do? don't get annoyed, or try to get even with a smart comeback... shrug and go back to warming up, laugh with them even if the joke is on you and go back to warming up, tell them about your training and your needs and go back to warming-up (do you sense a common theme here?). Seriously, I'm sorry you need to go through this but learning to deal with these kind of things is part of growing as a person. I know how it feels now. :-(

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Hey Jarom, I think we can all understand what you are going through, man. But the bottom-line is: you need to warm up, and you know it, so don't skip it! I month ago, at the night my band "debuted" at a local bar, my throat was bad, some kind of virus, or something. I didn't want to cancel, as I felt sick exactly the same day. So, I took my time doing light warm-ups and humming during the the day. Drank lots of water (warm when possible), tried to save my voice as much as I could, etc. About 30-45 minutes before going on stage, I told my band mates I needed to warm up, so I went to the parking lot and did my thing. When we started playing, only a few people (including my band mates) knew I had a throat problem. Of course I didn't sound as good as I would, if I were healthy, but everybody loved it, and I even got several compliments on my singing. So, warm ups can save your voice!

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@Jarom but tell me, how come they "dont let" you? They get mad at you is that it???

'they think warming up is ''uncool'' and therefore look down at it and say things like ''just sing warming up is stupid'' or ''warming up is only for opera singers''  or they will hear me making funny noises in my warm up and say ''you suck at singing'' and then when i actually start singing they refuse to listen because my warm up sounded funny.... my friend who sings is just super stubborn and physically won't let us warm up because he is impatient and wants to sing RIGHT NOW!!!

​     Just tell your band mates......"Tuning your guitar is uncool" "We do not have time to tune the instruments. We need to just jump in and start playing"......."Tell the drummer it is uncool to warm up and make sure all the drums and cymbals are positioned just the way he wants them" ......... Maybe after a while they will realize how dumb it is to not let their singer "Warm up" also.

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Consider this experience from Bruce Dickinson, as he relayed in the book of heavy rock singers.

Often, an hour before show time, he can be found wandering around back stage, humming and smiling maniacally to engage and find his resonant spots. And he says he gets all kinds of strange looks. Notice that he does NOT say he stops what he is doing because of what others might think. You do what it is that you need to do and others can either appreciate that, or not. But don't let it stop you from warming up. And you don't have to confront them, as I would. That's just my thing. If I were warming up and your friends would give me grief, I would walk right up to them, inches way so they can stare at my belly button (I am really tall) and say, "Yeah? So what?"

But that's just me. You don't have to do that. Just do your warm-ups and ignore them, which is probably the best thing, for now. Or, invite them to this forum and let them learn how important warm-up can be, from pro singers.

 

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@Jarom

So its a informal thing, like people gather just fooling around and etc... I can picture a few solutions:

- Dont sing at all, play a guitar, or w/e;

- Go away and warm up on your own, then come back to sing;

- Sing along on your low voice comfortably and relaxed and let your voice warm up over time;

- Warm up anyways in front of them.

 

I would choose the first if things are that restrictive. Its not cool of course to force people on a party to undergo warm up just because you want them to, strange thing to do hehe. And people will of course mock a grown up making baby sounds, it is ridiculous, but well, its part of the deal. On the bands I play people usually begin making fun of my warm ups before I even begin them hehehe, its cool because it does not allow me to forget it, and its nice to get everyone on a more playful mood. ;)

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Jarom just warm up before the friends are over. Always. It's really really really easy to do, you just find out when they are coming and plan your time to fit in your warm up and a short break before they come.

And if life happens that you can't warm up before they come, Rotlung hit the nail on the head. Just know what you can do without a warm up and only do that. You should always be ready and willing to sing even if it's not your best. Making the best of what your instrument will allow you to do in a particular moment is an extremely important skill for every singer to develop and singing on command no matter what is the best way to develop it.

Never try to warm up in front of anyone. That's my philosophy I've gathered based on the professional people I work with and the hobbyists too. Confident singers generally don't warm up around others - It's just unprofessional and weird. I think of warming up more like getting dressed, you do it as a preparation for the event and if you do it well then you don't have to say anything about it. I've been in my current band for a year and they probably don't even know I warm up because I just do it before every practice and gig, it's a habit. But even if I don't warm up I know what to do to get through the gig safely and musically. That is key as well.

Without a warm up, you should at least be able to sing songs in a comfortable range with accurate rhythm and pitch, and good tone, without hurting yourself. The big part is just learning what is most comfortable to you and if you have to go outside of that to hit or note or whatever, you have to know the closest way you can get to the result you want without encountering problems.

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Jarom, c'mon... you have been on this form a long time and you know better... you have to warm up.

I will say this... in my experience and career, I have had occasions where a similar thing happens... the band mate or the fellow student down the hall doesn't "get it" and so you get flak for it. Bro, that is just part of the experience of being  student of singing technique. There are always going to be people that don't get it". Singing and singing technique is the most misunderstood instrument of all. Some people actually feel fear when something new or strange is presented to them or they hear something strange down the hallway in the practice facility... Bro, you just have to hunker down and do it.

All the advise above is good advise. I particularly like Elvis' advise... it is just complete ignorance and don't let ignorance compromise your vocal health and ability to sing well.

Its just typical misunderstandings that come with the the experience of being a singer in a world of people that play fiddles and beat drums... they don't get it... until your actually singing and sounding great, then all of a sudden, the 'get it'... until the next day your having an off day and then, they don't get it again. You can't win. A certain % of the population, including other musicians simply don't understand the voice, how it works, what is required, what a warm up is, etc... it all comes from the false notion you read about in "The Four Pillars of Singing"... they think that people are born with it, or they aren't... and that its all in speech mode on top of that. Now tell me... how stupid is that?  You know better, but you won't be able to change this with some people... 

Like Elvis said, just tell them them to eat your butt or do it before hand or in privacy. 

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My advice...You warm up whenever the hell you feel like warming up.  As long you don't have them waiting for you, tell them that's what you need to do to.

I had an audition years ago with a cocky, arrogant bunch of guys and when I went into a marking mode because I had just gotten over being sick they all made static.

I knew right then these were not the guys I wanted to sing with.

 

 

 

 

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Yeah if you see your singing as a performance, part of a package you're presenting to others (like your friends), better not to warm up in front of them. Just take some time off to warm up elsewhere if you can.

I find it funny that some folks here mention issues with bandmates. From experience, my bandmates have never minded that I need to warm up, and I warm up in the studio while they proceed to play their own stuff as part of the "setting up time" in the studio. Of course, I know better now and warm up before even meeting in the studio. My point is, I'd expect most musicians (especially those with at least 2 years of experience working with singers) to know that warming up is, surprise surprise, really important for us!

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As far as band mates go... the key is to get them to understand that you are a professional or that your being 'professional' or behaving seriously about your instrument and that means ... seriously about your contribution to the communal effort. Some people do come around and "get that" if they hear good results when your singing... then, they will back off and give you your space and let you do your thing... The proof in the singing, is in the singing... so if you lay it down , then what do they really have to say about it? But even then, you should be allowed to have your space to do the right thing, even if your growing and learning as a singer. 

Its just a lame reality of the situation that I think all singers go through to some extent with bandmates... if you can't get the 'peace' you need, just show up early and work around it.. but don't compromise your standards for what you know is best for YOU... and what is best for the band. 

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Excerpt from a Steve Walsh Interview:
 
K2K: What do you do to prepare for shows?
SW: Very little. I used to do warm-ups and stuff, but everybody in the band made so much fun of me that I decided, "This is kind of silly. It sounds silly coming out of my face." I just kind of go on and do what I do. I just try to stay in good physical condition and eat right. I sound like the Surgeon General when I'm talking, but that's about what it boils down to.

 

 

 

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Excerpt from a Steve Walsh Interview:
 
K2K: What do you do to prepare for shows?
SW: Very little. I used to do warm-ups and stuff, but everybody in the band made so much fun of me that I decided, "This is kind of silly. It sounds silly coming out of my face." I just kind of go on and do what I do. I just try to stay in good physical condition and eat right. I sound like the Surgeon General when I'm talking, but that's about what it boils down to.

 

 

 

​Frankly, I don't like this advise. Just because he is a famous icon/star... it doesn't make his advise good necessarily. Many singers warm-up before they practice and perform. If you are trying to help Jarom, I'm not sure how this quote will do to help anyone Bob? Are we now going to fish through YouTube and the internet to find opinions about warming up from famous singers to counter this point? Because we could if need be, but Let's not go there... Let's try to guide these guys properly...

And can I say... someone like Steve Walsh is singing every night, for years... !  He is capable of getting his voice into a configuration that works quickly... simply by the shear "momentum" and repetition of doing it every day for 30 years... his own songs BTW... that are already inclined to "fit" in his voice... This too can happen for people that are singing every night for years, their own songs, etc... but this is not the situation for 95% of the people reading this forum. These are students, beginners mostly, not Steve Walsh and Bruce Dickinson... 

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A while back there were a few "Reality" shows. One of course was the Osbourne's . Pretty much each episode there was a clip where Ozzy was in a room doing his warm ups. 

Another had Sebastian Bach along with Ted Nugent and was called something like Super group.  You could hear Sebastian in a room off to the side singing his warm up routine,

 If you watch Live concert videos where they show the band walking to the stage you will hear the singers singing "Mum,Mum,Mum...........Me, Me, Me". Don't let anyone give you that Crap that "Real" "Rock" or "Metal" singers do not warm up.......That is BS plain and simple.......

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A while back there were a few "Reality" shows. One of course was the Osbourne's . Pretty much each episode there was a clip where Ozzy was in a room doing his warm ups. 

Another had Sebastian Bach along with Ted Nugent and was called something like Super group.  You could hear Sebastian in a room off to the side singing his warm up routine,

 If you watch Live concert videos where they show the band walking to the stage you will hear the singers singing "Mum,Mum,Mum...........Me, Me, Me". Don't let anyone give you that Crap that "Real" "Rock" or "Metal" singers do not warm up.......That is BS plain and simple.......

​Ive seen footage of Steve Perry and Arnel Pinetta from Journey warming up back stage... doing sirens, and other bridging maneuvers before a show... 

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Excerpt from a Steve Walsh Interview:
 
K2K: What do you do to prepare for shows?
SW: Very little. I used to do warm-ups and stuff, but everybody in the band made so much fun of me that I decided, "This is kind of silly. It sounds silly coming out of my face." I just kind of go on and do what I do. I just try to stay in good physical condition and eat right. I sound like the Surgeon General when I'm talking, but that's about what it boils down to.

 

 

 

​Frankly, I don't like this advise. Just because he is a famous icon/star... it doesn't make his advise good necessarily. Many singers warm-up before they practice and perform. If you are trying to help Jarom, I'm not sure how this quote will do to help anyone Bob? Are we now going to fish through YouTube and the internet to find opinions about warming up from famous singers to counter this point? Because we could if need be, but Let's not go there... Let's try to guide these guys properly...

And can I say... someone like Steve Walsh is singing every night, for years... !  He is capable of getting his voice into a configuration that works quickly... simply by the shear "momentum" and repetition of doing it every day for 30 years... his own songs BTW... that are already inclined to "fit" in his voice... This too can happen for people that are singing every night for years, their own songs, etc... but this is not the situation for 95% of the people reading this forum. These are students, beginners mostly, not Steve Walsh and Bruce Dickinson... 

​So true. You will find TONS of videos of singers actually showing their warmups, some of them pretty silly. Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Hailey Williams, Anna Kendrick, the Les Miserables cast, im sure there are even more. None of them are true "opera singers" and they still need it. Not to mention, contemporary vocal teachers who also perform (or performed) full time always take their warm up very seriously - Ken Tamplin, Daniel Formica, etc.... It's just common sense that these of course these folks warm up very seriously but if they have a day where they can't, i'm sure they get by fine without it too, it just won't be AS great sounding or AS healthy as if they do warm up. And then the last part, contemporary vocal coaches like Rob Lunte who teach full time and have to be able to demonstrate vocal technique all day, you really think THEY don't warm up just because someone amateur told them "i thought that's only for OPERA style!"? Trust your knowledge, Jarom, you know better.


And then on TOP of this, for beginners it's just that much more important though because you just haven't racked up the years of experience of good singing!

The "momentum" aspect is huge...you can make it help you or hurt you. If you warm up an hour one day and then sing an entire show with good technique, you will already be partly warmed up the next day and maybe only need a half hour warm up which allows you more time to rest your voice for better stamina. Can you see how this cycle creates a natural reward for being smart about your voice, and really helps you? You can hurt yourself by the exact reverse way. If you don't warm up one day and sing forced at a show, then you will have a worse vocal day the next day because your folds have swollen, then you have to force harder the next show causing more damage from that, or it takes twice as long to warm up and by the end of the warm up you have no stamina left for the show and then you're singing while fatigued and causing damage that way, etc. etc. if you keep this negative momentum going for months you'll surely lose your voice. If you keep the positive momentum going for months you'll get more toward Steve Walsh's level where you can just jump on stage and you're ready to go. And as you can see, not even all professionals have their voices up to that level of command. So as an average guy beginner how can you expect to be?

Also keep in mind professionals who don't warm up and SUCK because of it. I saw an interview with Geoff Tate where he mentioned Meat Loaf doesn't warm up, he kind of played it off as inspiration for him, but, I disagree - if you actually listen to Meat Loaf's live performances lately...well, um...he sucks!!!! hmmm...I wonder what may be contributing to that... :D 

Your friends who don't warm up just aren't getting the most out of their voices. That's really what it is. If you never challenge yourself to improve there's no incentive to warm up, you can just keep doing the same easy vocals and you'll be fine. But whenever these folks who don't warm up try to challenge themselves they'll fall flat on their face like Meat Loaf has been doing a lot in live shows lately...boy talk about strain and flat out missing the note consistently, look at the ending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oq9cs4uDdSU

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