It’s not all glitz and glamour, pomp and circumstance.

Written by on in Vocalizing

Singing is more than lyrics and music. It’s a physical process that demands training, preparation and the dedication to follow through on the composer’s notes and briefs. As promised, this is the first in my series on the art of vocal performance. I’ve been training my voice for decades, and have heard a lot of singers performing a lot of exercises… and just to dispel a myth, there’s no such thing as a perfect/ideal vocal warm-up. Like athletes, we vocalists have our basic training regimen—at times like an athlete’s workouts, our practice sessions are truncated so we can devote our energies into actual recordings or live performances, but most of us do some form of conventional warm-ups. We can also use acrobatics, but only if we have mastered the basics.

There are literally thousands of good, effective warm-ups out there. Take your pick; you can go from mild to annoying, slow or fast… whatever works for you is your best option! I’ve included a few here from YouTube.com (Google). It can really help to do your warm-ups in a bath of rose petals with a cute guy (see the embedded video above, for a ‘serving suggestion’) to help you awaken your tone at a comfortable pace.

I’m saving a few of my own warm-up secrets for when we do behind-the-scenes on one of my other projects, so we’ll see if my phone is up to the task, or if someone else at T-Mantra will capture me doing one of my pre-performance routines. Dad taught me several and I’m always still learning, so you might be surprised, and one never knows what is the ideal regimen until one has tried one or a few–and honed in on the right one(s). Master of breath-power (kundalini yoga) Yogi Bhajan offers a few tips on kundalini yoga; his discussion of course all goes much deeper, but this video gives you the super-quick 1-minute basic sense of his anti-stress wisdom for breath support.

Ol’ Footman Joe hears me warming up and he gets excited and happy in anticipation of the (musical) performance ahead. I’m still interviewing him for that part of his job, lol. Hey, FJ!

I must add that content included here and derived from public sources may depart from its original author’s intentions, and all derived (or linked) works are provided for educational use ONLY. Original copyrights remain unaltered. The ink sketch above was found unattributed, otherwise we’d have gladly mentioned its artist.

Looking for something a little more challenging? Try something like this raag by Kaushiki Chakraborty which is mostly an impressive vocal exercise in micro-tonal vocal rendering. I wouldn’t begin with something this difficult, however!

Good luck to all concerned and keep up that spirit of fair play and competitive fun!! You can do it if you PRACTICE. Promise.

Namaste,

AM

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