We've warmed up... Now what?
Well we've now come to where the rubber meets the road. Putting it all together!
We've covered the THREE main phases of warming-up...
I. PRIMER PHASE
II. COORDINATION PHASE
III. RAMPING UP PHASE
but is that all there is?
YES & NO!
Yes, because this series is all about learning how to warm-up your body, brain and voice... your INSTRUMENT... so that you can safely and confidently enter the NEXT phase of your practice (i.e., specific song(s) or technique work). So that's where the "NO" comes in... you shouldn't be done!
PHASE 3 isn't called Ramping-Up for nothing... you are ramping up TO something... I mean ramps exist to lead you somewhere else, right?
I discern here between warming-up and practice... warming-up is a critical PART of your practice but hopefully NOT THE ONLY THING YOU DO!
In the following warm-up demos, I take you on a journey of the basic warm-up phases as I warm-up MY OWN VOICE. I use the exact exercises highlighted in this series as well as many variations and modified versions... depending on the time of day, where I am and what my singing goals for that day are.
This is NOT meant to confuse you, rather help you really understand the phases and the elements to pay attention to in each phase... so ultimately you can make your warm-ups really work for you!
WARM-UP DEMO 1
Working start to finish on warming-up... with bloopers NOT EDITED OUT! Yes, that's right! I invite you in to experience my warts and all! I'm all about transparency and I am as see-through as it gets!
KEEP IN MIND
If you were to cut out all of my commentary, this warm-up is only about 12-15 minutes long... not bad.
You'll notice here I overlap some things... I encourage you, too, to work on your mindset WHILE stretching and doing a little bit of breath work
I'm paying close attention to how things 'feel' in this phase. Here are some thoughts that run through my mind as I'm working on it all..
Do I feel any pulling or tugging in my voice box?
If so, how's my breath support?
Do I need to engage more?
Am I feeling a little tight in my muscles as I proceed?
Do I need to stretch a bit here and there while doing my exercises?
Remind myself to keep things small and not too loud, too fast!
It's A-OK to repeat the pattern once and a while until my brain/voice click!
Make sure my neck is long and upright not leaning into my hands (texting neck is a no-no!)
If my voice cracks, I simply back up and assess what I need to do or think about differently - NO SHAME!
Am I feeling my resonance remaining consistently in the front of my face?
RAMPING UP PHASE:
I could easily have placed the mmm's and muffled mum's in the coordination phase... because let's face it, you still need to be coordinating as you ramp up! All of the above thoughts still apply here!
A key thought, though, here in this phase is making sure I engage the more "speaky" part of my brain! It's amazing how when we think we are "singing", we can sometimes lose connection in our cords and our tone becomes less powerful and more "heady".
***IMPORTANT TO NOTE: On a day to day basis, I may change up the specific exercises I do or the order I do them.
Like with this demo, I made the decision to skip the mmm's here because I had already used my voice quite a bit by the time I was able to sit and record this video. If you are starting out in the morning... I HIGHLY recommend starting out with mmm's!
warm-up demo 2
I wanted to give you an example of how you don't necessarily have to sit in one place to get your warm-up in... it can be done throughout your morning or day!
So, you must know by now that I LOVE you if I'm willing to let you see the less-than-bright-eyed-freshly-rolled-out-of-bed me! Forgive how SLOOOOW I seem... but it was morning and I was super sleepy ;)
KEEP IN MIND
I encourage you to not make warming up such a "thing"... try incorporating it into your morning and day making sure to hit on all of the phases to get you ready to really SING.
I BEG you NOT to just jump into that power chorus of your favorite song. I do it sometimes because I'm so stinking excited about how on fire I was the day before... then I end up over singing and it's just BAAAAAAD!
WARNING: Just make sure you aren't mindlessly doing your various warm-ups because you can sometimes do more harm than good. You need to get that body, BRAIN and voice connected...
WARM-UP DEMO 3
I wanted to throw in a very cool RAPID FIRE alternative for you that helps incorporate all the phases in a much quicker amount of time!
But I also have a very specific goal with this warm-up... BELTING!
Also, I'm a bit more AWAKE in this warm-up :)
KEEP IN MIND
This is an especially wonderful alternative if you are short on time!
I simply roll breath activation and the "getting my voice moving" into the coordination phase using blubber lips. The key here is to be hyper aware of what you are trying to coordinate:
- balanced breath pressure
- clean cord closure
- relaxed throat
- stable larynx
- proper posture
Then when ramping up, it is imperative that you pay attention to your body, really "listen" to it... Be honest with yourself, too. Don't just shrug it off it you still feel tired and your voice doesn't feel ready to move on. PATIENCE!
In this ramping up phase, if you do feel that maybe you've added too much too soon, GO BACK and do some more blubbers or easy sighs!