User Reviewed

How to Warm up Your Voice

Two Methods:Full Body TacticsBefore You Sing

Warming-up plays the most important role for any professional vocalist and also for any human being interested in keeping his voice healthy. You can think of warming up as a magical tuning of your voice box to encompass any kind of vocal production and vocal abuse.

Method 1
Full Body Tactics

  1. Image titled Learn How to Behave and Understand Why Step 4
    Keep good posture. In order to have the best air flow and therefore the best sound, you need to have good posture. This goes for when you're both sitting and standing. Imagine a line at the top of your head, through your back, holding you up.
    • If you're standing, keep your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart. Balance equally on both legs. Keep your head up and shoulders back. Every part of your body should be in the same line.
    • If you're sitting, follow the same recommendations as you would for standing, but also keep your back off the chair, sitting toward the edge of your seat.
  2. Image titled Become a Better Singer Step 3
    Breathe deep. Most people have a bad habit of only using the top of their lungs. Doing this though doesn't employ the diaphragm and doesn't let you use your full power.
    • If you are tense at all while breathing, it will resound in the muscles of your vocal folds. Breathe normally, but be conscious of keeping your shoulders low and your chest relaxed. Concentrate on breathing lower staying loose throughout your core. If you need to, place a hand on your stomach to remind yourself that that's the part that should be moving up and down -- not your chest and shoulders. Hold an "s" sound (like a hiss) when you exhale to control the amount of air that you can expel.[1]
  3. Image titled Crack Your Jaw Step 8
    Release your jaw. Any tension at all will keep you from your best sound. Your jaw is the instrument your voice comes out of -- you have to take care of it, too. The best place to sing from is your diaphragm, so stick it out to breath there.
    • Massage your checks with the heel of each hand. Push in and down right below your cheekbone and rotate in a clockwise motion. Your jaw should open without you even thinking about it and be forced to relax. Do this several times.[1]
  4. Image titled Get Rid of Bad Breath from Onion or Garlic Step 5
    Drink warm liquids. Ice cold water will just clam up your vocal folds, very literally. It's also best to avoid caffeine and nicotine, too. All these things constrict your throat and keep you from sounding your best. ]
    • Warm teas or room temperature water are your best bets. You definitely want your vocal cords to stay lubed up, but you don't want to freeze or scorch them! If you do choose tea, make sure it's not scalding hot.[2]

Method 2
Before You Sing

  1. Image titled Become a Better Singer Step 5
    Do scales. You wouldn't run 5 miles (8.0 km) out of the gate, so don't expect your voice box to be able to go up and down 3 octaves either. Doing scales slowly warms up your voice, extending it to its top and bottom ranges. And it's pretty easy to do, even alone.
    • If you are breathing right and holding yourself correctly, it'll be easier to hit those notes in your high register. Be patient, though, and work gradually. You'll actually hurt your voice if you start off too low or too high, forcing it to do things it really doesn't want to do.[2]
  2. Image titled Get a Singing Job Step 20
    Work on lip and tongue trills. Another common method to warming up apart from scales are trills. They relax the lip and tongue, engage breathing, and eliminate tension.
    • For lip trills, simply create a raspberry sound by loosely placing your lips together. Experiment with different consonant sounds, like "h" and "b." Go slowly up and down your range, but don't do anything that's uncomfortable or hard to maintain.
    • For tongue trills, think of the Spanish "r." Place your tongue behind your upper teeth and exhale strongly. Hold the sound and air steady, varying the pitch while trilling. Again, don’t do anything your voice doesn't want you to do. You'll know.[1]
  3. Image titled Get a Singing Job Step 1
    Add in sirens and kazoos. Some of the more fun warm ups are sirens and kazoos. When you do your siren (which should start low and go high), use your arm and toss it in a circular motion, going up and down with the pitch.
    • Kazoos focus of the sound and stretch the vocal folds in a healthy, controlled way. Just pretend like you're sucking in spaghetti -- it's as simple as that. On an exhale, make the “woo” sound; it'll come out like a buzz. Holding the sound steady, go up and down to the extremities of your range. Do this several times.[1]
    • Try some tongue twisters going up and down in tunes. This is preparing your voice for complexed songs. A good one is 'Seven salty sailors sailed the seven seas (repeat up in Do Re Me.)
  4. Image titled Get a Singing Job Step 18
    Hum. Humming actually helps cool a voice down, too, which is an oft-forgotten, though important, technique. It warms up your voice without straining your voice like singing can.
    • Release your jaw and relax your shoulders. Inhale normally and exhale on a "hum." Go from high to low, like a sighing half-siren. If you feel a tickling around your nose and lips, good job.[1]


  • Don't drink dairy or cold water. The dairy will coat your throat and make it harder to push out air. Don't drink dairy in less then 24 hours of the time you want to sing. The cold water will shock your vocal cords.
  • A warmed up voice recovers much faster from a vocal abuse than a non-warmed up voice. Relax after about 30 minutes.
  • Be confident and practice, always know your limits.
  • The best thing to do is warm up your voice for at least 15-20 minutes, then rest it for half an hour then start to sing. This will give your voice some time to rest before jumping right into it. And note how much you can sing because believe it or not you can sing too much in a day, so rest your voice!
  • Drink lots of water. Make sure it's room temperature -- cold liquids will tighten up your vocal folds.
  • Don't strain your voice trying to reach those high notes. Start off simple with a B flat scale of "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do" up and down. Your voice will get used to this so that you will be able to reach higher pitches and notes.
  • Make sure you have correct tongue posture when practicing vowels. As you move up and down in register, your mouth should open and close accordingly (so as to create the same vowel sound on each note). Your mouth will open because you will raise the tongue in the front, to maintain the same space. Too much space will make for a dark, manufactured sound.
  • Start by warming up your mid-range and when it is warmed up, widen your scale so you cover a few notes higher and a few notes lower. Keep going, but don't push yourself. You may end up with no voice if you push to much.
  • Massage your throat.
  • Make sure you know what you're doing. There are many schools of singing so become well versed on which is the best school for longevity.


  • Don't be self-conscious of your voice. You can trick your mind into tensing up your vocal folds. Consciously try to relax.

Article Info

Categories: Speech Styles