How Long Should I Warm Up Before Singing? | Tips for Vocal Warm Ups for Singers from Voice Coach
“How long should I warm up before singing?” This is a question I get all the time from singers I work with! There are lots of different ideas about warm ups and how long to do them as singers. That’s what we’re talking about today! The first thing I want to say is that there’s so many ways to warm up your voice. This includes more than exercises and scales. You can also warm up through songs, and other activities. For me, when I’m working with artists in one-on-one sessions, I tailor the length and type of warm up to each person. If I’m not able to work with a singer one-on-one, I like to carefully craft programs with a specific focus, so that singers get results.
How long do you warm up?
The length of time you warm up matters, because you want to make sure you do enough to prepare you for what you’re about to do. But not overdo it. It is often very possible to warm up quickly – especially if you’re very familiar with your warm up and your voice. Once you have a good understanding of your own voice, you can decide what you have to include in that moment and what you can skip. But, that comes with time and experience. But, the amount of time that you spend warming up really depends. For most people who are not used to voice exercises or warming up, about 10 minutes is a decent amount of time. But if you try 10 minutes and it’s just not enough you either need to add more to your warm up OR improve the way you’re warming up so it’s more effective.
What should you include in your warm up?
When deciding what to include in your warm up, you need to consider a few things. The first thing (and one of the most important) is to know what you’re warming up for. Are you warming up for a show? Is what you’re about to do very demanding or mildly so? You want to make sure that what you’re doing to prepare your voice for that activity is enough. For example, you probably don’t want to do a really breathy fast warm up and then go belt your face off. That’s asking for an injury or fatigue (for most people)! Simply put: your warm up should match what you’re warming up for!
The most important thing to determine how long to warm up is how fatigued you’re feeling as a singer. If you find yourself constantly fatigued as a singer, look at your warm up. Make sure it’s what you’re need AND that you’re doing it properly. Fatigue is a sign that something isn’t working the way that it’s supposed to, because it’s absolutely possible to train your voice to a high level without hurting it. So, if you’re finding yourself very fatigued (and often!), re-evaluate your warm up and vocal fitness regimens.
To recap: for most singers, 10 minutes is a good option for a warm up. 20 minutes can be useful if you need longer for your own voice to warm up and get where you want. If you want or need more (or less!), don’t be afraid to follow what your body needs. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter how long your vocal warm up is if you FEEL GOOD and feel sustained as you sing. I like singers to have a variety of warm ups and training programs. That’s why I created ‘Condition Your Voice’ Workout Pack. It has 3 warm ups, 1 warm down, 5 training programs, and videos to show how and when to do the workouts. If that’s something you think will be useful for you, you can check it out below or click here.
Learn more about vocal warm ups in this week’s video!
I have designed a 6 Week Training Program to build your vocal foundation! Check out Foundations Training to gain foundational strength in 6 key areas of your voice. By working on your voice foundations, you’ll be able to build a stronger voice, reduce vocal fatigue, and so much more!