When Not to Warm Up as a Singer
This week, we’re talking more about vocal warm ups for singers. In recent posts, we’ve talked about how to warm up and why it’s important. But today, I want to share about the instances where a vocal warm up might not be the best thing for you. Crazy, I know! We’re taught early on that vocal warms DO matter and that we can harm our voices if we don’t. I definitely believe in a warmup that’s a good match for you personally – not a random one. But, there’s going to be times where a vocal warm up isn’t leading to extra benefits for you or helping you as a singer. Those are the instances I want to talk about today. So, let’s dive into when not to warm up as a singer!
Obviously, if you’re going into the studio, to record, to a performance, or even a lesson – warming up is ideal. But if you’re working on skills you don’t have… things like stamina, strength, or control – anything that falls under a “training” header, you don’t need what most people think of as a warmup. If you’re looking to train with your time and energy, a warmup isn’t necessary. Instead, just show up to the table ready to train. Your training plan will involve bit of gradual use of your voice in place of a warm up. And it will be followed by training specific skills. If you have a specific and customized training plan, you should feel comfortable being able to show up and just focus on your training exercises.
Keep in mind, if you’re just singing for the fun of it – training like that isn’t always totally necessary. But if you’re specifically trying to improve skills and putting your time, energy, and money into this – use that time wisely and focus on your specific trainings!
Thinking Too Much
Some of us are perfectionists. If you find yourself completing warm ups but not feeling any better or you find yourself thinking about it way too much… then don’t warm up. If you’re spending all of your time warming up worrying about getting things “right” or “perfect”, it means you’re not actually focusing on the work you’re doing. With that logic, you’ve wasted your time and energy. Instead, take away that element for awhile and see how you perform and sing without it. If you’ve been around my teachings for awhile, you might see this theme. I’m not here to tell you to do something for the sake of doing it. I want you to feel confident that everything you spend your time on is worthwhile and beneficial for you and your progress as a singer.
Body is Tight
If you’re doing a warmup and finding that it’s not making ANY difference in your singing, then your body may be too tight. This can come from a few things: extra stress, we’re naturally more tense, holding more tension, and other physical issues. But, the bottom line is that if you’re too tight, a vocal warm up won’t make a difference. Instead, you’ll want to find ways to warm up your body (more on that coming soon!).
Here’s the short of it: occasionally there are reasons that we don’t need to warm up as singers. Ask yourself if you’re in a position where you need to warm up or if you’re just focusing on training. Take a moment and check your body/tension to make sure you’re in a good physical space. I want you to focus on what you REALLY need to grow as a singer – not what you think you need. That’s the best way to see growth and change as a singer.