How I warm up for voice work

How I warm up for voice work
How I warm up for voice work

Whether it's for a voiceover, a book narration or a choir practice, a warm up is always a good idea, both physically and mentally. Nothing is set in stone. I have acquired and adapted loads of other practitioners' good, fun and memorable warm up ideas over the years.

Here's one of mine

To extend your voice pitch range, great for a wide range of characters and for good voice health, start with a gentle hum, then siren it. Picture a figure of 8 and take the sound around in that shape, making sure it feels comfortable as you go. Keep the lips relaxed and let them tingle.

Repeat this time with a buzzing sound.
Repeat again, now with a j.
Finally repeat the j with a moving mouth pouting and cheesy grin combo to wake the facial muscles.

Be a goldfish. To loosen the jaw, open and close the mouth quickly like a goldfish. Then let it drop fully open but relaxed.

Beat the chest like a monkey! Allow your inner child to emerge.

To waltz time, 1,2 3 Extend your vowels!! 2 songs from the school coach trip days.

1.Mud, Mud, Glorious Mud
Mud, mud, glorious mud,
Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood,
So, follow me follow,
Down to the hollow,
And there we shall wallow
In glorious mud

2.On Top of Old Smokey
(Exaggerate the long O and E sounds)

On top of Old Smokey
All covered in cheese
I lost my poor meatball
When somebody sneezed

It rolled off the table
And onto the floor
And then my poor meatball
Rolled out of the door

Another pitch exercise here. The rule is, don't over think it. You don't have to be good at maths.

Try it first with sung notes, a tone apart, going up and down the scale. Number 9 is the highest note (one above the octave). Each line here is a musical phrase. Repeat the whole thing with spoken notes, again ascending and descending. Easy? Next try it on one breath. Go for smooth phrases. Have fun!

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I hope you've picked up 1 or 2 new ideas. On another day I might do something completely different. Let me know how you warm up your voice...