These vocal warm-ups to help avoid injury can save you a lot of grief.

Taking care of your voice is as important as learning to sing. After all, vocal damage can be traumatic and is often irreparable

The uncomfortable truth is that the voice, as opposed to other instruments, has no replacement. You can seriously damage your vocal chords through overuse, lack of warmups, or just poor technique. Before we go on to the vocal warm-ups, check out Roadie Coach. This fantastic tool offers personalized feedback and exercises to help you improve in several areas, including singing. You can record yourself and track your progress with Roadie Coach. Without further ado, here are the vocal warm-ups to help avoid injury.  

Breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are a great way to engage your vocal chords with ease first. Besides being the cornerstone of singing, breathing can also help you focus while you pass air through to start awakening your voice. 

For instance, hissing exercises are used widely by many singers. In the most basic of hissing exercises, breathe deeply and exhale slowly while producing a very soft hissing sound. Try this a few times until you can do the hiss for about 20 seconds uninterrupted. Practice this with a relaxed stance and be aware of any unwanted tension.

Lip Trills

Lip trills are perhaps the most recommended vocal warm-up exercises. These drills get your vocal resonators going and help softly awaken your entire singing apparatus. 

You can do several lip trill exercises. One of the most common is to sing an octave sliding up and back down, moving up chromatically or by half step. Do this to cover your entire range.

Next, you can do a major scale on a lip trill. A nice variation is to add a ninth to the scale at the end. 

Finally, you can try singing an entire song using only lip trills. This helps you understand your vocal placement better for that particular song. 

Different vowel exercises

These exercises are great to warm up your vocal chords with different kinds of vocal placement. For instance, singing scales on the “e” helps you appropriately place your sound. Try singing different scales with this vowel, one octave and then moving up by half step. This is a great way to warm up for a gig or recording session.

Ideally, you want to sing scales with at least three vowels at a time. For instance, you can do major scales on “e” and then minor scales on “oh”. To finalize, try singing major arpeggios on “ah”, nice and slowly, focusing on proper tone production and correct breathing. 

Recite the lyrics first

This exercise is incredibly helpful but neglected by many. It involves reciting the lines of the song or section you are about to perform. Simply say the words as if you were normally speaking, but focus on your breathing and on getting the diction as clearly as possible. 

This exercise helps not only as a warm-up, but to connect emotionally with the song in question. 

These vocal warm-ups to help avoid injury are as simple as they are effective. Ideally, try to get a vocal teacher to help you do them right and with the correct technique. You can then record yourself to measure your progress. 

Remember to go slow and stop if anything ever hurts. Keep in mind that consistency is the key to getting better as a singer, and make it a daily habit to practice. Also, remember to have fun and enjoy the process.