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Warming Up
Your Voice
by Brett Manning
Q:  How do I get my voice to warm up quickly?

A:  Warm-up time varies from singer to singer and depends on four factors:

1.  The thickness and length of the vocal cords
2.  The health of the singer, i.e. allergies, physical condition, dietary and exercise habits,                 
      sleep and stress levels
3.   Veisel dilation - how fast the vasculature expands to receive blood flow.
4.   Warm-up habits

If you have thick cords, you have a stronger, fuller sounding voice (James Ingram/Elvis Presley).  
Thinner cords will producer a lighter, thinner tone (Michael Jackson/Paul McCartney).  Think of the
voice as a train.  The bigger the train, the longer it takes to get moving.  Keep this in mind while
warming up.  Warming up should be incremental and never forced.  Find your vocal co-ordinations
through the right exercises and then slowly build volume, speed and range.  Too high, too loud, too
soon is a recipe for disaster.  Unfortunately, most singers don't know the recipe for vocal health
and longevity.  This is why so many singers lose their voices.  I work with hundreds of singers every
year who have never properly warmed up their voices.  

Veisal dilation is another important factor in warming up.  Without adequate blood flow to the
musculature, the cords have great difficulty warming up.  Things that affect veisal dilation are
fatigue, poor circulation and lack of exercise.  Sometimes these are simply genetic and you deal
with it by being diligent and patient with your vocal study and your warm-up time.  Other times it's
just laziness, lack of discipline or a bad diet.  Allergies can also affect your warm-up time because
circulation and health are inhibited.  Seek either a medical or natural (diet, herbs and vitamins)
route to dealing with your allergies.  I have found great relief taking 'Prime Again' and 'Conco' to
nourish my body in a way that deals with these weaknesses.  Both are available in our vocal health
store.  (See Vocal Health in "Other Products" on Brett Manning's
Singing Success website.)
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