Why should I warm up my voice?

Written by: |

Many singers don’t take the time to properly warm up their voices. And why not?

Singing is a physical activity, just like running or dancing or even playing an instrument, and we warm up before we do those things, right?

So why do so many singers skip that crucial warm-up time before an audition, rehearsal, or performance?

I wish I knew the answer to that. But here’s what I do know:

Don’t skip it!

To encourage you to get into your own warm-up routine, here are my TOP TWO reasons why you should take the time to warm up your voice.

Avoid injury

All athletes take a few minutes to warm up their bodies before practices or competitions. Our bodies need to be prepared in order to perform at their best, and it’s the same with our voices! (After all, our voices are a part of our bodies.)

You know how your voice feels in the morning when you first wake up? Do you really want to walk on stage sounding like that?

I didn’t think so.

Imagine Usain Bolt rolling out of bed a few minutes before one of his Olympic sprints. He doesn’t take the time to stretch, work out his muscles, or mentally “get in the zone” for the race. Chances are, no matter how talented of an athlete he may be, he could incur an injury. 

Cold muscles = risk for injury.

And it takes as little as 5 to 20 minutes to warm up our voices. Contrast that with the days, weeks, or months it can take to recover from a vocal injury. 

Do the math and do your warm-ups!

Find Vocal Balance

My friend Elisabeth recently invited me to sing four songs in a concert she was putting on. Two of the songs were duets, two were solos, and all four had a very different stylistic feel to them. Within those four pieces, I needed to make a wide variety of sounds.

With my voice in good working order, I could springboard from one style to another because I took the time to warm up!

I used intentional vocal exercises to help me find “home base,” or vocal balance, helping me find connection and properly preparing me to sing those four very different songs.

Without first finding vocal balance, your voice may feel squeezed, pushed, or overly breathy, and none of those feelings will lead to a successful performance!

When you find vocal balance—by warming up!—you can sing anything.

What is your warm-up routine? If you don’’’t usually warm up, I’m curious . . . why not?

If you don’t know how to warm up or don’t feel like you have the time, please check out our TBS Warm-Up Series! These warm-ups are suitable for all styles of singing, they can be accessed right from your phone, and you can get your voice ready for anything in less than ten minutes!

So now you’ve had the pep talk and you’ve & been given the tools, so don’t skip another warm-up again! Your vocal cords will thank you

Exclusive warm-up video

Join our newsletter to get an exclusive warm-up video for email subscribers only. This video has three great exercises to help you start warming up your voice.

Photo of Chelsea Wilson
Chelsea Wilson provides unparalleled vocal training to singers both locally in New York and all over the world via online lessons.