Warming up the voice is as important for the singer as stretching is for the athlete. Every singer should have some exercises that they use to stretch out the voice and to warm up the entire system.
Some of the best warmups are those that get the voice and body working together gradually. These exercises make sure that the voice isn’t ‘shocked’ into extensive activity suddenly. Lip trills, slides, and gentle arpeggios are great for getting the system going in a gradual manner.
So, what should the auditioner do the day of the audition to warm up the voice?
The first thing that any singer should do is make sure that they have different warmup “packages” that they can use on the day of the audition to make sure that the voice is in great form for that specific day. Remember the voice is different every day, so go EASY.
I suggest using three separate packages: the “Ideal” warmup, the “Quick” warmup, and the “Emergency” warmup.
The Ideal Warmup: This is a warm-up that you can do under the best circumstances, and allows you the greatest amount of time to get the voice into a state of preparation for singing. The time frame for this warm-up can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on when in the day the audition is scheduled. Think of this as the luxurious warm-up in the best possible situation.
The Quick Warmup: This is a less than ideal warmup, but still effective for getting the voice going - but at a faster pace. This warm-up should include exercises that you know will get the voice going in a rapid fashion, and allow you to feel confident in your abilities vocally.
The Emergency Warmup: This is the warmup for that audition that gets bumped to an earlier time, or when you’re running late, you over slept, etc etc. This package should include those exercises that will get the voice going in less than 10-15 minutes. You should use this warmup occasionally to get a feel for those ‘emergency’ situations, so that you are prepared
As you get ready for the “big day” be sure to use some of these packages as you prep your audition. If you can’t get the voice going with each of these packages, maybe examine your audition songs - are they appropriate for your voice? Can you sing your songs under all these different circumstances? If not, a vocal coach can help you find the right rep that fits your particular vocal needs.
- Justin Petersen, MCA Vocal Coach
My College Audition
16 Bars and Under Two Minutes