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Author Topic: Vocal Warm Ups for Choir members  (Read 2622 times)

Offline jonesy795

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Vocal Warm Ups for Choir members
« on: November 08, 2005, 09:57:37 PM »
Hey everyone:  Just wondering if anyone uses warm up techniques (either individually or as a choir) before rehearsing and if so, what exactly do you do?  :roll:  Thanks for your responses

Offline certify

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Vocal Warm Ups for Choir members
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2005, 02:40:14 PM »
The must first come in and pray. After which we give a bible verse. Then we go into:

Saying ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh-ahh(9x), but the way we do it is open your mouth and put your tongue at the back of your throat and say ahh. Yes it will seem like your are choking(if done correctly) but it strecthes the vocal chords.

Then we say our A-B-C(alphabets)- song in ONE breath on a low note then modulate up as high as we can go , holding the last time to see how long each section can hold the note or if we know how to breathe out and come back in without notice.

Then you take your lips and blow through them(making the fan sound) and yes it will tickle, but try to say ahh in one breathe(good luck on this one) it's fun but hard to complete.

Or we pick a song and walk around the sanctuary singing to it, clapping to make sure we do it together and you can hear the voices clearly.

just a few, hope these can be of use.
We all sin, we falter, but God forgives.

Offline slburks

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Vocal Prep
« Reply #2 on: November 23, 2005, 12:18:41 PM »
I vary the specific exercises from time to time, but whatever we do, I
make sure it engages these elements:

1. breathing
2. agility (ability to sing fast "runs" or "riffs")
3. ear training
4. singing in tune
5. harmony
6. enunciation
7. expression/ musicality
8. vocal range
9. Vocal color

For example:

1. Breathing - I'll have them HOLD A NOTE on "Hmm" for a number of counts,
then increase the count systematically over the weeks, to help them
develop their ability to sing longer phrases without needing to take
breaths in between phrases. And I'll make sure their ABDOMINAL AREAS
EXPAND when they breathe, which shows that their using their full air
capacity. They NEVER LOCK THEIR KNEES when doing this, or they could pass
out. I don't have them hold notes that long anyway, but just to be safe

2. Agility - we'll sing a riff very SLOWLY, and accurately, note for note,
then gradually speed it up over time. The key is to find the fastest tempo
that you can pull off WITHOUT MAKING A MISTAKE.

3. Ear training - we sometimes SING HALF STEPS, up an octave and back
down, on  a syllable like "la," to get them comfortable with the smallest
vocal chord movement, singing and hearing. Once they're comfortable with
this interval, the rest are a lot easier to recognize by ear and sing.

4. Singing in tune - I have them sing along with a perfectly tuned piano,
keyboard, the recording, etc, if they're sharp or flat, just to give them
a corrective reference. Singing in tune is about listening, your ears.
Sometimes, if there's a trouble spot, I'll sing it and have them imitate
me, then see if they can tell the difference between my version and
theirs. This element of singing is among the most challenging and

5. Harmony - We'll sing a chord, and everyone will just hold their note,
to get used to hearing themselves in a harmonic context. I'll have the
parts move, but only a little. I'll have members of each vocal section
listen to where they are "vertically" - "am I in the middle, top, or
bottom?" And I focus a lot on the altos (2nds) since that's the most
challenging part to hear and maintain. We think of them as the middle, the
reference point, and all other singers reference off of them. Seems to
make a difference.

6. Enunciation - we'll speak the text, exaggerate consonants, plan very
specific cut-offs.  Consonants are most important in terms of people understanding our lyrics.

7. Expression/musicality - This cover things like loudness/softness,
balance between parts, ornamentation (slides, grace notes, vibrato, etc.),
how we look when we sing, emotional content (whether we believe what we're
singing, etc.), to name some.

8. Vocal range - I don't worry about trying to expand how high or low
vocalists can sing, but I make sure they use all the range they have. We
do a SIGH, a slide down, from their highest comfortable note to the
lowest, on syllable like "hoo." Sounds like a siren or bomb dropping. I
think the purpose of this is to get the vocal cords active (we do this
first), and to overcome psychological blocks about what's too high and
low, right up front in rehearsal. I've never known a song to require
singers to sing any higher or lower than they were capable or sighing.
It's kind of like lifting 500 pounds, right before you have to lift 250.

9. Vocal color - People use terms like "bright" and "dark" to describe
this. Barry White, Jaheim - dark. Michael Jackson, Stokley from Mint
Condition - bright.

There's more, but this gives you an idea of how I approach the warm-up
process and how I think it functions.


Offline Ivorygirl

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great ideas but--?
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2005, 10:23:57 PM »
slburks- thanks for putting the warm ups on there- you really have a clear way of explaining how to do them and what each one accomplishes- I am just wondering, how many do you do at each rehearsal? and how much time do you spend on them total?  
I am getting bored of our same old warm-ups (we just have been doing "la" arpeggios up and down the keyboard) and I thank you for taking the time to post yours.

Offline CESharp

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warm ups
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2005, 01:52:57 PM »
wow, i totally 2nd that on the warmups.  also, to add to the articulation, etc. you can do mouth exercises and have your members say:

Lips, teeth, tip of the tongue (slow and then faster)
Red leather yellow leather (slow and then faster)

these excercise help with movement of the mouth to enunciate because sometimes we as singers want to look cute singing every note but the articulation is more important.
Carla E.
Canaan Church (Urbana, Illinois)
U of I
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