The problem with being a singer and a guitarist is you have to do two jobs at once. This means that before you practice or perform, you have to warm up both your fingers and your vocal chords.
I used to get frustrated when going into practice as doing my vocal warm up exercises to my singing cd would generally mean I had to hang around for twenty minutes while going through my trills and scales before I could start playing, effectively stopping my guitar practice before it had even begun.
You can’t strum your guitar whilst listening to your warm up exercises because an acoustic makes a lot of noise and you can’t hear them properly. When you have a lot of music to get through, spending twenty minutes warming up vocals before you even start a three hour practice session is a real pain and just adds more time to your daily routine.
Here’s a couple of brilliant ways of doing both at once.
Warm Up Scales for Singers and Guitarists
Major scale vocal warm up.
For this scale we will be starting on G (3rd fret 6th string), work our way up to C (13th fret 2nd string) and back down again to G or below. Follow the exercise shown in the video and start with a gentle humming.
Follow the exercises in the video and when you’ve got the hang of it repeat the process using lip rolls or tongue trills.
Check out my Vocal Warm Up Techniques page for details on how to perform lip rolls and tongue trills.
Vocal Warm Up Scales 1
This second exercise uses an octave and a half scale range. This is slightly more difficult and takes a bit of concentration to get right. Match your fingers with your vocals.
Vocal Warm Up Scales 2
Vocal Warm Up Scales 3
The 3rd exercise is the most awkward until you get used to it. The scale spans one and a half octaves and 5 strings and as you move up the fret board and across the strings the fingering patterns change as the scale ascends and descends with your vocals.
This will give your voice, fingers and brain a good work out while you are trying to follow the notes up the scale.
Once you have completed these exercises two or three times using humming, lip rolls or tongue trills, go through your vowel sounds such as ‘aaahh, ooohh, eeee, aaaaayy and mum mum mum’ etc using these scales but remember to vary your technique and scale patterns.
Try extending the length of each exercise by playing the note patterns two or three times over on each step or holding the high notes for a count of 10 and practicing your vibrato whilst holding the note.
Feel free to increase or decrease the range to your own standards. Go as high as you like or as low as you can manage, but DON’T strain your voice or push your vocal chords too much. Practice these scales daily and your range will gradually increase in time. Straining your voice to hit notes you are not capable of will damage your vocal chords and hinder your progress. If you feel any pain in your throat when practice your singing then you are pushing too hard and risking injury. Just relax and take it easy.
Check out this sites total vocal workout page and follow the techniques shown in the video sound tracks. Once you’ve learned how to use scales in the correct manner you can play them with your guitar using these exercises anytime you like.
As this site progresses I will post more exercises and techniques for you to try out.
In the mean time, if you are serious about your singing, then you should seriously consider purchasing a professional singing tutorial cd package.
Check out my review on Brett Manning’s Singing Success if you would like some in depth professional vocal training without the hassle of weekly lessons.
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