Thursday, November 5, 2009

Warming Up and Staying There

Went poking around this blog to find info about warming up. I haven't had time to fully read what appear to the most relevant entries. It was very hard to choose. But I did print a few out, double sided, and then punched holes so I can put them in my binder. So I will read it. I also made an extra set for my voice teacher.

However, while there is a wealth of fabulous information there, it doesn't tell me what I really want to know: How long does a warm-up last? If I have a rehearsal from 3-5 and I don't know at what point during that rehearsal it'll be my turn to get up and sing, when should I be warming up? Should I warm up at home for 15 minutes, then in the car for 10, then keep quiet for the next 10 until I arrive at 3? Then what if I don't sing until 4:30? Am I still warmed up? Is it all lost? Should I warm up until the moment I park the car? Should I wear a scarf? Would that make a difference? Or should I forget about all that and just take a xanax? Hahaha ok maybe not. I'd still warm up beforehand.


Anonymous said...

You can't find that information because the answer depends entirely on you. :)

It depends on how your body and voice work. It depends on how often/much you are singing. It depends on how quickly or slowly your voice warms up. Etc.

A good project to work on with your teacher would be to set up some parameters for figuring this out, and having you experiment at home to see what works best for you these days. Assume that as you change the amount of time you spend singing that the warm up parameters will also morph.

Have fun with this!

Frescamari said...

I have been tortured by this question for a long time.

It's especially hard when I have a solo in a choir concert. We usually meet and rehearse at 4pm, then break for dinner, than have the concert at 7pm.

Should I not sing with the choir at the 4pm rehearsal when I have a solo? But I'm a key alto. Should I sing lighter? But I'm a big voice, and singing lighter sometimes causes strain.

What should I do during the break?

Then explain to me why at the very end of the night, after 6 hours of singing with a break in between, why at 10pm do I finally feel warmed up and ready to sing?

Yet if I tried to practice that long, I would not be able to sustain it?

I still haven't figured any of the warming up stuff out. Yet somehow it all works out in the end.

Susan said...

Thank you both for your comments.

Anon - These days it seems my main concern is getting through the lower passagio without a cracking at the break in my voice. I have warmups I do that help me smooth that transition and make it seamless. That's probably the type of exercise I'll focus on before the rehearsal.

Frescamari - I agree that I feel the most ready to sing at the end of singing. I'm singing with a chorus at work for a holiday concert and I walk away from those 30 minute rehearsals ready for anything. Those songs are all pretty low - even the soprano parts seem lower, somehow.

So perhaps I can combine the two: Warm up with slides and so on to iron out the wrinkles, and then just gently sing songs in what I feel is a slightly lower pitch than I need, working my way up a little but for the most part saving the high notes for when I need to produce them.

I'll discuss it all with my teacher tomorrow. Thanks!