A lot of singers skip the warming up part, mostly because it is boring and because they do not see direct results as you do by practicing singing. If you as a singer have never warmed up your voice in the morning then my recommendation is to try it out for a couple of weeks and I promise that your overall sound as a singer will be a lot better and you will even be able to sing almost effortlessly.
You can warm up your voice in the morning by drinking a glass of luke warm water, this will hydrate and lubricate your vocal cords which are essential for warming up your voice. In addition to this yawning will stretch your neck muscles which will allow you to warm up a lot faster. Focus on exercises that make your vocal cords vibrate as this vibration will dislodge the mucus formed on your vocal cords and thus warming up your voice.
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Not a lot of singers like their morning voice, generally speaking, no matter if you are a male or female singer your voice in the morning tends to be somewhat deeper than usual. The main reason for this is because your voice isn’t warmed up yet and it even might sound like a raspy voice. It is normal to have a somewhat deeper or altered voice in the morning, as while we are sleeping our body is hard at work healing and recovering
While we sleep a thick layer of mucus and phlegm form on our vocal cords and this is what actually makes the morning voice so unnatural. This morning voice sounds almost the same as when you got the flu. Once you wake up and go brush your teeth or shower you will notice that this kickstarts the process of eliminating all the excess mucus which has been deposited in your throat while you were sleeping.
This is why some singers do a mouth rinse with a salted warm water solution, to start kickstarting this mucus eliminating process, although it is not really necessary. The problem with morning voice is that even if you have made a short vocal warm-up you still will not sound quite as good as usual, and this can be a problem if you have an early audition. In this case, my personal recommendation is to simply wake up earlier and allow your body to get rid of all the excess mucus and to also warm up your voice.
In addition to this, it is also a good idea to make sure that you are keeping a close eye on the health of your vocal cords. If your vocal cords are not in top health then it will be a lot harder to warm up in the morning sufficiently enough so you can actually sing. Your first goal should be to try and make your voice clear and soft which can be fairly difficult if you just woke up, my recommendation is to read my recent article to know how to do it properly How to have a clear voice for singing ( Fast & Easy ).
Warming up your voice in the morning by drinking water
In order to warm up your voice in the morning, your first task is to hydrate yourself. During the nighttime, we become somewhat dehydrated, not to a dangerous level but to a point where most of us are thirsty in the morning. This is normal as the body is working hard while we sleep and it is also using a lot of water, especially if it is digesting a salty dinner. The water will actually help you get the juices flowing in your throat which will help you eliminate the mucus and the phlegm.
Just be careful not to drink anything too hot or too cold, as your vocal cords are not yet woken up so to speak and you wouldn’t want to irritate your throat first thing in the morning. My recommendation is to drink a cup of room temperature water. The problem is that most people drink coffee in the morning, which isn’t good for your singing voice, try to avoid anything with sugar or coffee in it, and stick to water. If you want to know what are the best drinks for a singer then check out my recent article Best drink for singing voice? ( Top 13 drinks to help your voice ).
Yawning can be excellent for warming up your voice in the morning
Yes, you heard it right, yawning is a great way to open up your throat for the following warmup exercises. Some singers while they are sleeping actually clench their jaws fairly hard, while others will grind their teeth, although this is fairly normal even if you are not a singer. While I am sleeping I will grind my teeth, it not only sounds extremely annoying but my jaws tend to be fairly tight during the morning hours, but after I yawn a couple of times my jaw muscles tend to relax.
Warming up your voice in the morning by stretching
Before doing any vocal exercises you will have to stretch. Stretching is extremely useful as it stimulates blood flow, during the night you probably slept in just one position and your blood flow to some muscle groups was not the best while you were sleeping. By stretching, you are allowing your body to reach all the muscles, especially if you are frequently working out. Stretching is even more important if you worked out the day before, as your body will work on growing and healing the muscle tissues and they will feel kind of stiff in the morning.
Do breathing exercises to warm up your voice in the morning
In order to warm up, your voice in the morning then you should start with some simple breathing exercises. Believe it or not but a lot of singers skip trough breathing exercises and they wonder why they are not improving as a singer. Breathing is vital for singing and you should do anything you can do in order to improve your breathing technique and to strengthen the muscles which actually control your breathing.
A lot of people will say that you have to do long breathing exercises before you warm up, but in general anything longer than 15 minutes is rather pointless, although this is just my personal opinion. My recommendation is to either do some breathing exercises while you are showering or right after you have washed your teeth. There are singers who do their actual vocal warm-up in the shower, so you might want to try that also out.
Warm-up your vocal cords in the morning
Now we are getting right into the actual vocal warmup phase, there are a lot of exercises that you can do to warm up your vocal cords, like lip trills, humming, and even the bubble exercises. My personal recommendation is to use 2-3 exercises in order to hit your vocal cords from different angles. If you know that you will be singing songs with higher notes later that day then my recommendation is to use vocal warm-up exercises that actually focus on parts of your vocal cords where you produce these higher notes. If you are a beginner singer then there are plenty of warm-up vocal exercises for beginners on my site so search around a bit.
Keep in mind that you should start slow and on a lower key while warming up, if you do the opposite you are risking injuring yourself as your vocal cords are not even warmed up to do some of these harder higher notes focused warm-up exercises. If you need more information on how to keep your vocal cords healthy then check out my article How to take care of your vocal cords for singing? ( In 10 Easy Ways ).
Do short-scale exercises to warm up your voice in the morning
As your vocal cords or even throat is not sufficiently warmed up for actual singing yet, you will have to use short-scale exercises. This way you will not put too much pressure on your vocal cords or on your throat. Once you are fully warmed up with your short scales, then and only then you should start using full scales, this way you will put a little bit more pressure on your vocal cords but they should be already warmed up from the short scale exercises.
Focus on resonating correctly during the morning warm-up
After you have warmed up your voice you will have to focus on how you actually resonate. The problem is that most people think that a 10-minute vocal warm-up is sufficient enough to sing properly. As a singer, you have probably noticed that after you finished your warm-up and you start singing that you do not resonate your voice correctly for the first couple of songs. Only after you have sung a couple of songs you will start to resonate properly.
This is why my personal recommendation is to focus on how you resonate after you have warmed up your voice, simply sing a couple of songs. If you want to know more about how to resonate correctly then read my recent article Singing into the mask ( Fast & Easy ).
Warming up your voice in the morning by meditating
I often recommend singers to meditate, especially if they have a live performance or an audition. The problem is that no matter how well you are warmed up you will be nervous at an audition. With meditation, you can calm yourself down, although it is not enough to try and meditate once before the audition or live performance. You will have to incorporate meditating into your lifestyle, a couple of minutes of meditating will make you less stressed about how you sound.
Set aside a couple of minutes per day to meditate before you actually start singing, no matter if you are singing at home alone or if you are going to sing in front of others. This way you will teach your body to relax every time you sing. Now you might think that this isn’t as important but if you have ever been to an audition you probably have seen people with great voices fail miserably at an audition due to nervousness.
Get plenty of rest
In order to be able to warm up your voice in the morning, you will have to be well-rested. Most scientists do agree that a person should get around 8 hours of sleep every night. The ideal would be not to wake up while you sleep but a lot of people have problems achieving this. If you know you have an important audition in the morning then go to bed early, so that you allow your body to rest. If you are nervous about tomorrow’s audition then try to meditate or even take a hot bath or drink hot tea.
The problem is that most people go to bed with their phones right next to them, and if they wake up during the night they just start browsing social media for a couple of minutes which will make it actually harder to fall asleep. If you have read my previously mentioned article about vocal health then you probably know how important rest is for singers.
Most singers have a strict morning vocal warm-up technique, although beginner singers are not quite there yet, but sooner or later they will also have to figure out a way on how to warm up their voice in the morning, especially if they tend to sing during the morning hours. Even if you do not have to sing in the morning, it is still a good idea to warm up your voice in the morning, this way your voice will be ready to sing all through the day.