Is Humming Warm-Ups The Best Vocal Warm Up?
Is Humming Warm-Ups The Best Vocal Warm Up?
I was sitting on my porch one day, humming a tune when I asked myself, 'Is humming warm-ups the best vocal warm ups?'
Well, yes, humming is the best way vocal warm up. In fact, humming is one of the best vocal exercises which anybody can do at any time.
It’s quieter and doesn’t disturb anyone around unlike open mouth singing. The main idea is to let your voice resonate while gently closing your mouth. But hey, don’t try to keep your lips tightly closed though! Your entire face and all its muscles must be relaxed.
I wondered how I should feel when I hum. In order to find out, I checked several online blogs and found the answer, finally! I've learned that the only thing you should feel is the support you get from your abdominal muscles as they gently push the sweet sound of your voice through your lips.
I often find myself humming my favorite tunes in the morning. It’s not something that I mean to do. It just happens. Maybe it’s a subconscious way of finding out how my voice is functioning on any given day. I really don’t know why or how I do this but I do enjoy it.
After being curious about humming as a great vocal warm up, I did a little bit of research here and there and lo and behold! My instinct seemed to be right. From what I read, humming is a great way to know how your voice is on any given day. From then on, I always used humming to try and figure out whether I need to do extra warm ups or if everything is as right as rain.
How Can Humming Help?
Next, you might get this question - 'How can I gauge the health of my voice by humming?'
Well, if you feel that your hum is quite buzzy and easy to produce while being comfortable with going up and down on your range, then your voice is healthy and ready for some serious singing. And of course, you need to do your other vocal warm ups as well before you belt out those tunes.
For some reason, if you find it hard to hum naturally or if you feel you need to stress it a bit, then it may mean that your voice is feeling a bit down at that time. But don’t worry, all you have to do is a few vocal warm ups until you can hum effortlessly.
There are different types of humming you can do every day. One is humming with your regular voice and another is to do it with your falsetto. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can try out some creak humming as well.
What?! Creak humming, you ask?
Yes, I know creak humming feels a bit weird at times but hey, if it helps your voice, why not give it a shot? I remember one day when I tried creak humming and I swear my cat looked at me weird for the entire day, LOL. I had to regain her respect after that and I admit it took me a few days before I got it right. Bravo!
Does Creak Humming Actually Help?
I did wonder this at first because I recall a few years back when a lot of vocal coaches and studios were against creak humming. Yes, really! That's because they believed it to be detrimental to the health of our voices.
But lately I came across a lot of studies that actually support the use of creak humming. Apparently, when it’s done along with regular humming, it brings the vocal folds together and our voice to a more optimal level. It isn’t the 'be all' and 'end all' of humming exercises but it sure is a great means to an end.
I tend to think of it as what honey is to pancakes. Can you have them separately? Yeah. But what if you have them together? Yipikaye fellow song lover!
How To Properly hum if you're new to it?
I remember when I first started humming for vocal warm ups, my judgmental cat got all judgy and vanished from my vicinity for a full day. Whoops!
Humming must always be done naturally. Why? Because the whole point is to have your voice flow on its own without any stress.
I found this one tip that transformed me from the guy who got judged by his cat to a self-proclaimed humming maestro. Phew! Let me tell you what it is. The trick is to pretend that you are chewing gum in your mouth. It actually helps to loosen any tension in the muscles and allows your voice to just flow well.
Of course, it may not work for everybody but it made a huge difference for me. Come on, what's wrong in trying it out, huh? If you find that it’s not working for you, try out something else that helps you to loosen up.
Humming comfortably is different from one individual to another. The sensation I have when I feel like I am humming properly may not be the same for you. And that’s honestly the best part about humming as a vocal warm up. If you like to think of bees buzzing when you are humming and it works for you? Blamo! Do that and let that sweet hum resonate through your lips.
More Interesting Stuff
Now, let's move on to more stuff about humming and see how it affects your brain. Hi-Yo Silver! It has been observed that humming can activate both sides of our brains. Isn’t that just mind-numbingly awesome?
Singing is a creative experience and like any creative art, the more you use your brain, the better your results. True story! Think of humming as the ignition key or button that starts off the car. Sure, you can just rotate it and zoom out of your driveway but it’s always better to let it purr a little bit before you take off.
When it comes to technique, the golden rule of humming is that it should always be effortless just like an awesome lip trill. Actually, you can go back and forth with lip trills and humming until you find a common ground when it comes to being effortless. All vocal warm ups feed off of and influence each other.
So why wait? Try humming a tune on different scales, let it move up and down with an effortless buzzing sensation. Feel the way it travels in your mouth and rejoice! For you have mastered the fine art of awesome humming!
You won’t be asking yourself if humming warm ups are the best vocal warm ups anymore. Your voice would have already answered it.
Have a great day and we’ll catch up some other time or in a galaxy far far away. Hurray!
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