Vocal Warm Ups

Singing is a wonderful exercise, but as with all exercises, warming up the muscles beforehand is important. The areas we want to focus on are your vocal cords and your diaphragm. The vocal cords are responsible for the sound of your voice, whereas the diaphragm pushes air past your vocal cords and puts more power behind your voice.

Singing From Your Diaphragm

An ideal vocal warm up, gently raises the temperature of your vocal cords and expands your diaphragm.

You should begin by sniffing slowly and deeply, five times. After the fifth time, take a deep sip of air, as though you’re drinking the air from a cup. Give yourself a few seconds to rest and then repeat this exercise a few times.

Humming Exercises

Follow up your diaphragm warm up with some humming exercises. Humming your favourite scales and repeating this exercise a few times will warm your vocal cords and get them properly lubricated.


The best drink before your performance will always be water, served as close to room temperature as possible. Water that is either too hot, or perhaps more importantly, too cold can cause your vocal cords to become too tense.

Hot drinks, especially tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, should be avoided as they contain caffeine which can quickly dehydrate your voice.

You can consume alcoholic drinks, but stop drinking them in the hour leading up to your performance and only choose water during your performance.


Eating light foods is best before performing, you don’t want to become so hungry that your stomach is rumbling. Your stomach growling will affect the tone and quality of your voice and in some cases, could be picked up by the microphones and be heard over the speakers.

Try to avoid fatty or greasy food like steak, burger, or chips and instead opt for something lighter like soups, salads, vegetables, or chicken. Be sure to finish your food at least an hour before you perform. Any food could weigh on your vocal cords and cause you to sound out-of-tone.