Good Vocal Warmups for Musical Theatre


It is essential for a musical theater performer to engage and exercise his vocal cords. Without a proper warmup, it will be hard to project your voice correctly; in some cases, the effort could lead to injury. Prepare before a performance -- focusing on form, range and resonance -- so you will sing to the best of your ability.


  • Begin your warmups with breathing exercises to improve lung capacity and breath control. Practice deep breathing by placing your hands on your hips and slowly inhaling through your nose. Focus on filling your lungs from the bottom to the top. You will feel your hands move as your stomach swells and your chest expands. Breathe out slowly for about five seconds. This deep breathing will help to give you a sense of your lung capacity and get you into a steady routine ahead of your performance.


  • Humming allows singers to focus on their tone. Along with projection and pitch, this is important for musical theater because it is what makes your voice distinctive. You act your words, whether sung or spoken, and communicate feeling to the audience with your tone of voice. Keep your lips together and make a long, deep sound while breathing out slowly. If you are doing it right, you will feel a soft vibration in your teeth, nose and tongue. Don't worry too much about the notes at this point; just focus on exhaling correctly while expelling sound.

Lip Trill

  • The lip trill will loosen and relax your lips. This is necessary for proper pronunciation onstage. As a performer, your lips need to be agile to get around tricky phrases with ease. Combine the lip trill with the other warmup exercises: As you expel your breath and hum, vibrate your lips as if you are blowing bubbles underwater. Maintain a comfortable tone and hold the note while exercising you lips. Don't strain too hard to force out breath; stay relaxed. If you find that you can't keep the lip trill constant, try lightly pushing your cheeks in to alleviate pressure and support your lips.

Practicing Scales

  • Practice scales while paying attention to specific vowel sounds. Work through a major scale a number of times producing different sounds. Alternate among "me," "may," "mah" and "mo" sounds. Practice long 'ooh" and "aah" sounds and then try quicker, rapid expressions. Make sure that as you sing scales you maintain correct posture so your diaphragm can move, and keep your breathing focused. This is the best way to ensure that your voice will carry throughout the room when you perform.

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