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November 24, 2009 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Vocal warm-up suggestions for a play that requires me to talk loudly for about an hour straight, and then sing loudly for another hour?

I'm performing a (virtually) one-man show that has me speaking, sometimes yelling, for about an hour in Act I. In Act II I'm singing almost throughout, including one song where I have to go full-on high-pitched ROCK POWER.

Additionally, my character has a kind of pinched voice, even when singing, and doesn't sing from the diaphragm at all. I'm trying to work on getting the same effect without murdering my throat, but it's tricky.

I've read a bunch of threads here with general warm-up advice and some great recommendations for teas, lozenges and other stuff I can ingest, many of which I'm eager to try. However, can anyone point me at some specific warm-up exercises I could be trying? The show opens in (oh shit oh shit oh shit) a week and I don't want to go mute halfway in!

Help! Thanks!
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Additionally, my character has a kind of pinched voice, even when singing, and doesn't sing from the diaphragm at all. I'm trying to work on getting the same effect without murdering my throat, but it's tricky.

This is actually the crux of it. All the warm-ups in the world are not going to do you any good, if you have to use poor technique for the effect that you want. When you are working towards the right effect with this pinched voice, make sure that your throat is open. If you are not sure or are trying to do your pinch thing with better technique, do the lines with a nice, soft gentle "h". Like when you open your mouth and do a gentle, "sigh". 'Haaaaaaa'. Do you 'pinched' lines inserting the 'h' at the front of the words.

For example, the line/lyric is:

Right on, big star awaiting!

Sing instead, gently with the 'h':

Hight hon, hig har hahaiting!

Once you get used to that, and can get close to the pinched thing, then add the consonants back in. Anyway, that would be my tip - figure out how to get that sound without strain.
posted by typewriter at 9:17 PM on November 24, 2009


The other thing to know and get your voice open is to hang your tongue out and do the lines/song. It trains your throat to be open and eventually you can put your tongue back in and keep the openness.

The combination of your words 'pinched' and 'full-on rock power' makes me cringe a bit. Be careful with your voice, please. You really don't want to do irreparable damage for the sake of a show.
posted by typewriter at 9:23 PM on November 24, 2009


In this case I think hydration/lubrication will be more important than any warmup you could do. If you possibly can, have a thermos of hot tea at each performance and drink from it often. I highly recommend ginger tea (crush pieces of fresh ginger with a spoon until they're as juicy as possible, then add very hot water and honey). I wouldn't recommend lozenges that numb your throat (such as Sucrets).
posted by kalapierson at 11:58 PM on November 24, 2009


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