Humming Warmups… Hmm?
Before we talk about humming warmups for singing in detail, I would just like you to say this for me: “Hmm?”
Try it now! “Hmm?” Just like when you are surprised by someone or something, or just asking an innocent question!
Wasn’t that easy? What you did was one form of the warmups in this section, which we will be using for warming up our voices in this section of the website. This is of course only one form of vocal warmups, and you can find the rest of the vocal warmups commonly used by vocal instructors by following this link provided.
Humming warmups are one of the simplest to do, yet it can be rather difficult to master. This is because it is often easy for us to misplace the vocal positioning when we practise it, and some of us may place it at a low position, or possibly use our throat muscles to aid us, causing the sound to seem to come from the throat area.
This is why I asked you to say the word, “Hmm?”, allowing the pitch to slide upwards when we say it. Whenever we vocalize the this sound and we start to pitch higher and higher, try to place our voice towards a higher position, much like how our voice goes upwards whenever we say “Hmm?”
As our pitch goes higher, we may feel a buzzing sensation in our nose or nasal area, which progresses towards our eye area and upwards towards our heads. This is actually the sensation of our “Hmm?” voice resonating in our heads, making use of the various spaces in our skull to amplify the pitches that we vocalize.
We can also experiment with another form of these warmups by just saying “Hmm….”, letting the pitch slide downwards as we say it, much like if we were considering or doubting something. In this case, the buzzing sensation would move downwards instead of upwards, with the lowest sounds resonating in the chest area.
We can also practise a basic scale of 3 notes within a 5 note range, humming from Doh to Mi to Sol then back to Mi and Doh – Doh Mi Sol Mi Doh.
This allows us to practise our pitching accuracy, and also helps to warmup our vocal cords by stretching it with the gradual increase in pitch. Do read the section on “Vocal Cords” to find out more about how we produce sound with our vocal cords, as well as how our vocal cords adjust with pitch.
With this basic scale of 3 notes within a 5 note range, we should gradually move the starting note upwards in pitch, so that we are able to warmup our voice at the various pitch ranges needed when we sing.
Practising the humming warmup exercises together with the other vocal warmup exercises will ensure that our voice is properly warmed up before we sing, and this will help us to avoid any unnecessary damage to our voice whenever we sing at karaoke lounges or even at singing competitions!
These tips will go a long way towards helping us develop a healthy and strong singing voice!