I'm still getting used to calling myself a 'session vocalist'. I feel like this job is something I saw on google a few times but never knew anyone actually doing actively. I saw people posting ads looking for 'studio vocalists' or something similar, and I always thought "Hey, that would be a cool job if it were realistic". Turns out it really is, and after years of trial and error, I finally found the right way to break into the field.
It's a great field to be in! I literally wake up almost every day with a morning gig to prep my voice for. And here's the thing, I absolutely need to prep my voice for this line of work, or else I will fail. I know it sounds dramatic but I would really be damaging my main instrument if I decided to do my daily work without first starting off with some vocal warm-up exercises.
Each morning when I wake up, there's a chance I will have a phlegmy throat. I suffer from some serious allergies that cake up on me while I sleep at night. That might be too much info to share, but hey, we all know how it goes. My allergies often give me at the very least, a post-nasal drip that really ticks me off, to be honest. I ask myself, why can't I wake up with clear passages one day!?
The one thing I'm always tempted to do that I should definitely NOT do is clear my throat. I want everyone to know, that clearing your throat is harsh on the vocal cords over time! Try to avoid this at all costs!
I start with two methods to get that stuff out of my body as effectively as possible. Before I sing, I drink throat coat tea to make sure I have healthy lubrication. After, this is the video I use to natural remedy the bad stuff. You can use this if you have the same problem as I do, if not, you can skip to the next video.
After I clear my vocals, I like to increase the flow of my tone with exercises similar to this one. The basic concept is to yawn a lot, and surprisingly enough, the placement you put yourself in with these magnificent yawns helps to free your voice and allow great airflow and space for you to sing more dynamically. Even if it's 8 in the morning!
My third and final warm-up phase each morning involves a lot of melodic scales to wake my range up, with some vocal trills to rev up a good amount of breathing consistency for the songs I'm about to perform.
You may be thinking, "Yona, this warm-up seems to be a little too far on the classical choir side of things, what about warming up my belt for this pop song?"
Whether you're in a choir or singing solo, singing opera, or singing R&B, this warm-up is the perfect way to ease yourself into whatever range you're about to be singing at for the day. You don't want to dive your voice right into crazy power singing that will be harsh on your vocal cords. Take the time to treat your instrument with care and love! These are also great singing scales for beginners.
Related Post: Learn about Vocal Cool Down Exercises and why you shouldn't skip them.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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