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Vocal Warmups and other MD help 
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:09 am
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Post Vocal Warmups and other MD help
Okay, I'm about to MD a rock musical at a community theatre for the first time, and I'll need to lead vocal warmups before the performances. Any ideas for simple exercises and stuff? (Also, general tips for MDing the first time would also be appreciated).

Sun Oct 16, 2011 12:15 am
Broadway Legend / MdN Veteran
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2005 10:36 am
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Current Obsession: Paul Gordon's new musical, "Emma"
Post Re: Vocal Warmups and other MD help
I've never been an MD, but I have led warm-ups before. Not sure if I can adequately explain these in writing but I'll try!
There are the standard "ah" exercises that can either climb or descend on a scale, like:
1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 (on an "ah", start on a C, then move up a half step to do it starting on C#, etc.)
or descending to stretch lower register 5-4-3-2-1.
Variations could be doing a full scale, doing a full scale with the 9th note added (sorry don't know theory), or adding staccato notes at the top of the scale, like:
1-2-3-4-5! 5! 5-4-3-2-1 (! to represent the staccato)

There is one that we did in college choir that I like:
the pattern goes: 1-1-3, 1-1-3, 4-4-6, 4-4-6, 5-4-3-2-1 and you sing "Zinga-zinga-za, zinga-zinga-za, Zinga-zinga-za, zinga-zinga-za, zinga-zinga-zinga-zinga-zaaaa"

My favorite facial/lip warm-up I call "one-two-one". One a scale you sing the words along with the corresponding notes of the scale:
one, one two one, one two three two one, one two three four three two one (etc.) up to eight for a full scale. Start out slow, and as you go up a chromatic scale each time you start, get faster and faster. You can also make it a combined ear exercise by saying to eliminate a certain number each time, like "don't sing 3". Then they have to do "on, one two one, one two ____ two one, one two ___ four ___ two one" leaving the appropriate space and coming back in or following with the right notes.

A good diaphragm exercise is to have everyone make a "SHHh!" noise (tell them to take a breath whenever needed), and setting a slow tempo, everyone punctuates with their breath a measure of quarter notes, a measure of eighth notes, a measure of triplets, and a measure of sixteenth notes on the "shh".

Hope some of these help!


Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:17 am
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