Top 3 Vocal Warm-Ups

boys I just feel like I have one voice

then I um I did this on Instagram

already but um it's been a long day

without you my friend and I'll tell you

all about it when I see you again

so going from head voice to chest force

back and forth when I feel like oh

that's kind of easy then I know I'm good

but if I feel like God tell you oh when

I feel like it's yeah then I know I got

more Z's to do more work to do this

video is about my personal warm-up

routine I get a lot of DMS and emails

etc asking me what do you do Eric like

how do you warm up your voice how do you

take care of your voice so before we

start I want to be clear that these are

a few of my favorite things but they may

not necessarily be your favorite things

a daily warm-up routine should be very

bespoke very customized to your

individual needs as a singer so what I

do is not necessarily what you need to

do but I'm sharing this with you as an

artist one artist to another just

sharing with you my experience and

hopefully if there are any gold nuggets

to be extracted from it and so be it

hopefully you find it enlightening and

educational and maybe give you a few new

ideas but with that being said let's

begin so when I warm up and again this

is specific to me everybody's different

even my students are different but I

like to approach it in three tiers I

always start off with my inhale first

because the inhale helps me to restore

space to my body if I'm stressed if I

haven't gotten a lot of sleep I do a lot

of traveling if I've been on an airplane

my body can feel really tight which

translates to tightness in my throat and

I have a heavy voice by Nature I don't

need any more on my throat so what I do

is an exercise called the sniff it's a

traditional classical exercise and what

you do and feel free to do it along with

me as I describe it it's in three parts

the first part is you sniff quickly and

audibly can you see that

my ribs just naturally open up and

remember in the beginning we might learn

like belly breathing and low breathing

but as we get more advanced we want the

expression of the breath to mainly be

manifested at the ribcage where your

actual diaphragm and lungs reside

so as I'm sniffing I'm not trying to

make it go into any particular place I'm

just keeping my shoulders and throw it

relaxed and my ribs should naturally

respond there is no magic number of

sniffs because people ask me that should

it be five sniffs three sniffs it's more

like the way I think of it is like this

is if let's say you're and you're in

your bedroom or something and you go did

someone leave the oven on is something

burning is there gas do you smell gas

you know how that people do that

inquisitive sniff like do you smell that

is that smoke you know is that is that

kind of sniff and it really tends to

open up the ribcage and not just the

sides but the back of your ribcage which

helps so much with controlling pressure

this is important for me because if I'm

doing a song like um so baby who me

closer and the backseat of your you know

something like that that's kind of papi

I mess up all the words I know but but

if I'm doing something like that because

my voice is naturally so low if I don't

feel really grounded in my body it's

easy for me to do baby pull me closer in

there I think I can go to that place

really easily I lived in that place for

many years but if I sniff I can feel the

sense of pressure and healthy tension

because we need tension to sing health

with even need tension to sing

powerfully we need tension to sing

beautifully this brings me to the second

step once you're full at the peak of

inhalation just hold it and feel how

your ribs particularly the sides and

back of your ribs can really hold the

pressure because when we're holding our

breath we can kind of concentrate the

energy of that at the glottis we can

kind of almost like you're having a

breath-holding contest at the swimming

pool with your cousins or something like

we can do that or we can feel the breath

being held you can even hear the

difference in my

I can really feel that you feel the

breath being held by the body which

allows passivity of the vocal tract I

feel very open very released like I

could read a like and I can read for an

audiobook recording of an audiobook but

anyway it lets you stay open so once you

do that this one more part sniff sniff

sniff hold ho hold no particular amount

of time you're just feeling your body so

hold and then now traditionally there's

a nasal exhale but I prefer to do it

with the hiss again this is just my

personal warmup

so if you're familiar with like Louisa

Tetrazzini or somebody like that like

the famous operatic soprano you might

know she advocated up a nasal exhale but

I like to do a hiss it just lets me feel

more of my body so I sniff sniff sniff I

hold hold hold

and then I hiss hiss hiss and as I'm

hissing you'll notice I don't go

no I why because it naturally activates

this I feel my ABS work reflexively it's

just such a good body wake up sniff

sniff sniff to open up hole to feel your

body holding the pressure and then when

you exhale I'm always talking about it

feel that solar plexus awakened it helps

to really energize and empower the voice

and it helps to maintain stability of

the breath so I do this about to be

honest when I'm warming up I do not

count I know I might do it three times I

might do it 10 times how do I know I'm

ready to sing or ready to move on to the

next part is this if I let myself go so

if I let a breath come into my body and

I feel like the size and back of my ribs

just swing open that I know I'm good

but if I get this don't know my back

that I know my back muscles they're

tight or if I get a big belly breath

then I know I'm tight again when we

first start teaching we tend to

emphasize in the a approach method we

tend to emphasize belly sides back just

to get you anchored lower in your body

but as we get more advanced we want to

make you aware of breathing length into

the body and having more expression of


at the ribs so that shouldn't mean that

the chest does lift and broaden the

chest is not evil the side ribs open up

the back ribs open up and you feel a

little pulled in gently it's not

contrived I'm not like trying to you

know like I'm doing a photo shoot or

something but there's a gentle lift in

the abdomen or maybe a firm lift

depending on how hard you're breathing

so but when I can feel that then I know

I'm good but if I get a big belly breath

or a big chest breath and I know I'm

tight and so I'm warming up my inhale

basically so I want to get to the point

where I feel like with very little

effort breath can enter my body very

freely and easily and if I feel that for

me it gives me a sense of confidence in

my voice to feel very ground and rooted

in my body in that way so after I've

gotten my inhale together I then like to

awaken my support reflexes as we call

them in the a approach method so support

reflexes refer to the natural responses

from your body when you compress air

when you use your voice so that these

muscles don't have to take over I love

to use a Z again this is just one of

many I'm giving you like my top three

kind of like right now I do a lot of

things but a Z works so well because

this is can you see this we call this

paradoxical openness I'm exhaling but

this is my ribcage is actually opening

up this kind of harkens back to the

Italian concept of inhalare la voce' to

inhale the voice it's not literally like

hmm it's not that but it's this idea of

having your body respond

ah ah as if you're inhaling even though

you are in fact exhaling and so what it

does is it stabilizes your breath unless

your diaphragm have room to move like it

needs to these microscopic movements

that help to support the voice but it

stabilizes the breath because if we

don't have the body working ah we get

that kind of thing so anyway I do is II

notice I have this keyboard here I

haven't touched it yet um when I warm up

I don't use scales I don't so I just go

by how my body feels and trying to try

to awaken reactions in my body and I do

teach this to my students I feel like if

you chase pitches

that can go wrong really fast but what I

do is I do it a Z or Zed depending on

what part of the world you're in

and now and once I feel like my body is

connecting as opposed to then I'll start

trying to I just start trying to connect

from head boys down it to chest voice I

want that one voice feeling if I get I'm

not there so I'm gonna feel like I can

like it's all one thing and the Z helps

me to get pressure in it but not from

here how long do I use it for cuz I can

hear you asking how many times how long

when I get the one the voice feeling I'm

good I don't tie my warm-ups beware the

magic formula so don't get too caught up

in this many repetitions or if I can

belt mix the high E or try to focus on

the process and connecting to your body

first and there are cues that let you

know when you're warmed up like I said

one of my cues is when my ribs move

freely out and back when I get that

Cobras hood or those wings kind of

feeling and the other cue for me is when

my voice when my registers feel very

evenly blended with very little effort

so when I feel like oh my voice I just

feel like I have one voice then I um I

did this on Instagram already but um

it's been a long day without you my

friend and I'll tell you all about it

when I see you again so going from head

voice to chest voice back and forth when

I feel like oh that's kind of easy then

I know I'm good but if I feel like God

oh when I feel like it's then I know I

got more Z's to do more work to do so Z

it out try so the last part of my warmup

and I kind of do this intimately

throughout the day is vocal fry now

before you start typing me a lengthy

message I can art it I can feel it

but vocal fry is bad let me explain

something to you

there's vocal fry that it's a chronic

harmful speaking pathology like oh my

god I literally died came back bought an

A approached t-shirt got married like

you know that's that's um what a lot of

people think of with vocal fry that kind

of okhla is wrought with tension

it can overwork the constrictor muscles

it can cause a lot of problems

especially if you don't have any control

over it that is not what I'm advocating

what I'm advocating is a very mindful

use of okhla I proven to strengthen the

vocal folds and believe it or not to

diminish compensatory behaviors in other

words to reduce strain so there's a

different kind of way I do vocal fry'

nuance is a thing okay so what I'm

advocating is this my throat is soft and

my body is responding why do I love

vocal fry so much by the nature of the

sound you are forced to release breath

slowly you are forced to tap into your

natural support mechanisms it also helps

you to find the core of your tone really

quickly it affects the muscle memory

posture memory of the folds so quickly

and it helps you to feel compression now

the key is to not squeeze your throat so

if you can keep your shoulders and your

throat relaxed and you can feel your

body responding the abdomen draws inward

you might feel healthy pressure

sensations in the solar plexus in the

back it's very good it brings so much

clarity and lightness and focus to the

voice now for me this is just for me

I don't pull fry as high as I can go I

know there are teachers who advocate

this I understand for my voice I use

vocal fry to drop the excess heaviness

of my voice

so since vocal fry is technically a

function of chest voice as I move up it

gets clearer and I let it

I don't fight to hold on to fry so I let

it be kind of rippling along the inner

edges of my cords so it's not um it's

not that and if you can't find it then

don't do it and if you have any

reservations about the technique just

don't do it but I've been doing it and

teaching it for years it's a great

success my vocal cords you played

healthy thank you oh and I've found that

um it works really well to keep people

consistent my Broadway clients

especially loved it because it lets you

keep power but get more piercing quality

to the voice that you can belt without

feeling way down

so this healthier kind of vocal fry'

involves letting go of the throat and

some of the cues the physical cues that

were doing correctly will be of a felt

sensation you may not see it but mmm in

my body I'm very strong here so you can

see it moving but the epigastrium firm

and protrude forward it might be more

felt than seen depending on your current

strength level and that's okay and your

body type is totally fine and also your

back mmm which is kind of evidence by

our side ribs opening up cuz the last

when the lats activate they open us up

sideways as well mmm


again you may feel that more and see

that less than you doing me but I kind

of want you to feel the way I look when

I do that if you try so my Broadway

students tend to like this because it

helps to really get that piercing


gravity you know that kind of ant and

that's like really extreme and kind of

harsh sorry for you guys but it gets

that kind of ant you know I think about

that Elsie defined that Inc kind of

quality to it they're really piercing

focus yeah and so even when I have opera

singers sometimes I'll have a female um

a soprano singer who like

and it's really breathy despite her

efforts to support and we'll do some fry


I'm trying to think of a part of Maduro

poopy lei but the point is it helps you

to get focus in the course I feel like

it helps you to get to the seed center

of your tone so that silver thread of

the voice how long do I practice this um

I kind of work on it intermittently

throughout the day like I don't really I

kind of it's kind of like the background

notes of my life

you probably catch me frying mmm if I'm

stuck in traffic if I'm sitting on an

airplane if I'm waiting on a plane um I

do it like I just do it until I feel

like I have that crisp Center to my

voice when I feel like I can access that

crisp focus that piercing quality to my

voice did I know I'm there however long

that takes because again my voice if I'm

not in good voice if I'm not in good

vocal shape I have a lot of airiness

I'll have a lot of huskiness um but if

I'm really making good use of Frye it'll

really put me in touch with that focus

and my throat muscles will feel like

they turn off as opposed to activate so

this is not the harmful speaking

pathology vocal fry' it's literally

something different than this so I don't

want you to use that I want you to let

this go and feel your body so those are

my three or three of my favorite daily

vocal warm-ups to do to keep my voice

strong and healthy and supple and pliant

you do not have to do these I'm simply

sharing and if any of these don't work

for you then so be it but if you go to

my site a approached comm a appr Oh ACH

comm then you can find out how to work

with me one on one through Skype

FaceTime or in person from anywhere in

world well not so much the in person

part you'd have to actually come here

but but you can work with me from

anywhere in the world through skype or

facetime that's on my site you can also

buy one of my video courses like

breathing bootcamp for singers where I

talk about everything here plus so much

more I go into far greater detail and

how to harness the breath inside of you

to really tap into the full powers that

you possess vocally that's really

dramatic but you'd be surprised what you

can do if you start to learn to feel and

strengthen muscles that you may not even

know you have so that's it for now

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