We all know the importance of vocal warm-ups before singing. But we also know how easy it is to start slacking off or conveniently “forget” that step of the process. Warm-ups – and scales, in particular – may not be the most fun, but they are absolutely essential when it comes to caring for your voice and improving your singing. Not only does incorporating scales into your routine help warm up your vocal cords, it can help you to improve your vocal range, increase your pitch accuracy and teach you how to keep your breath steady.
Still not convinced? Here are some additional benefits of including scales in your vocal warm-ups, as noted on SingingPros.com:
1. Scales For Strength and Stability
Use scales to help increase the strength and stability of your voice, one note at a time. Choose the most comfortable note for you to maintain, take a breath and sing the one note. Hold it for as long as possible and keep it as steady as you can. Do this a few times, and then move up or down the scale doing the same thing for each note. If you have problems with a note, make sure you remember which one, and practice it more often to help it equal the other notes.
2. Scales to Improve Diction
The singing exercises that improve your diction, or the ease in which one pronounces words correctly, are also usually simple scales, but incorporate more mouth movement. As your voice moves up and down the scales, your mouth moves to make similar sounds. Some diction scales may include small little verbal exercises such as, ‘My mother made me mash my M & M’s.’ For this particular example, you would increase in scale to the word “mash” and then go back down. The similarity is in the M’s that are being repeated throughout the exercise.
3. Scales for Flexibility
There is only one way to really increase the flexibility in a voice or to maintain the flexibility that you do have. This is a form of ‘jumping’ scale that can assist your voice in brief staccato notes that jump around. For instance, if you were to sing ‘la-la-la-la’ and every note you sang you skipped one, increasing then decreasing over a series of 8 notes, you would hit every note in your scale. The next time you do this, you could start with a slightly higher or lower pitch. Doing this throughout your vocal range will keep flexibility in your voice, and is actually quite enjoyable to do and hear.