Singing in the Morning: How to Rise & Shine

Perhaps as a night owl I am biased, but my voice works (and sounds) much better in the evening after a day of talking. After all, I have spent the entire day “warming up” by using my voice. Add in an actual warmup and by 5:00 or 6:00 pm and I am ready to go. *grin*

Singing in the morning can feel more difficult and definitely takes preparation. For example, I find it very difficult to find a clean, easy mixed voice (aka “belt”) before noon.

When I have to sing in the morning, here are some steps I take to prepare.

  • Pack my gig bag the night before and get to bed at a reasonable hour. I like to gather everything I’ll need for a morning gig the night before. (As I said, night owl. *smile*)

  • I try to be awake for AT LEAST three hours before I have to sing. 
Awake and using my voice …

  • I begin vocalizing as soon as I wake … light humming and soft whimpering through the range of my voice.

  • I eat protein for breakfast. Most days I would rather sleep in than prepare breakfast, but on my singing mornings I get up early (see above) and eat something hearty to fuel my morning and performance.
 (Invariably, it ends up being a long time between my breakfast and the next meal when I sing in the morning. Consider that it may be 5 or 6 hours before you get to eat again.)

  • Take a shower and get dressed. The steam from the shower seems to help hydrate my throat and nasal passages (mine seem to dry out while I sleep). Taking the time to get dressed before I do my warmups give my stomach some time to digest before I start pressing on it with my diaphragm during vocal exercises.

  • I include physical stretches as part of my vocal warmup. (You do this already, right? *smile*) Waking up my body helps wake up my voice. If you generally exercise in the morning, don’t skip your regular session unless you have to.

  • I spend extra time on my warmups (including those stretches!) and concentrate on getting my higher notes to feel flexible and responsive. (Did I mention this takes longer in the morning?)

  • I warm up my mixed voice/belt last. I generally spend a good amount of time on the chest and head voice coordinations (registers 2 and 3) separately before attempting to belt anyway, but especially in the morning.

Finally, if you get a say in what songs you will sing, use some care in creating your set list. Select songs that use less range and are less vocally demanding.

Now, rise and shine. *grin*


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