Vocal Recovery Warmup FAQS
I have no voice at all right now. Can the warmup help me?
If you can’t produce any sound at all your vocal cords are too inflamed to do any vocalizing right now, including this warmup. You need to rest your voice and let your vocal cords heal. Steroids will shrink the inflammation, but are not recommended unless you have an important gig. When the inflammation goes down and you can produce some sound again you can begin using the warmup.
I have vocal nodules (or polyps, or cysts)— can the warmup help me?
Anyone dealing with vocal nodules, polyps or cysts, or who is pre-nodal, should work one-on-one with a vocal professional during the recovery process. The Vocal Recovery Warmup cannot do the specific and careful monitoring by a qualified professional that recovering from these problems require. While using the warmup may be very helpful as one heals, singers with nodules, polyps, and cysts absolutely should work one-on-one with a professional during the process.
I bought the warmup at iTunes or Amazon and the download came without the ebook.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll receive a reply with instructions explaining how to download the ebook.
How can this method work for people with colds, people with vocal fatigue, beginning singers, and all the kinds of singers you listed? How can one method work for all these different singers?
Susan knows from her work with thousands of beginning to professional singers that the same sounds and patterns that work well for a healthy beginning singer also work well for more advanced singers who are dealing with colds, allergies, dryness, age, or vocal fatigue. The difference is what each singer needs to do before singing: dry singers may need to inhale steam and drink water, gunky singers may need to gargle with salt water, while healthy beginning or older singers may be able to use the warmup immediately. So while the warmup exercises can help many different kinds of singers, what a singer should do before starting the warmup will differ from singer to singer. These different preparations are all explained in the ebook.
Can I use the audio part of the warmup without reading the ebook?
If you’re a beginning, returning, or older singer with healthy vocal cords, or if you just have a mild cold, allergies, or fatigue: yes, you can work with the audio files right away. But if your vocal cords are challenged in any way, you first need to read the instructions that pertain to you found in the ebook chapter called What Kind of Singer Are You?. Depending on what’s going on with your voice, you may be given recommendations for ways to prepare your voice before working with the audio files. For example, singers with phlegm on their vocal cords are advised to gargle with salt water before starting the warmup. Once you’ve done the recommended preparation you can just work with the audio files. Keep in mind that the ebook includes a lot of information that isn’t in the audio files. It’s fine to get going with the audio files, but at some point read the rest of the ebook.
Can I use this while driving?
Please read the answer to the previous question. Once you’ve prepared your voice (if that’s recommended for you), you can listen to and sing with the audio files while driving. Aim your car’s heat/AC vent down, away from your face, or go without heat/AC since it dries the voice. Traffic can be noisy, so remember to stay at a medium volume. Consider occasionally doing the warmup at home as well, since you’ll have an easier time focusing when you aren’t driving.
My voice is too challenged by allergies/a cold/fatigue to do my regular warmup, but it’s not that bad. Will this be helpful?
Yes. The warmup is ideal for singers who, for whatever reason, need to dial down the intensity of their regular warmup. Since the five different parts of the warmup increase in difficulty, you can choose the level of difficulty and range that’s right for you, and work your way back to your regular warmup.
I’m a trained singer but my voice is currently worn out from allergies/a cold/too much singing. Will this be too basic for me?
Part 1 is easy, and covers basic vocal technique you may already know, but it’s safer to start on the easier side if your voice is challenged. After working with Part 1 one time to see how your voice is doing and to learn the troubleshooting tricks, you may be able to begin with Part 2 the next time you use the warmup, then gradually work your way through the harder sections. The ebook includes a chapter on how to vary the warmup to align it with what you already may know works well for your voice.
Can children use this method?
Though the warmup is geared for adults and teens, the exercises and concepts are appropriate for all ages. However, the vocal range of both the male and female versions are better suited to adult and teen singers. Also, most children would rather sing a song than a scale, so would probably be happier with the Just Songs Vocal Warmup for Kids.
I think I’m tone-deaf but I want to learn how to sing. Can this help me?
It’s pretty rare that someone is truly tone-deaf. Most often a budding singer with pitch problems needs to build resonance and vocal strength, then develop their ear. The warmup doesn’t emphasize pitch work and is not an ear-training program, since most singers do better if they first build vocal strength and know-how, then work on intonation. But the ebook does include a chapter on how to use the warmup for pitch accuracy strengthening.
What happens when my voice starts to get stronger–won’t I need a harder warmup?
The warmup includes five parts. Each part gradually increases in difficulty. Part 1 is very easy and some singers may be able to skip it after singing through it one time. If you develop enough strength that Parts 1-3 become easy for you, you can just do Part 5, which is a stand-alone, more difficult warmup that covers over two octaves. Part 5 can be used indefinitely as a regular vocal warmup.
What’s the difference between this, the No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout, and Singing With Style?
The No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout and Singing with Style are both song-based vocal warm-ups that cover many aspects of vocal technique. Singing With Style also covers vocal style. Both methods are designed for singers with healthy vocal cords. The Vocal Recovery Warmup is scale-based, and includes just one song. Since it’s designed for singers with challenged vocal cords, it’s a slower-paced, gentler warmup. All three methods cover important elements of singing technique like breathing, posture, and placement, but the No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout and Singing With Style also cover areas like diction, mix register, building volume and belt technique. Singers with challenged voices, very beginning singers, or singers who prefer to warm up with scales will do better with The Vocal Recovery Warmup. If those singers want to dive deeper into vocal technique or work with more songs, they can do so with either the No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout and Singing With Style, after they’ve built up strength by using The Vocal Recovery Warmup.
What topics aren’t covered in the warmup?
When your vocal cords are weak or challenged, what’s important is to build or re-build resonance and strength, and to prevent any damage to the vocal cords. Safe belt technique should only be learned when your vocal cords are healthy and strong, so it isn’t included in this method. Vowel shaping and articulation are also not covered. Singing in tune and pitch accuracy are addressed, but aren’t emphasized until later in the warmup. All of these topics are covered in The No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout and The No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout Vol. 2.
I’m a soprano, tenor, or bass singer and these versions are for altos and baritones. Can I still use them?
Since most men are baritones and most females are altos, Susan created the male and female versions of the warmup with those ranges in mind. Sopranos, tenors, or basses can use the warmup by making some adjustments:
Sopranos: use the alto version of the warmup and avoid the lowest notes, or use the baritone version and sing an octave higher than the scales and song. Doing the latter will add a whole step to the high end of the range.
Tenors: use the alto version of the warmup and avoid the highest notes, or use the baritone version and avoid the lowest notes.
Basses: use the baritone version and avoid the highest notes, or use the alto version and sing an octave lower than the scales and song. Doing the latter will add a whole step to the low end of the range.
You can get an idea of the range from the sound samples on the main detail page.
I downloaded the warmup but I can't find the ebook, and/or I can't find some of the audio files in iTunes.
Your download will appear as a folder wherever you have directed downloads to go on your computer. In that folder under all the audio files you'll find a file labeled 122990.pdf. That's the ebook. You can keep it there or drag it onto your desktop. Then drag the folder icon onto iTunes. The audio files will appear as two playlists on iTunes. Parts 1-3 of the warmup are on the playlist Vocal Recovery Warmup. Parts 4-5 are on a separate playlist, Vocal Recovery Warmup CD2.
If you have any other questions please write to Susan.