Words To Warm Up By!

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Woman warming upDo you have a favourite word or string of words that you use to warm up your voice and get ready for the day?

Any particular words that can “articulate” that “resonate” well with you (pardon the puns!)?
As a voice major, I’ve encountered hundreds of different vocal warm ups and it is always interesting (and entertaining) to add more to the old repertory… I hope you find some neat ones here!
Inspired by a thread in the Voices.com LinkedIn Group by Dave Justus, I present to you a number of warm up words that will keep your articulators and resonators in check for 2010.

Warming Words

Dave Justus asked the following of our Voices.com members at LinkedIn:
“Your equipment is turned on, your mic is in front of you, headphones perched on your ears and your recording software is just waiting for you to start a new file. What words or phrase do you say out loud to warm up the voice and center your focus for your recording?
For whatever reason I say, ‘boogiedaboogiedaboogiehellohellohello.'”


A number of replies poured in from voice talent members who shared their warm up words and vocal exercises with the group, including:

“I try to wake up by saying a few tongue twisters. Here’s an easy one I found on Rodney Saulsberry’s web site“:
Someone said something simple
A simple something said to me
Simply simple someone said
A simple something said to me.
David Hoxie

“My speech therapist taught me to stick my tongue out (as far as I can) and put it between my teeth and say the alphabet. As you make the sound of each letter release the tongue then reengage it. And of course, tongue twisters.”
— John Di Domenico

“The best warm up words for me are to practice singing — softly — softly — the chromatic scale. Whichever octave you are comfy with. Just sing from the lowest to the highest and back… until the job is done and warm!”
— Maurice Smith

“I’ve been using the warm up exercises developed by Daws Butler that his protege Joe Bevilacqua taught me. They are superb! You’ll find them in the book: Scenes for Actors and Voices.
— Carl Welden

“My favorite one for myself and one I give my clients is ‘A big black bug bit a big black bear’ to flex the lips and then count to ten for the microphone levels.”
Brenda Smith

What Words Do You Warm Up With?

If you have any favourite words, tongue twisters or vocal warm-ups that you’d like to share, comment and let me know!
Best wishes,
P.S. If you’d like to join us on LinkedIn, click through the link below:
Join the Voices.com LinkedIn Group
©iStockphoto.com/Edyta Pawlowska

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  • Larry Kerr
    December 29, 2009, 2:16 pm

    To be honest..It’s my favorite soliloquies from Richard ll or lll or, if a sad note is needed, Hamlet. Tooo long an actor…sigh.
    I remember all the time back stage, laughing at fellow performers doing the old mmmmoouuugggghhhhh, momomomomomomom… or whatever their vocal coach gave them to spout. I ran lines before a show. Relaxed and in character is my mantra…

  • Dan Deslaurier
    December 30, 2009, 10:13 am

    It’s so ironic that this subject is today’s entry–I was just watching the gag reel from the new “Star Trek” movie–you see the actors flubbing/slurring their words and then running through all sorts of the same lip/mouth warm-ups that I do first thing to “stretch out” for a read–good to see others run into the same thing! Before I deleted this morning’s nonsense, I thought that it might be fun to hear a collection of these as a “gag reel” of wacky warm-ups!
    Dan Deslaurier

  • Joe J Thomas
    December 30, 2009, 10:24 am

    I use a variety of tongue twisters and singing warm-ups.
    Here’s a fave:
    If you stick a stock of liquor in your locker
    It is quick to stick a lock upon your stock
    Or some joker who is quicker’s
    Going to trick you of your liquor
    If you fail to lock your liquor with a lock
    Others longish ones include “Theopholis Thistle”, “Betty Botter”, and “What a To-Do”…
    Google away!,

  • Ran Alan Ricard
    December 30, 2009, 10:36 am

    Sally Seymore sat by the seashore and sipped Schlitz

  • Melanie Haynes
    December 30, 2009, 11:27 am

    I learned the following years ago from a fellow cast member in the Shakespeare Festival. They’re very easy to remember, but long to write, so I’ll give you the link to them on my web site: http://www.melaniehaynes.com/for-talent/voice-over-articulation-exercises/
    I do these in the car while driving to early morning sessions, especially. Here in my home studio, I use them as well or I just start by voicing some of the audition scripts that have piled up in my inbox!

  • Jay Coffey
    January 2, 2010, 4:28 pm

    I recite a 19 minute monologue from the Shaw’s play “Man and Superman” and/or “To Be Or Not To Be” from Hamlet.

  • Debbie Irwin
    January 2, 2010, 4:28 pm

    Hi and Happy New Year!
    I hum to warm up and do a series of Linklater exercises to stretch my mouth and my range!
    Happy New Year to you!!
    Debbie Irwin

  • Gerald McAlister
    January 4, 2010, 11:08 am

    Happy New Year everyone! I do a bunch of different warm ups… My favorite, by far, is the One Hen/Announcer’s Elocution test. It’s fun and effective!

  • Stephanie Ciccarelli
    January 4, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Hi Gerald,
    Thank you for sharing! Happy New Year to you, too 🙂
    I am going to go check out the elocution test. Sounds very interesting.

  • Kaja Sesterhenn
    May 28, 2011, 5:14 pm

    A German one: Der Potsdamer Postkutscher putzt den Potsdamer Postkutschkasten und der Kottbuser Postkutscher putzt den Kottbuser Postkutschkasten.

  • Greta Mellerson
    May 28, 2011, 5:14 pm

    Swiss wristwatch….fast 3 times.

  • Kevin Walsh
    May 28, 2011, 5:15 pm

    ‎”Girl gargoyle. Guy gargoyle.” over and over again.

  • Thomas Buxton
    May 28, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit and on the slitted sheet I sit.

  • Dane Gasio
    May 28, 2011, 5:16 pm

    One smart fellow he felt smart, two smart fellows they felt smart, three smart fellows they all felt smart.

  • Bill Boardman
    May 28, 2011, 5:18 pm

    Three free thugs set three thugs free.

  • Vanessa Jones
    May 28, 2011, 5:19 pm

    I read parts of Dr. Seuss’ Fox in Sox lol

  • Kathleen Kaye Sone
    May 28, 2011, 5:19 pm

    Good blue blood, bad black blood.

  • Paul Gizel
    May 28, 2011, 5:20 pm

    To sit in solemn silence on a big dark dock in a pestilential prison with a life long lock awaiting the short sensation of a short sharp shock from a cheap and chippy chopper big black box.

  • Sean St Louis-Farrelly
    May 28, 2011, 5:21 pm

    What a to-do, to die today, at a minute or two ’til two. A thing distinctly hard to say and harder still to do. For there’ll be a tattoo at twenty ’til two, and a rat-a-tat-at-a-tat-at-a at two. And the dragon will come, when he hears the drum, at a minute or two ’til two today, at a minute or two ’til two.

  • Nick Montague
    May 28, 2011, 5:22 pm

    I say toy boat 5 times fast I remember it from Roland and Martin’s Laugh In. Everyone on Laugh In use to take a crack at this ON CAMERA and it was too funny.

  • Natalie Donegan
    May 28, 2011, 5:24 pm

    How much oil can a gumboil boil if a gumboil can boil oil, if a gumboil can boil oil how much oil would a gumboil boil?

  • Joseph Loewinsohn
    May 28, 2011, 5:24 pm

    “Arnold Palmer” said with perfect diction just 4 times really fast is all it takes (try it, you’ll see).

  • Chloe Durham
    February 13, 2013, 5:27 am

    Tacky Tacos are Flacky Flacos…. remember to pronunciate each letter correctly and stretch your mouth. To make it harder say it 5 times 🙂
    You’re Welcome.