Vocal Warm Ups for Worship Teams

Interested in improving your worship team's vocal performance?

Learn the best vocal warm-up exercises for worship teams in this comprehensive guide, and see how you can get your team's vocals warmed up for a stellar performance. 

As a member of a worship team, having a powerful voice is crucial as it is used as a tool that can inspire people who hear it. But having a solid singing voice requires more than simply being able to sing in tune. It demands energy, passion, and stamina to deliver a beautiful performance without feeling burnt out or tired. This is why the quality of the vocal performance is crucial to the success of any worship session, and why it is so important for worship teams to engage in vocal warm-ups before going on stage.

In this article, we'll explore some of the most effective warm-up exercises that will enhance your breath control, tone, and vocal range, to help you perform better and connect more deeply with your audience.

Vocal Warm-Up Exercises

When your voice is your primary instrument, you know how crucial it is to keep it in top shape. So whether you're a professional singer or a member of a worship team, you should incorporate vocal warm-ups and vocal cord strengthening exercises into your daily practice routine, as singing without first warming up can lead to vocal strain or damage.

Let's check out some of the best vocal exercises for warming up and developing your voice.

Lip Trills

This is a fairly easy exercise to do. Just blow air through your lips while humming. Take a deep breath and release it while blowing a steady stream of air through your mouth and nose. In addition to warming up your vocal cords, this also helps to loosen up the muscles in your lips and cheeks. You can also incorporate pitch slides into this exercise to further improve your pitch.

Tongue Trills

Tongue trills are a great way to get the vocal cords and jaw muscles ready for singing and to warm up your lips, tongue, and vocal cords. Here is how you do a tongue trill:

  1. Keep your mouth slightly open, and your lips relaxed.
  2. Inhale deeply and then exhale while making a "brrr" sound by vibrating the tip of your tongue, letting the air do its thing very similar to how air makes a flag flutter.
  3. Start slowly, then progressively pick up the pace and intensity.
  4. Keep going for another 20 seconds or until your tongue feels warmed up.

Fricatives are consonant sounds that are produced by blocking the vocal tract and forcing air to pass through a tiny opening. Examples of fricative sounds include "f," "v," "z," and "th." These exercises can help develop your legato while singing and improve your articulation, enunciation, and control. You can repeat specific fricative sounds at different volumes and pitches once you feel more comfortable performing the exercise.

Don't forget to pay attention to the placement of the tongue and teeth when working on your fricatives.


Humming is a vocal exercise in which a sound is produced by vibrating the vocal cords while keeping the mouth closed. To start humming, just softly close your lips, take a big breath in, and exhale through your nose while humming at a steady pitch. As you hum, you will feel the vibrations in your throat and chest, especially if you hum at a low pitch. You can then gradually move up or down the scale, sustaining the hum on each note.

You can combine humming exercises with other vocal exercises, such as lip trills, to further develop your vocal skills.

Humming exercises are easy to do on a regular basis, and they have several benefits, including warming up and preparing the voice for singing or speaking, relieving vocal tension, and developing one's vocal technique.

Singing Scales

Singing scales is an excellent technique for prepping the voice for singing and improving one's ability to sing in tune and should be an essential part of any singer's warm-up routine. To sing scales, simply choose a starting pitch and a scale. Select a simple major scale, such as C Major, and find the lowest note you can reach. Sing the scale up and down, starting from the lowest note and gradually moving up to the highest note and back down again.

Keep your tone clean when you sing by focusing on your breath support, and avoid straining your voice by loosening your mouth and neck and focusing on intonation and pitch accuracy.

You can also change the tempo or volume of your singing while you practice your scales to bring a new dimension to the monotony of the task and make it more challenging.


Sirens are a great way to warm up your vocal cords and improve your vocal range. They help in the release of tension in the vocal cords, allowing for greater vocal flexibility and a more powerful voice.

Vocal siren exercises involve sliding your voice up and down in pitch, starting from your lowest note and gradually going up to your highest note and then back down again. Here's how to practice your voice sirens:

  1. Straighten your back and inhale deeply.
  2. Start at the bottom of your vocal range on a pitch that feels natural to you.
  3. Maintain a steady, even tone as you gradually slide your voice to the top of your range.
  4. When you reach the top of your range, gradually lower your voice back down to the bottom while also keeping a smooth and even tone.
  5. As you get more comfortable, progressively up the speed and intensity as you repeat this exercise. 
Diaphragmatic Breathing

As you breathe in, the diaphragm, which is positioned directly below the lungs and heart at the base of the chest, contracts and flattens, and when you breathe out, it relaxes. We all know that the diaphragm isn't the source of sound, but the amount of air coming out of the lungs is what makes the vocal cords vibrate and produce sound. The diaphragm, located in the chest, is responsible for giving your voice power.

Choose a vowel like A or O to sing, stand up straight with your head and shoulders relaxed, put one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest, and take a few slow, deep breaths through your nose, letting your stomach expand while your chest stays mostly still. As you exhale, you should feel your stomach pull in. Repeat this exercise while taking deep breaths in and out, focusing on thoroughly relaxing your body each time.


What are important things to avoid before performing?

Smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking caffeine or dairy products should be avoided for at least a few hours before going on stage. All of these have the potential to harm your vocal cords and reduce your ability to sing. It is also vital to avoid overusing your voice and to remain hydrated.

Does diet affect vocal health?

Yes. Eating sugary, caffeinated, or dairy-based meals and drinks can lead to vocal cord irritation and mucus accumulation, which can negatively affect your vocal health. You can maintain good vocal health by eating a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains and drinking plenty of water.

Is choral singing harder than regular singing?

There are several aspects of choral singing that are more difficult than just singing as a group. It calls for perfect pitch, harmony, voice control, as well as the capacity to harmonize with others. The homogeneity and musicality of the group depend on everyone's dedication and discipline, which is challenging to maintain.


To sum up, vocal warm-ups should be an integral part of any performance preparation process for any worship group. Singers can improve their breath control, articulation, and vocal range through the vocal warm-up exercises we highlighted today.

It is crucial for warm-up exercises to be performed on a regular basis to help you maintain a healthy and powerful voice, preparing you to lead the congregation in worship. Take the time to warm up your voice the right way, and you'll be rewarded with a more beautiful, powerful, and expressive singing voice to help you emotionally connect with your audience.

Singing in a worship team is ultimately about building relationships with other people and finding a creative outlet through music. Vocal warm-ups are a great way to improve your performance, bond with your fellow musicians, and inspire others through your shared love of music and worship.

Please keep in mind that vocal exercises, like any other form of physical activity, should be performed with caution to avoid straining the voice.

Guest post by Become Singers.

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