Tony Robbins I Am Not Your Guru

Vocal Warm-Ups For Singers and Speakers | Day 340

I was watching the Netflix movie “I Am Not Your Guru” (a FANTASTIC flick BTW) and all the while I was wondering, “can Tony’s voice take any more?”  The movie reminded me of the warm-ups I do everyday.

Tony Robbins I Am Not Your GuruTony is the man and he is the king of getting people past their barriers to achieve a whole new level of abundant living.  Ok, that I’ve paid homage to the master, I will say that I was worried about his voice.  In the movie, I did see him do warm-ups and exercises, but the unusual tense nature of his voice leads me to ask, “will he have a voice later in life?”  Now, I’m not criticizing the dude, but I’m a man that listens to people’s voices.  There are those that never forget a face, well, I’m the man that never forgets a voice.  The voice is so important and we take it for granted.  Teachers, speakers, ministers and others that use their voice to make a living need to take care of what they have, or they’ll lose it.  Imaging not being able to say “I love you” to your significant other or not being able to speak your experience to change the lives of those you care about.  Yeah, yeah, voice lessons, blah, blah, blah,..but your voice is unique to you and you alone.

  • The “lip bubble” is good to get rid of excess tension from the vocal folds.  Only needed muscles are needed and tension in the area of the larynx is removed.  You say a dumb “uh”, while placing your index finger and thumb lightly on both cheeks to keep the weight off of the lips.  Relax the lips and utilize a consistent stream of air.  The scale is meant to go through all areas of your voice (chest, mix, head).
  • The “squeaky doors” are meant to get you used to singing on the edge of your vocal folds.  Using light strokes (which will feel “small” to you), go through the same scale pattern as the lip-bubbles.  This exercise is good for breathy singers as it counters the lack of tension (and yes, proper tension is needed for proper singing / speaking) they have.
  • The “mum-mums” are great strength building.  The dumb “uh” (same as the lip-bubble exercise) is meant to purposefully depress the larynx to teach the muscles to counter a raised larynx when going higher.  The “m” portion puts pressure on the vocal folds which, in time, increases strength.
  • The “ce-ah” exercise is meant to get the singer used to jumping between registers as well as building confidence towards upper areas of the voice.
  • The “Yah-ha-ha-has” are meant to bring about a flexibility to the voice.  The goal is to make sure that there is a perfect tone and pitch throughout this exercise, which helps coordinate the proper air and tension throughout the range of the singer.
  • The “hoot-owl” exercise is meant to lighten up the voice as falsetto is utilized.  It is this exercise, as well as others, I would use to counter the tension in Tony’s voice.  As a voice teacher, Tony’s voice has way too much compression (a grunting sound) and there must be a counter-balance of almost breathy singing to offset the problem.  Later, once the compression issue is fixed, I would bring that back in, but at a more balanced ratio.  He would still have “his voice”, but it would go much longer, not get as tired and he would still have just as much impact (and I dare say more) using his voice.

Only 25 days left…

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