Vocal Warmups

by Ariana Saraha

supported by
Mark Holmberg
Mark Holmberg thumbnail
Mark Holmberg Ariana is a gifted musician and skilled teacher in her field. These warmups (and other techniques she has taught to me) are essential for the aspiring singer!


Ariana feels that singing is such good medicine that it should be accessible to everybody. So she has created a full album of luscious vocal practices which anyone can sing along to regardless of experience or expertise. Includes exercises and instrumentation from Classical Indian singing, as well as a call & response 'improvisation,' full instruction booklet, and a previously unreleased song ("How can I keep from Singing"). The album download includes an 8-page PDF instruction booklet for those who wish to learn the practices with precision, and because the album itself is purely musical, it also makes for beautiful background music for yoga, meditation, or massage.

. . .
Welcome to the vocal warm-ups cd with Ariana Saraha. It is my hope that you find this cd greatly enjoyable as well as helpful. Whatever your level of expertise, returning to the simple practice of warming-up the voice is a continual meditation…

On this cd, we will be using a Classical Indian system called Sargam. It is much like “do re mi…” (which indeed was derived from this ancient system!), but instead uses the syllables Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha and Ni. A unique quality of this system is that it can be transposed into any key. For most of the cd, we will be singing in the key of A.

Before we begin, I would like to invite you to be gentle with yourself and your voice. Often when we decide to ‘warm up,’ we focus more on getting somewhere (warm), rather than actually taking the time to get there. This cd is an invitation to slow down, enjoy the journey, and be fully present with your voice exactly as it is right now. Tomorrow it will be different, and different again the next… Here and now there is beauty and perfection in its pure existence. Whether ragged, raw, clear, thin, vibrant or juicy – it is an artistic expression of Life.

This is not a ‘technique’ cd, per se, so please follow your own inner guidance about what feels ‘healthy.’ If at any time you discover you are pushing yourself, simply step back. Yawn – relax the vocal anatomy… take a breath… and when you are ready, begin again – perhaps a little softer or gentler this time… Remember also to play the cd soft enough to stay connected to your own voice. You should feel only enjoyment from practicing this cd. Sargam and corresponding notes:

Ṡa (A)
Ni (G#)
Dha (F#)
Pa (E)
ma (D)
Ga (C#)
Re (B)
Sa (A)

(read from the bottom-up)

(Notes: You will see that “ma” is written in lowercase, which connotes that it is natural, rather than raised - all the other notes are natural in their raised forms. Throughout this booklet you will also see the notes written by their first letters for shorthand (ex: “ S R G m…”). A dot underneath (i.e., Ḍ) will imply a note in the lower octave. A dot above (i.e., Ṡ) will signify a note in the upper octave.)


released August 22, 2009

All vocals by Ariana Saraha, except response on track 7 by Meagan Chandler
Keyboard rhythms on track 9 by Paul Temple
Produced, engineered and mixed by Ariana Saraha
Additional mixing by Dave Willey
Mastered by Steve Rush
Cover photograph by Ben Buren
Inside photograph by Thomas Howard
How can I keep from Singing – words by Anne Warner, 1864, music by Rev. R. Lowry.

℗ © 2009, Ariana Saraha Music, all rights reserved.



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Ariana Saraha Boulder, Colorado

With influences spanning Celtic and Eastern Europe, Spain, the Middle East, India, and indescribable corners of the cosmos, Ariana’s achingly beautiful and evocatively versatile voice reveals a heart that loves this world so poignantly that even through a terrible storm she would hold a light to reveal the beauty under the cover of darkness. ... more

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