Basketball warm-up songs have been around almost as long as the game itself. Initially, music at basketball games was played by a live musician, usually an organist and the purpose was to entertain the audience before the game and during breaks in action. Eventually, certain songs became identified with specific teams. This evolved for two reasons;
- Athletes are superstitious creatures. If they associate a particular song with a winning streak, they will want that song played every game.
- Warm up songs became almost as much of the team identity as a team's uniform. Anyone who ever watched or attended a Harlem Globetrotters game recognizes "Sweet Georgia Brown", which they have used during warm-up before games for years.
Today, all kinds of songs are used to pump up both players and fans. Music for warm-up songs is upbeat and lively and teams generally use songs which they feel are the best fit for their team's personality. Most songs are borrowed from popular recording artists. On the high school and college levels, they are played by school bands or over the public address system. At many schools, they are performed in conjunction with the school's fight song. But regardless of what song is played, the goal is to get the crowd involved and the players pumped-up. Some of the best basketball warm-up songs include:
Eye of the Tiger-Survivor
This song is one of the greatest feel-good songs of all time. It has been used as a source of inspiration since Sylvester Stallone tapped it as the theme song for the original Rocky movie. The guitars in this song are driving and energetic.
Can't Touch This-MC Hammer
MC Hammer sampled this song from Rick James' "Super Freak", and it has been a dance and basketball warm-up favorite for years. The song became the theme song of the Detroit Pistons during their 1989 and 1990 championship seasons, and is still used as a crowd motivator.
Let's Get It Started-Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas recorded this song in 2003 and it quickly became an anthem for competition. Many high school and college teams, as well as professional teams, such as Pistons, played it during pre-game warm ups.
Welcome To the Jungle-Guns and Roses
This was the first hit for the group and the high energy and driving guitar licks of this rock classic has been used by many schools as both a warm up song and to taunt to visiting teams. The song is used by several NFL teams, such as the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles, but is also used by the Portland Trailblazers before games and also one minute before the game is over.
This song is a hip-hop favorite and has both a dance feel and establishes "attitude". Although several college teams adopted this as a warm-up song, it is also widely used prior to the end of the game, before the visiting team leaves.
Warm up songs raise adrenaline levels and create excitement with fans. The songs come from all musical genres and fans identify them with an attitude of winning. There are many more great songs used by basketball teams as warm up songs. Those listed here are just a few of the best.