A great performer always strives to match audience's expectations regardless of what they are going through. As a lead singer (or even backup vocalist), it’s your voice and performing prowess that matters. This makes it very important to take good care of your vocals. A musical instrument, such as a guitar, can be tucked in some corner after performances but your voice is always with you. You should thus protect the vocal chords as a priceless gift. Below, we take a look at a few tips that should help keep your voice in good shape.
Musicians always spend a large part of their time either recording music or performing. After spending long sessions in the studio, you will need something to pamper vocals for a consistent tone. Normally, studios are very dry with tight sealing and dehumidifiers having been installed. It is thus important stay hydrated to keep your lungs and vocal chords from getting too dry. If you really want to go above and beyond, you can invest in a miniature steamer and carry it with you to the studio, especially when going in for long recording sessions. They go for around $50. You can then take a 10-minute steamer break after about 2 hours of singing to moisten your lungs. Additionally, buying a small room vaporizer for about $15 will also be useful, especially if you plan on doing any touring.
Reduce Alcohol Intake
While there's nothing wrong with kicking back a couple of drinks, alcohol negatively affects the quality of your voice, so save the shots for after the show. Specifically, it makes you misjudge the notes you are trying to hit. It also affects your vocal balance which results in a distorted rhythm. As a general rule of thumb, never drink before or while on stage. You should also avoid heavy drinking the day before a performance as well, as it can have an impact even a day later.
Relax And Stay Calm Under Pressure
Before you hit the stage, try relaxing for about 30 minutes. Instead of mumbling a few of your track before a performance, try lip rolls or humming to help warm up your vocal chords. If someone attempts to mess with you on the day of performance, avoid the yelling as this will only distort your voice quality. Additionally, keep away from coffee. While it will perk you up, it will also dehydrate you and may cause anxiousness -- essentially the opposite of relaxing. Instead, have green tea with honey whenever you need to warm yourself up.
While you don't have to look hard to find a famous singer who seemingly smokes like a chimney, I'm sure we can all agree that they are great in spite of smoking, not because of it. We all know the dangers of smoking, but it can also have a negative effect on your voice quality as well. The tar from cigarette smoke can deposit in your lungs, thereby limiting vocal flexibility, power, pitch control and breath control. If you are addicted, well, just try to avoid doing so close to show time and definitely not in between sets.
Maintaining your vocals and keeping them in good health as a singer is similar to packing muscle and endurance for soccer or basketball players. You have to care for them. You can train yourself by resting well before performances. Ideally, 5 days of performance will require 2 days of rest to arm the vocals well. It may be difficult to implement some of the things discussed, but following them will definitely lengthen your musical career.
Your Turn to Sound Off!
How do you prepare your voice for an upcoming show?