There is a lot of things for singers to remember to ensure they give a good performance to their audience. Whether you are a professional singer performing at gigs and weddings, an amateur singer looking to improve or just love to take the mic at your local karaoke night, we have put some tips together. Read on to see what areas you may need to improve on.
Not all songs will suit your vocal range, so it is important you know what suits you before performing. Consider songs you are naturally drawn to but don’t shy away from playing around a bit. However, if you are singing something a little different to usual, make sure you are confident and familiar with the song before doing it in front of an audience.
Your vocal cords are a muscle, and like any other muscle, they must be exercised and stretched to prevent damaging or straining them. Warming up before a performance is crucial; easy exercises include expanding your diaphragm with your breathing and light humming. Humming in different scales is a great way to warm up your vocal cords and get them lubricated.
Paying attention to your health is essential for performers, as being in good health can help improve singing without even doing it. Avoiding lots of alcohol, smoking, staying hydrated, wrapping up in cold weather, resting and staying as stress-free as possible is essential. Falling ill before a big performance is upsetting, both for yourself and the audience, so keeping in good health is good for everyone.
It is often best to sing on a relatively empty stomach, though not hungry where your stomach is growling. Excess food can restrict the diaphragm and may cause you to sing off key. Eat lighter foods, avoiding fatty, sugary, greasy or heavy food. Soup, salad, vegetables and chicken are good options you can digest quickly.
What you drink also affects your singing. Avoiding caffeinated drinks is recommended, as they dehydrate you, and alcohol also dries out the vocal cords. Drinks with dairy should also be avoided, as they can cause excess phlegm. The drinks which are suitable for your vocal cords include water, tea without milk and juices such as orange.
Air temperature can affect your vocal cords, even when inhaling slowly. Damp can also affect your larynx, causing soreness and excess phlegm. In winter, make sure you are prepared for cold weather with scarves covering your neck and mouth. If you are caught in the cold, breathing in steam helps hydrate and soothe a sore throat. You might also need to consider the air conditioning of the venue, as air-conditioned places can be very dry which is damaging to your cords.
Though it is hard to avoid polluted and smoky environments, it is beneficial to your voice to stay away from smoking, smoggy places and dry ice machines. These substances are drying to the throat, leading to coughing and soreness. If you are performing in polluted places, make sure you stay hydrated.
Lacking confidence is one of the most common problems for singers and performers. Whether its stage fright, anxiety or just naturally shy, it takes courage to perform in public. Practising singing in private helps with confidence. Also, having friends and family in the audience to support and using quality equipment such as a karaoke mixer and amplifier can also boost your confidence.
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