I think I might be the worst blogger ever, but it has been a really busy season of life both musically and personally. This topic is something I get asked about a lot. I want to let you guys know the methods I use to keep my voice in tip top shape on and off the stage. Different things work for different people so take what you want!
I can’t stress enough how important a vocal warm up is to any singer. Singing before warming up is like sprinting without stretching. You aren’t reaching your full ability and you are prone to injury. There are great warm ups on youtube that guide you through it and are catered to every voice. While preparing for the Beautiful Freakshow Tour, I did a daily warm up for months before to strengthen those muscles. Now I continue it into my morning routine! Your chords are a muscle just like any other muscle it can be strengthened
I love to run. Fast. Interval training and sprints are my go to fat blasting method but long distance running is something that I don’t always enjoy doing. It’s a challenge for me but the benefits are so plentiful, especially for the voice. Breath is the key to a great vocal performance. Having enough of it and knowing how much to release with each note. My live shows are filled with a lot of energy (and bad dancing) so building up your endurance makes you a more controlled singer on stage.
Basic care is so important. I am so mindful of my voice and honour it so much. Don’t scream over loud music at the bar, don’t push if you feel pain and make sure you are getting enough sleep. Water is your best friend and rest when you need it. Your body can tell you what it needs if you listen to it! In the winter months and the air is dry I have a humidifier running in my home all the time.
The most important part about singing on stage is being able to hear yourself. It is essential not only for sounding good, but also preventing injury. You do not want to push yourself but instead remain in control. Take the time to learn the sound guys name and make sure he knows what you need. I use a piece of equipment called an X32 which allows me to control my own in ear monitors from my phone! Best investment ever!
Water. I am guilty of this. After every couple songs make sure you drink some water and keep the chords working at full power. Always have two bottles by your mic stand.
Stay in the moment! Don’t be thinking about what you’re going to eat after (guilty lol) or why the guy in the front row is looking at you weird. Be confident and focus on singing to the best of your ability. Connecting with the audience and conveying the most emotion you can. If you’re singing a fun song have fun but don’t run around so much that you are out of breath. Cue endurance training. If the song is sad be sad. Feel those emotions and the audience will feel them too.
My Show Day Hacks:
Apple Juice (the acidity cuts flem)
Hot water, lemon, manuka honey and cayenne pepper
Fishermen friends / werthers lozenges
Little bit of whiskey
Nebulizer (portable steam device)
Entertainers Secrets throat spray (tip courtesy of Chad Brownlee)