PERFORMANCE

Training your voice for live performance

shutterstock_398230237It is very important to look at singing with a lot of respect as one would when approaching any musical training whether you’ve been singing all your life or just getting started. Singers carry their instruments with them all the time. Their voices can be damaged easily just by using them incorrectly, but they can be improved by posture and refined movements.

Performing for a live audience is challenging and it’s completely okay to feel nervous. Many musicians have felt  a lot of anxiety when performing which some have said made them evolve as better singers. Having this anxiety before a stage performance can help you prepare and deliver a great show. There are other tips that will help in getting you ready for a performance. It all starts with keeping your voice warm and in good shape to perform.

There is a direct relation between the amounts of water one drinks and how well their vocal instrument is maintained. The mucous membrane is responsible for singing which functions best when adequately hydrated. One should drink water regularly and in short intervals. Make it a habit to consume around 8-9 glasses of water during the day. This helps to keep the throat lubricated thus giving you a clear and well functioning voice.

Practicing regularly is important in improving your singing ability. As we all know practice is the key to success. Singing is a special way of coordinating our voice and pitch and mastering this coordination requires practice. The benefit of regular practice is muscle memory that is strengthened by putting your vocal cords through the same movements and patterns repetitively.  Practice your vocal exercises even when you think you’ve mastered them.

The voice requires a welcoming rest which is offered by silence.  After singing or speaking for a long time our voice becomes rough and scratchy. This is well resolved by being silent and letting your voice rest for a while. It is also helpful in developing the singer’s stamina.

Sleep is a necessity to everybody because it helps in boosting ones stamina, alertness and healing. It is during sleep that the body heals itself and our cells replenish themselves. If we don’t get enough sleep we are effectively stopping our bodies ability to heal itself. When practicing your singing it encourages new muscle fibers to grow and adapt to the new singing patterns. These changes are incorporated in the body when you are asleep.

Smoking is really dangerous health wise to everybody and should be stopped. It is very harmful to singers as your lungs and throat are irritated by continuous exposure to the irritants and smoke particles. The smoke causes your voice to become raspy and can destroy your singing voice beyond repair.

It is important to get into a vocal training program or have a vocal coach to help you improve your singing and grow vocally. A vocal coach recommends instant corrections that the singer may not notice while they are singing. They can also help you to improve your posture, breathing and technique which will show an overall improvement in your singing.

One should avoid shouting in order to protect their voice. When you sing in a quiet voice, you can easily maintain control over your vocals. It is remarkable the intensity one can deliver when subduing the volume and focusing on the technique.

A good singer should breathe deeply from the diaphragm. Having less breath behind your notes, will make you fail to resonate clearly and you won’t have control over the sound you produce. Learning how to breathe from the diaphragm also adds force to your singing. Regular practicing of your breathing will help you to develop stamina and capacity to sustain longer notes for a longer duration. A good breathing technique also involves a good posture, as you are required to reach deeply and breathe from your diaphragm.

Singing is created through a continuous tone scale so singers have to be able to adjust and operate their voices on a natural scale while coordinating with the instruments of their band members.  When singing, you can listen and make the small adjustments needed to be in tune and by elevating or lowering your pitch.

Diet can definitely affect your vocal ability so it is very important to consider what you drink and eat as they are equally accountable. Junk food dries up the throat and makes it sour while green vegetables lubricate the vocals and increase your ability to breathe and sing properly. You can also try homemade recipes to prep your voice. If the throat feels a little sour, consider taking a mixture of a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with honey. This helps in destroying the bacteria and smooths your voice for better performance.

There are many vocal problems that are caused by singing without warming up properly. It is essential to warm up your vocal cords before singing in order to avoid damaging them. The best time to warm up your voice is before you go on stage. Warm up by rehearsing your songs using a normal pitch. Avoid using an extremely high pitch until the end of your warm up, so as not add strain on your vocal cords.

By performing these simple steps you can physically train your voice and you will notice a major difference in the tone, pitch and the range that you are able to achieve. It is also important to learn how to use the stage tools properly, for example, the microphone. Learn how to hold it properly and how to sing with it so that your voice can be heard at the right volume without you having to strain it. Singing is not only about the voice, although that is the major part of it, but it’s also about the performance that you put on. So make sure when you step out onto the stage, your voice is ready, your equipment and sound tools are in good condition and you’re ready to give a performance of a lifetime!

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