Working as live vocalist can be tough, especially in this day and age. There is an overwhelming amount of “artists” who may sound great on the track, but they sound like shit on stage. Performing live can be tough enough – nerves, pressure, worrying about the overall sound of your singing voice. But trying to put on a show with a voice that isn’t healthy or trained isn’t just bad for you, it’s bad for you audience’s ears too. If you have been naturally gifted with a beautiful set of vocal chords, make sure you treat them right. Below are a few simple tips you can do to make sure you maintain healthy vocal chords so you can sing like you were meant to and leave your audience wanting more.
Get a vocal coach:
- I repeat: GET A PROFESSIONAL VOCAL COACH! Using a vocal coach will not only help you extend your range, but it will also teach you how to control your voice. Keep in mind even the top professional singers in the industry use vocal coaches regularly, so don’t feel just because you can already sing well you don’t need one. So not true.
- Consider using a voice therapist. A speech-language pathologist who is experienced in treating voice problems can teach you how to use your voice in a healthy way. They can also help you with pronunciation and breathing techniques to use while singing.
- Use a keyboard or voice tuner to help you practice everyday. This will keep your voice from going off key if you can’t get regular coaching. This does not replace a vocal coach, but it definitely makes a difference.
Use your voice wisely:
- Try not to overuse your voice. If you voice is hoarse or tired, avoid speaking or singing completely.
- Do not try and sing when you are sick. Illness puts extra stress on your your vocal chords, so just rest up until you feel ready.
- Avoid using the extremes of your vocal range at all costs, such as screaming or whispering. Talking too loudly and too softly can both stress your voice.
- Avoid talking in noisy places that force you to have to talk above the noise, Even if you aren’t fully screaming, it can causes strain on the voice.
Watch your breathing and posture:
- Practice good breathing techniques when singing or talking. Support your voice with deep breaths from the chest, and don’t rely on your throat alone. Singers and speakers are often taught exercises that improve this kind of breath control. Talking from the throat, without supporting breath, puts a great strain on the voice.
- Avoid positions that strain your neck, such as motions like cradling the phone when talking, sleeping with your neck at an angle and holding your head in your hand. The main problem today is cradling the phone between the head and shoulder for extended periods of time – this can cause serious muscle tension in the neck!
Use a microphone when appropriate:
- I love a microphone free performance, but it can out a lot of pressure on your vocal chords. Consider using a microphone when appropriate, even if you are in a small room. In relatively static environments such as exhibit areas, classrooms, or exercise rooms, a lightweight microphone and an amplifier-speaker system can be of great help and keep you from straining your voice.
I hope these vocal tips help! Any questions? Tweet me @nickyjiggy or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck! 🙂