Singing tips – don’t tax your voice before a vocal performance

by Andre Calilhanna on November 27, 2012 · 64 comments

in Fast Forward,Recording & Mastering

Resting before a vocal performance is key, but environmental things, like being in a place where the decibel level is too high, can adversely affect your capacity to sing.

What makes a great vocal performance? There are many answers to that, and they don’t all require being the most technically gifted singer with a five-octave range. Confidence, charisma, and the right repertoire are among the many subjective elements that go into any great performance – live or when recording vocals in a studio – in addition to having chops as a singer.

“‘Synthesis’ is this fancy word we throw around in our college,” says Daniel Ebbers, Associate Professor of Voice at the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Pacific, “and I do think it’s an important thing. We study all these things individually, but it’s the synthesis, a command of your vocal instrument, a command of the stage, a command of the language and the language you use – all these things synthesized together make a great vocal performance.”

Of course, much of what helps a performer reach the point where all these elements come together is preparation, practice, and experience. A good vocal warm up, and general vocal care, can help ensure peak vocal performance.

Vocal performance preparation

When preparing for a vocal performance or studio date, “the obvious thing to do is rest,” recommends Ebbers. “But there are environmental things you might not be aware of or consider an issue, like being in a place where the decibel level is much higher than you think it is. In order to compete with the sound, you have to strain your voice to speak louder to be heard or understood. Many times, people are unaware that they’re in such an environment, because there are so many noisy places in our world, and we’ve come to accept them and adjust. But when you’re a singer, you have to be more aware of these environmental conditions.”

If you’re playing club dates, bars, or parties, the quality of your performance and your vocal health can be severely impacted in the hours leading up to your set by talking and socializing before you get on stage. “Don’t go screaming at a football game or tax your voice before a performance or session, even if it’s two weeks before a session,” says vocalist, studio owner, and producer Jon Marc Weiss. “That can take its toll on your throat and vocal chords and can really mess you up. Keep in mind that you need to keep your voice in tip-top shape so that when you’re called on, you can perform.”

But it’s not just the days and hours leading up to a given night’s performance that you need to consider, especially if you are singing in a stage production or any performance ensemble that requires nightly or continuous performances. “Very often, after a performance there’s a party, a reception or something,” cautions Ebbers, “and many famous singers will say, ‘I’d love to come, but I can’t, it’s not possible.’ It’s all common sense stuff that revolves around rest and awareness of your instrument.

“All instruments are subject to environmental conditions – humidity, heat, all sorts of things. But instrumentalists get to put their instrument in a case and walk away, or put it in a room that’s ideally suited to make it sound good. As vocalists, we have to take our instrument everywhere, and there’s this intersection of our lives and this instrument. So there are all sorts of things you need to pay attention to that other instrumentalists don’t have to. But good health is good singing, and whatever you can do to keep yourself healthy is important. Every person is different, and every voice has it’s own limitations and set of things it can tolerate”

Image of singer via ShutterStock.com.

Andre Calilhanna is a writer, editor, and musician who serves as editorial manager and regular contributor to Disc Makers Echoes blog.

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{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

RachelBarrentine December 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

This is so right on. It’s kinda a bummer though because I love talking with my fans before and after shows. But I’m always cognizant of my voice – esp. before the show. I lose my speaking voice frequently, so I have to be aware of how much force I’m using to speak in noisy restaurants, etc.

Tons of water is another great tip.

Thanks for the blog! Helpful reminders!

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Rudd December 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Using the word “our’ instead of “my” is good for your voice as well, and takes the stress out of listening to yourself all the time.

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bolgward December 4, 2012 at 2:36 pm

“You left out ‘Sing in the right key”

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Anonymous December 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Yes, so often I hear a singer pushing because they are not in the best key. It IS worth the trouble to put the song in the perfect key for the singer, if the song just doesn’t work then, for timbre or sound reasons, so be it, get another song.

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Anonymous December 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

Good one!

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Hugh Hession December 4, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Appreciate the article! The examples you use are often overlooked by a good many vocalists, and I work with a ton of them! Wanted to share a post from my blog, Making it in Music (.net) that supports this article, called “5 Ways to Improve and Protect Your Voice.” http://www.makingitinmusic.net/vocalist-corner/five-ways-to-improve-and-protect-your-voice.html
Thanks!
Hugh Hession
Making it in Music (.net)
Music. Life. What’s the Difference?

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King Crab December 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm

I was at a studio session, and when we finished, in walks Stevie Nicks – this was late 70s at Goodnight Studio in Dallas – I hung around, and she had an assistant get her tea with honey – I was leaving (we were all told to go) but asked her “Does that help with your voice or do you just like that?” She told me she drank that every time before she sang, it helped to warm up her throat, (vocal cords I guess) and she drank it all the time before singing. So, anyone else know if this works to loosen up your vocal cords? And please, no ‘coke’ jokes, everyone already knows about her and when she used to do that. I do wonder tho, if that helped since she did have that habit, if it dried out her membranes and the hot tea with honey smoothed her throat from that, or just in general.

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Electrotype December 4, 2012 at 3:25 pm

It’s the hot tea, not the honey, that helped. Warming up the vocal cords has to be done with practicing, not hot liquids. It’s just that the hot liquids help (it doesn’t have to be tea, it could just be water). Lemon is actually better that honey. But tea with lemon is something you drink when your throat is sore, so the focus should be on how to “do it right the first time” rather than recovering from overdoing it. I think the honey thing is just a myth, and in fact counterintuitive because it’s sticky (before a performance). I think the honey thing got started because of the addition of the lemon to tea (to make it more palatable).

Avoiding drugs helps a lot too :)

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johnlion December 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I am a musician in live theater, and have lots of actor friends who drink a cup of tea in the dressing room before going on. Most swear by it. For others it’s water, sometimes with lemon (to clear out the mucus.) I’ve never seen a professional drink ICED water before a show though. I’ve been told this is really bad for the throat.

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John Palmes December 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Water water water… I drink water for maybe three or four hours before I sing. You’ll have to pee before you step on stage and it should be almost clear… sorry to be so graphic but this is the way it was described to me.
I also like to eat a meal shortly before singing, warms the vocal cords and oils in the food grease them up.

Neck surgery injured my voice but vocal coach and speech therapists recommend not singing, but humming to warm up and for therapy…. start on the lowest note you can hum and slowly glide upward to the highest note you can make. Then start high like the humming sound you might make to a baby, then slowly glide down to as low as you can go… you might hear breaks as you move up or down, but with more work they will smooth out. Also as you go upward your vocal cords stop humming but they continue to contract… over time this helps you extend your range or get better control over the top end… so simple and it really works, but may take 3 or 4 months to get the full effect.

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Maxx December 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Yes! I have been drinking hot tea before rehearsing for a while. This past year I started making a point of trying to drink it before performances as well… and I noticed it makes a tremendous difference in my vocal flexibility and precision. I actually ordered a small vacuum-insulated travel mug a few months ago. Now I make myself a cup of herbal tea and put it in there before I leave for a gig, and then I sip it for 20-30 minutes right before performing. The mug keeps it hot for hours. (The one I use is the Thermos Nissan 12-Ounce Tea Tumbler.)

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:33 am

I’ve been a professional singer for some 30 years now, and of course you’ve never heard of me! haha. I’ve done a lot of nightly singing and I’ve always been plagued by post nasal drip, sore throats, hoarsness, stuffed sinuses, allergies, dry mouth and other issues. I think we all find ways to work through these things. But I can tell you without any doubt there is one thing that always worked to soothe hoarseness. Honey. Period. I drink it straight from a glass when I’m having hoarseness and sore throat. Nothing works as well for instant relief. It doesn’t last long.. maybe a song or two when it’s really bad.. but it gets you through the show.. and we all know the show must go on, right! I’ve tried tea with honey, and it helps too. Anyway you can get the honey is good. I mean, I wouldn’t go shooting it up or anything… but the point is the stuff really works. And it’s good for you on other levels too. It’s pure sugar so you get an added energy boost. And it kills any appetite you may have as sweets tend to do. ONe of the worst things you can do before you sing is eat anything. That’s my 2 cents.

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hole in the ground studio December 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

warm coffee no sugar just lots of honey keeps me on target!

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Electrotype December 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Good article! I had heard much of this advice long before I studied singing.

Another helpful thing to remember is not to drink cold liquids right before (and during) performances. Cold liquids will make the mouth and throat muscles less flexible. Room temperature water works best.

Also, don’t drink overly syrupy drinks before a performance (they make your throat and mouth sticky and will only make you thirstier). Nor should you drink dairy-based drinks (like milk) before performances (they coat your throat and will make it feel froggy). Some people think you should avoid dairy drinks altogether, but I personally think this is bogus, and in fact, creamy drinks after a performance can feel soothing. (But that’s just me.)

One last thing: always push from the gut, not the throat, to avoid straining. Use your abs, and if they are weak, work on them with things like sit-ups. The gut is where volume and power comes from. This applies to speaking as well as singing, so if you have to raise your voice it hurts you much less. Of course, as stated in the article, staying out of such situations is actually the best thing to do.

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:37 am

I agree in general, but I often drink honey straight from a glass when I’m hoarse and it really helps get me through a show when I’m in trouble. If I’m not hoarse I’ll drink it with warm water anyway, just to prevent hoarseness.

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Jason Gisser December 4, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I do agree with allot of this. Although keep in mind if your singing for a living, you have to be cognisent of the buisness aspect of singing. You need to interact with your fans so they come to your next gig. I’m gigging like 4 times a week, there is no way I can rest my voice enough. During the day I sit in a smokey office and I can feel it’s causing problems. But what can I do. I stay hydrated, and when I get on stage, I keep my focus, and keep my confidence. I find holding back strains my voice more than anything. If you stay in your key, sure youll take it easy on your voice, but thats like saving for a big dinner date, then when the day comes taking her to Macdonals so you can save money. Sure you saved for dinner, and you actually got to take her, but you are not going to get a second date. There is a lack of singers realy putting some stink on their vocals. They all noodle the same way, they use the same safe formula. I think the 2 best ways to keep a strong voice, is confidence, and hydration. But for gods sake dont sing safe, because no one wants to hear safe, and your not teaching your voice anything. You have to build up an imunity to a stressed vocal. You cant do it by being safe.

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Electrotype December 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I think you’re right in many ways. I too have noticed the lack of challenge in vocal melodies, or the excessive “noodling” (as you put it, I like that!) I’m reminded of the Saturday Night Live skit about a singer of the national anthem at the World Series ( http://www.hulu.com/watch/124965 ).

Yes, you have to work at to do the challenging stuff well, but putting in the time and effort to do it properly is rewarding for both the singer and the listener!

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darien solaris December 4, 2012 at 9:21 pm

well said

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:41 am

Well ya know there’s a right way to sing and theres a wrong way. If you’re singing the right way I couldn’t agree with you more. i always take risks on stage.. and sometimes it doesn’t work out. But an audience loves it when you reach for something, whether you hit it or not! That said, hitting it is better! haha. And you’re right.. the more you try, the easier it gets to hit it. I hit things now I couldn’t hit even 30 years ago! As Sinatra said, keep doing it till you get it right!

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hc spector December 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm

To Drink or Not to Drink–after the show–that is the question…

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:44 am

Oh I have no problem with a drink or two both before and after. Whatever gets you through the night… But of course we all have to know our limits. I find one or two drinks loosen me up to the point that I’ll try things I might not try without it. Like Jason wrote above, playing safe can be boring. And I sure don’t want to be handing out No-Doz when I sing.

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Jason Gisser March 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm

I used to drink allot and I swore before the performance if I thought, I wasn’t going to cut it, Guiness and Jameson all night. hahaha To me I swore it was the cure all. I quit drinking a year ago, and I find my focus is better and it a took a little while to adjust but now I can sing 5 nights a week, and were not talking Grateful Dead covers all night. Were talking Zeppelin, Chris Cornell, Prince. I’m all over the map. I’m really pushing my vocals during every show but as long as the focus is there, and you go after it in a way that helps you and the audience feel it you may be better off not drinking. But to be honest with you if I never drank before I might not have the confidence to go after those notes.

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Anonymous December 4, 2012 at 4:08 pm

adderall makes you sing like a boss

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:45 am

Oh no.. Not Adderall. Jesus man, isn’t there enough trouble with that stuff?

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Lisa Dancing-Light December 4, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Thank you for this valuable advice. As a performance coach and professional singer/songwriter of 30+ years (Yikes is that possible?) I agree with many of these comments that warming up with hot water or tea is good. My mentor, Penny Nichols, who is a Grammy nominated singer/songwriter says: Never, NEVER use lemon as that strips away the beneficial mucus that coats the vocal cords.” I always use THAYERS Slippery Elm Lozenges recommended by Seth Riggs Method and many opera singers. Throat Coat tea is good also which does have licorice root in it. Most importantly resting the voice is as important as a great warm-up. I have heard of singers who never warm up so that is personal as is everything else. Stevie Nicks should know how to take good care of her voice as she has been in the business for the long haul and I heard she did have nodes removed at some point.

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

I like licorice myself. Licorice is natural cortisone, which will reduce the swelling of inflamed vocal cords. You can get 500mg capsules at GNC.Take a few the day of a performance.

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Jason Gisser March 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

I’m gonna try that mark thanks man.

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Tom December 4, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I’ve been singing professionally for over 35 years, full time. I have never used tea, honey, lemon, or anything else to help warm up my vocal cords. Relaxed vocal exercises do the trick. I think too many singers get hung up on hurting their voices and pamper them to the point that they are easily injured. Like all muscles, a consistent routine of exercise keeps them in shape. I have never had a vocal problem or lost my voice all these years when I’ve been performing 3-6 times a week in different venues and climates. Sure, there have been times when my voice gets tired, and I agree that escaping loud conversation when on your breaks does help your endurance, but if you are straining your voice every time you sing, you are either singing incorrectly or singing out of your range. There are no permanent solutions to singing great, just practice.

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mark December 5, 2012 at 8:56 am

Good point man.

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frankie December 4, 2012 at 5:11 pm

gargle with room temp. purified water, salt, and cayenne. warm up by singing your pick of melodic songs in falsetto.

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Heidi December 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm

If you want to sing well, try to get enough sleep and don’t shout back to your fans.

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Stephen December 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

As voice coach — speakers and singers — for over 30 years, I have found that each of the following work when your throat is sore or tired and you still have to “go on.” Experiment until you find the one that works best for you. Better yet, rest your voice and let it heal.

* Honey and apple-cider vinegar — 1/4 cup of each, blended together. The honey soothes the mucous membranes and the the apple-cider vinegar is an astringent that kills germs and promotes healing. Rinse the Sip and allow the mixture to trickle down the throat slowly. Rinse the mouth with warm water to remove the vinegar from the teeth. Even though it is a very mild acid, it could, over time, damage tooth enamel.

* Tea tree oil and warm water — Two drops of the oil in one ounce of warm water. Stir. Sip and allow it to trickle down into the throat. Tea tree oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.

* Gly-Oxide [tm] — Inexpensive OTC antiseptic, oral cleanser. Two drops on the back of the tongue. Soothes and coats sore membranes. Has antibacterial properties.

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Earl G December 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

I love it when the ‘Halls of Academia’ insert themselves with the ‘How to…’. As if there is or could be a ‘Book’ on this beyond the fundamentals of ‘Having voice, carrying a tune and holding pitch with a fair amount of vocal athleticism.

I’ve been at this for over 40 years and the one thing I have found out is each individual develops a technique for preparation and execution. One technique will work while you are young but not later on. Something you didn’t do when you were young may be necessary.

And then there is the form/style of music you are performing. The more disciplined forms/styles such as Classical may call for more of a ‘warm-up’ before you actually hit the stage. I knew one operatic singer who warmed up for 20 minutes then sat quietly for 10 or 15 minutes before her performance, while her partner for the performance was a ‘chatter box’ after her warm up. Where the ‘Club’ performer can do that on his first two or three tunes. I have a list of songs for ‘openers’ for the night and ‘openers’ for sets that are consistent with my ‘show’ and my capabilities that night.

The ‘Diaphragm’ (or the ‘Gut’) needs to be stretched. I know ‘mine’ is in good shape because a few years ago I had Double Hernia surgery and the surgeon told me of the hard time he had because of the muscles in that area. I don’t ‘name drop’, but an accomplished performer and I had this conversation many years ago and he ‘showed off’ the strength he had in that region. It was like a rock. He ‘talks’ from there. For me, that was a lesson learned and began doing things to build it up. Sit ups weren’t a part of it, but walking and sprints were, with a conscious effort to ‘breath hard’ and into the diaphragm.

Another lesson I learned was in Palm Springs, California, where after two days I didn’t have a half and octave range. The desert was drying me out and I didn’t even feel it. A resident entertainer told me to drink 16 oz. of water first thing in the morning and 8 oz. every hour after that, By ‘Show Time’, I was well hydrated. This became part of my preparation routine.

Conversation that includes hearty laughter. Especially just before I have to ‘Hit it’!!! But yet again this is based on the style/form of music you are performing and what works best for ‘YOU’.

To Tea or not to Tea, Warm.Room temperature liquids, lemon no lemon, honey or no honey. I use a Listerine cinnamon strip as I’m walking into the room. I lubricates my throat and the vapors go up my nose, yet another area to consider in preparation. I’ve know people who had a shot of Brandy or Rum before they start.

An interesting article and with approaches that ‘sound’ solid, but the reality is we are all individuals, with individual objectives as a performer and with individual techniques that may work for some but not for others.

Breathing is a much more important key to ‘my’ presentation. Can’t execute if you can’t breath, otherwise your worse nightmare wouldn’t be a cold or congestion in front of a packed house.

Hydration is also important for not only the throat but the entire body. We ‘are’ quite physical in performing. We ‘sweat’.

Monitor what has worked best for ‘you’ and what hasn’t worked quite as well when it comes to lubrication. But with all this, talk. Be engaged. And have a good ‘belly laugh’ before you hit the stage.
Just a thought…………

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CHARLES THOMPSON December 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

All of this informations is so on point.
I thank you so much for these important tips.
I will apply a lot of these ideals to help to keep my voice in top shape,for like you said our voice is our instument.
songwriter,vocalist,drummer,keyboardist.
Charles Thompson/CT PRODUCTIONS

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Woo December 4, 2012 at 8:16 pm

“…says vocalist, studio owner, and producer Jon Marc Weiss. “That can take its toll on your throat and vocal chords and can really mess you up.”

Are vocal chords major or minor chords?

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Jason Gisser March 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Depends if your the front man or a backup singer. hahaha

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Karen December 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Best thing I ever did for my voice was to go backstage during breaks.

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Dar December 4, 2012 at 8:57 pm

Thanks for all of the great comments and reminders. Yes, hydrate, but you need to keep the whole body lose. Stretches or yoga help. Not yelling at football games or talking a lot is really very good advice. I have to watch how much time I spend outdoors on performance days. I still live a regular life but do take it easy a bit that day. No need for lots of pampering but the travel, moving equipment, and socializing with the management and fans takes energy so don’t waste energy on unnecessary things on gig day.
Staying in a comfortable key is crucial! That does not mean to not take challenges but to prepare each song in the best key for the singer.
HUMMING for warm ups, YES! Pay attention to some air moving through the nose and sinuses but don’t push too hard.
Relax and enjoy the music and the crowd!

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LInda Septien December 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm

All singers use different tricks that help them. Even if it is psychological, it is probably worth it if you “think’ it helps. I have trained 10,000 singers and what has helped most of all is both hot and cold oddly enough. If a singer has been on stage for an hour then they need cold…But before apple juice is one of the best remedies prior to singing. The other great remedy is definitely food without the obvious milk products..Meat, chips, fries…actually help.

Give you energy too!

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darien solaris December 4, 2012 at 9:16 pm

i’ve done some research on the honey “myth” and it’s actually quite sensible. honey was used in ancient times as a healing salve. it’s the combination of the lemon juice (which is like an abrasive) and the tea (which heals) that works. it’s like a microdermabrasion facial, but for your vocal chords

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Scott Tovey December 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Honey is not a myth. It is quite logical as well.

Not only do you gain the nutrition that is within honey, you also get the advantage of a natural sugar from which you will get energy.

I used to take my vocal for granted because I could always just belt it out on command. That changed 5 years ago when I underwent surgery to drain fluid from my heart. After two years of homelessness, days with little to no food I ended up in the hospital close to dead.

I was in the hospital for 12 days and after a few days I started to sing a song I had written. My body was so weak, that I could not hit the easiest of notes. I sounded so bad that dogs hearing me would not have howled. The would have run in fear. This is no exaggeration.

Think about your current state of vocal prowess. Now consider how your opinion of how you sound when you open your mouth to find that you are not only tone deaf, but not even able to hit a note that your voice would naturally hit while talking. Yes, that bad.

While having good vocal talent is a given in performance, what you may not realize is that as a singer, you are an athlete. Sure, when you look at someone standing on stage, not dancing around and just singing, it may seem like that person is not athletic, but the truth is, it takes a lot of stamina and energy to stand on stage and perform in front of a live audience. It does not matter if that audience is 20 persons or 20,000. It still takes a great deal of energy to perform that song.

It has taken the past 5 years for my voice to slowly return, and while I do have those “wow that was awesome” moments, it’s far from being as awesome as when I was able to put my heart and sole into the song. To do that takes energy. It takes health. Neither of which I have. Believe me, it really sucks when you’re singing one of your favorites only to find yourself short winded before you get the first sentence sung. That is just not fun.

So if you really want to have a great performance, above all else, make sure you are healthy. Exercise and eat healthy and while doing so keep in mind that eating healthy means that sometimes; that greasy hamburger from [your favorite fast food joint here] has more of what your body needs than that salad from the Olive garden.

You all did notice I said sometimes right?

Take care.

Scott

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Jason Gisser March 22, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Phenominal advice bro. I’m glad your feeling better. Your so right, and I love that advice about the greasy burger. Your right, the energy will help you and the protein is there even though it’s hidden under all that grease.

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Ed December 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Actually ALL of this is wrong. There are many wives tales about how to take care of the vocal cords. The truth is that nothing you swallow or suck on will coat or even reach your vocal cords. If they did you would be hacking up a lung for the next 20 minutes! And that is NEVER good for your vocal cords. Staying well hydrated is the best thing you can do. That will work, even then it takes time for the tissues to rehydrate, considering that they have to be absorbed by the small intestine first. Start hydrating early.
Also, this business of pushing with the diaphragm is nonsense! Pushing more air through your vocal cords is NOT a good idea. When you are using your abdomen to push, that is what you are doing. It puts very harsh strain on your cords. Don’t try to sing loudly. Use amplification if necessary. I studied singing my whole life with the best teachers in the world. The best in the world are NOT the loudest. :) My two cents…

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Jim Harkins December 5, 2012 at 9:11 am

Very cool!
Thank you,
Jim

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jim December 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm

I now longer perform live ( i have Parkinson’s disease ) but one thing left out is the need to practice phrasing — when to take a breath and when you have to hold one. It’s a good idea to take a breath somewhere other than between syllables or between words that have to go together to make sense — like don’t breathe between Be(breath)tween — awkward and no help to the preparation. I suggest that listening to (even if you don’t LIKE them or they’re not your style) real pop singers. Who? Try Frank Sinatra (A SO – SO VOICE BUT REHEARSED AND READY WITH NEAR PERFECT PHRASING ) OR ANDY WILLIAMS — EVEN ELVIS AS HE FOUGHT HIS WAY THROUGH THE LATTER PART OF HIS CAREER. THE BIG DEAL IS TAKING A BREATH WHEN YOU NEED ONE WILL SUPPORT YOUR VOICE, REDUCE VOCAL STRAIN, AND PHRASE CAREFULLY! THAT’S 70 YEAR OLD EXPERIENCE!

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Janae December 5, 2012 at 12:28 am

Why don’t we ask these people. I bet they know the trick. Simply amazing!! Vocal Perfection!
http://youtu.be/oaJx5etpe0k

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Jim Harkins December 5, 2012 at 9:17 am

Thanks for the link, Janae!

The Beloved Sisters brought tears to my eyes.

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Chris December 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

What’s your recommendation for a vocal warm-up taking into consideration the venues we usually performin?

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Weston December 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

Great advice comes from experienced singing. What works for some may not work for others. One question that has my curiosity is that I have met many famous and not so famouse singers who smoke cigarettes and pot and there seems to be know adverse affects on there range, does smoking coat the vocal chords with these singers because they seem to still hit the notes in their performance. Even if a singer doesnt smoke being in smoky envirinments like bars and clubs still affects the health of your voice. What do all of the experts say about this

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chuck December 6, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Great advice….I’ve been singing pro almost 40 years and the thing that has helped me most is running and wind sprints. Thanks to all for your great tips!

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Shirley December 7, 2012 at 6:15 am

Very good information for our vocal instruments.

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jim December 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

I have found swimming 3 times a week improved my ability unbelievably.

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ChristianBandHelp.com December 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I have frequently noticed that vocalists tend to push their voice for more volume when they cannot adequately hear themselves in a monitor mix. This causes them to lose the tone quality and strains their voice for the next gig. The solution? Pay attention and ask for more vocals in the mix.

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stephen randolph March 1, 2013 at 6:53 am

I have been singing for 50 years, I Never scream, but i can project and be heard above a bad mixer board or loud guitar or Drummer, [Hint: on stage try to never set your mic near the drums, or in front of any speakers, other than your own monitor] I can project my voice as an actor would from a stage in a theater, I learned this technique studying Classical voice where singer are expected to sing over 100 instruments, Have you ever seen “the Ring” Wagner they did that un-mic’d behind the pitted orchestra….of course today with Amps and Mics it’s not the problem it once was. however I have found that training to support and project your voice and not just use your larynx alone to be heard. that is not to say that keys of the song, styles, rest, diet, and exercise are not important. They give one the energy to excel, to take stage and touch the audience to put passion into the songs you present or things you share in performance. but using your instrument correctly talking, speaking in a whisper or being heard well from a block away without screaming is a skill singers often over looked….know your range and stay within it, going to your extremes only after warmed up. know your range. change the key to fit your range

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stephen randolph March 1, 2013 at 7:16 am

You don’t have to strain yourself to sound great or deliver the punch, putting your song in the right key for you allows you to make that delivery without the pain or damage to your instrument. do not confuse flexibly or vocal dynamics with strains, fake the strain, limit vocal dynamics to where they embellish the lyrical meanings, doodling every whole note with a rest gets boring fast. know your range and put the dynamics on the edge not over; be warmed up when you have to go there and do so with confidence attack the note full on don’t slide. it is not the note but but the interval that makes it work.

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TK March 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Yes! This is SO Important.

As a vocalist, I remember playing a show we did at a large venue. We were the opening act for a National band. There were close to 2,500 people in the audience and it was about 1 hour before we went on. I went out into the crowd to thank people for coming out and to “take it all in”. Well, it was so loud in the crowd that had to talk very loud. I did this for about 40 minutes. Big Mistake! Halfway into our set my voice was strained and my vocal chords were not responding. I worked around it but found myself concentrating on not blowing a note and became a bit sterile on stage. The crowd loved us and probably did not pick up on it but I was working real hard up there to keep my voice from cracking. My voice coach once told me: “Remember, strings on a guitar are made of steel, your vocal chords are flesh and blood”. Let the guitar player speak before the show! She was so right.

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tom malandruccolo June 24, 2013 at 10:48 pm

I find that using specific sets to where my voice is brought up simultaniously works best for me.

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Adam M November 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I would think this is very common for performers. You read in the news all the time when singers have to postpone events due to their voice getting all chopped up. This would be a very good tip for those beginning in the industry and might be overworking their cords.

Adam M
http://singingmethods.net

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Miranda Simpson January 16, 2014 at 8:48 am

The article is just about things that you can do to help you sing better. You can do the vowels and prop your mouth open to help you keep that shape in your mouth. You can do warm ups and other stuff.

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Keyana Burris February 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Singing is not somthing you just do it is somthing that is spoken my little sister Kendra loves to sing a lot and I want her to keep singing forever and ever

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Keyana Burris February 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Singing is not somthing you just do it is somthing that is spoken my little sister Kendra loves to sing a lot and I want her to keep singing forever and ever

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Keyana Burris February 24, 2014 at 1:19 pm

Singing is great

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