Do you ever wake up the morning after a party and find you can’t talk from singing loudly? (We know you were shouting really!) Then, do you ever wonder how the singers that hosted your party manage to sing those killer high notes night after night?
Well, believe it or not, you have to train and look after your voice, and as full-time musicians it’s important to do so, so we can put on the best show for everybody and not have to worry about squeaking mid-show.
So here’s a heads-up as to how to keep your pipes in perfect working order, so you can blast out those high Michael Jackson lines every night!
Follow these steps and you should be able to perform all of the highs, screams, growls and whatever else you do, night after night. Being a singer is similar to being an athlete, you can’t expect Usain Bolt to leg it 100 meters as fast as he can without training, and the same goes for singing.
Caring for Your Vocals
It’s a known fact that every singer has their own individual methods to their training regime. Frank Sinatra would build up his lung capacity by swimming lengths underwater in his pool (alright if you have your own pool). Whilst Madonna and Adam Levine of Maroon 5 do yoga together – the point here is, they train. And train. And train.
The vocal chords are a muscle, and can be stretched and warmed up. So smashing four shows back-to-back and then not singing for a couple of days can lead to these muscles reverting to default. This will also hinder any progress that can be made as singer.
– Your airways are clear, clean eating, and clearing routines.
– You practice breathing – think Sinatra; capacity! As well as breathing to a count.
– You always WARM UP. Stretching and flexibility are important.
– You remember technique – Make sure you know your scales and your arpeggios. Don’t forget articulation too.
Let’s face it, rocking up last minute and rushing everything isn’t going to cut it. We arrive a good few hours before a show. Perfect planning prevents pathetic performance, just so you know. If there’s going to be 3 x 40 minute sets, let’s not put all the songs that strain the voice, or are a struggle to sing at the beginning of the set. Makes sense right! Oh, and WARM UP!
If you haven’t noticed, we’ve mentioned warming up a fair bit, because it’s important.
Start off practicing your breathing and muscle exercises before moving onto a couple of scales. Make sure you’re relaxed and ready to go before jumping in at the deep end with some Guns and Roses classics.
There are some lucky people out there who can eat what they want, drink what they want and smoke what they want, and still produce an angelic voice. Not fair, is it? But for us mere mortals who need to train our voice, what we consume before a show is important.
Avoid dairy products like milk and chocolate. These can cause mucous to build up and that can be a right pain when singing. Believe it or not, ice cold drinks can also cause the muscles in your throat to contract and tighten, making warming up somewhat pointless. Oh, and fizzy drinks and beer will make you burp. Not good. What you need to drink is room temperature water.
However, if you do need a bit of the ol’ ‘Dutch courage’ at a show, or fancy a tipple, you should stick with your oldest and best pal, Jack. Bourbon is the best thing to drink when you have a sore throat, so it makes sense why the rock stars drink it – purely medicinal.
Throat Sweets & Supplements.
There are hundreds of products out there that offer throat-curing remedies or instant singing relief, but try them at home for a few days before a show. You don’t want to take a VocalZone lozenge mid-set and realise it doesn’t work for you. Trial and error will help you find something that will work for you. Honey and lemon Lockets are always a good starting point…
But basically, WARMING UP is vital, if you didn’t already get that.
So if you are looking for some squeak-free, function bands in London you’re in the right place, The Talent are a professional band with a diverse line-up, from a 4-piece group all the way to a 13-piece big band. Contact us with any questions or queries on 0845 094 1162 and we’ll be more than happy to help.