No singer can just turn up at a venue and expect to give a great performance. From eating the right food, to breathing the right air, every singer has to prepare his voice for performance. Today we're looking at five things you must do before you start singing if you want to perform at your best.
Eat a Balanced Diet
If you eat too much food, you will restrict your diaphragm. On the other hand if you don't eat enough your stomach will start to rumble. Some people are so nervous before a performance that they struggle to eat anything. We suggest that you at least eat something light.
The best foods are soup, vegetable, fruit and salad. They are not only easy to digest, but don't encourage the formation of phlegm. Avoid fatty and hard to digest foods such as burgers and fries
Choose the Right Drink
Avoid dairy drinks, coffee, alcohol and excessively hot or cold drinks. Like fatty foods, dairy drinks are hard to digest and increase phlegm production. Coffee, or any drink that contains caffeine, will dehydrate you. Similarly alcohol will also dry out your mouth.
Some people drink alcohol and caffeine products an hour before their performance to calm their nerves. If you are going do to that make you sure you follow it with a big glass of water. Juices from acidic fruit such as oranges and lemons are good in moderation as they can help to clear your throat. Some singers like to add them to water or green tea.
Lemon can also help to clear fatty produce from the mouth. In general, it is advisable for drinks to be close to room temperature. Drinks that are too hot or too cold can tense up the vocal chords.
Be Flexible in Your Warm Up
There will be times during your singing career when you can't do your regular vocal warm up. For example, you will struggle to do it on a film or TV set that requires low noise levels. Instead you should find alternative methods to get yourself ready for your performance and that don't require you vocalising.
Alternative methods include expanding your diaphragm and light humming. To expand your diaphragm, you should sniff quickly 4 times and then draw in a deep breath of air. Do this 3 or 4 times with a ten second break in between each one. Humming a tune lightly to yourself can lubricate your vocal chords.
Avoid Breathing In Cold Damp Air
Breathing in cold air, particularly cold damp air, can cause soreness. Just think about what happens to your throat when you get a cold. If you find yourself in such conditions you need to breathe in some arm air so take a hot shower or drink a hot drink.
Avoid Smoky or Polluted Environments
Cigarette smoke, dry ice machines and smog can all have a negative effect on your voice. Of course you can't avoid them all the time, but you can try to minimise their risk. Don't smoke, where possible try to book gigs in non smoking venues (shouldn't be too difficult nowadays) and wear a mask if you live in a polluted city.