How To Take Care of Your Voice on The Road - The 10 Absolute Rules
Traveling and performing back to back shows can really take its toll on a singer. I once read that it's not always the gig that gets you, it's the party afterwards. Following are my tips for significantly improving the success you so richly deserve...
- Have a vocal technique that you can rely on, and use it!! All too often the idea of technique is sought as a last resort
- Always warm up. Almost all damage and fatigue occurs in the early part of the show or rehearsal. A well structured warm up should ensure that you are good to go.
- Drink significant amounts of water(approx 33 mls per kg of body weight). Dehydration is often the main reason for a voice not functioning correctly
- Don't oversing in your sound check or rehearsal. It makes no sense in extending yourself and leaving nothing for the performance. Note here that I mentioned rehearsal? Your voice only knows the demand placed on it whether singing in the shower or in front of 50,000 screaming fans. When singers tell me that they sing a certain amount of shows etc per week, I ask them if they rehearse and practise as well? It is all usage..
- Get sufficient sleep. Whether on planes before the show or wherever you can grab it. This is of paramount importance for your health both physical and mental. Vocally it means silence which is the best thing for recovery.
- Avoid smoke filled environments and noisy ones as well. A combination of these is fatal to the voice. If you are attempting to communicate in an environment like this you will inevitably strain your voice.
- Avoid alchohol on the days that you perform. Alchohol is an astringent and will dry out your vocal tract, impair your physical sensations and your coordination.
- If you sing in a louder performance situation(rock band) I highly recommend investigating 'in ear monitoring'. Utilizing this tool will have a significant effect on the health of your voice. Note that there is a bit involved in sourcing the appropriate ones for you, and having someone operate them correctly. All of the singers that I know who have made the transition have noted great improvement to the accuracy and the health of their voice..
- Have a good look at the key of the songs you are singing. Voices adjust, change, grow in flexibility and strength. Sometimes singers have been singing the same songs for a period of time and it may be time to see if they should go up, down or stay. A number of singers change the recorded key of the songs( usually down) when they are doing long tours. This of course is not an option if you are in a production show such as Musical Theatre or Opera
- Warm Down. This is often the most missed part of a healthy vocal regime.