Judy Rodman - All Things Vocal Blog

Training & insights for stage and studio singers, speakers, vocal coaches and producers from professional vocal coach and author of "Power, Path & Performance" vocal training method. Download All Things Vocal podcast on your fav app!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Singing Multiple Sets? Beware What You Do Between Shows!

 photo by Pete Rodman

If you have multiple long sets to perform, be careful to take care of your voice between sets! Here are some tips to keep vocal cords from swelling during your break. OH... and these tips work for you background vocalists and studio singers, too... anytime you need to sing for hours with breaks in between:
FIRST: Prepare for multiple set singing
  • Don't go from 0 to 90!  If you suddenly increase the time your vocal cords have to work at peak performance, there is no 'correct form' in the world that will protect your voice from strain and possibly damage. It's not enough to just do vocal exercises... sing full voice several days (sometimes weeks) before to rev up your vocal stamina for long or multiple gigs. This DEFINITELY applies to tours.
  • Get some good sleep the night before. 
Between shows... Keep hydrating
  • Drink water like a fish between sets! [Note from experience... remember to hit the bathroom before hitting the stage again!]
  • Avoid anything dehydrating such as alcohol or black tea. 
Limit or totally avoid talking between sets
  • Learn to 'pull' instead of push your speaking voice when you must say something.
  • Whatever you do, do NOT talk loud or whisper. If you need to network, smile, nod, hug, sign autographs, but think of talking as like a bank account. The more words you spend, the less voice you'll have for next show. 
  • Chill out to re-ground yourself and lower your power center. Best to go back to a quiet space like the bus or green room if one is available between stage performances.
Prepare for the next set
  • Do light vocal exercises especially working your head voice to literally 're-lift' your range.
  • Eat a protein snack or water-filled fresh fruit/veggie crudite or salad.  
  • To rev up energy, you might even try a 4 minute "Tabata' before hitting the stage again. 
Warm down
  • At the end of the night, do some light vocal exercises (bubbles, trills, sirens) on the way home. 
  • Hydrate again
  • Get some good sleep!
 If you've followed these suggestions, your voice should feel BETTER, not worse, the next day.

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