If you do any singing at a live music performance, even if it’s only backup, your vocal cords are one of the most important “instruments” you bring to any show. Musical artists need to take good care of their voices at all times, and that’s especially true immediately after a live music performance.
Just as an athlete who refuses to warm up may be risking muscular injury, singing without proper warm-up risks damaging your vocal cords. So, we’ve got a few tips on pampering your vocal cords and ensuring you’ve got the pipes to make it through every set!
Proper Vocal Treatment Before A Live Music Performance
1 – Warm or room-temperature drinks.
Don’t drink anything terribly cold before a show – it’ll compress your vocal cords and keep them from warming up properly. Sipping room-temp drinks is the best advice here. However, don’t drink too much, or else you may be rather uncomfortable by the end of your set.
Warm water with a tablespoon of honey is also great for soothing your throat mid-show.
2 – No smoking or hard liquor.
While there are occasionally artists who deliberately use cigarettes or liquor to drop their voices, like famously-squeaky Jon Anderson of Yes, it’s generally a very bad idea. Some might like a ‘gravely’ Tom Waits-style voice, but it’s basically the product of vocal cord damage, and you’ll limit your range.
3 – Stay calm during your warmups.
Stress and tension are enemies to vocal warmups. Whether you’re running scales or “bubbling” (blowing raspberries) stay calm. It’s normal to be nervous before a show, but if you tense up, it will go straight to your throat and limit your vocals.
4 – No dairy. Period.
The reasons are complex, but dairy products tend to coat your throat in a bad way. Milk, cheese, and even chocolate should all be avoided prior to a show.
What’s Your Routine?
What do you do to keep your pipes lively before a show? Let us know below!