10 Vocal Commandments
…That Every Singer Should Keep
I. THOU SHALT keep the vocal cords hydrated at all times:
a. Consume at least 8 glasses of water a day.
b. Stay away from excessive amounts of diuretics (substances that dehydrate your body and your vocal cords). Two of the number one culprits are Alcohol and Caffeine. So…think twice before you have that second cup.
c. The real serious singer will sleep with a humidifier to make sure the vocal cords remain hydrated during sleep.
II. THOU SHALT get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
A singer’s body is his/her instrument. Mistreat your instrument and it will show. Make sure to give your body and voice the proper rest it deserves.
III. THOU SHALT not smoke.
Among other incredible health concerns, smoking dries out the mucous membrane lining of the nose & throat which adversely affects the voice.
IV. THOU SHALT not overuse or mistreat the voice.
This would include talking over loud noises such as groups of people and loud machinery. Just like other muscles and membranes, your vocal membranes and muscles can suffer from fatigue. In other words, don’t talk too much! It is also stressful to the voice to talk too quickly, so slow it down! Those people that have no choice but to tax their voices on a daily basis — singers, professional speakers, teachers, cheerleaders, auctioneers, etc. — need to take extra precautions to protect the voice.
V. THOU SHALT protect yourself from stress and nerve attacks prior to performances.
We suggest the following to fight the gig day jitters:
a. Develop a checklist for gig preparation. It might include dry cleaning, reviewing lyrics, or getting your hair cut! (Follow these guidelines and you should be calm, cool, collected and able to give your best performance!
b. Leave a few minutes early for the gig or rehearsal so you can focus prior to the performance. (If this is a new location, be sure you have the proper directions and contact phone number ready ahead of time.)
c. Develop a habit of warming-up with an organized vocal exercise program on the way to the gig to properly prepare your voice.
d. Prepare materials to help you during an “off night” or for special circumstances – lyric books, practice CDs and Tapes.
e. Have promotional material such as business cards and flyers organized so that you can access them easily at the appropriate time. Marketing yourself as a singer is as much a part of the battle as singing and performing well in the music industry.
Remember, properly preparing yourself allows you to focus all your energy on your performance.
VI. THOU SHALT NOT eat or drink dairy or milk products before performing.
Sorry, that means no chocolate or ice cream, among some other great tasting foods. These products cause the mucous membrane lining of the throat to create a great deal of mucous. In case you can’t guess or don’t already know, that makes it very hard to sing well.
VII. THOU SHALT keep thyself healthy and virus free.
We suggest eating right, exercising regularly (don’t forget that cardiovascular work to improve your breathing!), and taking a quality vitamin supplement each and every day! Remember, a singer’s body is his/her instrument! A finely tuned and maintained instrument will perform at a much higher level than an instrument that has been neglected.
VIII. THOU SHALT never sing without properly warming up.
If you were running in a marathon, would you begin without stretching your legs? Of course not. Doing this would risk reduced performance and possible cramping that would take you completely out of the race. The muscles and membranes associated with the voice would appreciate the same courtesy. Just like those hamstrings, your voice will reward you for taking the time to properly warm up before strenuous use.
IX. THOU SHALT SMILE.
Smiling not only helps with tone placement of the singing voice, it also improves your attitude! Try it! It really works. It’s infectious too!
X. THOU SHALT enjoy life and celebrate every accomplishment no matter how small they may seem. Sing for fun, sing because you love it, sing because you can. Share your voice with the world and enjoy your journey as you learn not just to sing, but to sing with impact!
FREE SINGING TIPS provided by http://YouCanSingWithImpact.com
A daily vocal exercise program available as a book and 2 CDs or instant online download.