So, I am beginning with stating that I will be taking these points from various Vocal Workshops I’ve attended and organized over the last number of years. If you know me personally, you’ll be relieved to know that these aren’t “my” ideas, but ideas of professional vocal instructors and vocalists working in the area of worship, musical theatre or opera. Here we go:
1. Warm-up before you attempt to sing. Each individual has different “warm-ups” and “warm-up styles” – but all of them agree = you need to gently get your vocal chords ready before you dive into singing=== especially when we are doing rehearsals first thing in the morning on Sundays, for example
2. Practice. Without getting all crazy here, it’s not OK to simply say “…oh I know that song since we sing it every other week…” Writing out the lyrics; understanding their meaning; speaking them to gain a feel for their rhythm; understanding the melody (even if you sing harmony); trying to sing the song in a different key; singing as though you were performing (standing, playing an instrument etc.); visualization (process of seeing yourself doing the piece flawlessly in a performance setting all in your mind) and singing with a metronome rather than always singing with your handy mp3 player === all of these are ways to help you learn and practice the piece. Singing in your car is not the best way to practice, but it’s better than nothing.
3. Stay healthy. This is referring to eating habits, sleeping habits and drinking habits etc. Again, without preaching, here’s some common ideas/comments that have been shared with me and my team:
- Drink lots of water and stay hydrated, especially the day BEFORE you are doing a lot of singing (meaning that you should try to avoid coffee, alcohol etc which can dry you out…)
- Eating healthy diet (avoiding deep fried, highly processed foods etc. – again things like grease can dehydrate your system…)
- Get lots of sleep (the night before you should get a healthy amount of sleep for you – that’s around 6 hours for me…)
- Exercise (singing require the use of literally tons of muscles in your body and not just the obvious ones=== overall fitness can really go a long way to ensuring you are in top singing condition).