10 Things Singers Should Avoid

Singers avoid cheese

Having problems at Gigs? Do you find that some days your voice seems dry?  I’m not going to go into the normal nag about smoking although you should try to avoid anything that is likely to dry out your voice before a performance, so here are a few tips on what to avoid before & during your show:-

1. Orange or Citrus Juice and caffeinated drinks – can affect your throats lubrication.

2. Milk & other dairy products – furs up the throat, avoid drinking Milk, Cream, Tea and Coffee prior to singing.

3. Dry Ice Machines – The chemicals used dry up the throat.  If the effect is an essential part of the show use a Fog Machine with cooler (water & glycerine based) or Haze Machine (chemical based but non-toxic).  Both can still affect the voice if inhaled, make sure you have plenty of water to lubricate the throat.

4. Eating heavy meals prior to a gig – the food doesn’t have time to digest and sits heavily in your stomach.  This makes it harder to control breathing, vocal reach and projection.

5. Smoke filled environments – pretty impossible to do if your playing pubs n clubs but do what you can by taking a wander outside for fresh air during the breaks.

6. Asprin – can contribute to tinnitus and vocal chord hemorrhage

7. Excessive loud talking and yelling – can lead to vocal strain

8. Coughing and clearing your throat – swallow or sip water instead.

9. Alcohol – although a small drink may help to relax you, alcohol may numb the chords and too much will cause lack of control (vocally & otherwise!!)

10. Sing out of your range – save the top notes for when you can sing them correctly and don’t over-reach or you could end up damaging your voice!

Pace yourself at a gig – move vocally demanding songs to the middle or end of each set to allow your voice to warm up beforehand (a vocal warm up before the gig is also advisable) and then rest your voice during the breaks.

Treat allergies and infections promptly and rest your voice when ill. Drink plenty of water during the day to keep your body hydrated and voice lubricated, 8 – 9 pints is recommended. (Beer doesn’t count!). Keep a bottle of water at the side of the stage!

Also Read
Hearing Sensitivity
Throat Tension
Vocal Health
Vocal Health Q & A available on the FAQ