Like dieting, there really are no quick fix solutions to feeling nervous. If you want to become an amazing singer, be prepared to prioritise your singing over everything else. The old adage applies - the more you practice correctly, the better you become. When you’re more confident with your skills, the kind of nervousness that you feel will be different. It will be more of a nervous excitement which is quite positive and quite important, even, since the audience will feed of this positive energy. A recipe for a great show!
Warming up will also calm your nerves down. Find a quiet corner backstage or indulge in a diva moment and tell everyone to clear out as you need that time alone for a few minutes. If all else fails, you’ve always got the toilet cubicle. Close your eyes then take a slow deep breath, hold without straining, exhale very slowly, then repeat 5 – 10 times. Do your best to truly access that serene place inside of you. Do some full body stretches and head rolls too. Take your time and be at one with your full body and mind. Access that zen state that lies dormant within!
Feeling a lot calmer? You can now do some vocal warm-ups. My favourite is the lip trill. This is that exercise where you breathe out through your lips which are lightly pressed together. Start with a deep breath, lips together, make the “Brrrr” sound with your lips then breathe out continuously, sustaining the lip vibrations. I find this warm-up exercise most effective and kindest to the vocal cords. It forces me to breathe deeply and loosen up the throat muscles. It will exercise your diaphragm, throat, lips co-ordination while relaxing all other muscles that aren’t needed. Basically, if your lip trills keep cutting out suddenly, you are either not relaxed enough or you’re not breathing deeply enough. All you have to do is sustain the vibration on your lips using deep breath and Bob’s your uncle. Easy! If all else fails, place your 2 index fingers on your cheeks while trilling.
After the lip trills, you can now do the “fire engine” exercise on the “Ooh” vowel, starting from a fairly high note down to a low note then up again to the first note that you started with. Repeat this 5-10 times, making sure that you’re doing the exercise with intent. The purpose is to loosen up the throat muscles and access the notes from your highest to the lowest range. If you’re in tune with your vocal apparatus (which includes your mouth area, throat, lungs and diaphragm), you can gauge how much warm-up you need.
So there you have it. Your nerves indicate that you may not be as ready as you thought you were. This should prompt you to practice a lot more several days before your gig! On the day of the gig, make sure you’re fully warmed up and hydrated.
All the best with it!
"…lung cancer patients who sang in a choir had a greater expiratory capacity than those who didn’t. Singing has also been shown to boost our immune system, reduce stress levels and, according to a report published in the Journal of Music Therapy in 2004, help patients cope with chronic pain."
Little Odessa - All Night
Brother Speed - Which Side I’m On
Valkyries - Mistress
Foreign/National - Paris
Sail On! Sail On! - Parting Pt. 1
Joni in the Moon - L’il Star
Super Magic Hats - Questionss
Drop Frame - Stone (Feat. Mike Waters)
Leaks - Often Its You
The Pretty Littles …
My song “Woman Scorned” is one of these 20 songs! #WIN!!!
One of my faves is the very, very slow sigh. It uses deep breathing which help us keep centered/balanced. There are myriad benefits of deep breathing. If you want to be a great singer, you must know how to use deep breaths to support your voice. So forget yoga for now, try singing with deep breaths!
First thing - Breathe in deeply all the way down to your pelvis. Your upper chest and shoulders should not raise but your belly should become bigger. The diaphragm causes your belly, ribcage, sides and back to expand. At first you may only feel subtle movements but you will get more and more used to it with a bit of practice.
- Breathe out in a slow, controlled but not in a forced or squeezed manner.
- Repeat and this time say ‘ee’ on a note. N. B. Your vocal cords must be in a neutral state. Your voice should not wobble or sound squeezed. Use a super easy note for you to sing. Not too high, not too low.
- Ensure that the volume of your voice is even throughout while feeling no tension
- Try the fire engine sound while sighing out slowly - from low to high then back down to low again. Your voice must sound balanced. Free yet no wobbles. It’s very important to find your center, where your voice is free, doesn’t shake, break, etc. You must remember the feeling of effortlessness when doing this.
- Relax, relax, relax! Make sure that your shoulders are relaxed. Avoid restricting/squeezing your stomach muscles. When you breathe in, your tummy and surrounding area naturally tend to expand (e.g. when you sigh or yawn). Avoid changing your body’s natural movement when singing.
A great singer is able to regulate the breath so that it is even, connected and balanced from the start to the end of every phrase.
Hello! This is a great time for you to really start getting to know your voice. Pay attention to what your whole body as well as individual areas such as your neck, throat, head, tummy, lungs feel when you’re singing. Take singing lessons and choose a teacher that you feel comfortable asking any question that you may have about singing and performing. Whatever singing you’re doing, do not over do it and when singing high and very low notes become somewhat painful, you have to stop and change your approach or get your teacher to show you how to do it. Happy singing!
p.s. Don’t forget to listen to all types of music, new and old songs alike
Community radio has been so supportive of my songs. I can’t even begin to explain how absolutely stoked I am to be getting some much needed attention! I have PBS, Triple R, Edge FM (NSW), and dozens more stations Australia wide to thank. Not to mention AMRAP/AirIT.
Alos, I’m so very glad that Triple J has given me a bit of love! The Liberating Kind (LOTEK Remix) has been played a few times on both Triple J radio on “Roots N All” show by the lovely Sarah Howells, and also on Unearthed Digital Radio.
This means the entire world to me! Thank you so much radio!
Mission: To inspire and encourage my students to be the best singers they could possibly be through sharing my knowledge, passion and experience in using the voice as the most superior musical instrument one could ever master.
Singing is the best form of musical expression for the obvious reason that no other instrument can literally speak directly to the audience. Add melody, harmony and rhythm to words and there we have the best instrument one could ever use to communicate emotions.
The voice is irreplaceable. It’s the only instrument that goes with us 24/7 and it’s the best musical instrument that easily establishes a connection between the musician and people’s hearts. During my darkest days, all I could turn to is singing and music and it magically helps get me through it. Singing has a powerful effect on our souls and that is why everyone must love singing and learn how to do it with ease!
I am a professional Contemporary Singer and Songwriter with over a decade of performance experience. I have been teaching for just over a year. In this time, I have found that I enjoy teaching so much more than I thought. I teach all contemporary genres (pop, rock, etc) but personally, I like to sing Soul, Funk, Blues & Jazz. I perform regularly and sing my own songs as well as the soulful songs of amazing artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Beyonce, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, just to name a few. I spend a lot of time honing my vocal skills (under instruction of amazing classical as well as contemporary singing teachers) because I aspire to be the best artist and singer that I could ever be.
I love to share my knowledge with all types of students - from ones that would like to make a career out of singing, as well as those that just like the amazing feeling that singing gives them. It helps the release of happy hormones and reduces stress.
I have been singing professionally for several years now and I am still discovering a lot about music and also about myself. I have learnt that my love for music just keeps getting stronger as time goes by. There’s just so much to learn and I’m willing to spend my lifetime learning. In addition, I have found that you can never have too much positivity in this endeavour. Your love for your craft will truly surface when the going gets tough. And it does get tough!
LEARNING HOW TO SING CORRECTLY IS A COMMITMENT
I will teach you how to co-ordinate & control your breathing while you sing. I will help you round up all the things you can already do naturally and teach you how to use them when you’re singing. I feel that it is important for me to note that singing is a learned skill which can be highly technical. Some of you may find certain aspects of singing easy but find other things more challenging. If you are serious about reaping the rewards of singing (hopefully for personal satisfaction above all else; boost in self-confidence; and stress relief), then be prepared to give it a good go for at least a year. Even if you don’t want to be the next Whitney Houston, you will find that if you commit to your singing practice, your confidence will improve as you feel better about yourself.
I do one-on-one and group lessons (by demand), depending on your confidence, ability and goals. For beginners, a 10-lesson course is most ideal. Currently, I charge $30 for half an hour, $45 for 45-mins and $60 an hour. Lessons are weekly for the most part but 1 or 2 of the lessons may be moved as per our agreement.
I will teach you how to:
- Hit High Notes with Ease
- Breathe Correctly When Singing
- Use Deep Breathing To Help Relieve Stress
- The vocal registers: Chest, Middle, Head and Whistle Registers
- How To Harmonise
- Dramatically improve your singing by correct pronunciation alone
- Use Vibrato Correctly
- Conquer Your Nerves During Performance
- Find Your Own Voice and Become An Artist
- Write Songs and/or Improve Songwriting Skills
- How To Record In A Recording Studio
- How To Sing In A Band
- many, many more!
Please feel free to check out my videos below. If you would like me to teach you what I have learned over the years, do not hesitate to contact me! Looking forward to your message/call.
Email: info [at] counterclockwise. com. au
Studio Location: Collingwood (3Kms from CBD Melbourne Australia)
Now here’s a song I wrote about pursuing my dreams….