I have been invited to countless showcases and have also sung in countless bands as a backing singer, always observing the lead and how they prepare – says Rachel Bennett.
When I was young, I too suffered from nerves so I took heed of the methods that seemed to work. I also listened to some good advice from some of the most wonderful performers I had the pleasure to work with over the years.
Relaxing before a gig depends on what kind of ‘nervous or tense’ you are but some little helpers include:
Drink a small, warm, clear tea. This can open the throat and bring a sense of comfort. There aren’t any magical teas for the voice, but the warm fluid and the steam are great for the throat.
Tell funny stories in the dressing room. By simply allowing you to forget yourself for a moment and laughing relaxes the larynx and the abdomen.
Humming gently can maintain a low level warm up, and if you hum a sweet melody it can be a ‘feel good’ inner moment.
Listen on headphones and even dance to an artist who inspires you. The movement will keep you from stiffening up with nerves and will disperse the butterflies in your stomach.
Slow breathing out on the ‘tooh’ shape can bring about a slightly euphoric or meditational state and you’ll forget your nerves.
Try some of these out until you find the one you know works for you and make sure you keep an ear out when you see a great singer. They’re likely to have a ‘pre-show relaxation secret’ they can share with you!
Rachel Bennett is a London-based vocal coach and singer songwriter. She is the lead singer / songwriter of RAIE and a Musical Director for theatre, television & recording studios across London. She has associations at WAC Performing Arts and Media College and Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama. You can learn more about Rachel on her Website or Facebook. You can see more of Rachel’s writing here.