These 9 Tips will keep your voice at its best when you’re on the road – says Leontine Hass
I teach many singers on tour and it always provides a challenge. Aeroplanes and hotel rooms dehydrate you and in turn dehydrate your vocal folds.
Then you eat badly. Late nights, no time to practice, too many people to please, lack of routine, eating too late after a gig ends up giving you acid reflux and you wake up in the morning and your voice is a shadow of its former self.
The list of challenges for your voice when travelling is endless.
It takes a lot of discipline to live life in a way that makes us happy and keeps us mentally and physically strong – here are my recommendations:
Run the Shower.
The first thing to do in your hotel room is to run the hot shower and steam up the room. Most hotel rooms are air conditioned. The steam from the shower will put some moisture back into the air and your voice will love you for it.
Try not to eat too late.
If you have a late gig, have an early dinner and then a light snack afterwards. Take some healthy snacks with you as they can be impossible to find. Nuts, oat biscuits, dark chocolate, muesli bars, fruit-have a stash in your suitcase.
Avoid too much alcohol and drink plenty of water.
At night, the acid from your stomach can travel back up your oesophagus and ‘bathe’ your vocal folds in acid. You wake up, there is a lot of phlegm, it takes ages to warm up, your high notes are a struggle. Sound familiar? Then you probably have acid reflux.
Watch Your Diet.
So avoid too much sugar, alcohol, acid producing foods and spicy foods (and say no to the awful foods offered to you). Put a pillow or two under your mattress so that your head is a bit higher than the rest of your body when you lie down. This can work wonders.
Use the Gym.
It is good for your mind and body.
Have a Quiet Night.
‘What goes on tour stays on tour’. Well sometimes that’s true. But don’t socialise every night. Partying a bit can be fun. It’s good to meet new people and make friends. But a quiet night hiding in your hotel room is a great idea. You will be the only one awake and not hung over the next day.
Organise yourself before you go.
Make sure you have a keyboard app on your phone/ i-pad so that you can practice. Make sure that you have a couple of recordings of warm-ups on you. I always do some for my students before they go on tour. Have some backing tracks ready to practice with. Try the following websites:
Use These Tips.
Have a water bottle with you. Have a small speaker for your phone/ i-pad. Have your music library scanned in to a small hard drive.
Practice in your hotel room.
Practice is so important. Don’t let it slip. If you cannot do it in the hotel find a local church or similar.
My Reaction to This Week's Singing Competition Entry
Sonny Moran - Love Runs Out
Sonny you have a really good voice. You also play guitar very well. The main thing missing for me in this video is passion! When you are on camera as a singer it is so important to perform. Your voice is good, your singing is good, but increase your connection to the text, the emotional journey, and the emotions. Practice singing in front of a mirror. Many singer-songwriters have a tendency to internalise their emotions. It is your job as a performer to connect to the lyrics and make the listeners feel and understand what it is you are singing about. One more suggestion is that I believe your voice is good enough for you to take more risks and do something more exciting at the end. Don’t play it so safe.
Leontine Hass BA, Melb. Uni, BMus. Kings College London, Dip. RAM is a singer, actress, vocal coach and Director of The Associated Studios and WAM.Co (The Word and Music Company). As a vocal coach, Leontine has a busy private practice comprising professional singers and recording artistss