Today's #TuesdayTip will be short + sweet and from my personal performance experience.
I wanted to provide you with 5 PERFORMANCE TIPS to help you prepare, overcome nerves, and leave it all on the stage (whether you nail it or make a mistake).
#1 PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE.
I really can’t emphasize this enough. Practicing is where you make your mistakes and where you build confidence for your performance. The more you know your song, the more confident you’ll feel and the better you’ll perform even with nerves because the music will be second nature.
I would even challenge you to video yourself practicing to catch anything that may slip because it might ‘feel good’ while singing. This is where I normally catch tension in my shoulders and neck, if I need to release my jaw, or if I need to add some breathing points/focus my breathing in a particular area.
Listen to your song everywhere. Sing along to your song. Practice to a track. Memorize ALL the lyrics. Practice where you’re breathing. Make it your own!
#2 SET REHEARSAL TIMES RAIN OR SHINE.
Schedule in when you will warm up and practice. When I was preparing for The Voice Australia, I set aside 3-4x practice times per week where I would warm up and go over my song/songs a few times. I didn’t over do it but I was working to build stamina since most of my song choices used my full range. Some days I didn’t sound my best, but if I wasn’t sick or really vocally fatigued I would use that time to slowly warm up and focus purely on technique. Other days where I felt great, I would really focus on my style and performance aspects.
No practice is a wasted practice. It will also help you navigate the song if you wake up on the performance day not sounding 100%.
#3 WATCH WHAT YOU EAT.
Watch what you eat on the day but also during the week leading up. You sing what you eat!
24 hours prior to a performance I am most strict but the week leading up is just as important. Your vocal cords need protein. They need to be hydrated. They don’t need acid reflux. You can refer to my SINGER’S WORKING DIET to get more tips on exactly HOW you can eat to sing at your best.
Most of bad singing habits are linked to stress so CHILL OUT. Easier said than done right?
Here are 3 things that help me:
Exercise (cardio especially - I go for a run, spin class, or HIIT workout to release physical tension)
Hot shower/steam room
Breathing exercises when my heart rate spikes (I literally do these everywhere)
#5 GIVE YOURSELF EXTRA TIME.
Do not rush yourself on performance day.
Get up so you have extra time.
Eat well throughout the day (refer to my SINGER’S WORKING DIET).
Use the time you get dressed to prepare your mind for the task at hand. Don’t be sloppy or you won’t feel confident. Make sure you’re showered, your hair and clothes are clean, iron what you’re wearing and try to look your best (it will make you feel better too!).
Leave ample time to warm up (keep warm ups on your phone).
LASTLY, DO BREATHING EXERCISES SIDE OF STAGE TO SLOW DOWN YOUR HEART RATE AND FOCUS. This is my best tip and really really works. Nerves can get the best of us if we aren’t aware of how to focus them. I breath in for 8 (like through a straw), hold for 8, and hiss out for 8. I then increase to 12. Then 16. 16 is pretty hard when your heart is racing but this one exercise is a game changer to stabilize your voice when nervous. It also releases tension in the body so you are more likely NOT to strain when singing your high notes.
Let it go.
If you make a mistake in a performance, choose to learn from it. Don’t spend time wishing it away or beating yourself up. Take the mistake and ask yourself - "what can I do to avoid it next time?" Then repeat steps 1-5!
Add some exercises to the #2 step that target building up technique in the area that you made the mistake or felt weak and out of control. Use that ‘failure’ to grow!
Hope you enjoyed this #TT!
See you soon + stay warm! Cx