It’s nearing that time of year again and it’s never too early to begin to prepare for Holiday Singing. Here are some best kept tips and secrets to help you make it through this holiday season in good voice.
Start making set lists or favorite song list. If you’re a casual singer, then you probably have the experience of being in a group where everyone is trying to come up with songs. Now, many groups will go around the circle and let each person chose a song for everyone to sing – that’s ideal if you can get it going. But, often people are shy, can’t remember the titles or lyrics and you can offer much needed help by having a ready list that you’ve already prepared.
Gaining Weight – Gaining weight during the holidays is common and it can impact your voice even more than your beltline. The extra weight in most people will impact breath support, which not only affects overall vocal ability, but is a primary contributor to poor pitch. YES, weight gain can affect your vocal pitch!
Eating at the gathering where you Sing – In add to adding pounds, there’s a fast impact similar to weight gain but which can affect all of us – eating a lot of food before singing! A full stomach limits the ability of the diaphragm to expand and effectively diminishes your breath capacity. Just like the impact of rapid weight gain, singing on a full stomach has many drawbacks, such as cutting short those long phrases, and again VOCAL PITCH can be affected.
Tip – eat a light snack about half an hour before singing and save the big meal for after singing.
Last tip on Diet – Minimize Dairy Consumption! You’ve heard this 100 times before, and it’s hard to give up the cheese, but this is the biggest killer for clear tone as dairy stimulates excess mucous generation leavingsymptoms similar to having a sinus cold. And again, all of this excess mucous congestion impacts our perception of pitch and can cause you to sing flat or sharp.
Biggest Tip – use a program like PitchPerfector for regular training, and to check your pitch prior to singing in public. Regular training will correct most pitch problems, but a cold or other conditions can cause a “bad pitch day.” Be prepared and check your pitch to see how you measure up before heading out the door.
We’ll get into more tips and techniques as the holidays draw near. For now we’ll close with one last suggestion: HAVE FUN! Nothing improves actual and perceived pitch more than enjoying singing.
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All the Best to and Yours this Holiday Season,