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What You Need to Know About Phonation

Phonation is an important term to know as either a singer or a speaker. Simply put, phonation is the act of making a sound. This is done using vocal cords, breathing, and other muscles in your body. Understanding what phonation is, can help you to become a better singer or speaker. Here is what you need to know about phonation.

Our vocal cords

When someone sings or talks, they are using their vocal cords. Vocal cords are located at the back of the throat and are protected by the larynx. The larynx is responsible for the production of sounds and located above the windpipe. Between the vocal folds is the glottis, which is what opens and closes while breathing, swallowing, or making any type of sound. When a person sings or talks, the vocal cords vibrate open and shut 440 times per second. This is very fast and invisible to the naked eye.

Related: Singing with Your Diaphragm

Tips for better phonation

A man speaking in front of a crowd

Learning what you need to know about phonation can help you become a better singer and speaker. Most people do not run out of breath when talking casually with a friend or family member. Before saying a sentence, your mind and body know how much air to take in to finish that sentence. The same should be true for singing. Singing should feel natural.

Some other ways to help with phonation in singing are to keep notes sounding smooth and connected. This is otherwise known as legato. Another tip for better phonation when singing is to avoid any unnecessary H sounds. These sounds require a lot more air and will result in you running out of breath faster while singing. Many people make these H sounds while singing without realizing it. Next time you are singing a song, try to hear if you make any unnecessary H sounds yourself. Unless the lyrics have the letter H, you should not hear that sound. Not only does it require more air, but it will make your voice sound too breathy instead of clear.

Sources

https://mci.archpitt.org/music/Voice_Lesson_5_Phonation.pdf

https://www.virtualsheetmusic.com/experts/rebecca/phonation/

featured image for important music terms for singers

Important Music Terms for Singers

When it comes to singing, there is a lot more to it than just making noise. There are techniques and music to follow. Most singers take lessons, practice, and study to get where they need to be. Here are some important music terms for singers. Learning and practicing them will help you to become a stronger singer.

Soprano

This is the highest singing range. This range is usually sung by someone who is female. Although, some young boys can sing well in this range.

Alto

This is the highest singing range for males and the lowest range for females.

Tenor

This is the highest singing voice for male singers. It is between the alto and baritone singing ranges.

Bass

This is the lowest singing range for males.

Falsetto

The term means “false singing”. This singing technique is usually done by males or tenors. Singers use it by making their voices higher than their normal range to reach a female singer’s range.

Registers

There are two types of registers for singing – “head” and “chest”. When singing with your chest, you are using your most powerful voice. Some may also describe this as singing with your diaphragm. Singing with your head will create a softer sound. Falsetto can fall under range as well.

Staggered Breathing

This technique is commonly used with a choir of singers. When a song has a very long note that cannot be sung in one breath, members of the choir take turns breathing throughout the note or song to avoid breaks in the sound.

Vibrato

When hearing vibrato in singing, it may sound like the voice is vibrating or shaking. What happens is the voice is alternating very quickly between two different, yet close, pitches. It is used to add effect to notes that are being held a little longer. Without it, notes can become boring or bland to listen to.

Tempo

This is the speed of the music. This is important for singers to know so they can follow the music more accurately.

Pitch

Pitch is how low or high someone is singing. If someone is singing “on” pitch, it means that they are singing in tune. For more information about this, read our article, “Learn How to Sing in Tune”.

Transpose

When someone does this, they change the key of a song to make it lower or higher. It is usually done to match the vocal range of a singer.

Verse

Verses are lines or sections of music in a song. This is important for singers to know either in choirs or in bands, mostly when rehearsing.

Repertoire

When a singer is asked for their repertoire, this means the music they know well and are ready to perform.

There is so much more to singing and there are so many more terms you can learn. These important music terms for singers are just a great place to start. Most importantly, singers need to keep their voices clear and healthy. One way to do this is by using a vocal spray between performances. One or two sprays and you’ll be ready to perform!

Sources

http://www.northmor.k12.oh.us/Downloads/Choir_Terms_List.pdf

Open book with pages folded into a heart - love songs you've never heard of

The Best Love Songs You’ve Never Heard Of

This Valentines Day, instead of rolling out Can’t Help Falling In Love for the millionth time, listen to one of these delightful, heart-meltingly sweet love songs. Whether you’re looking for something old, something new, something sappy, or something cute, you’re guaranteed to find something lovely in our list of the best love songs you’ve never heard of!

If you’re feeling extra bold, try performing one of these songs for your partner this year! Click here for some singing tips to help you get started!

If you’re looking for something old…

Me, Myself and I by Billie Holiday

Me, myself and I
Have just one point of view
We’re convinced
There’s no one else like you

Source: Genius

I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire by the Ink Spots

I’ve lost all ambition for worldly acclaim
I just want to be the one you love
And with your admission that you’d feel the same
I’ll have reached the goal I’m dreaming of, believe me

Source: Genius

I’ve Got Your Number by Jack Jones

So go ahead and pick a number
From 1 to 10
You’re losing streak is over
I can’t win again
And here’s the punchline
You’ve got mine

Source: Genius

Only You (And You Alone) by The Platters

Only you can make this change in me
For it’s true, you are my destiny
When you hold my hand I understand the magic that you do
You’re my dream come true, my one and only you

Source: Genius

If you’re looking for something new…

This Feeling by Alabama Shakes

I just kept hoping, I just kept hoping
The way would become clear
I spent all this time
Tryna play nice and fight my way here
See, I’ve been having me a real hard time
But it feels so nice to know I’m gonna be alright

Source: Genius

Natural by Raveena

Naturally it will
Come easy
Following your intuition you
Let yourself
Ride this feeling

Source: Genius

Sea of Love by Cat Power

Do you remember
When we met
That’s the day
I knew you were my pet

Source: Genius

Be My Thrill by The Weepies

And every morning is like the one before
And everybody needs someone to adore
I’m counting on you
Oh oh baby say you will
Oh oh baby be my thrill

Source: Genius

Heartbeats by Jose Gonzales

Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love

Source: Genius

River by Leon Bridges

Take me to your river
I wanna go
Oh, go on
Take me to your river
I wanna know

Source: Genius

If you’re looking for something sappy…

Wake Me by The Bleachers

Right from the start I knew
You’d set a fire in me
And I’d rather be sad with you
Than anywhere away from you

Source: Genius

Such Great Heights by Iron and Wine

I am thinking it’s a sign
That the freckles in our eyes are mirror images
And when we kiss they’re perfectly aligned
And I have to speculate
That God himself did make us into corresponding shapes
Like puzzle pieces from the clay

Source: Genius

Say Yes by Langhorne Slim

Darling, nobody stands in our way
First thing in the morning
we’ll be gone without a trace
Rollin’ down the highway
I feel good, I confess
I know sometimes we disagree
but I prefer when you say Yes.

Source: Genius

Nothing Even Matters by Lauryn Hill (feat D’Angelo)

These buildings could drift out to sea
Some natural catastrophe
Still there’s no place I’d rather be
‘Cause nothin’ even matters to me

Source: Genius

The Nearness of You by Norah Jones

I need no soft lights to enchant me
If you will only grant me
The right to hold you ever so tight
And to feel in the night
The nearness of you

Source: Genius

If you’re looking for something cute…

Me and You by Barry Louis Polisar

Me and you singing on the train,
Me and you listening to the rain,
Me and you we are the same
Me and you have all the fame
We need, indeed,
You and me are we.

Source: Genius

Ivy and Gold by Bombay Bicycle Club

Meet me in the hallway
Bite your lip when I say: “Never have you left my mind”
Stop and think it over, smiling, moving closer
Oh, what a delicate time

Source: Genius

Eyes by Rogue Wave

Missed the last train home
Birds pass by to tell me that I’m not alone
Over pushing myself to finish this part
I can handle a lot
But one thing I’m missing is in your eyes

Source: Genius

Light a Roman Candle with Me by Fun.

Just spend an evening with me
Just a lazy evening, then you could be leaving
Or we could stay and talk until three.
I will think it’s magic and I’ll hope you’ll agree

Source: Genius
featured image for the life of a theme park performer

The Life of a Theme Park Performer

Do you love performing live with the excitement of something new each day? The life of a theme park performer may be for you! Singers and actors alike can audition for roles to perform at these parks for a living. These roles provide a great opportunity for people to dive into a character or sing for an audience. Here is what you need to know about the life of a theme park performer!

Singing at a theme park

Theme parks are known for their entertainment, including musical performances. They have many shows throughout the day for their guests. These shows help bring energy to the park. They even add to the atmosphere of the park. Most parks have hired singers for their shows, but some parks even allow other musical groups to sign up to perform. Performing for a live audience at an amusement park can be an incredible experience, no matter how you got there. Just keep in mind that many hired singers may be performing multiple times throughout the day. This means it is important to keep your voice healthy and in good condition.

Read: Taking Care of Yourself as an Entertainer

Character roles

Almost every child dreams of playing the part of their favorite princess or a superhero. Thanks to theme parks, many people can live out that dream. If you have ever been to a Six Flags or Disney theme park, you may have seen these characters throughout the park with a line of guests waiting to get their photo taken with them. While these character roles are coveted by many, it is important to remember that it is not an easy job.

Depending on the park, there can be a rigorous audition and training process for characters. This is especially true for face characters who do not wear masks and talk with the guests. Theme parks usually require that actors stay in character while on the job. This means there is a lot they need to know about their character like voices, mannerisms, where they live, and who they know. A Disney princess, for example, cannot know who SpongeBob SquarePants is because his character is not from the same “universe”.

For more information about Clear Voice Spray for Singers and other vocalists, follow the link here. To find auditions for some of the most popular theme parks, follow the links below.

Disney Park Auditions

Six Flags Auditions

Sea World Auditions

Sources

https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/endless-perks-theme-park-performer-12083/

https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/reasons-theme-park-performer-7749/

featured image for tips for practicing rhythm

Tips for Practicing Rhythm

When it comes to music, rhythm is one of the most important things to perfect. Without any sense of rhythm, music would be all over the place and would not resonate with listeners. It would almost feel uncomfortable to listen to. Here are some tips for practicing rhythm.

What is rhythm?

First off, what is rhythm? It can be a hard concept to define or describe. To put it simply, rhythm is the timing and repetition of notes in music. Notes in music determine how long an instrument is played or a singer holds a tune. Rhythm is what helps singers and musicians play well together. Everyone in a band or a choir must understand the rhythm for things to work and sound great. Using these tips for practicing rhythm can help you become a better singer or musician.

Tips to help

A man practicing rhythm using drums

Limit the metronome – Metronomes are great when first learning how to play music or even a new song. You can set the timing and they will tick away for you to follow while you play . However, you will eventually want to ditch the metronome. They can cause your music to sound too uniform and monotonous. Once you have the basic timing down, use your senses to find the rhythm and let yourself play or sing naturally.

Record yourself – One way to see how your rhythm is doing is to record yourself. Sometimes the way you sound in your head is different than the way you actually sound to others. Listening to a recording of yourself is the best way to find out.

Learn rhythm before melody – Another way to get the rhythm down is to learn it before you even attempt the melody of a song. Once you learn the melody, your timing may be hard to change if you have practiced the song enough. This is because melodies are the catchiest part of a song and the easiest to memorize. Learning the rhythm first, however, will make it difficult to mess up the melody. This method can apply to just about any instrument and singers as well. For more information on why singers should know how to read music, read our article here.

Rhythm app – Some singers and musicians even use apps to help them practice rhythm. These apps play a variety of fun beats for you to follow along with. It works kind of like a metronome. However, it allows you to have more fun with it and play more naturally. One musician recommended the app Drum Beats.

Divide the beat – If you have taken any type of music lesson you have probably used this technique. Dividing the beat is simply counting out the notes. You can do this by clapping to the beat and repeating, “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and…”, or whatever works for each specific song. The video below is a great example of diving the beat to help you understand how it is done.

Sources

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Best Vocal Exercise Tutorials

When it comes to singing, warming up your voice is very important. Warming up your voice helps the muscles in your throat relax. This makes singing both easier and safer. When voices are not properly warmed up, singers are more at risk for injury and strain. The good news is that vocal warm-ups are easy and just about anyone can do them. Here are some of the best vocal exercise tutorials. For more information on why warming up your voice is important, read our article below.

The Importance of Warming Up Your Voice

Humming Warm-ups

One of the easiest vocal warm-ups you can do is to hum. It is difficult to strain your voice while humming. Keep your tongue against your bottom teeth, your mouth closed, and hum away! If you need any more help with how to do this warm-up, watch the video below from YouTube.

Lip Buzz Warm-up

You may have done this warm-up technique while playing with cars or boats when you were younger. This vocal exercise is great because it allows you to go higher or lower in your range without being too hard on your voice. Here is a video to show you how it is done.

Jaw-loosening

This warm-up may be a little trickier to understand how to do. When singing, your jaw must be dropped very low. This helps you create the best sound.

Related: Tips to Help Your Voice

Pitch slides

If you watched the video for the lip buzz warm-up, you listened to the instructor doing a pitch slide. This is simply practicing going up and down the scale with your voice.

Vocal siren

This is called the siren warm-up because you will be making your voice sound kind of like a siren on an emergency vehicle. This can be a fun warm-up once you have figured it out.

After watching these best vocal exercise tutorials, hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to warm-up. Vocal exercises are a great way to prevent strain and increase your vocal range. Your voice will thank you and you may even notice improvements.

featured image for how to get a voice-over job

How to Get a Voice-Over Job

One job that many people may not consider too often is voice acting. We hear them every day. Whether it is a commercial on the radio, a cartoon on the T.V., or even an online training course, they are everywhere. Many people may believe that it is not possible to make a career out of voice-over acting, but that is not true. The pay is not always very high, but it certainly is possible. Here is what you need to know about how to get a voice-over job.

Master Your Voice with Training

Before investing too much time and money, you should get training. Training with a professional will help you learn how to master your voice. Not only that, but a voice trainer may even help you realize if voice over acting is the right fit for you. While it may seem like an easy career, there is a lot of skill and knowledge that goes into voice-over acting. It is not the right fit for everyone.

Equipment

a woman editing a recording using software

Once you have gotten a decent amount of training, you will need equipment. First things first, you will need a quiet, sound-proof space to record yourself. One of the most common and cheapest ways to sound-proof a room is to use acoustic panels. These are made from wool or foam and are placed strategically throughout a room to absorb sound. For more information on setting up a recording studio, read our article here. Some other things you will need include:

  • A microphone
  • A preamp
  • A microphone stand
  • A laptop or computer
  • Headphones
  • A pop filter
  • Software

Promote Yourself

Men talking and recording a podcast

Once you have mastered your voice and have a proper setup and place to record, you will need to focus on how to get a voice-over job. Voice-over jobs are everywhere. You just need to know where to look for them and how to advertise yourself. When you first start, it may be helpful to have a few jobs under your belt. Doing a few jobs for free in the beginning can make it easier when you reach out to people for real jobs.

Some places you can look to help you get started are LinkedIn and YouTube. You can find videos on YouTube that have an ad without a voice over. You can connect with producers on LinkedIn. Another way people get voice over jobs is to reach out to people they have hired or purchased from. If they have videos on social media or need a radio ad, they may need a voice-over actor. Another place people can advertise their voice-over skills is on Fiverr. This job platform was created specifically for people to find and hire creatives.

Sources

https://www.voiceactorwebsites.com/what-is-voice-acting/

featured image for why singers should read music

Why Singers Should Read Music

If there is one thing that musicians know how to do, it is reading sheet music. However, many singers do not know how to read it. They rely simply on repeating the pitch of an instrument or another singer. While you can still be a wonderful singer without this knowledge, there are many more reasons why singers should read music.

It can help you write music

One thing many singers enjoy is writing their own music. However, this skill becomes close to impossible if they cannot understand music theory. Notes need to be written down for musicians to play. Even background singers will need to know what notes to sing. Having the music written down ensures that the tune is not forgotten and lost.

Learning new music becomes easier

Learning new music becomes a lot easier when you have the notes in front of you. While it can be easier to learn popular songs without sheet music, many songs may require you to know how to read music. If you want to perform a song with a very difficult tune, sheet music can help. Knowing how to read new music can even give you an advantage over those who cannot. One great thing about being able to read music is that you can put your twist on the songs you sing. When singing music you have heard, it can be hard to avoid imitating other artists. Many music scholarships also require singers to have a solid knowledge of music theory. If you are wanting to study singing in school, a basic knowledge of music theory should become one of your priorities.

Tips for learning to read music

A man playing a new written song

Online tutorials – The internet is full of knowledge. If you do not have the time or money to pay for courses to learn music, there are so many other options online. Some great places for learning how to read music online include Soundfly and even YouTube.

Apps – An even more convenient way to learn how to read music is through apps on your phone or tablet. Some of the best apps for learning how to read music include EarMaster, Music Tutor, and TheoryWorks. With these apps, you can throw on some headphones during a lunch break or a car ride and learn the basics of how to read music.

Practice with others – Another fun way to help you learn is to practice with others. Find a friend or family member who also shares a love for music. Quiz each other or try practicing singing new songs just by looking at the sheet music. This can also be a great way to help you learn the lines of new music. For more tips on learning lines for music, check out our article here.

There are so many reasons why singers should read music. It is a great skill to have if your goal is to have a career in music. Taking care of your voice and learning skills to improve your music are the keys to better music. Start taking care of your voice by using Clear Voice Spray before and in between performances.

Sources

https://takelessons.com/blog/music-theory-for-singers-z02

girl whispering into boys ear - effects of whispering on the voice

How Whispering Affects The Voice

When many people lose their voice, have a sore throat, or have laryngitis, they will resort to whispering in order to save their voice. However, this may, in fact, be worse for your voice and vocal in the long run. Due to many people not whispering correctly, it can put even more strain on your voice. So, what are people doing wrong when whispering and how does it affect your voice? Continue reading to learn more about the effects of whispering on the voice.

What Is Laryngitis?

Laryngitis is classified as an inflammation of your vocal cords. It can be caused by many different things. Some of the main causes include overuse of the voice, irritation, and infection. When you have laryngitis, your vocal cords will become inflamed and irritated. This causes your voice to sound hoarse, and in some few cases of laryngitis, you may not be able to hear your voice at all.

In some cases, laryngitis lasts for only a few weeks and you can go about talking normally. However, there are a few cases where it becomes chronic. The Mayo Clinic recommends talking with your doctor if you have it longer than 2 weeks.

What Is A Whisper?

When someone has laryngitis, they will tend to whisper in order to save their voice. However, what exactly is a whisper? A whisper is defined as “speaking very softly using one’s breath without one’s vocal cords”. Many people do know this definition but don’t pay close attention to it. It says “without one’s vocal cords” this means that you are not using them at all. However, when many people whisper, they may feel like they can’t be heard. This causes them to loud whisper, and this is where the vocal cords are put under strain. If it continues and you do nothing about it, you can be on the receiving end of many side effects. To whisper properly, just whisper how you normally would, but don’t use your voice. You know you will have done it right when you can barely hear yourself when whispering. While you may be tempted to speak up, don’t because you put yourself at risk of the negative effects of whispering.

Effects Of Whispering On The Voice

As previously mentioned, when you loud whisper, you are actually not helping your voice recover. Instead, you are putting your vocal cords under strain as opposed to just letting them rest by not talking or whispering properly. Some people are naturally stubborn and won’t let their voice rest, and instead, talk through the hoarseness. Even though you are not talking as loud and may think you are not putting a strain on your voice, this is what can lead to chronic laryngitis.

Other ways that whispering can affect the voice are when you suffer from supraglottic hyperfunction. This is essentially a squeeze of the vocal cords which can cause further irritation. One study had 100 patients count from 1-10 in a normal voice and a whispered voice. The researchers then looked at the supraglottic hyperfunction (SH) and vocal folds during these exercises. They found that 69% of people had increased SH while whispering, 18% had no change, and 13% had less SH.

Alternatives To Whispering To Save Your Voice

Due to the many ways that whispering improperly can harm your voice when you have an irritated throat, it may be wise to find some alternative. This could be simply not using your voice at all in order to preserve it or finding some other form of communication.

If you are at home all day lying in bed due to sickness and have a sore throat, you will probably be needing assistance doing many things. This can cause problems as you won’t be able to communicate and let someone know you need help. Whether it be ringing a bell or knocking on the wall, you need to have something. However, thanks to technology, we can simply shoot a text to someone to let them know. But if the person does not have their phone on them, it is best to have a backup.

If you have a job that does not require you to speak consistently, and you are cleared to show up for work, you may still have trouble communicating with your co-workers. Instead of whispering and potentially damaging your voice when someone doesn’t hear you the first time, shoot them an email or text message to inform them of something.

Conclusion

While the effects of whispering on the voice can easily be avoided by simply not whispering or whispering properly. Even though you may be tempted to, it is important to remember that if your voice is sore or you have laryngitis, the best thing you can do is rest your voice. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about How Stress & Anxiety Affect the Voice.

Sources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/laryngitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20374262
https://www.jvoice.org/article/S0892-1997(04)00173-0/fulltext
https://voice.weill.cornell.edu/voice-disorders/muscle-tension-dysphonia
https://www.keckmedicine.org/why-you-shouldnt-whisper-with-a-hoarse-voice/

what singers should know about copyright laws

What Singers Should Know About Copyright Laws

On January 1, 1978, copyright laws came into effect. Since then, creatives have been able to protect their work from being stolen by others. This was a huge win for the creative and music industries. However, people need to be aware of the copyright guidelines to avoid problems with the law. Here is what singers should know about copyright laws. Protect your music and the rights of other music artists.

Laws for others’ music

When artists create something, their music is automatically protected under copyright laws. It does not even need to be published to count. However, to legally protect your music, you need to register the work with the U.S. Copyright Office. This gives creators the right to sue and claim damages if someone were to use their music as their own. These copyright laws also give artists the right to:

  • Perform their work
  • Arrange or change their work
  • Reproduce their work
  • Distribute and sell their work
  • Use their work along with other visuals
  • Prevent or allow anyone else to do any of the above

Laws for YouTube

One of the most popular platforms for singers and musicians is YouTube. Over the years, many people have posted cover videos of their favorite songs. Many artists have even been discovered through YouTube. Read the article here to read about just a few. However, it is important to use YouTube legally. What many people do not realize is that you cannot upload a cover of whatever song you did not write. You need permission to do so. For singers who plan to make money from their covers, they need a mechanical license. In the U.S., artists can contact Harry Fox Agency to obtain one. After that, artists will be required to pay a rate for anything they sell.

YouTube opened up on a laptop

Even if you do not plan to make any money with your cover songs, you will still need to obtain the appropriate licensing. A synch license is required for anyone who publishes covers on YouTube, whether for money or just for fun. Performers can either contact the copyright owner directly or through YouTube. Ads may be added to your video or YouTube will take it down. You will be notified by YouTube what will happen to your video. However, if too many of your videos are taken down, your account will be removed from the platform and all videos deleted. That is why it is so important to follow copyright laws, even if you see everyone else posting covers without permission.

Learning what singers should know about copyright laws will save you trouble and possibly even legal issues. Not only that, but it will help you know how you can protect your music. Most importantly, be respectful of the work of others.

Sources

https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/8-basic-facts-every-musician-should-know-about-copyright-law

young woman at computer biting a pencil - vocal effects of stress and anxiety

How Stress & Anxiety Affect The Voice


In the world today, many people suffer from chronic stress and anxiety. This can lead to many health issues with some being more serious than others. One might ask if stress and anxiety affect the voice or vocal cords in any way? The answer is yes, they can cause many things to happen to your voice. Continue reading to learn more about the vocal effects of stress and anxiety.

Vocal Effects of Stress and Anxiety

What Is Stress?

Stress is how the body responds to a threat or an urgent situation. It is also known as a “fight-or-flight” response. One thing to note is that not all kinds of stress are bad for your health. In fact, in small doses, stress can help you work better and perform better when under pressure. However, If you are constantly in that state of emergency, your body, as well as your mind, can pay the price.

Stress can be caused by many factors, which are often referred to as stressors. Many times, people think that if something is a stressor, it is bad or negative. However positive things can also be stressors such as buying a home or receiving a promotion at work. Some of the top stressors include:

  • Death of a spouse
  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Job loss
  • Imprisonment
  • Retirement
  • Injury/illness
  • Death of a close family member

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is simply the body’s natural response to stress. The Mayo Clinic states that “Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life.” As with stress, this little bit of anxiety is fine and can motivate you to be productive. Some common signs and symptoms of anxiety are:

  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Tiredness/weakness
  • Difficulty controlling worry
  • Sleep trouble
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nervousness, restless, tenseness

In addition to knowing what some of the common signs and symptoms of anxiety are, it is important to know what can trigger it. Some common things that can trigger anxiety are:

  • Public speaking/performances
  • Social events
  • Not eating
  • Caffeine
  • Medication
  • Stress

As previously mentioned, a little bit of stress and anxiety can sometimes be beneficial in motivating you. However, many people in the world today suffer from anxiety disorders and chronic stress. This is when something your mental and physical health is negatively impacted by stress and anxiety for extended periods of time. This is when harmful things can happen to your voice.

How Stress and Anxiety Affect your Voice

The main way that stress and anxiety can affect your voice is through Muscle Tension Dysphonia (MTD). This is an imbalance in the coordination of the muscles and breathing patterns that are needed to create your voice. The University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Otolaryngology states that “Primary MTD can be associated with stress and anxiety.” This condition is caused because of tenseness in the muscles of the voice box as a result of stress. If this happens too often and for too long, it can lead to an “incoordination of the vocal control system.” What this means is that long periods of MTD can lead to your vocal cords and other aspects of your voice not working together in coordianation.

In addition to MTD, there are other ways that stress and anxiety can affect your voice. As previously mentioned, anxiety can be caused by public speaking or performance. If you have an anxiety attack, you may not be able to perform to your fullest or at all. This is called stage fright. Check out this article to learn our Tips to Overcome your Stage Fright.

Ways To Help Handle Stress & Anxiety

There are many ways that you can help yourself relieve some of the stress and anxiety in your life. In fact, it may be easier than you think. As previously mentioned, caffeine is something that can trigger anxiety in some people. If you have high caffeine intake, you may want to consider limiting your caffeine intake or going without it altogether, to see if your body responds positively. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (AADA) also advises that you get a good night’s sleep and eat balanced meals each day in order to help reduce stress and anxiety.

It may be best to find out certain stressors or anxiety triggers in your life and avoid them as best as you can, or even better, find a way to make them not a stressor or trigger anymore. Other things that you can do are exercising as putting physical stress on the body can help relieve mental stress. Spending time with close friends and family is important because they will be able to help you get through these difficult times. If you can, the AADA also recommends that you talk to a physician or therapist to receive professional help and advice.

Conclusion

When it comes to the vocal effects of stress and anxiety, there are many things to remember. Most importantly, it is to remember that not all kinds of stress and anxiety are bad. If you do struggle with chronic stress or some form of anxiety disorder please get help from a doctor and talk to someone trusted so they can help you too.

Sources

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/stress-symptoms-signs-and-causes.htm
http://www.otolaryngology.pitt.edu/centers-excellence/voice-center/conditions-we-treat/muscle-tension-dysphonia
https://www.britishvoiceassociation.org.uk/voicecare_stress-emotion-voice.htm

featured image for the life of a cruise ship performer

The Life of a Cruise Ship Performer

There are jobs for singers and performers all over the world. Including the seas. Cruise lines hire hundreds of people to perform on their ships each year. However, is it worth it? Here is a look into the life of a cruise ship performer.

Perks

There are a lot of awesome perks when it comes to working on a cruise ship. Most crew members, especially performers, make a decent amount of money. Your rent and food are even covered. This makes it a great opportunity to save money while also gaining some great working experience. On top of that, you will also get to visit some amazing places around the world during your free time.

Competitive

Even though stages on the cruise ship are not Broadway, they can be almost just as competitive. It is important to remember to keep this in mind and prepare accordingly. Many people perform on cruise ships in-between gigs, so there are always plenty of people for cruise lines to hire. Some cruise lines may approach you, but most of the time you will need to apply and audition for the position. The audition varies depending on the cruise line, but most of them require a video of you showcasing your talents live.

Cons of Performing on a Cruise Ship

Cruise ship on the sea

While performing on a cruise ship can be such an incredible experience, there are a lot of drawbacks to keep in mind. Many people get lonely very fast. Many people spend month after month living on cruise ships without seeing friends or family. Cell phone service is terrible as well on ships, making it difficult to stay in contact with others. It is not an ideal job for those with families or significant others onshore. The living quarters are also very tight. Most performers and other crew members are placed in the smallest rooms on the ship. The smallest rooms consist of a bunk bed or two, and a small bathroom. If you struggle with claustrophobia, you may feel trapped.

Cruise lines are also very strict. Everyone has responsibilities and you are expected to follow through. Taking time off can even be a challenge. For those who enjoy more freedom in their schedule, it is not the job for you. Performers also must get used to working on a boat that is always rocking. If you are prone to motion sickness, it may be a job to avoid. Other illnesses fill the ship as well. Performers should especially be very cautious about their health. Keeping a humidifier and Clear Voice Spray on hand will help keep away sore throats.

The life of a cruise ship performer is not for everyone. There are many perks and it can be a great way to save money, meet new people, and travel the world. However, it is not a great fit for those who desire a little more freedom in their schedule.

Sources

https://www.backstage.com/magazine/article/need-know-working-cruise-ship-3728/

bright lights at an arena concert - top songs of the 2010s

Top Songs Of The Decade

Songs come and go, but some of them have stood the test of time and are still popular to this day. Some songs may have been forgotten for the time being, but may still spark a sense of nostalgia for those who enjoyed it at the time of release. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and review some of the top songs of the 2010s based on their digital sales and streams.

Top Songs Of The 2010s

2010

This decade was kicked off with some great songs back in 2010. While many songs fought to become the number one, and many did for at least one week, only one song stands on top. This song being Tik Tok by Ke$ha. In fact, within the first week of its release, it had over 610,000 digital downloads. By the end of the year, it had reached a whopping 12.8 million digital copies sold worldwide. It has since now sold over 25 million copies 10 years later. Here is the song that took over 2010.

2011

Songs like Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO and Firework by Katy Perry were some of the hottest songs this year. However, when it comes to sales, one song triumphs above these. This song is Rolling In The Deep by Adele. When it first came out at the end of 2010, Rolling In The Deep was the number one song in over 11 countries. It was also in the top five for many other countries and regions. By the end of the year, it had sold over 8.2 million copies, and by 2018 over 7 years later, it sold 20.6 million digital copies. Below is the music video for Rolling In The Deep.


2012

Somebody That I Used To Know by Gotye is the top song from 2012. This song was originally released in July of 2011 to Australia and New Zealand but was later released in 2012 to the United States and other countries. At the end of 2012, this song had over 11.8 million copies sold which made it one of the best-selling digital singles. Here is the original music video for Somebody That I Used To Know.

2013

Out of all of the songs that 2013 offered, Thrift Shop by Macklemore had the most digital sales in that year according to Billboard. In fact, in that year alone, it had over 6 million copies sold. In addition to that, there were many different thrift shop owners who reported an increase in sales from college students. This led many to believe that this song led to an increase in sales. Check out the music video for Thrift Shop below.

2014

In 2014, Happy by Pharrell Williams was the most digitally downloaded song. It was also number one in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and 20 other countries. That year it also sold over 6.45 million copies just in the United States with over 1.5 in the United Kingdom. In addition to the sales of the song, the music video was nominated for video of the year at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. Here is the music video for the song that took over 2014.

2015

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars was the song that took 2015 by storm when it comes to sales. This song is both of their most successful singles to date with it selling over 1.76 million with 10 million streams in the US after only 7 weeks. The music video for this song is also the 6th most viewed youtube video with over 3.76 billion views. Here is the video that got these two artists that number 6 spot.

2016

In 2016 many songs took the spot of number one for the week they were released. However, at the end of the year, Love Yourself by Justin Bieber was the most digitally downloaded song of the year. This song topped the charts in over 15 countries and spent many weeks within the top 10. While there are not as many downloads on this song, this is because more and more people have switched to a streaming service. In fact, Love Yourself had over 17.4 million streams that year. Be sure to check out the music video below to see the song that took over 2016.

2017

In 2017 Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and Puerto Rican rapper, Daddy Yankee took the world by storm with their hit single Despacito. The song topped charts in 47 countries and was in the top 10 of 6 others. This makes Despacito both artists’ most successful single. It had over 24.3 million sales and streams in that year. with another 11.8 million the following year as well. The music video shown below for Despacito is also the most viewed YouTube video to date with over 6.61 billion views.

2018

Perfect by Ed Sheeran was the number one song of 2018 as reported by Billboard in digital song sales. It did get beat in the number of streams by Drake with God’s Plan, however, it still had more sales. In the UK alone it had over 1 million sales which made the song Sheeran’s tenth song to hit 1 million. It was also the number one Christmas song for 2017 when it first came out but got most of its attention in 2018. With that being said, here is the music video for the hit song on YouTube.

2019

By far the most memorable song in the last year, Old Town Road by Lil Nas X featuring Billy Ray Cyrus took the spot for most sales for the year according to Billboard. The song also made a couple of comebacks due to remixes and a short movie/music video for the song (shown below). The song had over 100 million streams and continued to grow. As of this month in January of 2020, the song also hit 1.5 million digital copies. This is huge due to many people abandoning purchasing songs because of streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music.

Conclusion

When it comes to the top songs of the 2010s, there are many that stand out as some of the best. While these songs may not have been the best for other categories, they excelled at bringing in money from sales and streams. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about 7 Singers Who Were Discovered On YouTube.

Sources

https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2010/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2011/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2012/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2013/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2014/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2015/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2016/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2017/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2018/digital-songs
https://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end/2019/digital-songs

featured image for what to know about street performing

What to Know About Street Performing

Street performing, otherwise known as busking, is commonly done in big cities like New York, L.A., or Chicago. While it may seem like a fun and exciting activity, there are things to know before jumping in. Performers need to consider rules and common courtesy. Here is what to know about street performing.

Know the laws

a man performing on the street

One of the most important things to do before performing on the street is to become familiar with any laws and regulations. Learning what to know about street performing will help you avoid conflict with local people, businesses, and the law. For the most part, you are only allowed to perform on public property. This could be a sidewalk, a park, or even at a bus stop. While these options may seem limited, it is important to respect them. Some private properties may even allow you to perform with permission. However, these may require an audition and a permit. It is also important to note that even public places may have regulations. In Chicago, there are regulations on what hours you can play and limits on how loud the music is. In New York, you must be at least 50 feet from any monument. Almost every area has its own set of rules, so be aware.

Don’t be a nuisance

If you are going to succeed with performing on the street, you need to be courteous to the people. After all, they are the ones who must listen to you. Be sure to get feedback on your music from others before attempting to perform for people who did not ask to hear from you. Also, try to avoid playing near shops or restaurants that have music and a specific atmosphere. In areas like L.A., street performers have become quite a nuisance. There are too many of them and they do not perform quietly. This has resulted in a loud and chaotic noise.

Tips for Street Performers

Learning what others want to hear is a great way to be sure you will keep your audience entertained. Come up with a great setlist and memorize the music. Memorizing the music will help you avoid having to carry around sheet music and a music stand. These can become a huge pain. One of the best pieces of advice is to stick to family-friendly music. Avoid music with profanity, racism, or other inappropriate content. Avoiding this kind of music will help keep your audience happier and you won’t have to deal with upset parents. Keeping a lot of water and vocal spray on hand will help your voice stay clear as well during performances on the streets of smoky cities. Before anything else, be sure to check with the rules and regulations of any city. Knowing what each city requires will help your performance run more smoothly.

Sources

https://www.latimes.com/socal/burbank-leader/news/tn-blr-street-performers-drum-up-noise-complaints-20150523-story.html

girl playing guitar and sing in a dimly lit room - side hustles for singers

Great Side Jobs For Singers

As you pursue your career in the music industry, you may find that it’s not quite paying the bills yet. While this does not mean you don’t have a promising future as a singer, you may need to get a side job to help cover your expenses. So, what are some side jobs that are perfect for singers looking to make some extra money? Continue reading to learn more about some side hustles for singers.

Side Hustles For Singers

Theme Park

Working at a theme park as a performer or even as a backup singer can give you great experience performing in front of crowds. This is even more beneficial if you are still new to the music industry and are looking to improve on performing live. If you do well and are noticed by one of your supervisors, you could be put on for your own show in the theme park. This can further increase your publicity while giving you a more steady source of income. The average salary of an amusement entertainer is $35,130.

Voice Over

Becoming a voice-over artist, or voice actor is another one of the side hustles for singers. What these people do is record themselves reading a certain phrase, and are then paid for companies using your voice. This can be done in a studio environment, but it can also be done from the comfort of your home with the proper equipment. You can do voice-overs for commercials, tv shows, or even just by reading a book out loud into a microphone. Depending on the job, voice actors could make $250 for a small one-minute commercial. If you have the time to read on, making an audiobook could get you around $3000 depending on the size of the book. Check out this article for some Tips for Recording in Your Home.

Cruise Ships

Becoming a performer for a cruise ship will most likely require you to do the same thing as someone working as an amusement park entertainer. Most times, you will sign a contract to work for one show, or even for six months of performing. Depending on the contract, and cruise liner you are working with, the pay can vary. However many cruise ship performers make between $1,600 to $4,000 each month. In addition to that, you’d be getting paid to travel the world!

Singing Teacher

If you are a good singer and want to share your talent with someone else, you could consider becoming a singing teacher on the side. That way you can still practice your singing whilst also making some extra money. Before you take on any clients, you are going to want to take a course to learn how to teach singing so you can become qualified. This is not required, however, it will give you insights as to what to teach about as there may be some things that are second nature to you, but are not to your clients. It is important to recognize these so you can better help them. Many times, voice lessons cost around $10 – $35 each hour, but professional-level classes will cost around $100 – $200 each hour.

Music Store Salesperson

If you choose to become a music store salesperson you will most likely use the knowledge you have to sell music albums to people or music equipment to someone looking to start their career in the music industry. One of the best perks of a job like this is that it is part-time and you could work with the store owners to get time off to go on tour, or if you need a night off to perform. Due to it being a part-time job you may only be making the minimum wage in your state, but there is still room for you to make more.

Event Singer

Event singers will perform at parties, weddings, and other events. Regardless of whether you are in a band or by yourself, or whatever kind of music you specialize in, you can find an event near you to perform at. You can charge whatever you like to these events and what’s best about them is that you can work at the music store mentioned above and take time off to perform at these events, thus increasing the money you are making.

Conclusion

There are many different side hustles for singers that still involve the music industry in some small way. There are also side hustles that do not necessarily involve the music industry such as becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. Regardless of what you do, you can still pursue your career as a musician.

Sources

https://www.salary.com/research/salary/benchmark/amusement-entertainer-salary
https://www.voices.com/help/beginners-guide-to-voice-acting/making-money-doing-voice-overs
https://www.jobmonkey.com/cruise/entertainers/
https://activities.costhelper.com/singing-voice-lesson.html

featured image for how location affects your voice

How Location Affects Your Voice

For performers, keeping your voice clear and moist is of the utmost importance. Whether you are a singer, a speaker, or an announcer, you need your voice to be as healthy as possible. Nothing is worse than a dry and scratchy throat. There are a lot of things that can affect your voice and one of them is location. Learning more about how location affects your voice can help you know how to best take care of it.

Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Depending on where you are in the world, the levels of humidity in the air vary. Places like Hawaii and Florida have very high humidity. The air feels wet and sticky. Even after drying off from a shower or swimming in a pool it may feel like you still have not dried off all the way. While high levels of humidity can be miserable, so can a level of humidity that is too low. Some of the areas with the lowest amounts of humidity include Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. Levels of humidity that are too low can cause health issues like dry skin, infection, dry eyes, and dry throats. For performers, dry throats are an issue. The throat can dry out during a performance, leaving the voice susceptible to going dry and cracking.

How to Help Your Voice

Dry air is a menace, but there are ways to fight it if you need to. One of the most important things you can do is to drink a lot of water. Even if you are not thirsty, drink water. By the time you feel thirsty, you are most likely already dehydrated. If you are indoors, you can fight the dry air using a humidifier or a vaporizer. Humidifiers are a safe way to increase the humidity in a room by turning water into vapor. They are especially great to turn on before going to bed. This is a great way to avoid waking up with a dry and scratchy throat before a performance. However, it is important to make sure the filters are cleaned often.

Vaporizers, on the other hand, use heat to turn water into steam. They are cleaner but can be dangerous if touched since they burn skin. Using a spray, like Clear Voice Vocal Spray, is also a great way to keep your voice moist. This is a great option if you do not have a humidifier with you and water just isn’t cutting it. Vocal sprays are easy to carry around and can help with just a quick spray. Do not let the climate get to your vocal health. Learn how location affects your voice specifically and figure out the best way to care for it.

Sources

https://www.city-data.com/top2/c486.html

http://www.sensorpush.com/articles/the-effects-of-low-humidity-on-your-health-and-comfort

tissue box and crumple tissues on a desk with a mug and glasses - how sickness affects the voice

How An Illness Can Effect Your Voice

It is inevitable that you will get sick at some point in your life. However, if your line of work requires the frequent use of your voice, it can have negative effects beyond just feeling crummy. So, how do different illnesses affect the voice, and what can you do when you are sick with a hoarse voice? Continue reading to learn about how sickness affects the voice.

How Sickness Affects The Voice

Cold

The first kind of illness that you may come across is the common cold. Many people have had a cold and chances are you’ll experience this too, multiple times. According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of the common cold include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, fever, body aches, and mild headache. In addition to that, your voice may be affected too. It can be affected by a cough and even a sore throat. This is only a minor effect on the voice, however it is still important to be cautious as it can lead to more serious problems. Another thing to remember about a cold is to not push through it and use your voice because you can cause further damage that can stay even after the sickness goes away.

Flu

The flu is similar to the cold, however, when you catch a cold, the symptoms will come on gradually while the flu symptoms will sometimes seem to appear out of thin air. Some flu symptoms are fever, fatigue, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. In addition to this, the flu can also cause a sore throat and a cough. One thing that the flu can do is cause you to want to clear your throat more often than is actually needed. This can lead to the vocal cords becoming irritated and this, in turn, can lead to injury. The flu can also leave the person feeling weaker which can inhibit them to work with their voice even after symptoms improve. It is important to take care of yourself if you have the flu, as it can lead to something more serious such as laryngitis.

Laryngitis

The Mayo Clinic defines laryngitis as “an inflammation of your voice box (larynx) from overuse, irritation or infection.” In most cases, the symptoms of laryngitis will last for a couple of weeks and are caused by something like the cold or flu being left untreated. However, there is also chronic laryngitis which lasts for longer than 3 weeks. This is usually caused by the body being exposed to irritants over time and can cause vocal strain and injury to the vocal cords. These can be caused by, inhaling fumes, allergens or smoke, acid reflux, excessive alcohol use, vocal overuse, and smoking.

Symptoms of laryngitis include sore throat, low-grade fever, hoarse voice, difficulty speaking, cough, constant clearing of the throat, and in some cases swollen glands. If you have trouble breathing, cough up blood, or have a fever that won’t go away, the Mayo Clinic recommends that you seek medical attention immediately.

What To Do When You Get Sick

When you get sick and your voice or larynx has been affected, it is important that you get the rest that your body needs. If you overuse and misuse your voice, it will be hard for your body to recover fully and you will be sick or in pain for longer amounts of time. This is the best way to treat any sickness that is inhibiting your voice and ability to use it. However, there are some home remedies that are widely used to help ease the throat and speed up the recovery process.

Even though it may be painful at first, drinking plenty of fluids can help you feel better in the long run. It is tempting to avoid swallowing, but this will only make you worse by adding dehydration to the mix. Make sure you are not drinking alcohol or caffeine. Another thing to do is use a humidifier in the room you are resting in or visit a steam room. This is one way you can get some moisture to your throat without needing to swallow.

If the condition lasts for longer than a few weeks, you may want to consider visiting with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis and they will likely recommend a treatment plan for you.

Can You Avoid These Illnesses?

There are many different ways to avoid the illnesses that were mentioned above. To start with the cold, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you;

  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Stay away from people who are sick

To avoid the flu virus, the same things can be used to keep you healthy, however, you can better protect yourself making sure you and your family get a yearly flu shot.

If you want to prevent laryngitis, you’ll want to follow the advice given above for the less serious illnesses. In addition, excessive drinking and smoking can lead to chronic laryngitis so it is best to avoid both of those, as well as keeping yourself healthy.

Conclusion

When it comes to how sickness affects the voice there is a lot to know. One main thing is that many illnesses cause the same damage to the voice, however, if you just leave them and continue to use your voice, you are at risk for later health complications down the road. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about some Natural Remedies For A Sore Throat.

Sources

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/laryngitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20374262
https://www.cdc.gov/features/rhinoviruses/index.html
https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2013/04/041713vocalhealth.php

featured image for singing with your diaphragm

Singing with Your Diaphragm

The diaphragm is such a vital part of our bodies. It is a parachute-like muscle that is attached to the bottom of our ribcage. When we inhale, the muscle expands or contracts and helps suck air into our lungs. Our diaphragm also works together with our abdominals. The diaphragm expands while inhaling, and the abdominals contract when we exhale. When we sing, we are exhaling, not inhaling. For years, vocal coaches have been instructing their students to sing with their diaphragm. The goal was to prevent singers from tightening their vocal cords, causing a breathy sound. However, many students have no clue what that means. “Singing with your diaphragm” has been a mystery for many singers.

Can you sing with your diaphragm?

Controlling your diaphragm while singing is not possible. Your diaphragm is an involuntary muscle and works on its own when you breathe. Singing with your diaphragm is one of the myths of the music industry. So, what do these vocal coaches mean? While we cannot control our diaphragm, there are still methods to sing properly. We need to instead focus on how to strengthen our voices using what we can.

What should you do then?

Imagining ourselves using our diaphragm while we sing can still be beneficial. It helps us focus on singing without our throats, which can strengthen our voices. To sing properly, we should not focus so much on our breathing. Instead, we should focus more on our posture and relaxing our bodies. Sit up straight with your shoulders back and relaxed. Relax your voice as well and let your throat loosen. Doing so will help strengthen your voice and prevent breathy singing. When you do take a breath, breath in deep and allow the lower part of your rib cage to expand.

Some singers even place a hand or book under their ribs to practice proper breathing. If your hand or the book moves up and down then you are breathing properly. Vocal coaches have taught that your singing voice should come out as naturally as your speaking voice. For more tips, read our article, “Singing Tips from Professionals”.

Singing with your diaphragm may not be possible since our diaphragms are always working. However, there is still a method behind the phrase that many professional singers have learned. For more vocal myths, check out our article here. Don’t forget to also check out our Clear Voice Vocal Spray that is used by professional singers everywhere.

Sources

https://www.healthline.com/human-body-maps/diaphragm#anatomy-and-function

https://mollysmusic.org/blog/should-you-really-sing-from-your-diaphragm/

https://www.sagemusic.co/breathing-muscles-and-singing/

cell phone with instagram pulled up - Instagram for singers

Using Instagram As A Musician

Instagram has become more and more popular each year. There are around 1 billion active users each month, with around half of these people being active each day. If done correctly, you can grow a fanbase through Instagram. Continue reading to learn more about Instagram for singers.

Instagram For Singers

Setting Up Account

When you set up an Instagram account for singers, there are some things to do. If you are making a new account, set it up normally. If you have done this, or already have an account, go into the settings and switch to a business account. To do this you will need to link it to a Facebook page. The main reason that you want to do this is it functions like a normal account, but it also has extra features like analytics, insights, and the ability to run ads.

Instagram Bio

When you write the Instagram bio for your account, make sure that it represents who you are. Make sure it cooperates with your image or brand. The best bios explain who they are and what they do with as few words as possible. One thing to have in your bio is to links to your YouTube, Facebook, and maybe a merch store. However, you are only allowed one link in the bio. This is where services like Linktree step in. They allow you to compile all of your links into one so when someone clicks, they are taken to a page with all of your links. The best part about Linktree is that it is free. However, they do have a Pro version for $6 each month with more features.

Profile Picture

As with the bio, your profile picture should represent who you are. If you have never taken professional photos, you may want to consider getting some as they can also be used on other social media platforms. If you do not have the resources for this, many smartphones are now capable of taking high-quality photos. Either way, make sure that the image is formatted properly to look good when it is shrunken down to the profile picture.

Posting As A Musician

When To Post?

Before you consistently post to your social media page to grow your audience, it is important to figure out when you should be posting. When you first start out, it will be hard to determine when you should post, so it is important to experiment with your posting times to see which ones perform better than others. What you want to look for in posts is how much engagement they are getting.

phone with analytics pulled up - Instagram for singers

However, when you have gained more followers, used relevant hashtags, and interacted with people you will be able to get valuable data from the built-in analytics. You want to use your analytics from the business profile to find the best times to be posting. If you find that your audience is mainly millennials who are active early in the morning, around lunch, and after 5 pm then post in those times. Not only that, but these analytics can also help you determine what type of content is the best for your audience. The key is to find the perfect time to post for the best engagement rate possible so more people can see your posts.

Socialmediaweek.org states “Analytics tools are really helpful in monitoring the levels of engagement on social media, websites, and more.” One analytics tool, Hootsuite is a great choice because it offers many other things besides analytics. However, you can still use any other tool you find, and can still stick to the one built into Instagram.

What To Post?

Now that you have found your audience and have determined the best times to post you need to figure out what to post during these times. This could be the type and look of the content you are putting out. This includes a theme, color scheme or look, and being consistent with it.

Photos

When you post an image to Instagram, you want to share things that provide your followers with value, while letting your page grow. Some good image ideas are photos from a tour or performance, new merch designs, or even some new lyrics you may be working on. You can also share photos of the tools you use to perform. If these posts do well, companies may come to you or your band for sponsorships or endorsements.

Videos

Instagram allows you to post videos that can be up to a minute long. Take advantage of this by posting clips from your latest show or a small video showing your fans how to play a part of one of your songs. Another option is to post a video explaining the meaning behind the lyrics of your latest song. One thing that can drive the engagement rate of your videos up is adding captions. This is because many people are scrolling through Instagram without their sound on. This can cause them to skip your video if there are no captions for them to follow along with.

Live Videos

Live videos are almost the same as the videos themselves, but they differ because it allows for you to interact my directly and in the moment with your followers. This can allow you to better engage with your most active fans who tune into them. Some ideas for a live stream are a backstage tour, a look at the show for those who couldn’t attend, or a stream of you practicing. You can also do a Q&A to answer their questions right there.

Stories

Stories allow you to post an image or a video that stays on your page for 24 hours. These don’t necessarily have to be as visually appealing or brand consistent because they are not permanent. When they run out, you can add them to a highlight reel on your page for people to look at after the 24 hours. Stories can be any image you want to post, a short update video, or even a clip from a live stream. If you are verified on a personal account or have 10,000 followers on your business account, you can add a swipe up to your story. This adds a link to the bottom which, when swiped, will take the user to a different website. You can use this to include your merch, tickets to a performance, or to your YouTube, Spotify or SoundCloud. Try to find a way to incorporate this into every story to maximize its benefits. However, if you are a small musician or band without 10k followers, you can mimic this by putting a link in bio sticker when promoting your merch. That way, someone can go from your story to your profile, and then to your Linktree link to buy merch or check out your other social media pages.

Instagram TV

The last use of Instagram for singers is Instagram TV. Instagram TV is very similar to the normal videos that you post. It is also similar to going live. Instagram TV (IGTV) is used to share videos that are longer than one minute. It gets its tv portion of its name due to these videos being up to 10 minutes long, with ceratin accounts being able to go up to one hour in length. If you use this like you would any other video, you can grow your fanbase and get them hooked on a series you create.

Conclusion

When it comes to Instagram for singers, there is a lot to know. It is important to remember that is you use Instagram correctly, you can grow your fanbase and your followers. Two things to take away is to optimize your page and post when your audience is active. Be sure to check out one of our previous articles to learn about some Tips to Sing Louder Without Damaging Your Voice.

Sources

https://newsfeed.org/facebook-and-instagram-introduce-6-new-music-related-tools
http://www.telltaleweekly.org/gramblast-buy-likes-on-instagram-music-promotion-through-instagram
https://wolfglobal.org/blog/instagram-bio-writing-to-attract-followers-tips/
https://newartistmodel.com/instagram-for-musicians-5-tips/
https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2017/10/10-tips-increasing-social-media-engagement/

winter vocal tips - woman sitting on couch with mug

Looking After Your Voice During The Winter

With the temperature dropping and days getting shorter, your voice will need extra care and precaution if you want to keep it at peak condition. So, how do you care for your voice during the cold winter months? Continue reading to learn more about winter vocal care and what you can do to keep your voice in shape.

General Vocal Care

If you want to keep your voice healthy and in shape year-round, there are a few things that you are going to need to do. These being to eat well, drink water, exercise, and get enough sleep. If you do all of these you can, for the most part, keep your voice in shape.

Eat Well

What you eat for your meals plays an important role in your voice. For example, if you have a sore throat, honey can help by soothing it. However, not all foods are good for your voice. Check out one of our previous articles to learn more about some Foods For Your Voice: 4 Good and 4 Bad.

Drink Water

Water is important for your voice year-round as it moisturizes your vocal cords. However, during the winter, it is especially important as the cold air is usually dry and you will most likely need more water. Another thing to remember is that if you drink coffee, tea, alcohol, or any drink with caffeine, you will need to drink even more water to balance it out.

Exercise

Exercising can benefit almost all aspects of your overall health. It can also be beneficial for your voice. While it may not be directly affecting it, one way is that exercising can reduce your stress levels. This can be very beneficial if you have an audition or big performance coming up.

Sleep

As with exercise, getting enough sleep at night is important for almost all aspects of your health. Sleep allows you to rest your voice after a long day. It can also help prevent your voice from being fatigued. The experts at UT Southwestern Medical Center state that “Lack of sleep and fatigue reduces our breath support and negatively affects the mechanics of voice production, which causes our muscles to work harder than they need to when vocalizing.” Check out this article to learn more about Why Sleep Is Important For Your Vocal Health.”

Winter Vocal Care

If you want to best take care of your voice during the winter, you are going to want to continue to practice the general vocal care tips mentioned above, along with some winter vocal care tips too. If you do all of them, you can better ensure that your voice stays healthy.

Breathing

During the winter, if you do not already, you should get into the habit of breathing nasally. This means breathing in through your nose. This can not only filter out germs and bacteria, but it can also help protect your vocal cords from the cold, dry, winter air. If you are inside, you should be fine to breathe through your mouth as the air is not as cold and dry as it is outside.

Steam

Steam can rehydrate your vocal cords faster than drinking water would. When you drink a glass of water, it needs to travel through your system before it reaches your larynx. This can take around eight hours, however, if you inhale steam from a steamer, humidifier, or steam room you can rehydrate your vocal cords immediately. The experts at Mount Sinai Health System recommend using a humidifier at home to help prevent winter laryngitis.

Warm Drinks

Warm drinks like herbal teas can be very beneficial if you have a sore throat. They can help soothe it while also cutting down any mucus that has built up. some things to add to your favorite tea are licorice, ginger, and honey. It is also important to remember that you should avoid any drinks with caffeine as it can dry out your throat even further and if you do, drink more water.

Conclusion

There are many ways to keep your voice in shape this winter season. If you continue to practice the general vocal care tips, and combine them with the special winter vocal care tips, you can further protect your voice from the cold weather.

Sources:

https://utswmed.org/medblog/vocal-cords-care-qa/
https://www.nawbo.org/resources/nawbo-one/2016/january/winter-voice-care

featured image for pursuing a career as a play-by-play announcer

Pursuing a Career as a Play-By-Play Announcer

Many sports fans dream of becoming a play-by-play announcer. It is a chance to be front and center at games and analyze every play. They are the voice of the game. However, there is a lot more to play-by-play commentating than others realize. It is a skill and not something that can be picked up overnight. Here are what others need to know about pursuing a career as a play-by-play announcer.

Education

Every play-by-play announcer has earned at least a Bachelors’s degree. They have majored in subjects like Communications, Broadcasting, Speech, etc. It is important to learn how to speak effectively and clearly and education can help. Some colleges claim they specialize in sports broadcasting. However, the top play-by-play announcers did not attend any of these universities. It is still possible to become a sport’s announcer if you do not get into a specific university.

Gain Experience

Just like with any career, you are going to have to start from the bottom. It is important to gain as much experience as possible to help you climb the ladder. Get your foot in the door with any job announcing sports. This could be a sports team for any college game or even a high school football game. Many people have even had to volunteer until finding a paid job as a play-by-play announcer. Practice often and record yourself. When listening to yourself, make notes on how you can improve.

Learn from Professionals

view from a play-by-play announcer's seat at a baseball game

As a play-by-play announcer, there is always more to learn and always room for improvement. That is why learning from anyone with more experience is so important. Nowadays, internships are available and usually required to help beginners gain experience and learn from others. An internship is also a great place to network and meet others in the field. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to land a paying job.

If this sounds like the career for you then get started right away. While pursuing a career as a play-by-play announcer is possible, it will be tough. There is a lot of competition out there. However, practice and experience will help you land the job of your dreams. To help keep your voice clear while announcing for a game, try our vocal spray. Clear Voice Spray is formulated to soothe your voice and prevent irritation while speaking or singing for long periods.

Sources

tips to sing louder

Tips To Sing Louder Without Damaging Your Voice

Many people struggle with the volume of their voices when they sing. To fix this, they turn to quick fixes that allow them to sing louder. However, these can be harmful to your voice and in some cases cause damage to it. So, how do you sing louder without hurting your voice? Continue reading to learn about our tips to sing louder.

How To Sing Louder

Vocal Exercises

The first of our tips to help you sing louder is to warm up your voice and practice with vocal exercises. These can allow you to make sure that you are ready to sing loud without straining your voice. The reason that you want to do these is that your vocal folds are muscles and need a warm-up before a work out just like other muscles.

Runners need to practice and warm-up their muscles before running a marathon. If they don’t, they won’t make it far, and if they do, they will be sore and tired. Just like them, you need to warm-up your muscles before you use them. That way, you can sing louder without the risk of straining your voice.

Stay Hydrated

Even though this tip might seem like an obvious one, many people tend to overlook the importance of it. This is due to water being able to protect your vocal cords from damage. This is why it is important to not only stay hydrated before you perform but take small sips of water throughout it too.

When drinking water, another important thing to note is to drink room temperature water. As tempting as a glass of ice-cold water can be after a performance, it can cause harm to your voice. It does this by making your vocal cords cold. As previously mentioned, your vocal cords are muscles. When muscles get cold, they contract and tense up.

Posture

Having good posture when you sing in important to sing in general. If you have good posture, you can also sing louder and project your voice further. This is because when you sing, you need to use your whole body so you can sing louder without putting any strain on your voice.

To make sure that you have the perfect posture when you perform, practice like you are performing. Good singing posture includes standing tall, feet shoulder-width apart, chest high and in an open position and loose position. Another thing to do is to make sure that you are opening your mouth all the way. That way you do not sound muffled when you sing. Most importantly, make sure that your singing posture is comfortable for you. That way you can focus on what you are singing instead of the position that you are standing in.

Stop When Your Voice Hurts

When you practice singing louder so you can project your voice further, you may feel some strain on your voice. If you start to feel like your voice is getting tired, stop singing and take a break. Use this time to rest and get something to eat or drink. Try to only drink water, and eat foods like honey to soothe your throat. Be sure to check out this article to learn about some Foods For Your Voice: 4 Good and 4 Bad.

Breath Support

Breath support is controlling the breath during singing. When you breathe normally, a breath cycle takes around 4 seconds for you to breath in and exhale. However, when you are singing, you will need a much longer time for the breath cycle to complete. Even though it takes longer, you want to make sure that you are not breathing out too much. Voicesinc.org, an online music instructor states “We want to use your breath to the best advantage, letting out just enough air to create a good sound through your vocal folds.” If you use too much of your breath you will run out of the air which can lower the volume of your voice. That is why breath control is important in order to sing louder.

Progress Will Take Time

One thing to know about these tips to help you sing louder is to remember that it is going to take time for your vocal cords to get used to it. This is why you don’t want to push yourself beyond your limits and stop when your voice hurts. Another reason to expect it to take time is if you progress gradually, the chances of you damaging your voice will be lowered.

Runners do not expect to show up on race day and run a marathon without proper practice and training. You should be the same as the way you approach singing. Take the time to prepare yourself and train so you do not damage your voice.

Amplification Tools

Using things such as a microphone with a sound system can improve how loud your voice projects in an instant without any of the other tips mentioned in this article. However, a sound system might not be available each time you sing, so it is important to understand how to sing louder without one.

Conclusion

There are many tips to sing louder. You can use these, but it is important to note that any and all of these tips will take some time for you to get the best results. Another key takeaway is to make sure that you stop to take breaks whenever you feel like your voice is becoming strained.

To help your voice get through your performance, try a vocal spray like the ones here at Clear Voice.

Sources:

https://www.voicesinc.org/how-to-sing-louder/
https://mollysmusic.org/blog/how-to-sing-loud-without-hurting-your-voice/
https://performancehigh.net/how-to-sing-louder-right-now/

featured image for one-hit wonders of the music industry

One-Hit Wonders of the Music Industry

There is a lot of music out there, good and bad. These singers were all lucky enough to have a great hit. A minute in the spotlight. Unfortunately, their music careers did not go very far. Here are some of the one-hit wonders of the music industry.

Vanilla Ice

This artist is known for his song, “Ice, Ice, Baby” and maybe his hair, but that is about it. Not too many people have heard any of his other music, but almost everyone has heard “Ice, Ice, Baby”. Bonus points if you know all the words!

Los Del Rio

Their song has a fun dance almost everyone knows! They are known for their song, “Macarena”.

Carl Douglas

This Jamaican artist sang one of the most exciting and catchy disco songs out there. His song, “Kung Foo Fighting” is still sung by many today. The song has appeared in many movies, including the popular kids’ movie, Kung Foo Panda.

The Surfaris

Another popular song used in movies is the song “Wipe Out” by the Surfaris. Other than the Beach Boys, this song is used for beach scenes in many movies.

Bobby McFerrin

One of the happiest songs out there, Bobby wrote the song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”. This upbeat acapella song was instantly a hit. This song is perfect for when you are feeling down a need a little pick me up.

Tal Bachman

His popular song “She’s So High” become a number one hit when it was released. It has appeared in movies and almost everyone knows the song. However, it was the only song that the artist had any success with. He did release another single a few years later, but it never gained any attention.

Cupid

This singer’s top hit also has a fun dance. The “Cupid Shuffle” is played at almost any event with a dance floor. Best of all, the dance is one of the easiest line dances to learn. Unfortunately for Cupid, his music career did not go anywhere after the success of “Cupid Shuffle”. He even auditioned for The Voice, but never actually made it onto the show.

The music industry is very competitive. However, these one-hit wonders of the music industry managed to get their music out there. Creating a top hit is still quite the accomplishment, even if their careers did not go far. Releasing a top hit is something any music artist dreams of. The luck of a singer can change almost overnight. Check out these singers who were discovered on YouTube and are still famous today. Don’t forget to also check out our Clear Voice Spray to help keep your voice healthy and clear for performances.

Sources

https://www.insider.com/best-one-hit-wonders-2018-5#to-be-with-you-by-mr-big-1991-29

how to learn lines

Tips For Learning Lines

Once you landed the audition you have been practicing hours for, you will be handed a script and are expected to learn your lines. However, many people tend to struggle with this and can get discouraged. So, what can you do to memorize the script? Continue reading to find out how to learn lines.

How To Learn Lines

Study

While this may seem obvious, some people tend to overlook the importance of this. Just simply reading the scripts in your head a few times can help it stick. To further this, you can read them out loud so you are able to hear for yourself what they sound like.

Write It Out

Writing your lines out can help you memorize long scenes or speeches. The New York Film Academy states “Writing your lines out by hand forces your mind to connect to the action of writing the lines down and seeing the lines.” Be sure to only write out your lines so you do not get confused or distracted by anyone else lines. Another thing to note is that you should not type them out as it does not work the same as writing them out with pen and paper.

Practice With Someone

After you have gone over your lines with yourself and written them out, you can practice with a friend. If available, make sure that this friend is also an actor and preferably in the same show that you are in.

If you run your lines with another actor, they can coach you on what you need to work on and give direction as to what to do. You can then repay the favor to them by helping them with their lines.

Use An App

If you do not have someone available to run your lines with, you can download an app on your phone to help you learn lines. The New York Film Academy recommends the Rehearsal 2 app. While it is quite pricy at $19.99 they state that, “It allows you to highlight lines in the app, record other characters’ lines, and use it as a teleprompter.” Other apps that you can use to learn your lines are ones like Rehearsal Pro or Line Learner. Social Media Week has a list of more apps that are made for actors that you can see here.

Learn Cue Lines

Cue lines are the lines spoken by a different character that leads into the lines that you say. If you get into the habit of learning and memorizing these lines, you can get your brain to remember your lines once these are said. If you learn these lines, you can deliver yours in a timely manner.

Quiz Yourself

After you have done the other things on the list, and you think that you know your lines pretty well, you can quiz yourself on your lines. There are many ways to do this, with the easiest being to cover up a page and recite your lines without taking a peek.

Another way to do this is to have a friend read your cue lines and then you recite it. If you keep practicing and are able to go through the whole page, you can move on to the next one until you work up to being able to recite your lines from the entire show.

Take A Break

Taking a break from practicing can help you do many things. It can allow you to rest and relax your mind. While you rest, your brain can process the information it just acquired. You can do this by taking a nice, quiet walk through a park or by going for a drive around town. Just try not to get any road rage, as it can distract you from rest.

The last way to take a break is to take a short nap. All you need is a 20-30 minute power nap to get your brain to process it. If you want to improve your nap, listen to a recording of the show or just your lines to better remember them.

Conclusion

Memorizing what you need to say is not as hard as it may seem if you know how to learn lines. One thing to remember is that it will take time and practice in order to get it right. If it is available, try not to cram in all of the memorizing all at once. If you have the time, take the opportunity to slow down so you can better remember when it comes time to perform. Be sure to also check out one of our previous articles to learn How To Prepare For An Audition.

Sources:

https://www.nyfa.edu/student-resources/6-simple-tips-for-memorizing-lines/
https://dramatics.org/making-it-stick/
https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2015/06/8-awesome-apps-actors/

featured image for best Christmas songs of 2019

Best Christmas Songs of 2019

Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. The decorations, the parties, the lights, and best of all – the music. Christmas music fills our homes, our car rides, and even the stores. It is the soundtrack of December. New Christmas music is coming out each year. Here are some of the best Christmas songs of 2019. With all the classic Christmas music, it can be hard for new music to compete. These songs, however, shined the brightest.

Jonas Brothers – Like It’s Christmas

The Jonas Brothers recently made a comeback and have been releasing some great music. On their list of new music this year is this Christmas song that was instantly a hit. This is one of the top Christmas songs of 2019 and for good reason. It’s both catchy and festive! The perfect recipe for a Christmas hit.

Alessia Cara – Make It To Christmas

Although more of a love song, this has been one of the most popular Christmas songs of 2019. While it may not be your ideal Christmas song, it is still a great one to add to your holiday playlist.

Phil Wickham – This Year for Christmas

This song is great for reminding you of the true meaning of Christmas. It is not about gifts or decorations. It is about giving, being grateful for what we have, and loving those around us. Sometimes it takes the magic of Christmas to remind us that.

Jack Johnson – New Axe

Jack Johnson never fails to disappoint with his music. His music is a great soundtrack to any coastal gathering.

Los Lobos – It’s Christmastime in Texas

This one is extra festive! This song has a quick beat and the accordion adds a fun sound. While there aren’t too many lyrics, it is still a great song to get you moving and excited about the holidays.

Phil Wickham – The Face of God

Phil is on a roll this year with his new Christmas album. Once again, he focuses on why we celebrate Christmas and what started it all.

Ingrid Michaelson & Jason Mraz – Christmas Valentine

One of the best music duos released this new Christmas song this year with the cutest music video to go along.

Lea Michele – Christmas in New York

This upbeat song will no doubt get you in the holiday spirit.

There is so much great music out there. These are just the best Christmas songs of 2019, and new music is coming out each year. Don’t forget to check out our Clear Voice Spray formulated to protect the voices of singers and other vocalists.