Someone once asked me "what's your voodoo?".
Singers are weird. We all have our superstitions and rituals before a performance. Our instrument is odd because you can't see it. Even when your throat feels great, you can still ribbit at the wrong time. The diaphragm muscle has literally no nerves - you can't feel if it is fatigued or strained (well, it shouldn't be, but that is another post altogether).
To be on my A game, it takes discipline throughout the week. Assuming I have been doing my scales and resting adequately, on show day here is what I do.
- Warm the fuck up. I've been using The Deva Method: Vocal Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs for ....god, over 12 years I think. I can't live without it. I do it in the car on the way to the venue. I followed Jeannie Deva, celebrity vocal coach, online for years. She sadly passed away in January 2016. I love her approach so much, that I started taking lessons from one of her proteges.
- NO BEER. Beer makes you burp into the microphone. Nuff sed.
- Hot beverages help the vocal folds and surrounding muscles stay warm. I typically do hot water and lemon.
- Keep the shouting to a minimum. Clubs are LOUD. Shouting to have conversations is so bad for your voice. Admittedly, 50% of my job as a front person gets done in the hugs and high fives before and after a show, so restraint is key.
- Cool the fuck down. On the way home, I play Jeannie's cool down CD again. This goes a long way to combat hoarseness.
So there ya go! No, I don't really do anything super weird. I just try to find a balance between saving my voice and having fun!