So the day has finally come when you, your pianist and recording engineer can all come together at the same time and give birth to the most beautiful musical creation this world has ever heard! — oh no, but wait…you forgot one thing. Did you remember to bring all your copies of music? Did you correctly mark each copy with the right measure numbers? Did you call or text a reminder to the pianist to get there 10 minutes before hand?
Shhh, love. You got this all covered. Why? Because you’ve read my blog before-hand, so now you’re ready and prepared as ever!
So without further adieu!:
Top 5 Tips on How to Prepare for Your Professional Voice Recording
#1. GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP - That means no loud social gatherings or alcohol consumption the day before either - and if you think you can get away by whispering throughout the day you are TERRIBLY wrong.
When you whisper you’re actually squeezing your vocal cords together more tightly, which can literally damage your pipes.
SAY WHAAA? So next time you want to whisper, don't. Talk softly instead. The voice you would use is if you want to talk to somebody next to you without having other people in the room hear.
#2. WHAT TO WEAR — “Should I wear those sexy heels?” Save 'em for the hot date afterwards. You want to avoid wearing anything that could possibly make sound, such as jewelry, crinkly shirts, squeaky shoes or heels. When you record you want to be as comfortable as possible. Don’t wear anything too tight either and make sure the material is breathable - trust me, you will be sweating bullets.
#3. HAVE YOUR MUSIC PREPARED BEFOREHAND — I’ll never forget when Marilyn Horne told me, “Confidence comes from preparation.” Having your music prepared before hand not only shows good musicianship, but could save you from catastrophe. (Oh believe me, I’ve heard some major horror stories.)
That means multiple copies of the music for yourself, your pianist AND your recording engineer. Triple check that every page is in order. That also means making sure each measure is correctly numbered and marked - have someone proof read this for you.
***Just beware that the more time you spend fiddling with papers, the less time you have ultimately to do what you went in there for in the first place — record! Trust me, you’ll need to take one or perhaps a couple vocal breaks and rest during your session. So remember, the easiest way to quiet down a worried mind is if you triple check these things before hand so that you when the time comes, you can waltz right in there with your fine, confident self and WERK that voce like yo mama gave you!
#4. GRAB BAG — Fully stocked with all vocal essentials that should be near you:
- Water for you
- Water for your pianist
- EXTRA water
- Pencil (wood preferably - mechanical makes noise)
- Extra copy of music (like I said, you just never know)
- Liquifyers (aka anything that is saliva producing such as Apple slices, tea, honey, gum, honey drops, gummy bears, etc…)
- Camera (for some “behind the scenes” shots perfect for social media)
- Tip book (your tiny booklet of Go-To reminders with helpful tips and tricks to look over and make sure you remember right before you sing. Example: A quick and easy reminder on correct breathing, grounding, placement (third eye/inner smile) and posture. This alone can save you tons of time and money in the studio or help you ace that big audition or performance. Here's an inside look of my tip book:
#5. HAVE FUN — Let’s be real. You’re a BEAST on the stage, but standing in front of a microphone in one place without the ability to move much makes you feel antsy and all you want to do instead is sing your face off in the shower. Recording professionally can be extremely stressful — especially when you take into account the cost of recording (typically $150 per hour, not including mixing costs) and not to mention you’re already a perfectionist to begin with, so that doesn’t help.
Remember why you’re in love with singing in the first place and how amazing it makes you and your fans feel. And if all else, read some funny jokes before hand to get your mind off of things. You should also have a "Joke Book". This could even be a collection of funny memes in a folder on your Smartphone.
Whatever the case, know that you CAN be CONFIDENT because YOU are PREPARED. And like her or not, Marilyn Horne’s right. Where does confidence come from? Preparation.