Monday, September 29, 2008

Sing your heart out ... in public!

Howdy Hive!

I am by no means a professional singer. The closest I've come to it is dreaming of singing for Disney soundtracks or on Broadway or on stage in front of 10,000 people. (Okay, so I had a chance at the last one but composing my own music would have won me more points, right?) And I know that many want to sing at their wedding but are too shy. So I decided to post a few tips that I have when it comes to singing. (Image source)

Live or Pre-recorded?
If you're afraid your voice will crack when singing live, try recording it. You can, then, give it out as part of the favors in cases or hanging them with pretty ribbon from the ceiling, or play it during the unity candle lighting or after the toast, etc.

Practice makes perfect.
Or so they say. It's worked for many people, so it can only do more good than harm. If you expect to see results without the work, you're either going to be disappointed or going to realize that you need to sign a contract with a recording label. Some people like the acoustics in the bathroom, but if you're actual performance isn't going to be in the bathroom, why waste your time there? When you practice, it's a good idea to find out which parts you need to work on more rather than just singing the whole song over and over - be efficient with your time; you have a lot on your plate right now. Then, when it comes to practicing the song in its entirety, sing it as if it were the "real deal." Trust me, if you laugh in the middle of your song every time you practice, you're more prone to do so at your wedding. Let's not. And let's also fix the saying to PERFECT PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT PERFECT.

Song choice, dawg!
While Simon Cowell would tell you that what you're wearing is hideous, Randy would tell you that it's all about song choice. If you've got an opera voice, use that and pick a song from Phantom of the Opera. If you're more of a rocker, don't sing a happy-go-lucky song. Know what your style is and stick to what you're good at. You'll sound your best when you feel most comfortable (and confident - make them believe that you meant to change that note). And remember: Work it!

Golden Rule: Treat your throat as you would like to be treated.
*Don't drink coffee, tea, or any caffine that dehydrates.
*Do drink hot water with some honey, especially on days that your throat is "scratchy."
*Don't go to a football game the day before your wedding.
*Do spend time warming up your voice. (Google them. A couple of my favorites are "Many mumbling mice" because it's so silly as it works and "1, 1-2-1, 1-2-3-2-1" because it's fun seeing how music can make even counting to 8 challenging.)
*Don't deliberately try to strain your voice.
*Do let your vocals rest when it needs it.
*Don't use your nasals or throat to strain and reach for a note that you may not be able to hit at the present time.
*Do sing from your diaphragm. (When you breathe in your lungs should expand; lungs contract when you breath out.)
*Don't eat/drink dairy products which will cause mucus right before singing.
*Do have some room temperature water (cold will constrict your vocal pipes) nearby in case you want one last sip before your shining moment.

I have to say, I wish I could have a full-on Gospel Choir sing at my wedding. It would be so fun to walk out as husband and wife to "O Happy Day." Still, because Mr. and I love music so much, we have a special surprise for our guests at our wedding. Look forward to it! :)

But perhaps singing may not be your "thang," so I leave y'all with this. Enjoy! It's giving me more things to consider... hehe.

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