Microphone techniques that will help improve your performance
Microphone techniques: Singers should be aware of microphone techniques as they can help improve performance and prevent any blunders to the show.
Microphone techniques and other singer’s advice can be found in the forthcoming book, The Secret to Success in the Music Industry.
How microphone techniques can improve your performance
Microphone techniques are often overlooked as one of the skills you need to become a successful singer and performer. However, the way you use the microphone can affect your performance in many ways.
Pointers on microphone techniques
Get comfortable with the microphone
When first starting out it’s only natural for singers to be very nervous when given a microphone for the first time and it often comes across in their performance. Feeling tense and holding a mic awkwardly can really affect your vocals more than you would imagine, so get to know the feeling as early as possible by practising.
If you don’t own a microphone then use a prop; although it may seem a bit lame using a bottle or hairbrush, it will definitely get you used to that feeling and soon that mic will be just like an extension of your arm and, more importantly, your voice!
Sing into the microphone
Make sure you sing right into it. It’s one of the simplest microphone techniques but it’s so SO important. Singing directly into the microphone allows all of your vocals to be fully projected. Most microphones have a radius around them that will detect noise, it’s important to hit this radius with every note you sing.
If you sing with the microphone too far away from your mouth and you won’t allow the tones, dynamics and power of your vocal to be fully captured. Already you could be at a disadvantage to other performers on stage who have mastered microphone techniques. Ideally you should keep the mic one or two centimetres from your mouth at all times except for the high or more powerful notes.
If you turn and move round the stage always maintain the same distance and if you use it as part of your performance during instrumental breaks always make sure you bring it back to your mouth. If you don’t, the projection of your vocal will be inconsistent and you’ll lose key elements in the performance of your song.
Sing into the microphone how you would usually sing
This may sound really obvious but this is especially vital for that all important sound check as the sound engineer will set your levels based on the vocal volume he or she hears. If that changes dramatically or is inconsistent in either the sound check or the actual performance they’ll simply have to guess when to put your vocal level up and down. Whether you manage to get away with it or not, chances are it will result in you not sounding your best.
Microphone techniques for singers
Avoiding feedback and distortion
Feedback is that awful sound the microphone gives out that causes everyone to wince a little, a main reason to work on your microphone techniques. One of the most common ways for a microphone to affect your performance is with feedback from the speakers or monitors. Take time to check where they’re situated on the stage and simply avoid getting too close.
Distortion occurs for a couple of reasons, one of them being a singer holding the microphone too close or too far from their mouth. The distance from your mouth to the microphone is essential as it can make your vocals sounds muffled and distant. The other reason a singer might notice distortion is when the volume is too high on their microphone. Keep the volume low enough to allow you head room to project and not peak which creates distortion.
Balance on the volume control
A very common problem singers face during a performance is not getting the balance right between the backing track and the microphone. You want the backing track to be loud enough that you can hear it but also so you can hear yourself. This can vary a lot depending on the quality and production of the track.
If you don’t have a sound engineer, the best way to solve this is through trying out various settings until you’re happy. Ideally have a third party present standing near the back of the room where you’ll be performing to ensure the microphone is loud enough for you to be heard but not be overpowering.
Hopefully you will have practised your song to give dynamics to the performance and emphasise the low and high notes whilst practising microphone techniques. This is the time you will need to pull the microphone away from your mouth on the high notes or risk feedback and being too loud – how far you pull away really depends on the volume and power you sing them with.
Far too often this is ill timed by singers and they pull the mic away too quickly thus losing the projection where it’s needed to give maximum impact. Timing is crucial and observing other seasoned singers as we’ve mentioned before, on YouTube for example, can really assist you to nail this.
Having strong microphone techniques can really help a singer enhance their performance. Breath control in particular when holding a note is crucial. If you have little breath left by the end of that important sustained note, a sudden dip in power is going to be very noticeable to you and your audience. Try pulling the microphone away from you then bring it back as the note ends. It should sound as if you held it consistently and the audience will be left remembering the power you still had to the very last second – very impressive!
Take a look at some other similar articles;
And don't forget you can enter Open Mic UK now!
BRISTOL OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10
Not many cities in the UK rival Bristol for live music venues. Open Mic UK outline the top 10 of Bristol's open mic nights.
The birthplace of respected artists like Portishead and Massive Attack, Bristol has an …
DORSET OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10
The top 10 of Dorset's open mic nights. We take a look at the best open mic nights that the county of Dorset has to offer singers and musicians.
There’s a ton of opportunities to enjoy some fantastic live …
BOURNEMOUTH OPEN MIC NIGHTS THE TOP 10
With new bars and music venues popping up all over, there’s definitely a buzz about Bournemouth.
Open Mic Finder in Bournemouth
Bournemouth not only possesses a gorgeous coastline and vibrant …
TOP 10 OPEN MIC NIGHTS SOUTHAMPTON 2018
Open Mic Finder in Southampton
Southampton may be best known for its connection to the Titanic, but the city has also made a name for itself through its thriving music scene. This bustling …
HOW TO RAP
Rapping with confidence, control, and emotion.
How to Rap - Five Key Areas of Focus
How to Rap: In this article we have focused on five key areas to help you improve your rapping techinique.Lyrics are the fundamental part of any rap …
MUSIC ARTIST MANAGEMENT
What does Music Artist Management do?
Music Artist Management: All music mangers vary and can do an array of different jobs to help artists develop every aspect of their music careers. What a manager does for you …
LOOKING FOR A MUSIC MANAGER?
Should you be looking for a music manager?
Looking for a music manager?: Certainly what we’d advise especially when starting out is just concentrate on your own affairs to begin with before you start looking …
WRITING A PRESS RELEASE
Putting together and writing a press release
Writing a press release: You need something to back up your words explaining your story for your newspaper article, that’s where writing a press release, comes in. …
JAMES NEILSON CROWNED OPEN MIC UK 2017 CHAMPION!
Future Music have crowned James Neilson Open Mic UK's 2017 overall winner
Open Mic UK 2017 Champion: The national music competition Open Mic UK has found its latest winner! Joining a long line of …
OPEN MIC UK 2017 PRIZE WINNERS
Judges’ Top Scores and Prize Winners Announced
Open Mic UK 2017 Prize Winners: The Open Mic UK 2017 Grand Final judges’ top scores and prize winners have been revealed! The national music competition …
TeenStar 2018 Audition Dates Now Released!
TeenStar 2018 audition dates are now released! TeenStar, the UK’s only singing and dance competition exclusively for 19 year olds and younger, have now released their 2018 audition dates! …
MUSIC COMPETITION OPEN MIC UK 2017 AUDITION DATES RELEASED
Music competition auditions dates for Open Mic UK 2017 have been announced!
Open Mic UK have announced their music competition auditions dates for Open Mic UK 2017! The Open Mic UK music …
SAM CLINES CROWNED OPEN MIC UK 2016 CHAMPION!
Future Music have crowned Sam Clines Open Mic UK's 2016 overall winner
Open Mic UK winner: The national singing competition Open Mic UK has found its latest winner! Joining a long line of prestigious …
OPEN MIC UK MUSIC COMPETITION WINNER – JUDGES’ TOP SCORES!
The Open Mic UK music competition winner 2016 Grand Final judges’ top scores have been revealed! The Open Mic UK music competition Grand Final took place at The NEC in …
TeenStar audition dates now released!
TeenStar audition dates are now released! TeenStar, the UK’s only competition exclusively for pre-teens and teenagers, have now released their audition dates! And new for this year it’s also open …
AUDITION DATES RELEASED
Music competition auditions for Open Mic UK 2016 are announced today!
Open Mic UK have announced their music competition auditions dates for Open Mic UK 2016! The Open Mic UK music competition auditions will be …
MUSIC COMPETITION COMES TO MANCHESTER
The Open Mic UK music competition came to Media City UK, Manchester
Music competition in Media City UK: Manchester played host to the Open Mic UK's music competition where singers and songwriters …
MUSIC COMPETITION COMES TO CAMDEN, LONDON
The Open Mic UK music competition came to Dingwalls, Camden
Music competition in Camden: Dingwalls in Camden, played host to the Open Mic UK's music competition where singers and …
A&R MUSIC – ADVICE FROM THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
A&R music industry professionals provide advice from the Grand Final.
A&R Music: The Open Mic UK music competition grand final hosted the best unsigned singers from across the …
NORTH EAST MUSIC CONTEST
Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for the North East Music Contest at Dewsbury Town Hall
North East Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d like …
SOUTH ENDLAND MUSIC CONTEST
Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for South England Music Contest at The Engine Rooms
South England Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d …
NORTH WEST AND SCOTLAND MUSIC CONTEST
Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for North West and Scotland Music Contest at The Forum Theatre
North West and Scotland Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a …
MIDLANDS MUSIC CONTEST
Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for Midlands Music Contest at The NEC
Midlands Music Contest: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d like advice on how to develop as …
LONDON MUSIC OPPORTUNITIES
Singers and songwriters came to impress at a show for London music opportunities at the Beck Theatre
London Music Opportunities: Open Mic UK is more than a competition and if you’d like advice on how …