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Getting the Right Volume for Practicing and Gigging

How do you determine the right volume for practice and gigging?

This can be a difficult, and sometimes contentious, problem.  Different band members may have different opinions (desires, requests, demands), and audience members are no different.

Some solutions that can be attempted are:

  • talking to the other band members (Hey! it could work … or not)
  • individual monitors and monitor mixes
  • in-ear monitors or headphones
  • ear-plugs

Some of these solutions will work for problems with the audience as well.  However, in any audience you are always going to have some who want it louder and some who think you’re already too loud!Read more: Getting the Right Volume for Practicing and Gigging

Vocal Performance Preparation

Whether you’re going to be singing in a live performance or a recording situation, proper vocal preparation is essential.  Warm up exercises not only improve the quality of your singing, they also help protect your vocal instrument from damage.

But it’s not just the singing that can cause damage. Screaming, too much talking, or talking in noisy surroundings can also stress your vocal chords.

The lead singer in a band I was in had to stop singing for three months due to damage to her vocal chords.  We were playing every weekend in a local bar, and, in between songs, people would come up and talk or request songs.

The damage was caused not by her singing (her singing technique was excellent), but by having to lean over her keyboard and talk over the crowd noise.Read more: Vocal Performance Preparation

Questions and Answers for Independent Musicians

When you are starting out as a musician, or even when you’ve been at it for a long time, there are questions that are specific to independent musicians.

Some of these questions may be related to making a living as a musician, or they may be about how to become a better or more successful musician.

You may be wondering how much money you might eventually make, or what your lifestyle will be like. Do you need a back-up plan?  How do you make the connections to get the gigs you want?

If you already an established musician, whether locally, regionally, or nationally, you may find yourself being interviewed and asked questions about what it’s like to be a musician.Read more: Questions and Answers for Independent Musicians

Artist Burnout

Is the new model for success in the music business leading to artist burnout?

At least in for some artists, this may be the case. The money isn’t in the albums anymore, it’s in the performances and merchandise. Instead of going out on tour in support of a new album, artists are finding it necessary to always be in the public eye.

The strenuous nature of this type of exposure can lead to physical problems such as vocal nodes, hip surgeries, and cancelled tours due to exhaustion. In other words – artist burnout.

CD sales no longer are not what they used to be and many live shows are physically exhausting dance extravaganzas.

If  artists burn out at an early stage in their careers, how will they continue to perform (and make a lucrative income) in their later years?Read more: Artist Burnout

Stage Fright and Musicians

A large percentage of musicians experience stage fright, before or during almost every performance.  Is this necessarily a bad thing?

If you can use the nervous energy to get that extra “edge” to your performance, it can be a good thing.

In fact, a certain amount of anxiety may be necessary for you to get into “the zone” where everything just clicks for you and your performance.  Without that extra kick, your performance may just be flat and uninspired.

If, on the other hand, stage fright overwhelms you and causes you to freeze up, it can be devastating for your performance.Read more: Stage Fright and Musicians