Singing Performance Tips – Getting Ready for the Gig

Singing Performance Tips

Top 5 Singing Performance Tips for Gig Days


Establish a Pre Performance Routine

Unlike the voice studio or rehearsal room, a live concert situation is the ultimate test of a singer\’s ability to give a perfect vocal performance at a specific time.

As owners of  a vocal instrument that is highly susceptible to environmental changes (sic) it makes good sense for us to be as physically, vocally and mentally prepared as possible for each gig or concert. Establishing a consistent pre performance routine will help you do just that:)

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1) Try to get lots of rest

Your instrument is a living breathing machine and it requires proper rest to sing well. Allow some extra dropping off, reading time and go to bed an hour ahead of your schedule.

If you are feeling tired then get some fresh air and try some coffee but do not sleep.

Quick question because I am curious: why are naps bad? I almost never take one, so are there any

2) Plan your menu and meal times

Have you ever tried to sing after eating a huge meal? It’s not much fun. Once again, you need to do a bit of reverse planning with your daily schedule. This will give your body plenty of time to digest the food and leave you feeling light with the freedom to be able to work all of your singing muscles.

You should pay special attention to your diet particularly on singing performance days. Also, stay away from sugary and caffeinated drinks as they can cause lethargy and fatigue and stick to water and herbal teas.

My own preference is to have a moderate breakfast consisting of juice, coffee, toast and fruit. Then, wherever possible, I try to eat my main meal of the day as a late lunch about 2pm. This then allows me to only need a light snack prior to the show (soup/salad/sandwich). If you need to eat anything to keep going leading up to the show then choose a banana or a good vegetable soup or juice.

3) Allow time for vocal warmups

Really Tony? Yes, my friend!

This is the equivalent of a Formula 1 team checking every component of their racing machine well in advance of the race – making sure that every precision component is interacting with the other parts as efficiently as possible. Spend 15 minutes just getting the voice moving followed by 15-20 minutes of arpeggios and going over the challenging parts of your evening performance and then gently warm the voice down for about 10 minutes.

Depending on the venue, you may not always be able to find anywhere private to warm up your voice but you must make it happen. I’ve done my vocal warmups in cars, showers, portaloos, store cupboards, forests and many other bands’ dressing rooms! Don’t worry about others hearing you – just get it done.

4) Stock up on water, vitamins, tea and other singing performance paraphernalia

Good hydration should be a given for you as a singer.

  • Vitamin C – The #1 supplement you should be taking as a singer!
  • Helps to support the immune system and keep colds and bugs at bay.

  • Vitamin B complex – An essential supplement to maintain your energy levels.
  • Korean Ginseng – Reputed to give you great energy and it works for me.
  • Herbal Tea – A selection of flavoured teas
  • 5) Pack your essential clothing and equipment in advance

    This seems too obvious but make sure that you prepare and pack your gig bag well in advance. You don’t want to arrive at the gig and find that you’ve forgotten to bring your microphone, in ear monitors, sheet music, iPod, favourite shirt or lucky bangle!

  • In ear monitors

    Wireless System


    Vitamins (B,C,Niacin,Ginseng)

    Herbal tea bags

    If you are a regular performing singer, please forgive me. I\’m not telling you something you don\’t already know. But, how often do you really take the time to be properly prepared by planning your pre performance routine?

    Copyright Vocal Power 2013 by Tony O\’Hora


    • The Fan

      Reply Reply February 1, 2014

      Hello Tony.

      I’m from Brazil and a big fan of you. Your perfomance on Escape Into The Sun album is absolute gorgeous!! We, your fans, deserve another superb album like that, with you and Magnus Karlsson.

      Is there any possibility of a new album headed by Tony O’Hora and Magnus Karlsson????

      Thanks man. If I was a singer, you would be my teacher. You put an unique emotion in the music!! Fantastic voice.

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