You want to become a singer? A beginers guide to singing Part 5: Netowkring


Networking

So, after having gone through all the steps in previous blogs Part 1, Part2, Part3, Part 4, you should start to feel more confident with your approach to your singing career. But what if after reading all these blog post’s you’re finding it hard to get better gigs or progress in your career? Well, just like any business it is wise to start networking from the get go, so you can increase your chances of success in the music business.

you may have heard the term “networking” at some point in your life with a very small, if any, explanation to what you actually need to do. It’s quite simple: To network is to get out there and meet new people!

You need to be regularly meeting new and exciting people that are involved in all sorts of projects within different environments. The kind of people you should be networking with are bands, managers, agents and of course other singers. Have meaningful conversations with them. Ak them about their work and exchange contact details. You should also be meeting these people at a variety of different venues: gigs, open mic nights, showcases, even conferences.

Make sure your conversations are memorable and you STAY IN TOUCH. Be nice to these people and drop a call/ text/ insta message or whatever every so often. You never know when a band might need a Dep singer, or an agency is holding auditions for new acts. If you follow these rules they will most likely remember you first before asking around.

The relationships you start to build with people after networking can turn into new found friendships, which could even mean that when you do become successful they are more likely to support you in the future.

Remember, the most successful people normally know everybody, and you should try to get into that circle to develop your career prospects.

Of course, you can achieve success by yourself without the need for networking; but it’s so much easier when you have a circle of reliable and friendly people around you, who may also need to rely on you.

 

What have I learnt from writing this series?

Well firstly, I’m extremely grateful that you’ve taken your time to read through all of my blog posts, and i hope they have inspired you to develop your own singing career. Personally, I’ve reminded myself that this career is not a race to see who can get to the top first, because in reality not everyone wants to make it to the top and are fine making a living from music part time. I’ve also learnt that not everyone will take my advice on board because they may not see me as a ‘trust worthy and reliable source’ which is fine too. I cannot say I’m an expert on the subject, but I started this project in the hope of shining some light on struggling singers who may have hit a rock in the road somewhere down the line in their career, or maybe someone who want to make the jump from their day job to singing. I have used my own experiences and advice passed down to me to write these blog posts, and I hope they have given you an insight on what it’s like to be a successful singer.

 

So you want to be a singer? A beginers guide to singing Part 4: Practice


This is the second part in a 5 part blog series covering the ins and outs of being a professional singer. You can check out Part 1  Part 2  & Part 3 before reading this blog post. I’m not talking about becoming a famous singer, although that could always happen! Instead I’m going to be focusing on other avenues in your singing career rather than this being a ‘how to be a pop star” blog post.

Practice 

Practice makes perfect – or so they say! As a singer,  the last thing you want is to be underprepared for your first ever gig – or any gig for that matter! And that’s just the half of it. Being well rehearsed in your performance is one thing, but you also need to make sure you are practicing your vocals at home to build up stamina and skill which could later be used in your live performances.

Firstly, let’s start with the singing practice. You want to try and aim for vocal practice at least twice a week to begin with, then eventually 4 -5 times a week for at least an hour minimum and 3 hours maximum. You want to have a variety of exercises at hand to practice with including range, agility, breathing and pitching exercises. Make sure you warm up before your daily vocal practices because your practices are going to push you to the limit! If you’re unsure on how to go about planning your vocal practice then get together with a vocal coach who will advise you on the things you need to work on and help you devise a POA for your practice and warmup. Otherwise, you can get some vocal books with exercise CDs to help you get started. Funky ‘n Fun by Kim Chandler is a great way to start.

So, after your daily vocal practice you want to concentrate on show rehearsals. The big question on every singers mind is: “lyrics or no lyrics?” I’ve been a part of huge debates online about singers using their words for a show. The argument is that having a music stand in front of a singer will detach the audiences focus from the band because it is the singers soul purpose to connect and engage with the audience, and they couldn’t possibly do that whilst having their head stuffed in a folder? Of course from a singers point of view there are a tone of lyrics to learn and how could you possibly learn all of them especially if you are the only singer in the band? Other musicians just have to learn the same 4 chords for a song but a song structure will have at least 2 verses, one bridge and a chorus of lyrics to learn!

Personally, I think the argument for lyrics could work in the favour of someone who is a Dep singer for example. They would’ve just learnt a whole 2 sets worth of songs in a short space of time. However for singers who have been playing the same set over and over week in and week out, I think it’s about time they got rid of the music stand! Of course, if you are performing on a stage or part of a show then there would be no way a music stand is aloud. You never see original artists with their music stands (even when they didn’t write the song) so why should you?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and please let me know what your vocal practice is looking like. If you need any tips of how to devise a vocal practice then get in touch and I’ll get back to you with some help! Next week is the final part of this blog series and is all about networking in the business.

 

So you want to become a singer? A beginers guide to singing Part 3: Food & Lifestyle


This is the second part in a 5 part blog series covering the ins and outs of being a professional singer. You can check out Part 1 and Part 2 before reading this blog post. I’m not talking about becoming a famous singer, although that could always happen! Instead I’m going to be focusing on other avenues in your singing career rather than this being a ‘how to be a pop star” blog post.

Food & Lifestyle

Ok, firstly changing your lifestyle will take time, so don’t assume that these changes will happen over night. Give yourself at least a year to completely eliminate all the bad habits that will stop you from reaching your full potential in singing. So let’s tackle food firstly…

You might find a lot of singers are “health freaks” but there’s a fantastic reason for this. As a musician you must take care of your instrument, and yours unfortunately is inside of you. Because your vocal chords are a part of your body they are very vulnerable to damage and super delicate. Therefore, you must make sure your whole body is functioning properly for you to reach your full singing potential. Yes, that means you must try and lead a very healthy and active lifestyle. Why? Well if you want to be at the top of your game for every single performance then you need to be doing this!

Firstly, let’s assess your lifestyle right now. What do you eat on a day to day basis? Is it full of faty and salty food or stock full of vegtables and lean meats? Do you drink enough water or are you a fizzy drinks person? Are you passive in your day to day life or do you take the time to go for walks/ get public transport whenever possible?

If you are eating lots of fatty and sugary foods then not only are they unhealthy for your body but also your voice. Remember, your voice is part of your body so what you put inside of you affects the whole of you, and not just your waist line. Try to eliminate heavy fatty foods and swap them with healthier options. Example: if you really love your milk then swap if for skimmed milk or even better unsweetened almond milk. Instead of getting a take away every Friday why don’t you make your own “fake away” at home? Instead of frying your chips bake them instead. Making all these healthy changes will not only keep your body in tip top shape but you will start to feel good about yourself too.

For your voice in particular, dairy is a big no no, but not exactly off limits. You can have dairy if your heart desires, but not too much. This is because the vocal chords work by vibrating together with a thin layer of mucus lubricating them. If there is no lubrication then they wont vibrate properly (which is why it’s important to stay hydrated – preferably with water). If theres too much mucus in the way they wont be able to vibrate properly, which is the cause of a dairy overload, so make sure dairy is down to a minimum. Fatty and sugary foods also affect this, and the best way to keep the mucus in check is to drink lots of water.

So how much water should you drink? Well, if you do a little bit of research some sources will tell you to drink 2 litres exactly, some tell you to drink less than this and others tell you to keep drinking water until your urine is clear. Personally I drink 4 litres of water a day (around 7 pints) but I’ve spent about 3 years working myself up to that. Water is the best thing for your body so keep drinking it every day. Yes you will find you go to the toilet a lot at the start but you will get used to it. You can cut up some fruit and veg and pop it in a jug to give the water a different flavour. Check out my lemon and cucumber water for a bit of inspiration.

If you find your voice is always horse this might mean that you have acid reflux, which is a common diagnosis among singers. A horse voice might just mean you have bad singing technique, however reflux symptoms can include having indigestion during the day and a burning throat, really really bad breath and sore throat/ horse voice in the morning. If this happens then you need to eliminate most acidic foods from your diet, and again drink lots of water. For more info about acid reflux read this book. Saved my life literally.

Remember that your instrument is inside your body, so while all your band mates will be able to function properly at a gig right after having a huge indian take away, you won’t. One of the best things to have pre gig is a salad or something with bread like a sandwich., The more veg included the better as it’s full of water and wont make you burp!

Now lets talk about exercise. Personally I love to dance and sing at the same time. I like to shake my hips and get my knees up high and jump around like a complete loony at my gigs. When I first started my career, I found this difficult to do so i started brisk walking while talking to build up my stamina. I started jumping on the spot in my singing practices at home and now I’m quite good at sorting out a dance off without getting out of breath whenever I’m gigging. My point is, if I hadn’t of decided to train myself and my body physically, I still wouldn’t be able to do this now. It fascinates me when i see Beyonce singing and going all out with her epic dance moves at the same time. This is a skill she’s worked hard on for probably the past 20+ years (possibly way back to the Destiny’s Child days), and it looks & sounds amazing! you can tell she puts in the hard work EVERY SINGLE DAY so I cant stress enough how important it is to work out as well as eat right if you want long jeverdy in this business.

I love hearing from other singers on how they keep themselves healthy and what they do it for their art, so if you have any tips for me then let me know in the comments bellow. I hope this has helped you become a better singer/ eater. The next blog in the series will be about practicing.

 

So you want to become a singer? A beginners guide to singing Part 2: Money


This is the second part in a 5 part blog series covering the ins and outs of being a professional singer. You can check out Part 1 here. I’m not talking about becoming a famous singer, although that could always happen! Instead I’m going to be focusing on other avenues in your singing career rather than this being a ‘how to be a pop star” blog post.

MONEY!

Firstly, ask yourself why you want to become a singer? Is it just for the money? Do you seek fame and fortune or do you want to become a singer because you are passionate about music, and you want to express your feelings to the world through music and singing? If it’s the latter then you’re in for a great career. If you would much rather seek fame and fortune then I’de suggest sleeping with a famous rich man; it’s a lot easier and quicker.

Yes money is a small perk of the job, IF you are good at what you do and leave a good reputation with others. Otherwise, it can be a non stop battle for work, competing with other like minded singers for a 3hour spot at your local pub or club receiving the bare minimum in payment.

Before I started writing my own music I began my singing career at local pubs and Clubs throughout essex and London. I was trying so very hard to establish myself as an entertainer, often getting let down by the awful venues and terrible turn outs to practically every single gig. Don’t get me wrong, some gigs are great especially the parties and weddings, but these types of gigs often come round scarcely, so making money through pubs and social clubs are your best bet for a regular income.

When starting out my average pay was about £150 for x3 45min sets, most likely between the hours of 9 – 12pm or 8 -11pm. To make a good living you would need to do at least 2 of these gigs a week, and as venues normally don’t put on music during the week you’re looking at doing back to back gigs on Friday, Saturday & Sunday.

After performing for a few years my average pay went up to £180/£200 and the sets got shorter. I was getting that pay for x2 60min sets which is a lot less strenuous on your voice. Personally, I would just do one long set of 1.5hrs instead of two or three, but it’s not up to me unfortunately.

Of course, some venues may ask you to play for longer and ask you to accept a smaller payment (like play for 3 hours for £50), which you should SAY NO to. Why? Well, if I undercut my friend by £10, and then you undercut me by another £20, it’s telling the venue that they can get singers for around £100 instead of £150. Before you know it all the venues in the area will be asking you to play for £90 a night or even worst PLAY FOR FREE, which obviously you don’t want to do. Some people might argue that “it’s for exposure/ to get your name out there” but we’re trying to make a career out of singing, not a hobby, so let’s leave the standards the way they are and say a big fat NO to people who ask you to reduce your price.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule, like for example if you were playing a venue 4 – 5 times a week you might want to offer them a discount, like £120 a gig instead of £150, or you could draw up a contract and ask for a bulk amount per month for performing regularly. If you get a job on a cruise ship then you most certainly will get a contract for payment per month and not per show.

If you are worried about the amount of money you’re charging for a gig then you can always get in touch with Equity or Musicians Union for their recommended prices to charge per job.

Again, different kind of jobs will pay differently. if you’re interested in becoming a tribute artists, then you could be looking at getting £300- £700+ for one performance. You can always find out about singing jobs online via starnow or singerspro.

Remember! If you are booked through any agencies, regardless or not wether its online or over the phone/ in person, you will have to pay them a commission rate (usually around 10-20%) EG: My agent “FindAsinger” get me a gig for next week for £150 and charges me 15% commission, I would have to pay them £22.50, therefore I walk away with £127.50.

Don’t forget, as a singer you are a self employed entity and all of your gross income (before deductions, like petrol and agent fees) are subject to tax! So don’t forget to fill in your tax return and keep all your receipts to claim back any deductible items.

Again, if you’re wondering what the hell you could use as deductions for self employment, the MU and Equity may have some useful advice for you. For a flexible guideline I always put down deductions as: Anything officey, anything musical, anything to do with looks/ makeup/ hair/ attire and any equipment you use. Other not so obvious deductions are anything to do with your car if you drive, studio time, agent fees, advertising, directory fees etc.

One final advice about the money side of things: Yes, you may just hit the jackpot and get loads of work and live the fabulous life of a singer. But don’t let your life revolve around money. Don’t strain yourself to make a heap of cash doing lots of awfully paid gigs to try and “establish yourself”. Spend only on the necessary items you need and keep the rest for a rainy day, or invest it back into your career.

So you want to become a singer? A beginners guide to singing Part 1: Gigs and career


So you want to become a singer? Well, let me tell you now, it’s not an easy ride. We’re talking about going through a whole lifestyle revamp just for your career, you might even be living on a very VERY small income and making huge sacrifices just for your art. Still interested? Read on!

This is the first part in a 5 part blog series covering the ins and outs of being a professional singer. I’m not talking about becoming a famous singer, although that could always happen! Instead I’m going to be focusing on other avenues in your singing career rather than this being a ‘how to be a pop star” blog post.

 

Gigs and career

As a singer you will be lucky enough to have such a range of diverse options throughout your career. For an outsider they might presume singers can only have one type of gig, but in fact there are many different avenues for revenue. Obviously, gigs will be an integral part of your career, but you don’t have to be in the spotlight for every gig.

The definition of a gig is:

“Gig is slang for a musical engagement hired. Originally coined in the 1920s by jazz musicians, the term, short for the word “engagement”, now refers to any aspect of performing such as assisting with performance and attending musical performance” Taken from Wikipedia

So in essence, it’s basically any kind of hired musical job that involves performance. As for not being in the spotlight, gig types could include being part of a choir, band, vocal harmony group or even a backing singer. Of course however, there’s always the solo gig with backing tracks, popular among local establishments but hated by other musicians. Backing track gigs are frowned upon so much by the musician community as it is seen as deterring away from live music and putting real playing musicians out of pocket. (I will probably write a blog post about this issue at some point).

If your goal is to make a full time income through singing then you might need to establish yourself in a host of different groups or “musical projects” to earn a decent living. A lot of singers make their living as part of choirs, a couple of different bands and of course the good old backing track gigs. This is a great way of adding more income as you may need to rely on the availability of people within these groups. Sometimes those people might not be available for certain dates whether they are doing music part time or just in another band, which is why it is always good to have a couple of different projects going at the same time. If you stick with one function band but the guitarist is always unavailable because they have to work nights on Saturdays then you’re in for a problem if you want singing to be your career.

Once established as part of a group, or if you’re going solo, the next step is to get some promotional material together. This can be in the form of photos, MP3s and of course videos. Making your promo material look like you are an interesting performer and can captivate an audience is always a plus, so try and get a very high quality live performance show reels if possible.

With a fantastic promotional pack you can start finding and applying for gigs. There are many many gigs available for singers including parties, weddings, pubs, clubs barmitsvahs and even house concert. Gigs can happen outside or inside, at hotels, festivals, holiday parks, restaurants… you get the idea.

You could decide to go on tour with your group, which could be very lucrative but also challenging if people have families or jobs back at home. I know a couple of singers who go on tour for a couple of months around the UK doing tribute shows like ABBA, dirty dancing and Motown evenings. If you are going to do these kind of gigs then you need to make sure you have a well polished show as these evenings are more likely to have the audience seated.

If touring sounds appealing to you then you might like to consider being a backing vocalst for an artist. These tours are mostly larger and longer, and you could end up being in a different country every other day! The work wouldn’t just stop at live stage performances as artist’s are normally required to do special promotional performances during the days too.

If you are lucky enough to look like a certain famous singer, from both past and present, then you may be able to create a tribute to that artist. Please remember that you must look AND sound like the artist, trying to create an authentic representation of the person you are impersonating. I’ve seen many terrible Elvis impersonators, and only a handful of absolutely amazing tribute artists.

If you’re adamant on travelling gigging around the world the gigs abroad may be your call. There is lots of work outside of the UK, via cruise ships and also holiday resorts. Of course, these might be “season only” based, but the majority of work for seasons is around March – November, meaning you could work for 9 months, come home for 3 and then back out to work for another 9 months. In certain holiday resorts and on almost all sea based contracts your food and board are paid for, meaning you wont have to spend a penny while working. You will have to pay for essentials though like toiletries, clothing and medication, possibly water depending on which country you are working in.

A non live based gig you could land is in the world of session singing. Now a niche and closed off path of singing, this career area is all about connections. You could be able to sing backing vocals on an Ellie Golding songs or sing a lead guide vocal for a famous artist, a radio jingle singer or even a voice over artist for adverts. You could also be constructing the backing vocals and melody entirely for a song which means you will ned to have a good ear for harmonies. The perks of the jobs could be that you are always working behind the scenes, however you will most likely will be expected to sight read on the spot leaving no room prior rehearsals to your session, so being able to sight read is to your advantage. You could be able to work from home if you have a good home studio and know how to use all your own equipment, or may have to travel to a studio.

Trying to find gigs could prove difficult especially if you are unsure how to start so I would recommend becoming friendly with local agents who would be able to get your foot in the door. There are thousands of agencies in the UK, and you can search for some brilliant wedding agents online. If you really want to make as much money as possible doing singing then you can’t limit yourself to just one agent. Some artist’s may think they lose value by spreading themselves among a huge array of agents… they are also the artist’s who are only making a part time income from their singing career. You will be required to give an agent a cut of your profit normally around 12 – 20%. Performer directories work just as well as agents, however instead of paying a commission percentage, you will often be required to pay for an anual membership for being on the directory.

Lastly, another avenue that is open to all musicians is teaching in your chosen instrument. Of course I would expect that if you going to use this to subsidise your income then taking up basic teaching qualifications and also singing and vocal coaching courses are an absolute must! Please do not try to teach someone if you do not have the basic knowledge because you never know the damage you could be doing to a budding singer. I have so many stories of absolutely awful singing teachers I’ve had in the past, I could probably write a book. The kind of “advice” and “training” they gave me in the past made me develop a cyst on my vocal chords, causing permanent scarring on my vocal chords even after the cyst had disappeared.

I hope you’ve found all of this information useful to you in your quest to become professional singer. If you have any questions then get in touch. In the next blog post of this series I will be talking about Money!

 

I’ve Been signed! (And I’m giving away free music)


Band-Management-Universal-jpg-1On 3rd October 2015 I signed with BMU, a fantastic management company who are literally bending over backwards to help me succeed. These guys are great and really passionate about music –  my music.  I’ve kept this secret in for SO LONG ever since they approached me all I wanted to do was tell the world, but now I’m officially on board I thought now would be an appropriate time.

As a celebration for my new musical venture I’m going to be giving away copies of my debut EP, Open Heart Therapy for free! Yep, you heard that right! Once the CDs are out of stock they won’t be coming back so make sure you get in quickly and get your copy. You can still however, get a free download from my website or my bandcamp page at any time if you prefer.

To get your hands on a copy simply sign up to the mailing list and include the postal address you would like your copy sent to. If you’re already on the mailing list then you can also change/ add your details.

 

 

How to spark your own creativity


HOW TO

A lot of the time I get the dreaded “Writers Block”. It happens almost everyday. I’m not one of those people who are lucky enough to sit down and say “Today, I’m going to write a song about _____ and it is going to be epic.” Unfortunately, for us creative people, others seem to assume that it’s so easy to “Just write words/ singing/ drawing/rhyming” but we all know IT SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT!

And then when it comes to actually creating some content, you’re just not feeling it? But you really have to force yourself to at least do SOMETHING. Then as you keep on creating, the ideas seem to get better and better to the point where you’ve actually created something decent? Well, I’ve recently found that the more I delve into creative past times, the easier it is to come up with interesting song concepts. Like they say, the best way to write a hit song is to keep on writting.

I really do take the time each day to do something creative to help inspire me to become a better songwriter, and also keep the creative part of my brain active. Here’s my top ideas for sparking some creativity.

  • Surround yourself in a creative and unclogged atmosphere
    Firstly, I can’t stress how important this is. My creative space must be immaculate and I must feel comfortable within for me to be supper creative. If your area is clogged up or unflattering to the eye it can stub your creativity. It doesn’t matter where you create, as long as it’s your “space” then make sure to keep it that way. With your space, you can really jazz it up by adding candles, fairy lights, plants etc to make it a more welcoming and cosy atmosphere. Basically, make it a place that will make you comfortable and focused.
  • Take some photos
    In my younger years I would literally take photos and videos of absolutely everything. I suppose I did this for the memories, but recently it’s become more of a creative exercise.  It’s not just the taking of the photos that help, but the editing afterwards. I always muck about with filters for all my Instagram snaps.
  • Make a scrap book
    My scrap book has been with me for nearly 3 years and it’s not exactly full to the brim. I come to it whenever I can, but I always make sure each page is crafted with care and individuality. Scrap booking is so simple because you literally get a bunch of cool embellishments and photos and stick them all down in the book, obviously in a creative way. It’s not exactly a “skilled” thing but it helps you get more creative with paper. I normally decorate mine with paints/ pens/ glue/ jewels etc.
  • Write a short story
    Descriptive writing!! When I was younger I used to write a story before bed about how Ide fall in love with a boy from school (I know, so fucking lame Sabrina). But seriously, it really helped me to have a vivid imagination, which I think we adults lack these days.
  • Paint/ draw a picture
    A bit more advanced than a scrap book. I can’t draw/ paint for shit, unless it’s a copy of another picture. I love drawing and I LOVE PAINT. Colour is what inspires me so getting messy with paint will also help.
  • Go for a walk or visit a place and write a short descriptive paragraph of your outing
    Go for a nice long walk and write a short descriptive paragraph of your journey. You could try this at a place of interest too. I know a friend who sits in a cafe all day and takes notes on other people conversations. He then writes a made up story and sometimes even a whole song on that one conversation. Pretty fucking clever!
  • Read a fictional book
    Think of all that imagination a book brings to your mind when you’re reading. Use that to inspire your creativity.
  • Practice your craft (even if the outcome is shit)
    To make better songs I must keep writing. Even if they are complete and utter shit, I might take certain elements from “the shit song” and craft it into a better song.
  • Write a poem
    Poems help me with songwriting. The best ones are the ones that don’t rhyme, but I’m so cheese and I love a bit of rhyme! I think rhyme is clever and I love coming up with obscure words to match.

 

If all else fails?

If all else fails just go for a walk. If you’re having a hard time getting inspiration then just take a deep breath and chill. Go run yourself a bath and listen to classical music. No really. Surround yourself with nice smelly candles and maybe a bath bomb (I’ve heard the ones from LUSH are great). Chill and take your mind off things. Sometimes if you try and force it, the creativity will never come. You can’t force art. 80% of creativity is subconscious anyway, bet you didn’t know that!

10 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR VOICE HEALTHY


Ok, how beautiful is it outside!!


 This is my garden in the summer time, and I love sitting outside in the sunshine late afternoon with a nice cold glass of water, writing songs and blogs and organising my life. I love the sun, and the weather in England just doesn’t cut it for me… until the sun comes out! 😎

As a singer it’s very important to take care of my voice, after all that’s where I’m making my money from! I gig every single week, sometimes I have gigs on Friday, Saturday & Sunday, so you can imagine by Sunday not only am I completely knackered due to all these late nights, but if I don’t take care of my voice the way it needs to be then I won’t have a voice come Monday!

Here are my top tips for keeping a healthy voice for all you budding singers out there. These tips work well too if you use your voice on a daily basis, like a sports coach or public speaker.

1. ALWAYS WARM UP giphy

Yep, the best thing you can do is warm up. There are three stages to warm ups: Physical, breathing and vocal. Physical warm up includes getting your muscles moving, your facial muscles and shoulders/ neck warmed up. I love doing this to 90s cheese music to get me in a pleasant mood for singing. Breathing exercises are very important as well as you will be using your diagram for support when singing, so make sure that’s readily working and warmed up too. Lastly is vocal warm ups. Here is where you want to take it nice and slow, don’t go full force into a warm up but get in there gently, and then increase speed and volume later. An easy cheat warm up you can do is siren for about 5-10mins. Sirens are sounds you make by humming from your lowest note to your highest note and back down, sounding like a police siren.

 

2. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER Cat dirinking water giff

Vocal chords work by being lubricated with a thin layer of mucus, helping them to vibrate properly. If the mucus is too thick you may feel like you have a need to throat clear quite a lot, which is a cause of eating too many dairy products (More in this bellow) and not drinking enough of water, so you better lube up!

 

3. CUT OUT ALL DAIRY IN YOUR LIFE  milk giff

As mentioned previously, having thick mucus on your vocal chords will mean you will feel the need to throat clear a lot, and that in itself causes problems and trauma to the vocal chords if done constantly. Try to avoid dairy at all costs to keep the vocal chords clear. If you’re worried about not having enough calcium in your diet then I would suggest taking calcium tablets which can be bought at any pharmacy or supermarket. If you need dairy alternatives there are lots of soya products and nut milks on the market such as almond and coconut.

 

 

4. STEAM STEAM AND MORE STEAM  steam cat giff

Moisture is good and soothing for the voice, so steaming will really help with that especially if your throat is dry. (It will also break down that thick mucus you’ve obtained on your chords from drinking all that milk!) Here’s my favourite steamer that I use religiously.

 

5. WORK OUT  workout giff

Working out regularly is great because it will help with breathing and also strengthen the core muscles (All the ones surrounding the diaphragm. My favourite things to do are piglets and yoga, and also swimming) Workin gout also puts you in the right mind frame for singing. Working out keeps you in a paturn and will also help increase your stamina when you are on stage.

 

6. AVOID ACIDIC FOODS  food giff

Eating a highly acidic diet can cause acid reflux, where your stomach acid makes it’s way up into your larynx causing indigestion and an irritated throat, the feeling of a lump in your throat and a hoarse voice. I am a sufferer of acid reflux and take extra precautions to protect my voice. Top foods to avoid are high in acid, things such as:  Coca cola, chocolate, curry, butter, fried foods, and also fruits such as lemons, limes, oranges and vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers. I’m not going to lie and tell you it’s the easiest thing in the world because it really isn’t… especially when you realise you can’t have any curry or pasta that are made with dairy OR tomato base, however it’s an excellent opportunity to test out your amazing cooking skills and come up with your own recipes in the kitchen. I’ve got this book that goes in depth into the science behind acid reflux and what changes to your diet you can make. Also lots of recipes to try!

It’s hard, but changing your lifestyle is the best thing you can do for your voice.

 

 

7. DE STRESS    yoga giff

If you are stressed, then naturally there will be tention in your body, especially around your shoulders and neck area. When we are stressed our shoulders instantly go up as a defence mechanism, so learning to de stress will be helpful to you. Try meditation. I love videos by The Honest Guys on Youtube who make excellent guided meditation videos.

 

 

8. KNOW YOUR LIMITS singing giff

We all have a vocal limit. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t stretch them, but you need to gradually work up to it. For example, if you only practice for one hour a day once a week in your bedroom, then jump straight into 3 hour long gigs it’s going to really F*CK up your voice, seriously! Work up to your goals gradually. Also if you know you can’t hit that High F yet, keep practicing because you will get there, just don’t force yourself up there, and don’t attempt it every single day. Relax, take your time and you will get there!

 

 

9. GET LOTS OF SLEEP  sleeping giff

Sleep reduces stress, and everyone loves sleep, so why not have more of it.

 

 

10. STAY AWAY FROM SMOKE AND AIR CONDITIONING  smoke giff

Smoking is bad anyway, so having smoke pass through your vocal chords and into your lungs is going to dry out that mucus layer causing damage to the vocal chords. Just stay away. Air conditioning drys out any moisture from the air that passes through, and that’s defiantly not going to help you for a healthy voice. stay away!

 

I hope these top tips have been beneficial to you. If you’ve got any questions about singing then leave some comments bellow and I will try and get back to you with some good answers.

Happy singing!

 

Sabrina x

 

NEW COVER: Sugar, Maroon 5


Ok Ok, I know this song has been out for  while now, but it is SOOOO ADICTIVE and I can’t get away from it. They still play this song religiously on the radio, so I couldn’t take it any more… I gave in and made a cover!

I have used another youtube’s arrangement of this song. Their channel is called sing2Piano so go check them out.

I really really REALLY like this song, I don’t know what makes it so catchy, maybe its the perfectly perfect vocals from Adamn Levine or maybe it’s the very simple chord progression?

Anyway, it doesn’t matter here we go. Sugar by Maroon 5 hope you enjoy!

Debut single “Chains” & Behind the scenes footage


I’m so excited to reveal the full length version of my Debut single “Chains” on youtube, with behind the scenes footage from inside the studio.

We had so much fun in rehearsals & at the studio, and it was great fun putting this track together.

I’m so excited for you to hear it, and if you enjoyed listening you can get a FREE exclusive acoustic copy of the track when you sign up to the mailing list.

You can pre order “Chains” from  iTunes  or amazon music.

Thanks for watching, have a lovely Christmas and happy new year! 🙂

Big news Reveal on Sunday!


AHHHHHHHH!!!

I’m so excited to reveal my big up coming news to you guys! It’s something epic and I’ve been working really really hard on it for the past couple of months. I can’t explain to you how hard it has been to not tell anyone a thing, but the time has come to spill the beans.

Check out the video for more info, and keep on the look out for clues. If you have an inkling of an idea as to what it might be then please get in touch . 🙂

 

Sabrina x