In this Tour Tips segment, the country artist, Christina Taylor, recommends advice for being a musician on the road. You can check out the tips, after the break.
1. Be careful talking before and after your sets. Before the show, you’re going to be talking it up with your band and whoever else, you might be in a new city checking out the town where you’ll probably be talking a lot and at an increased volume. And naturally, you’re going to want to meet people after your show and make that personal connection with your fans. Which means you’re going to be talking, sometimes in a loud setting where you’re going to have to yell over music and other people in order for them to hear you. Talking the wrong way can be very damaging to your voice. I learned this the hard way when I was playing out every week and talking to friends before the show, and new fans that had come to see me play after. I would lose my voice so easily and after going to see a voice doctor I actually learned that it wasn’t the singing that was doing it to me, it was the talking! I would have never thought that would have been the culprit. What my voice doctor taught me was to try not to yell, obviously, and that it’s better to talk in a little bit of a higher pitch, which felt unnatural to me at first because I tend to talk a little lower and constantly be in “vocal fry” as they like to call it. It was an adjustment, but once I made these changes I was able to play out more without being worried I was going to lose my voice.
2. Try to get a quick workout in before your shows. I find this helps with pre-show jitters. I’m the type of person where I can literally feel nervous energy build up in my body, and in order for me to get rid of it in a healthy manner I have to physically work it out of me. When I work out, I imagine all of the nervous energy flooding out of my body so by the time I’m ready to play I just have a little bit left to where it is helpful, not detrimental, to my showmanship.
3. I sip on a shot of whiskey before, or during, all of my shows. I do not do this to numb the nervous feeling I might get when playing. I feel when I drink a very small amount of whiskey, it helps clear any mucous or phlegm I might have in my throat while singing. There’s no science that I’m aware of behind this, and it could be pure placebo effect, but it’s something I’ve found that works for me and is worth sharing for all my 21+ aged people reading this. Don’t drink any more than that though. If you do, it might affect how you play.
4. Eat somewhat healthy. I know this can be a hard thing being on the road when you might be trying to save money plus the most convenient thing is the Wendys or Mcdonald’s off of every exit. But eating fried food as your main source of nutrition will not sustain the amount of energy you have to put out on the road. Try meal prepping snacks, finding healthy-ish alternatives at fast-food restaurants (Ex. Opt for grilled chicken instead of fried if they offer it), or alternatives at the gas station (my go-to snack is a Kind bar with healthy nuts, honey, and a little bit of chocolate, or a protein bar). Your diet won’t be perfect on the road, but try to make it the best it can be under the circumstances.