How Posture Affects Recording Vocalists

 How Posture Affects Recording Vocalists


The posture of a recording vocalist makes an enormous difference in the quality and effectiveness of recorded vocal sound. Pitch, tone, breath, control, range… almost anything you need to be able to do vocally will be affected by posture. Many times good singers have trouble recording good vocals and can’t figure out  why. This is a common frustration among those who do a lot of live performance and are accustomed to holding a wired or wireless microphone, and also common to those new to the studio.
Here are some guidelines for posture during vocal recording:

Stand with your feet farther in towards the mic than you’re used to. Ask the engineer to make this possible, which may entail a longer boom stand position so you can move under it. You may need to move the music stand farther back, too — although I hope you’re not having to read the lyric while recording. If you move your head forward (closing the ribs and the throat) while in this position, you’ll hit the mic with your mouth!

Stand tall, flexible, and confident. Don’t stand there like a bump on a log. Unless your voice needs to communicate that you are a bump on a log!

Talk with your hands. Use your hands just like you would with your friendliest live crowd (or your favorite unguarded vocal performance in the shower or to a pet) Your hands are connected to your arms…which are connected to your shoulders… spine… ribcage… diaphragm! A special help: Pressing your fingertips together can keep your chest from caving in, which gives your diaphragm too much slack and also limits your inhale.

Use a dummy mic! I’ve had amazing success with veteran stage performers holding a dead mic or similarly weighted object while recording. Without the mic, these singers feel front-heavy, unco-ordinated. The weight of the mic causes the body to find its familiar balance. If you’d like to try this, grab the dummy mic and hold it close to your mouth like you do on stage, but keep your mouth closer to the live studio mic which is recording you.

Air out your armpits. Don’t clench your ribcage with your upper arms. This is a position you assume when you’re scared. If you’re scared, don’t show it with body language.

Let the groove get into your legs. If you allow a dance-like sway in your feet, legs and hips, you will affect your spine in such a way as to free up your ribcage, and also will free your mind. It will tell your automatic nervous system that you are confident, into the music, and confident. Act as if, and ye shall be!

Keep your head level. Don’t lift or dip your chin. Just flexibly balance your head on your neck… don’t let your neck or shoulders get tight for any reason.



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