Protecting Your Most Valuable Asset: Your Voice

June 30, 2017 by Jeff Heidelberg

Mixer- $800

Serato software- $95

Powered Speaker- $400

Wireless Microphone- $500

 

Losing your voice before a gig and sounding like a 80-year-old piece of sandpaper…priceless. There are some things money can’t buy, for everything else there’s vocal health.

 

As mobile entertainers it can be hard to think of us as athletes. Yes lifting subwoofers and hanging lights can cause a sweat but it’s far from an intense workout or sport. However I believe we are vocal athletes. So why is it that we invest so much money on new microphones but we treat what goes into the microphone like crap?

Have no fear; you can uncover your strong and natural voice with a simple set of warm-ups and health habits.

 

#1 Know thy voice and accept your range. When I say range I am talking about the lowest sound you can make to the highest sound you can make WITHOUT STRAINING!

I fell into this trap early in my career. I always admired Michael Buffer, the tuxedo dawned man who coined the phrase “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” before a headline-boxing match. However I am not Michael Buffer, nor do I have the ability to sound like Michael Buffer. During introductions I would channel my best Michael Buffer and often sound comically low. One wedding guest described it like “A strip club DJ”.

Find your natural range by just talking in different pitches. Once you feel any tension or straining, stop. You have found your range.

 

#2 Warm Up! You wouldn’t run a marathon the second you get out of bed so why would you go into an event without warming up your voice? A great warm up exercise I like to do is a lip trill.

Take your hands and place them on the sides of your chin then lift up as if you were showing off how fat your cheeks are. Take a breath in then blow through your lips making a horse “sigh” sound. Do a few reps of then add in a “hum” sound. Much like finding your range, begin on a comfortable note then gradually get higher without straining.

 

#3 Breathe Through Your Nose. I understand it may be easier to breathe through your mouth. As an allergy victim suffering in the Midwest, I know the feeling when your nose is clogged and the need for tissues never ends however breathing in through your mouth is dangerous to your health and vocal health.

Inside your nose you have small hairs. These hairs act as a filter from the outside world. They let oxygen in but block all of the bad particles that we do not want. They also help create much needed moisture in our respiratory system. If you are a snorer/mouth breather while you sleep, I highly recommend purchasing a snore strap. This is an elastic strap that goes around your head to keep your mouth closed while sleeping.

 

All three of these tips are relatively simple to implement and come at no cost to you. You may have the nicest equipment at a gig, but it doesn’t mean anything if you sound horrible.

Jeff Heidelberg Jeff Heidelberg (9 Posts)

Jeff Heidelberg currently lives in his hometown of Cincinnati, OH. From an early age, he enjoyed entertaining his family members with jokes, dance moves and whatever he thought was funny. This passion for entertainment carried on as he began working as a costumed character at Kings Island, an amusement park located north of Cincinnati. His love for DJing began after buying a Numark Mixtrack off of his friend in college. Mesmerized by the plethora of special effects and “scratching” aka Jeff moving his hand furiously on a live deck he began playing at local parties and charity events. Jeff is currently a Sales Rep, DJ and Master of Ceremonies for Party Pleasers Services in Cincinnati, OH.


Filed Under: Mobile DJ Career Development, Mobile DJ Performance Tips