First let's talk about live performance. Next post will concentrate on posture for the recording studio.
- DON'T STAND STIFFLY with your arms clenched into your sides- you will lose both resonance and control. Especially watch the hand holding the mic... don't let that arm clench. This "non-verbal" body language will communicates a lack of confidence, too. The voice will obey the cue with an unsure, thin, pitchy sound.
- DON'T LEAN FORWARD toward the audience in such a way as to cause your ribcage to tighten in front, you're also going to have trouble with support and control of breath and your voice will not be as wide. If you lean forward, do so from the hips so as to keep the ribs wide open.
- DON'T TIGHTEN YOUR RIBCAGE by slouching when you sing while playing guitar, keyboard, drums or other instrument. Instead... play your instrument with your chest out! Move into the mic with your feet and body so you can lean back a bit- NOT FORWARD! Chin level. This will help you use your butt for power, whether standing or seated on a stool. I will reiterate this point below...
- PLAY YOUR INSTRUMENT WITH YOUR CHEST OUT, SPINE FLEXIBLE!
- STAND OR SIT SO THAT YOUR WEIGHT IS BALANCED ON YOUR BUTT.
- STAND OR SIT TALL AND FLEXIBLE
- MOVE! Feel the groove in your feet, legs and spine- like dancing. This will also transfer energy to the hips and butt, and will result in a more correct breath support (vocal power should come from the pelvic floor).
- MAKE YOUR POSTURE COMMUNICATE CONFIDENT BODY LANGUAGE...This is not an arrogant stance. It's a taking care of business stance that tells your audience you've got something good to give them!
- KEEP YOUR HEAD BACK , chin down (level), neck floating and when going for a high note, pulling slightly to the side!! (Hint...Study a good hip hop artist for this posture)
- KEEP YOUR CHIN floating and level.
- MOVE YOUR FEET FORWARD (causing you to lean back and open the chest) - when using a boom stand while standing, singing and playing. This tip is HUGELY important. If you're using a straight stand, be sure and get close enough that you don't have to lean forward and close your ribs (have I said this enough??) Or take the stand in your hand and lean it towards YOU. Or better yet, take the mic out and use it to help balance you. Don't lean your head in to follow the mic.
- USE YOUR HANDS! Talk with your hands... they are connected to your arms, shoulders, spine, ribcage and eventually your diaphragm. This is good stage presence, too. Just make it look REAL... make sure the hands are communicating what you're saying or singing. Don't let them become dead weight pulling your ribs down and inward.
Next time... studio posture!