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4 Tips on Singing into a Microphone

Pick up some tips on singing into a microphone in this Howcast online singing lesson featuring singer Anya Singleton.


Hi, I'm Anya Singleton, and here are some tips on singing into a microphone. What you want to think about are two things. The main thing is: What style of music are you singing? If you're singing and you have a gospel choir behind you, you're going to need to employ a different technique than if it's just you and a guitar player in a club. You want to think about that. How many people are in the room? How loud is the band behind you? There are a lot of things to think about.

But basically, the whole key to singing into a microphone is where you put it. A big mistake that a lot of singers make is they put the microphone right up to their mouth. What happens there is you tend to peak out the volume on a microphone, and you also lose a lot of the articulation in your lips. If it's right against, it's hard to understand what people are saying. A lot of feedback happens, as well as what we call "pops." If you have words with P's in it or B's, it'll sort of explode into the microphone.

You want to think about keeping it, you know, I'd say . . . I don't know. I usually have it about this far away from my mouth. I think that's maybe about five inches, four inches. You can bring it in when you're doing a more quiet moment, and remember that you really want to pull it out when you have a bouncy moment because your volume is going to adjust, so you need to adjust along with the volume.

If you think about it as an analogy, I'll think about guitar playing. If you're playing a lick on a guitar and you're doing a song and it's extremely busy and it starts out very quiet, and then the band kicks in and maybe we can't hear what you're playing on the guitar, you're going to probably turn up your volume a little. It's the same idea. You want to think about, as you're getting louder, you're going to need to control how close you are to the microphone.

That's sort of the best tip. I would say you want to always have it at a slight angle to your mouth, facing down. When you go into a recording studio, oftentimes the mic is above you, but it is still facing down towards your mouth. Underneath your chin, this way, the sound will fall. It's going to go past it. It kind of falls flat. So you want to keep it at an angle. People can still see your face, but you want to make sure it's at an angle so you're getting the all-the-way-around coverage.

Also, if you're going to travel with the mic, think about the fact that, if it's a wireless mic, it's still in your hand, so that you have it with you. Remember it's there even if you have a moment where you're not singing. I see a lot of singers put it down, and it sort of makes a noise. So you want to make sure it's with you. If you have a cord, you can actually use the cord to your advantage.

It's really about making sure that you control the volume. Move the mic away if you're getting loud. Bring it in if it's quiet, and also make sure that you're keeping it not right up to your mouth. That way, people can understand what you're saying, and you're using it as a tool. Remember, it's really supposed to just enhance what you're doing. It's not supposed to do everything for you. You're still the singer. It's just making it so that it's enhanced.

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