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The 10 Commandments Every Serious Singer Should Keep

1. THOU SHALT keep the vocal cords moist at all times.

a) Consume at least 8 glasses of water a day.

b) Stay away from excessive amounts of diuretics (substances that dehydrate your body and your vocal chords.) Two of the number one culprits are Alcohol and Caffeine. So think twice before you have that second cup.

c) The real serious singer will sleep with a humidifier to make sure the vocal chords are kept moist during sleep.

2. THOU SHALT get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. A singer's body is his/her instrument. Mistreat your instrument and it will show. Make sure to give your body and voice the proper rest it deserves.

3. THOU SHALT not smoke. Among other incredible health concerns, smoking dries out the mucous membrane lining of the nose & throat which adversely affects the voice.

4. THOU SHALT not overuse or mistreat the voice. This would include talking over loud noises such as groups of people and loud machinery. Just like any other muscle, your vocal membranes and muscles can suffer from fatigue. In other words, don't talk too much! It is also stressful to the voice to talk too quickly, so slow it down

5. THOU SHALT protect yourself from stress and nerve attacks prior to performances. I suggest the following to fight the gig day jitters:

a. Develop a checklist for gig preparation. It might include dry cleaning, reviewing lyrics, or getting your nails done! (Follow these guidelines and you should be calm, cool, collected and able to give your best performance!)

b. Leave a few minutes early for the gig or rehearsal so you can focus prior to the performance.

c. Develop a habit of warming-up on the way to the gig to properly prepare your voice.

d. Prepare materials to help you during an "off night' or for special circumstances - lyric books, practice CDs and Tapes

e. Have promotional material such as business cards and flyers organized so that you can access them easily at the appropriate time. Marketing yourself as a singer is as much a part of the battle as singing and performing well in the music industry. Properly preparing yourself allows you to focus all your energy on your performance.

6. THOU SHALT NOT eat or drink milk products before performing. These products cause the mucous membrane lining of the vocal chords to create a great dear of mucous that covers your vocal chords.

7. THOU SHALT keep thyself healthy and virus free. Eat right and exercise regularly. Remember that a singer's body is his/her instrument! A finely tuned and maintained instrument will perform at much higher level than an instrument that has been neglected.

8. THOU SHALT never sing without properly warming up the vocal chords.

9. THOU SHALT SMILE! Smiling not only helps with tone placement of the singing voice, it also improves your attitude!

10. THOU SHALT enjoy life and celebrate every accomplishment no matter how small they may seem.