Be careful when singing/performing on the street or outdoors in a public place

There are a lot of singers that have concerts on the street or outdoors in a public place. This style is usually a beginner or amateur singer’s starting point to gain experience and become comfortable singing songs in the front of many people. Some experienced singers too, choose this open air style on the street in a public place. They prefer outdoors instead of indoors. It brings the performer closer to the audience in a more intimate setting when compared to a large venue and stage. Be careful though, because this setting presents challenges to the audience listening to the sounds as well as the singer producing a well heard sound.

People tend to let out their voice louder when singing a song outdoors. This is because of the accompaniment sounds, whether it be the other instruments around them or just simply local noise. The voice when vocalizing spreads in the air, mixing with many other sounds in the vicinity, making listening when outdoors harder than in an enclosed area with isolated sounds.
If the location of the street venue is noisy and has sounds such as car traffic for example, it will surely affect the singer’s vocalization. More often than people think in this situation the singer is competing with background noises. This can make a singers voice worse, due to having to let out their voice louder than usual which can cause straining/trouble to the voice. Many good singers can start off well in this setting, but after just a few songs in a short amount time their voice will sound strained, hoarse and tired. Even with superior sound equipment… taking into consideration the setting and all the sounds in the area prior to an outdoor event will really prepare any singer and increase the probability of a successful singing performance.
Tips for singers who are planning to sing outdoors:
1.Keep the muscles related vocalization flexible
2.Resonate the voice in the pharyngeal cavity when singing and do not strain or stress that to compete with area noises
3.Don’t sing for extended/long periods of time
4.Don’t sing in an extremely noisy place
5.Use a good microphone
6.Cancel the concert when the weather is bad


How chronic sinusitis can influence the voice

I have examined many singers who have chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, which is in any of the hollow areas of the skull around the nose. Sinusitis may be caused by anything that interferes with air flow into the sinuses and the drainage of mucous out of the sinuses, such as infection, allergies, air pollution, or structural problems in the nose. The most common symptoms are thick nasal mucus, a plugged nose/congestion, difficulty breathing, and/or facial pain. The combination of swollen nasal membranes and excess mucus make it difficult to breathe normally through the nose. This blockage can affect and alternate between one or both sides of the nose.

The most recent case I observed was a young man who started having the chronic sinusitis when he as kid. His paranasal sinuses (moreover the maxillary sinus) were constantly filled with mucus and pus. Over the years he had tried many antibiotics as well as just ignoring the problem hoping it would resolve itself. I examined him physically, then factored in his history and discussed his vocal expectations. He is generally good at singing slow tempo ballads, but not fast tempo music like pop. I recorded his voice, which sounded a little boxy and soft. His paranasal sinuses were filled with mucus and pus at the time of the first recording.
Next, I recommended him to take a Chinese herbal remedy to treat the sinusitis. I recorded his voice again after a few weeks of the treatment. After reviewing the recording, I determined that his voice indeed sounded clearer and brighter than when we first recorded before. I then let the young man hear the two recordings. When comparing the two recordings of his voice, he also agreed that the voice after the treatment obviously sounded better than the other. Following his treatment the young man was able to breath easier through a clear nasal passage. Overcoming the chronic sinusitis gave him the physical ability to vocalize normally, which raised his confidence, and he reached his goal of being good at singing fast tempo music.
The paranasal sinuses are normally filled with the air, but in the case of sinusitis the paranasal sinuses are filled with pus and/or mucus.
The paranasal sinuses in the nasal cavity create resonance when singing, it always has to be clear and hollow.
If there is foreign matter in the paranasal sinuses, or an abundance of mucus/pus, that will obstruct the voice’s resonance and make vocalization sound bad.
Please seek treatment for chronic sinusitis, if you have it.

Changing your posture makes singing easier

The human body is not completely symmetric.
I often observe in patients that their bronchi is twisted, the vocal folds are not of equal proportion, or the space of the resonance chambers are deformed.
Many people don’t recognize their posture when singing a song. A person’s air passages and breathing have a great impact on the sound they produce. These air passages and the muscles that directly assist their performance can be tight, stiff, or just naturally irregular. Therefore, if you change your posture, you could be able to let air out smoother and increase vibrating the vocal folds to improve your singing. Be mindful of your posture and seek different stances when vocalizing. Such as stretching your neck, putting your shoulders back, or simply just standing or sitting straighter. Sometimes even a small change can make a big difference to your singing. Look in the mirror or record your posture when singing a song. Review your body stance when singing and playing an instrument together or just singing. Everyone has a different style. Do not copy someone else. Please decide what is the best posture to sing a song for you personally.

Note:Conversely, it is possible to obstruct your singing when changing your posture. So carefully review both before and after the posture change to make sure your making positive changes and not negative. In conclusion, it is very important to know your throat and body well when singing.