Great! 👏 You’ve decided that out of all of the musical instruments 🎺 out there to learn, you want to just use the ones that are already in your throat! Easy peasy, right? 😅 You don’t have to get any equipment, right?! 😬 Totally low-maintenance, RIGHT?!?! 🥴
Wrong! 😭 Being a vocalist requires many lovely tools of the trade 🔨 for regular maintenance and upkeep! Here is a list of 9 of them (I think you’re picking up on what my favorite number is by now 😝) in order of most common to wait-what-the-heck-is-that-doing-here:
- Water bottle 🚰
- This is 1000% the most important tool any vocalist can have. I don’t even think we need to talk about how important it is anymore! Hopefully you’ve heard it all!
- Straw and/or Tongue depressor 🐢
- When you’re in vocal lessons, a straw will literally become an extension of your hand. This is used for breathing exercises and sometimes for reducing tongue tension. A tongue depressor can also be helpful for relaxing an overactive tongue. Pick up a glass or metal straw to save the turtles!
- Microphone, PA, and/or Amp 🎤
- I recommend this to any of my students who would really benefit from hearing themselves amplified or who are learning performing skills. Make sure you’re not holding it like a dingus or keeping it too far from your face!
- Stretching bands or a Neck tie 👔
- These are useful for stretching and increasing the range of your flexibility, but they can also be used to wrap around your waist to feel the breath drop lower from up in the chest or high in the lungs to in the diaphragm and in the pelvis. Working through this with an instructor is revolutionary.
- Yoga mat and Roller or Exercise balls 🧘♂️
- Getting out that tension is key! Get right into the shoulder blades, low back, and the pelvis.
- Pitch pipe 🎍
- Not everyone considers this, but there are many times when a vocalist will need to sing a capella and will need to cue and orient themselves to a key before starting the tune. I like the ones tuned in C with the little dial so that you can find the right pipe hole easiest.
- Nose plug 👃
- I use these for myself when I need an adjustment in resonance or air placement. Sometimes it’s too tempting to sing through the nose and plugging the nose with my fingers can cause some neck and shoulder tension. Best to let the nose plugs do the job!
- Steamer 👅
- Not the clothing steamer variety. The personal face and lung steamer variety. It’s great for the whole vocal tract. The human body doesn’t really like to send any moisture to the vocal folds…kinda makes sense when you think about it. It takes somewhere around 24 hours for the folds to be moisturized through drinking water, so of course sometimes you gotta cut right to the chase and prioritize those suckers yourself!
- Vibrator 📳
- The weirdest one for sure! Setting all taboos aside, small vibrators like the Lelo Siri II are great for stimulating and relaxing the muscles of the neck and the vibrations release the vocal folds, providing a more liberated delivery. The Siri II was actually designed for vocalists and musicians.
Yeah, unfortunately not so low-maintenance, hey? 🙃 If you’ve able to purchase a few items on the list, I do recommend starting from number one and then progressing through. You’ve got a lifetime to build up a good collection of tools of the trade! Let’s get started today! If you’re looking to see how you can put these tools into practice, I’d love to coach you through it! Contact me below! 🙌