In this blog, I’m going to discuss basic essential stage presentation and microphone techniques for ALL singers.

1. Walking on stage! When you are about to walk up on stage to sing please make sure that your entranceway/stairs/hallway/stage entrance up onto the stage or wherever you may be performing is clear and you know how to get there without obstacles. So that we’re not tripping over the stairs, leads, people or things that are in your way. So please make sure you know the way to the stage and its clear and well illuminated.

2. The cardinal rule to great microphone technique! Keep the microphone close to your lips and horizontal. Especially if you are moving around or dancing when singing. In other words, EAT the microphone.
Pull the microphone away slightly from your lips when you’re singing louder notes or passages so that the volume of your voice coming through your foldback is slightly quieter. You must rehearse this previously in your rehearsals numerous times so that you know how far away you need to pull the microphone when you are singing a loud note or passage.

VSA student and lead singer of Northlane, Marcus Bridge displaying exceptional microphone technique.

3. Holding the microphone. Just before you are about to start singing your song on stage, hold the microphone away from your mouth until you start singing. Meaning do not hold the microphone close to your mouth if you were not singing because there is no need too. Hold the microphone away from your mouth in a comfortable relaxed fashion and then bring the microphone to your mouth just before you’re about to sing.
Never put your hand over the top ball/part of the microphone. This is called cupping. It will muffle and distort your sound. (Unless you want your sound too distraught and sound a lot louder. A lot of hard-core screamers do this technique)

4. The cardinal rule for stage presentation. When you are on stage singing “never stop moving, grooving or swaying to the beat or the rhythm of the song”. You don’t need to move around and do crazy movements, but you need to continually move and groove to the rhythm or the beat of the song from start to finish. This forces you to keep time and helps you feel the song. Even if it is a slow song or a ballad, if you don’t do anything else, you’re still going to look great by just swaying from side to side.

Hand & arm movements and raises. After you have mastered the skill of swaying or moving to the beat of the song you can now think about doing some hand or arm movements and gestures that will compliment the lyrics and the song. Like hand raises, hand lifts, hand on your chests/heart, clench fist, pointing, e.g. You can also change the way you are holding the microphone from your left to right hand or coming into a double handgrip that the late great Michael Hutchins from in INXS made famous.

Work the stage. Do what you think feels natural up on stage – move around or do other movements that you feel natural that are going to help you express the song. Once you have you mastered the above, then move on to working the stage. Start by moving from stage left to stage right then back to centre-stage when you’re singing to take up space on the stage.

If you are an instrumentalist up on stage singing. Still, apply points one and two. Try to use a boom microphone stand that is going to be out of the way of your instrument so that you can have a straight relaxed posture when singing.

Have fun & practice.

Much love.
Peter Vox