Are you tense in your neck?

Picture of a woman's neck.

A few days ago I remembered how important it is to know the right way to use our tools, so that we don’t hurt ourselves. By tools I mean several things, from a hammer and pliers to the instruments we play, sticks and mallets, bows, microphones, etc. Mics weren’t in my awareness until the last time that I went to a show.

In the show there were several singers and each of them sang just once. This means there were different styles of singing, different ways to perform, different body sizes and heights, and a single mic. The singers had to adapt to the stage in a short time and sometimes attend to other things like connecting their instruments to an amplifier.

And that’s when I noticed the ways in which we compromise the balance of our head (atlanto-occipital joint), which is translated into tension; first in the neck and then in different parts of the body. Of course, they were just singing for three or four minutes,

but what if you usually do this in your performances?

I give you a couple of suggestions.

Several microphones in line.

1. Mics on a stand

If you are playing an instrument at the same time as singing, you cannot have a mic in your hand. So, give yourself time to find the perfect height in the mic to relate it to your body. It’s like any other instrument, before playing you have to make sure that everything is set up in a way that works for you and you feel comfortable. Do whatever you have to do to achieve this and remember to keep balanced.

2. Holding a mic.

If you can, use a mic in your hand. This gives you more mobility in your body and on the stage; you can walk and change the position of your body as part of your performance and to release some tension you might be feeling. But be aware, check that your hand and arm only use the necessary effort to hold the mic. Notice its weight and the relationship with your gripping and your muscles. If you don’t take care of this, then you can experience pain in your hand and/or arm.

Being comfortable and confident on a stage requires practice. Sometimes there are external elements that we cannot control, but always remember that what you can do is to give yourself time and try to find balance. Then if you want, you can go on and off balance as your performance requires, but do it consciously.