Every time I sing my throat gets really dry and my throat starts cracking. Is it because I’m nervous? I know I’m nervous when I sing, but my hands don’t shake or anything. How can I stop my throat from giving out?
Nerves can do quite a bit to our voices. You see, when we’re nervous, we naturally tense up the muscles in our body. And as my old college vocal coach used to tell me, all tension finds its way to the throat.
So, it’s very common for a singer to have the exact same issue you’re having, because stage fright = fear = tension. So how do we get past it?
I like to change the meaning of that “nervous” energy. Before we go out on stage, we have this energy circling in our body. This energy can work for us, or against us (energy flows where attention goes). Most people are simply focusing on the wrong things.
Most people psych themselves out when they feel this energy. They start wondering what could go wrong? They panic because they’re forgetting their words. Long story short, their focus is on everything that could go wrong, so they work themselves into a very negative place.
But, why not turn around that energy and use it for good? You can do this by flipping around your psychology… Energy flows where attention goes.
So when you feel that energy, focus your attention on psyching yourself up. Visualize yourself doing your whole number on stage perfectly. Hear the song flow perfectly out of your body, and see the audience respond in the exact way that you want them too. Feel yourself eager with anticipation to get out on stage and share your gift (btw, it helps tremendously if you’ve done ample practice beforehand and are ready to get on stage). Doing this will help tremendously in your efforts to get rid of stage fright.
Also, if you do this well, you’ll start channeling this nervous energy in a much more positive direction, and you may discover the tension that was once present in your body when you were performing is no longer there.
Also, the final thing I’ll add is that the act of performing, like anything else, gets easier the more you do it. The more you perform, the easier it gets and the more confident you’ll become.
So take the initiative and get out on stage more, and use that energy in the right way when you do, and you’ll see a complete 180 in your performance abilities! Look at this article for Singing Performance Tips so that you can make the most out of every performance!
Best of luck to you!
Vocal Coach Ken Taylor