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Do You Have Any Tips for Using Microphones When Singing?

group of ladies singing in the studio

Hi, I love singing for pleasure, mostly folky stuff. I can sing in an informal folk club, but have yet to master ‘open mic’ sessions. Have you got any tips for using microphones when I’m used to singing without?

~ Nina

Hey Nina,

Singing with a mic when you’re not used to it can be a little bit of a challenge. So here are 5 thoughts you might keep in mind the next time you perform with a mic!

1. Eat the mic… I mean really get right up into it. I don’t like the mic being more than an inch or two away from my lips if I can help it. If you’re at an open mic night, this may mean you have to adjust the mic stand, but it’ll also ensure that your audience can hear you, so it’s definitely worth it.

2. Make sure the mic is positioned at an angle, almost pointing upward towards your nose. This will accomplish a couple of things. One, it’ll ensure your audience can see your face and your pretty smile! Secondly, if you hold it at an angle with the mic being slightly below the lips, it’ll help limit the pops that you get from P’s, T’s and other problematic consonants.

3. If you turn your head, make sure you turn the mic with you. I know this is pretty obvious, but I can’t tell you how many singers I see turn their head without bringing the mic with them. If you’ve got a hand held, be sure to take it with you. If you’re using a mic stand, you can’t turn your head much without dramatically altering what the audience hears.

4. Pull the mic out slightly on louder notes, and in closer for softer notes. I don’t like over doing this one, but if you’ve got a powerful voice and you stay right in the mic while you’re belting the super high note in the bridge, it may be more painful than enjoyable for your audience if you don’t pull your mic back a hair. Hopefully the monitors will give you a good idea as to how much you need to do this.

5. Take the opportunity to play with your mic. Using a mic can give a singer a lot more flexibility, so don’t be afraid to play around and see how you can use the mic to add to the quality of your performance.

I hope this helps. If you’re reading this and have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy Singing!
Ken Taylor

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