Vocal cords are muscles
Treat them the same as the other muscles.
Find relaxation and exercise regularly (give them your attention every day).
Always warm up before a performance and cool down afterwards.
Keep your head straight.
Let your shoulders hang.
Relax. Legs slightly apart, your body must be able to bounce. Feet point outwards slightly. Like you are a weightlifter. This is your connection with the earth. Feel the ground on which you stand. This is the starting position.
Anytime your throat tightens and you put too much pressure on your vocal cords, return to this position. The connection with the earth that you feel helps you shift your attention downwards.
Active exhalation with abdominal tension.
Passive inhalation. Sigh out first. Don't blow.
Do this on the S. Tongue forward, by the teeth (feel the air through your teeth).
Slow: SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS ue
Faster: SSSSS SSSSS SSSSS ue
Think that your belly is an air balloon, which you deflate with stomach tension, with retraction. The airflow leaves your slightly opened mouth.
You don't have to do anything to inhale, that will happen automatically. The balloon fills up again on breath support. So do not actively put up your stomach.
ue = exhale
If you want to hear a sound when exhaling, grab a beer/soda bottle and sigh above the bottle opening, hold the bottle until you hear a tone. Don't blow.
2. Larynx position
Make swallow - yawn, swallow - yawn movements.
Do not raise your head while doing so.
You will have to master the swallow - yawn movement. The movement also resembles the onset of vomiting. You feel your larynx move.
Place your hand on your chest and place your middle finger in the dimple above your sternum. Extend the index finger towards your throat. When swallowing yawn, the Adam's apple moves up and down and hits your index finger. In this way you make the movement physical.
Loosely clench your teeth, open your lips.
4. Click with the vocal cords
Don't force the voice down.
On K; feel the vibration in the throat with your hand.
Sigh as if you are taking a breather after a hard job.
With PUEUE HE you go over the break in the register. You feel it in the larynx; from high to low.
Make sure you have a humming sound at HE again. Look that up.
If you've asked too much of your voice, you've lost that buzzing sound. Relax and exercise until it's back.
Keep going back to the low base. Imitate a French police siren.
Put dynamics on the blue dot.
Warm up and cool down
You do exercises in the car on the way to and from the performance.
I always do no 1, 2, 3 and 5.
I always do No 5 on the day.
No 5 also helps me if I keep swallowing mucus or with a cough.
It is looking for relaxation in the voice muscles. With a low hum, the muscle can relax again.
Do's and don'ts
Do the warming up and cooling down often.
Look for peace and relaxation, look for it physically in your body. How am I ?! What is my stomach doing ?!
Drink lots of water.
Chewing gum is allowed, but preferably not gum with mint. Mint dissipates moisture.
Make sure you have a good monitor with an adjustment for the tone frequency and volume. The pressure, the SPL, must also be high: from 116 Db peak SPL - 128. I wanted a 12 "speaker, a tweeter and at least 200 watts with a high SPL.
The band plays forward over your monitor. Your vocals should be able to see through that. Also pay attention to this with a sound check. Do vocal exercises to check it: click with your vocal cords, foofoofffff.
Don't yell. Even if the audience thinks that blues should be sung with a voice soaked with whiskey and cigars. If blues is your passion, you want to enjoy it for as long as possible. Look for tricks that give your singing a conviction. Sing with a "fat tongue". Think of the story you want to tell with the lyrics of the song.
In blues the guitar is an important instrument and guitarists like to play in the key of A. That is a difficult key to be convincing in. You have the feeling that you cannot lash out well. My natural voice is much more suited to C and F. I first lowered my register on speech. Then the vocals followed.
In any case, it is better to sing and speak lower, because that requires less of your vocal cords.
Speak to the audience as little as possible during breaks. In a busy cafe with loud music you can easily damage your voice. If you do talk, put one hand over your mouth. You can then be heard better without raising your voice.