Ready to promote your music? Here are some great tips to get you started.

Drink Plenty of Water – I know, I know... everyone has heard this a billion times, but in addition to hydrating your body, water will lubricate your vocal cords and thin out that annoying mucus. A hydrated voice always sounds better. Don’t drink too much water. Just drink enough water to feel good and hydrated. (Caffeinated drinks and fruit juices don’t count!)

Take Time to Warm Up – Gradually warm up your voice before hitting the stage. Begin your warm up gently before gradually increasing the intensity and range. Consider vocal exercises or marking through a simple song. Don’t whisper or scream during your warm up.

Get Enough Rest – I know, it’s another common sense tip, but getting plenty of rest before singing will increase your energy and performance. You won’t sing at the top of your game if your voice is tired. A tired body and a tired voice will bring about a tired performance.

Don’t Smoke – Smoking will irritate your vocal cords. It can cause swelling and may damage your voice. Don’t risk your career for a cigarette.

Pay Attention to What You Eat – The food you eat can affect your singing. Dairy foods in particular can increase mucus in your vocal cords. Pay attention to what you eat before you sing and make a note of how it affects your voice. In addition, eat a while before singing to give your food some “settling” time. Being too full may affect your breathing and your singing, not to mention that you don’t want an accidental belch to happen during the biggest moment of your performance.

Get in Good Shape – Being in good shape will help your breathing, especially when you may get out of breath from moving and dancing around the stage while singing. You’ll also feel better and perform your best if you are mentally and physically in good shape.

Use a Microphone and Monitors – Don’t scream to be heard by your audience. Use your microphone properly so you don’t strain your voice. Monitors will also help you sound great. Speakers face the audience, but a monitor faces you, allowing you to directly hear your voice without any sound bouncing. If a stage monitor is not available, consider wearing an ear monitor if possible.

Sing in the “Right” Key – When you select songs to perform, make sure you choose songs in a good key for your voice. If a song is too high or too low, it will encourage vocal strain.

Seek Vocal Training – If you are having trouble with vocal strain, consider getting some vocal training. A voice teacher may help you develop correct technique without changing your style and voice quality.

Listen to What Your Voice is Telling You – Really take the time to listen to your voice. If you know your voice, inside and out, you’ll know when trouble is around the corner. When you are straining, stop and change what you’re doing. If you listen to what your voice tells you, it will lead you to being the best singer you can be.