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Correct Microphone Technique For Singers - How To Improve Your Singing for Beginners

Updated on May 8, 2015
How you hold and use the microphone can affect your singing voice and sound quality.
How you hold and use the microphone can affect your singing voice and sound quality. | Source

Most people feel that using a microphone only requires simply picking it up and singing into it. The reality is that one must learn how to use a microphone correctly in order to benefit from its specially-designed features and to obtain optimal sound quality. To improve your singing, giving adequate attention to a good vocal microphone technique is equally important. How you hold and use a microphone is important, and I am going to lay down some basic useful microphone tips for beginners if you want to sing better.

A good microphone technique will compliment your voice

Do you know that how you hold the microphone can affect your singing?

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Tips for Holding and Using the Microphone for Beginners to Improve the Singing Voice and Sound Quality

Learn these simple but extremely important tips for beginners on the proper handling of the microphone to improve the singing.

Tip # 1 Do Not Hold Rounded Front or Top of Microphone

Microphones are designed to be held a specific way. Do not hold the rounded shell of the microphone which is closest to your mouth, but hold around the long cylindrical part of the microphone, keeping your hand away from the shell, as any interference with the shell will lead to an increased chance of sound feedback or disturbance. The manufacturer's data sheet for the microphone is generally the best starting point in determining how to use a specific microphone.

Tip # 2 Point Microphone Towards Your Mouth

Orient the microphone towards your mouth so that your voice travels directly into the pickup pattern of the microphone. Hold the microphone at an angle that is perpendicular to your face. Do not sing across the top of the microphone, with the microphone pointed towards the ceiling, because this will result in a thin, weak sound being captured by the microphone. If you move your head in different directions while singing, the microphone should also follow these head movements.

Tip # 3 Get Close to the Microphone

Don't be afraid to get close to the microphone while singing. Depending on the microphone, a good working distance is typically between one and four inches away from your mouth, unless you are singing really high and loud notes. The closer in, the more the lows are emphasized. The farther away, the less low end is emphasized, and thus the thinner the sound becomes. If this is too far away, you will get more room sound and ambience (or background noise). In some cases, the microphone will lose its clarity from distances greater than its working field.

Tip # 4 Position Microphone Equally Distanced, When Sharing Microphone With Another Person

When sharing a microphone, the microphone should be positioned so that all the voices are distanced equally within the microphone's pickup pattern.

Tip # 5 Do Not Hold Microphone Too Far Away For High and Loud Notes

The temptation for singers is to hold their microphones a foot away from their mouths when singing higher and louder notes, and then move them closer again for other sections of the song, can sometimes be a bad way. Because microphones pick up sound best at certain distances and certain directions, being too far away from the microphone can thin the voice, which is the opposite result that a singer desires when attempting to show off a powerful higher note. If it is too far away, the voice, no matter how loud it seems to you, may not be picked up effectively, leading to inconsistent volume and tone.

Tip # 6 Keep Height of Microphone on Stand at Level of Mouth

When placing your microphone on a stand, raise or lower the stand so that you sing directly into the microphone. Raising or lowering your chin while singing produces excess tension in your neck and jaw muscles, which can affect your proper singing.

Select the right quality microphone
Select the right quality microphone | Source

Selecting & Purchasing Your Correct Microphone

Selection: Select and purchase the microphone most suited to the physical situation in which you will be using it. For example, if you will be using the microphone in a live setting, don't purchase one that is intended for use in a recording studio. Many types of microphones have been invented for different purposes and different situations, and how particular microphones translate sound, and the type of sound being captured will help to determine which microphone you will want to purchase.

Find the right quality microphone that enhances the features of your voice and captures the sound of your voice at its optimum quality, in terms of both tone and balance. Anything less (e.g. a cheap microphone) will degrade your voice. The vocal microphones are the most important link in the sound system, so buy the best microphone that you can afford, the one that is most suited to your particular voice and its unique qualities and range.

Testing: Test each microphone, and set the equalizer of the amplifier to flat (i.e. no extra treble, bass, etc.), so that you are hearing the real differences among different microphones. Listen closely and critically to how your voice sounds through good speakers. Your suitable microphone must be able to accentuate your voice's tone.

Customer Reviews: Ensure that there is a good manufacturer's warranty for the microphone, and search the internet for customer reviews of the product.

Reference Books

Microphone Handbook
Microphone Handbook

This useful handbook gives a complete info on microphone patterns, what they are and what they do. Sensitivity and what effects does it have. Placement, proximity, distance & more.

 
Getting Great Sounds: The Microphone Book
Getting Great Sounds: The Microphone Book

Learn how to choose and use microphones for optimal advantage with a book covering types of microphones, pickup patterns, acoustics, stereo sounds, and much more. The focus is on different microphones for different settings, making this a 'must' for practicing and aspiring musicians in all genres, and libraries catering to them.

 
Everyone can sing
Everyone can sing | Source

Learn to Sing Better

Both (1) correct technique for holding and using the microphone, and (2) a good microphone selection, as explained above, will complement your singing voice, but they cannot overcome or cover up poor singing techniques. Improvements must also come from you with proper singing techniques and lessons. If you want to achieve the ability to sing well, CLICK HERE to learn some Easy Tips on How to Sing Better for Beginners.

© 2011 mySuccess8

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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      January 1

      mySuccess8,

      Thank you so much. You are a caring and talented person. Keep up this fine work and I pray that you experience more success each day of 2015.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
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      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      @Kenneth avery: Thank you for your kind words, and Happy New Year to you too.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      mySuccess8 . . .

      Happy New Year to You and Everyone on this hub.

      I hope nex year is Even Better for Everyone appearing oh this fine piece of writing.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
      Author

      mySuccess8 2 years ago

      @techygran: Thank you so much Cynthia for your kind comments and finding this useful.

    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Hello mySuccess8 - this is a very useful hub for all the beginner singers I know out there, and for some who are not beginners, but mystified by the new sound technology-- I see them pull away from the big voice blasts and now I will know why it is that their voice comes back as so much less dynamic. I am going to pin this, and share it extensively among my singing friends! Thank you! ~Cynthia

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      @ mySucceed8,

      Thank you, my friend. I appreciate your kindness and warmth of spirit.

      You and yours be safe and cool.

      As for me, I am tinkering with the notion of taking off until after New Year's and get some needed-rest.

      Again, peace and kindness to you.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
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      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      @Kenneth avery: Thank you for your nice comments, and Merry Christmas to you too.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      @ mySuccess8,

      Dear friend, keep up the great work and have a

      Merry CHRISTmas.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
      Author

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      @RonElFran: I am glad you found these tips useful. Many people thought a microphone only requires simply picking it up and using it, without realizing the importance of this easy technique of holding it to obtain good and clear sound quality. Thank you for visiting, and I hope your praise team at church has benefited from this too.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 3 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      With our praise team at church proper use of the mic is a never ending concern. Sometimes people seem to be afraid of the mic. There's a real reluctance to bring it close to the mouth. These are good points, and I hope our folks will be helped by them.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
      Author

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      @Kenneth avery: Thank you again. I really appreciate your kind support and your both sets of very encouraging comments.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, mySuccess8,

      You are so welcome. I love to build-up those who write for HubPages and those of my cherished followers such as yourself. Thank you so kindly.

      If I get back into singing, I shall remember THIS hub. Great work.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
      Author

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      @Kenneth avery: Thank you very much for the visit and the many kind words. So glad you found the tips useful.

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      mySuccess8,

      Amazing hub. I used to sing with my wife and she would always "correct" how I would hold my microphone. I wish we had read this hub back in our day.

      I will tell you the truth. I think that this is an excellent piece of writing. Amazing work.

      I loved the way you presented your topic. Wonderful graphics.

      This piece was helpful, informative and very interesting.I was glad to vote Up and all of the choices.

      You are certainly a gifted writer. Please keep up the fine work.

      Sincerely,

      Kenneth Avery, Hamilton, Alabama

    • mySuccess8 profile image
      Author

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      @MarleneB: Glad I am getting the endorsement of the tips from you as a voice artist and former singer. Thanks for dropping by.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      As a former singer and current voice artist, I can vouch that these are all excellent tips. Very well-written and truly informative.

    • mySuccess8 profile image
      Author

      mySuccess8 3 years ago

      Thanks Heidithorne for checking out. Agreed, these tips apply to speaking too, in addition to singing.

    • heidithorne profile image

      Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

      These are good tips for speakers, too! Voted up and sharing!