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Changing my Busking habits

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Hi, I`m new here, I wanted some input on ways to preserve my voice for long stints. I Busk for a living, but I have stupidly not been caring for my voice properly and now that I`m out longer (since the weather`s warmer) I`m paying for it.

A few of the stupid things I`ve done and know I need to change;

1) I don`t warm up properly before I go out: in a thin walled apartment I`m always nervous about pissing of the neighbors/ landlords: Any suggestions on a warmup regimen that keeps noise levels down?

2) I sing too loud: I always feel like I'm competing with traffic and other street noises so I overcompensate and end up pretty much belting my entire set. How do you get over that mental freakout when you can't hear yourself for 5 seconds (such as when a truck drives behind you, or maybe on stage, if your monitor cuts out briefly)

3) I don't take breaks: This might seem a little odd, but my favorite spot to busk is often taken by a panhandler if I leave for a break. This guy is out there for like, 9-10 hours, every day, and I often end up starting much earlier to try and beat him to it (the best hours in this neighborhood are about 2:30-5:30pm, and I often end up starting at 1:30 and having to quit by 4) I've scouted out a couple of alternative spots, but this particular spot is definitely the best. I'm wondering if it's worth it to move up the street to avoid conflict, or if I should just assert myself more?

Also, I hadn't really thought of this before reading some of the forum posts, but I'm realizing that 3 hours constant singing daily might be pushing it a bit too hard? thoughts?

Thanks in advance for any input you guys might have :) I need to find a way to keep this sustainable cause this gig is too good to give up.

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Simple answer, quit oversinging to be heard over traffic. Just stop it.

You are not going to win over a Harley with shorties out the side putting 100 dB, with just your voice and no amplification.

As for getting tips, I cannot understand why someone would prefer to give a beggar, who could be working, money just for standing there with his hand out when at least you are entertaining, offering something of value for the money they "spend."

Then again, a lot of people mystify me and I am just smart enough to know that I don't know and would probably give myself a headache trying to figure that one out.

Average set for a big touring band is 90 minutes to maybe 2 hours, with breaks in between, including instrumental solos.

So, singing for 3 hours is plenty and if you can do that, you are in shape to be a pro.

Quit singing so loud.

Also, find a quieter place where you don't feel like you have to sing over traffic noise. A big rig with a 400 hp Cummins diesel engine is going to kick your butt every time.

Learn how your body feels when you are singing the right note and trust that.

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Hi Vincarsi,

Consider buying a battery powered amp like this one: http://www.aer-amps.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=425&Itemid=100466&lang=en

Learn to play the harp. That way you don't need to sing all the time. If your guitar skills are decent maybe add some instrumental tunes:

Team up with another guy/girl and play together. Take turns singing lead and backing vocals/harmony.

About warming up, this should not upset your neighbours too much:

- stretching and breathing exercises

- humming, lip-rolls, ng, and tongue trills

- light head voice exercises

Good luck! :)


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