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What's The Deal With...
Rotation Pt. II
Last month we talked
about common sense tips to ensure you don't get
missed in a rotation (like using one name consistently
all evening and clearly identifying yourself by
using a last name, initial or nickname).
This month we'll talk a little more on the concept
of "fair rotation". We pride ourselves
on running a fair show. Even then, on occassion,
a person may feel another has had more turns.
this scenario: A guy in a red ball cap lines
up early to be among the first on a new thrill ride.
You want to ride too but haven't quite found the
nerve so you wait on the sidelines and watch ballcap
guy have a blast, get off the ride and get back
into line. Still not ready, you go and get yourself
a soda and come back in time to see ballcap guy
get on the ride again. You drink your soda and head
to the ticket booth. When you come back, ballcap
guy is back in line again. Now you get in line 5
people behind him but the ride fills up just before
you reach the head of the line.
Do you start yelling "It's not fair! That
ballcap guy has had 3 turns already and I haven't
had one!"? Likely not.
The main difference between scenarios like this
and a Karaoke rotation tends to be alcohol (which
often makes One's desires feel more immediate and
pressing). We understand that. Which is why...
rotation is treated very much like a lineup.
It may feel unfair if 10 eager people are
already in line when you put your song slip up.
But be assured, we ALWAYS get to people in the order
their slips came in.
discussed last month, a large "rotation"
typically goes for about 1½ hours and then
goes around again. If you have not put yourself
up for a turn yet, not to worry, we fit new singers
into the rotation (so you don't have to
wait until the very end of the line to get into
can trust that:
-Once you've put yourself in line you won't see
another singer get up twice before you've had a
turn (although it could feel like that if you had
not put yourself in the line ealier - remember red
can not be bribed, begged or threatened to bump
someone in line.
-We treat everyone who comes to sing with us as
work very hard to make things fair & fun for
get in line, grab a drink & have fun!
month: what's the deal
with...color coded libraries?
Wait to Hydrate"
to properly water the voice)
Every car comes with an owners manual
which instructs you to pull over immediately if
the oil light on the dash illuminates. A
better idea, if youre in the habit of waiting
until the trouble light comes on before taking care
of your engine, would be to put a "for sale"
sign on the vehicle. Allowing a car to run without
enough lubrication is a sure recipe for trouble
down the road. The same is true for singers who
dont keep themselves hydrated. Without adequate
protection, the activity of singing causes the membranes
in the larynx to swell. The problem is friction.
The body has a natural solution, however, if we
would only follow the owners manual for our
yourself hydrated is an all-day affair. Often, we
wait until were thirsty to reach for a drink.
This is too late for singers -- especially once
youre on stage. It takes at least twenty minutes,
on an empty stomach, for water to cycle around your
system and show up at the membranes where its
needed. Other beverages take longer because they
must be digested. This means drinks on stage dont
take effect until after the set. So why does it
feel like a quick swig of something between songs
offers immediate relief? Two reasons: The first
is that there are receptors in the throat which
signal the brain that fluids are on the way. The
second is the physical action of swallowing.
to belief, nothing we swallow touches the vocal
folds. All of the potions singers consume in an
effort to wet their whistle are channeled away from
the larynx by the epiglottis and sent down the esophagus.
Its just as well. Like the eye, the larynx
should be awash in saline, not tea or honey. Even
if your drink seeps down to the vocal folds, the
air stream created to sing promptly blow-dries the
area. If you are driving your voice hard, or are
nervous, the muscles in the throat tighten. The
tension closes the saliva ducts designated for the
larynx. Like blinking, swallowing changes the muscles
position for a second and allows the ducts to open
and relubricate -- thats if you are hydrated
in the first place.
thirds of your body weight is water. It would make
sense, then, to replace whats lost with the
same. A general rule is to consume 1Ú2 an
ounce of water for every pound of body weight per
day. The water you eat counts, so if youre
not fond of drinking the stuff, load up on high-water
content foods like raw fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately,
beer, coffee and sodas dont count. Even though
each contains mostly water, their ingredients trigger
the body to flush itself, leaving you with less
water than before. Certain foods will also drain
your internal water supply. Since digestion is the
number one priority of the body, when we fill up
on low-water foods like breads, crackers, chips,
cheese and prepared meats and potatoes, the throat
and larynx are robbed of hydration to make up the
deficit. Basically, if you have to have something
to drink with a meal, the foods you are eating are
too concentrated. A good routine would be to hydrate
well before a meal so you wont feel the need
to dilute your digestive process. I know this goes
against the ever-so-common practice of eating and
drinking at the same time, but that tradition was
not put in place so we would sing better.
hydrate well before a game so their muscles dont
cramp; singers should do the same. Maintaining a
lubricated larynx means youll be able to swallow
during a song without sucking on a water bottle.
Remember, rehearsals are no easier on your instrument
than gigs, so get into the habit of staying hydrated.
If your budget is tight, theres nothing wrong
with tap water. Its a good idea to filter
it, though, to remove the chlorine. Its best
to drink water at room temperature to avoid tensing
throat muscles. No matter what style music you sing,
you will notice a significant improvement in your
vocal longevity once you get yourself up to specs.
A good measure of a proper water level is clear
urine. Since there is no light on our bodies to
warn us when were running low, let the following
statement be your mantra, "Dont wait
-- to hydrate"
Baxter is a vocal therapist who offers private
and video lessons. To contact him, call: (800)659-6002.
Visit his website at: www.voicelesson.com
with the kind permission of Mark