Getting the most out of your microphone technique

How To Use A Microphone In Live Performances

Once you’ve a got a great song to sing and you’ve worked on your visual performance, you need to start working on your microphone technique. Sadly, many singers ruin their performances through lack of microphone control and PA system knowledge.

The Microphone

The microphone has a ‘field of sound capture’ around its head – the size of the field varies depending on the make and model of the mic. Usually they have a sound field of about 9cm or 10cm from your mouth.

Good Techniques

When singing do the following:

  • Hold the metal barrel of the microphone
  • Hold the microphone close to your mouth to start with
  • Move away from the mic when singing very loud notes
  • Move in close to the mic when singing soft/quiet notes
  • Stand near the monitors so that you can hear what you are singing
  • Watch the sound engineer during in the song (especially at the beginning)

Bad Techniques

When singing don’t do the following:

  • Cup the mesh screen of the mic with your hands – this causes feedback
  • Hold the microphone by the lead or swing it around
  • Wave the microphone near the monitors – this causes feedback
  • Move your microphone hand away from your mouth
  • Don’t yell at the sound engineer in the middle of you performance

Remember: the important thing is to enjoy your performance and to sing and perform to the best of your abilities! Don’t worry if some of the mic technique goes out the window!

© 2007 Helen Sanderson-White, Little Eliza Music