Vocal Studio Tips

What can a singer do to get the best vocal performance in the studio?


There are so many things you can do to increase your chances of a successful vocal performance. Having worked with Jan Smith for so many years, I’ve learned that having a great vocal coach, although somewhat expensive, can absolutely be the best investment you can make in yourself as a recording artist. A great vocal coach can hear things in your voice that no one else, including yourself, just doesn’t hear. They bring a wealth of knowledge with respect to adjusting phrasing, timing, pitch and many other things in a performance. This level of artistry takes a pretty serious commitment to the project and is definitely not for the hobbyist. Obviously, a good producer brings some of this skill set to the table as well.

Vocal Studio Tips

Being well prepared on the material is another thing you can control. Although spontaneity can be a great thing, you need to know your lyrics, your melody and your arrangement inside and out. Things can quickly change in the recording process with ideas flying all over the place and if you know the material, it’s way easier to change things around for better performance.


Bring whatever concoctions you need to keep your voice going strong. Lays Potato Chips and warm lemon water are a couple of “go to’s” in my experience. Whatever it takes except for dairy or cold drinks, especially cold alcohol. Avoid these like the plague!


Another thing to consider is trying out different monitoring techniques with your headphones. Take one off or halfway off, try the other ear, try them both on, try them at different levels. There are literally tons of options. Make a note of which take was which and listen; You might be surprised at the difference. Of course when experimenting with these techniques, make sure your engineer is aware of what you’re doing. Nothing in the studio sucks worse than click bleed!!!


These are just a few suggestions for getting a great vocal performance and yes I know, there are exceptions to every rule but wait, THIS IS RECORDING, THIS IS ART, THERE ARE NO RULES!!!

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