Weird Christmas Gifts For Singers
Still wondering what to ask Santa for Christmas? Here is a weird and wonderful wish list.We have hauled the internet for gadgets and gizmos that could add a touch of magic to the modern singer’s life. All of these make a claim to be for the ‘serious singer’ we present them to you with some of our opinions, in no particular order.
1) The Belt Box
This handheld prop solves a common problem the worry of annoying your neighbors when practicing at home, or the anxiety of needing to warm up in a busy confined area. The Belt Box fits snugly round your mouth and claims to damped and reduce the sound and gives you the confidence to “belt ya face off!”
Reviews are generally positive, with many saying they have so far had no complaints from neighbors and feel less vocal fold strain as a result of not having to hold back their volume. However, you may miss the joy of hearing your voice echo around the room and you won’t really be able to practice resonance exercises with this.
2) The Humidiflyer
Although this is not specifically targeting singers, it could prove to be a lifesaver for frequent flyers and international performers. This face mask claims to reduce the respiratory symptoms of flight such as a dry nose and sore throat, and even claims to ward off infection.
It works quite simply by recycling the moisture of your breath and filtering germs from the brutal air-conditioning in the cabin. A reviewer explains how, even though they get funny looks from their fellow passengers, they breathe more comfortably and feel jet-lag much less, although its design could be a better fit.
3) The Remindair Breathing Strap
This simple device gets strapped around your lower ribs to remind you to engage muscularly during your exhale. It’s a hands-free teaching and practicing device designed to build a strong voice and encourage breathing patterns associated with singing.
Breathing techniques are hotly contested and debated, and we suspect this strap is designed for the classical end of the market, who regularly perform long legato phrases. Even then, many classical pedagogues argue against the ‘rib breathing’ method. As there are many conflicting philosophies of breathing, our advice can only be to try it for yourself.
4) VAM (Vocal Acoustics Monitor)
The VAM is basically a piece of clear plastic shaped like a telephone that directs your voice to your ear. The website suggests it can be used on stage as well as in the rehearsal room, and has the power to multiply the amount you can hear yourself 10 times!
Being able to hear yourself properly is a struggle for many rock and pop singers. Reviewers love it because they don’t have to strain to hear themselves anymore – more natural in-ear monitoring. Of course, be wary of hearing damage if you are using this in an excessively loud environment. Be sure to use good ear plugs and swap ears from time to time.
5) The Zangger Voice Pipe
This slick piece of craftsmanship is the result of years of research by renowned vocal coach, Daniel Zangger Borch. It encourages strength and reduces vocal stress by ‘decompressing the vocal folds in a healthy and sustainable way’.
This gadget takes advantage of the growing awareness of S.O.V.T exercises (Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract exercises), enabling us to warm up our voices quickly and quietly. This is a serious investment for any singer. But, for the price, you have to be on Santa’s Good List.