The Three-Day Rule: Performance Tips for Singers
The three-day rule is a magic formula used by some professionals over the past three decades. It’s a list of tips for exactly what you need to do and stay away from for three days before a show to ensure a solid vocal performance. You may want to do longer than three days, but at least three days as a minimum preparation. Once you follow the three-day rule, you’ll never look back! Works like a charm.
1. Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day
No kidding. Water moisturizes the vocal folds and acts like a lubricant. It makes your voice flexible and resilient, and you’ll hit higher notes with more ease and clarity.
2. Eat extra fruits and veggies
Foods with high water content help hydration and are an energy source. Watermelon and melon in general are particularly hydrating to the muscles of the throat. Put pieces of melon in your water (love this!).
3. Eat lightly the day before and the day of your performance
No heavy foods like red meat or rich sauces. Eating light will improve your energy. Chicken, turkey, fish, and tofu/beans are the best sources of protein that are easy to digest. Fresh organicjuices (no orange juice – causes acid reflux). Juices are great sources of energy: carrot, celery, beet, kale, parsley, apple with a smidge of ginger is my favorite fresh juice, chock full of vitamins and protein – yes, kale is a little-known source of protein. Take your vitamins, too! (Organic please!)
4. Gargle with warm saltwater
For 30 seconds before every rehearsal, singing lesson, performance, and recording, gargle with warm saltwater. Even better, make a cup of Throat Coat tea and pour a bit into another cup, add some salt, and gargle with that! The salt moisturizes like no tomorrow and the Throat Coat diminishes any inflammation and gives an extra coating of moisture to the vocal cords.
5. Clear nasal congestion
Use a saltwater spray for your nose morning and night for three days prior, or try D-Hist natural antihistamine and avoid side effects and ingesting unwanted chemicals and toxins.
If you have mucous the day of performance, gargle with Alkalol. Will get rid of mucous for up to three hours (you can find Alkalol at most drugstores or online).
6. Drink organic Throat Coat tea daily
You will find Throat Coat tea at most health food stores or on Amazon. This tea moisturizes your throat. I also use Vocal Eze throat spray (some similar ingredients) the day before and day of performance. (Find it at travelwellness.com, Guitar Center, or my studio.)
7. Skip the dairy
That means no milk, no cheese, and no yogurt! Dairy causes phlegm and interferes with singing.
8. Lay off the caffeine
That means no coffee, black or green tea, Coca-Cola, chocolate, or hot chocolate. Caffeine in any form is dehydrating.