Floorsinging for Beginners

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3. Food, Drink, and Dutch Courage

Don't have too much to drink prior to singing (Dutch courage doesn't work). At least, too much Dutch courage doesn't..... Some people find it very uncomfortable to perform absolutely dry, but if you're not used to performing, you might be shocked at some of the tricks that the combination of adrenaline and alcohol can play on you. If you're an instrumentalist, be prepared to lose in motor function and memory what you gain in lessened inhibitions. There's a lot to be said for holding back on the alcohol as much as you can. Be selective about what you drink: spirits maximize alcohol intake and are rough on the throat, while at least beer deconstricts the voicebox a little (not to mention the anal sphincter.....).

One problem with Dutch courage is that you need to line the stomach well before you get going, but a full stomach is a bad basis for singing. Don't have a heavy meal immediately beforehand - it will rob you of your wind.

If you're going to sing, avoid eating gluey foods beforehand: bananas, melted cheese, oatmeal. They coat the vocal cords and make even good, experienced singers sing flat. [I'm not sure the physiological details are correct, but I've certainly seen/heard/felt the effect.... -DH]

Be aware that if you eat within the hour or two before you sing you are probably going to burp on stage. Shandy is good for maximizing fluid intake while holding you back from the gallop towards alcohol-induced incoherence, but also has a tendency towards making you burp.

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