What to Do with Your Hands When You Sing

In the beginning? Nothing. Gestures are great, but fidgeting is distracting. (Don’t feel bad – all of us fidget at first. *smile*)

drawing of a hand pointingIt takes confidence to stand on stage and sing without looking restless. Depending on your musical genre, you may dance, act or play an instrument while on stage, but every singer should be able to stand in one place and sell a tune. If you are a singer who accompanies him/herself, sing a song from time to time away from your instrument. (You will learn a lot.)

Practice your song (or exercise) in front of a mirror. (Be sure you can see your hands. *smile*) Keep your hands still and relaxed at your sides. No twisting fingers, no clenched fists. No cheating by clasping them together or putting them behind your back (or, heaven forbid, in your pockets!). For now, no clapping or snapping along with the music either. Just be still.

photo of hands against the sky with fingers spreadNotice when and why you want to move your hands. If the movement has purpose – it emphasizes the message of the song, keep it. If it’s just random movement because you feel self conscious, decide to be still instead.

Keep in mind that still doesn’t mean stiff or tense. At first keeping still may feel like singing in a straight jacket. Remember, you CAN move, but the movement should have a purpose (other than relieving your nerves *smile*).

Once you have mastered watching yourself and keeping your hands still, try staying still and singing to yourself, looking directly into your eyes. Warning: This will feel incredibly AWKWARD! But, once you can sing to yourself in the mirror without avoiding eye contact and restless hand/body movements, you’ll be able to sing to anyone.

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