We take a break from our business coverage to deal with a mistake that I see so often when I am out performing with other bands trying to get through the glass ceiling and make it to that next level.... microphone technique. So many times I see bands who have it together, their playing is tight, you know they have put in the hours. The problem is you can't understand the what the singer is saying because he or she is right up on the mic. For simple demonstration simply put you hand in front of your face right on your lips and speak. Yuck right. That's what's happening when you get right up on the microphone. Each microphone has what might be described as a field surrounding it . You need to practice to get a feel for it. What you are working to discover is where you hear you voice strong and clear.
The next most common problem is getting too far away from the mic. You tend to see this with dynamic performers who lose track of where the mic is while they are really getting into the performance. The thing to remain cognizant of is that nothing kills that vibe like losing the vocal during a really high energy part of the song.
The best situation is of course having a great monitor system so that you can actually hear your vocals. Let's be real though, if you are playing in some of the places you have to play to get to the top, having monitors at all much less a great monitor mix is a luxury. You've got to overcome it though, and know where you need to be in relation to your microphone to get that great performance across. So the only way to get it down is to practice, practice, practice just like any other part of your performance. Doing so will help you get to the next level and ensure that your audience is saying great band but I couldn't understand the singer.