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The Mic Stand – Your Cool Tool

If you’re a singer/front person, you need to know how to use a mic stand in your show.  A stand, just like a mic or a stool, is a great tool to use for some songs, and if used correctly, can really make a visual impact.

First of all, make sure you secure a straight mic stand with a round base.  Very important that it’s not a tripod stand as they won’t move the way you need them to…but back to that later.

This is just one idea in how to use the mic stand….

Let’s say you have a song that’s a 2 or 3 feel in the verse, but then goes to a 4 or 5 on the chorus.  Here’s an example of what you might do with the stand.

Just before you sing the first verse, step up to the stand but don’t touch it at all.  Instead, use your hands to express what you’re singing about, and use your angles to connect with the audience on either side of the room.

Between the verse and chorus grab onto the mic (leaving it in the stand) with one hand (2 hands look clutch-y and nervous…much cooler with one hand only, and holding onto the mic instead of down on the stand).

Then, step to the right or left with either a slide step or cross step move, and pull the stand over in front of you to sing.

Stay in that position – with the exception of adjusting your feet if you need to – and sing the chorus from there, paying attention to making eye contact with a few different people or sections of the crowd.  One hand on the mic, one hand used to express yourself.

When you have space between lines where you’re not singing, pull the mic/stand away from your mouth*, then pull it back in to sing.  

That way the audience can SEE when you’re about to sing and are ready to hear it. (*Same principal as when you are holding the mic and you drop it down when you’re not singing.)

After the chorus, while staying where you are, stretch your arm back and release the stand to upright position…then walk away for a bit.  

When it’s time for the 2nd verse, walk back up to the mic and sing.  This would be a great place to double the turnaround after chorus one, to leave some space and give you time to ‘regroup’.

For verse 2, you could either leave the stand alone or hold onto the mic with one hand.  For the 2nd chorus, step away from the stand again, but on the other side to change it up. 

I mentioned the round base earlier…if you try to pull a tripod stand toward you, you’ll find it’s pretty tough to do…next to impossible to look graceful, unless by chance it’s positioned just right.  Just try it to see what I mean.  There’s no comparison to the round based ones.

If there’s a bridge that builds after chorus 2, you might want to take the mic out of the stand.  If you do this, be sure to put the stand BEHIND you a bit so you’re not walking around it for the rest of the song.  If you put it back to your left, walk away to the right, and vise versa.  At the following chorus, walk to another point onstage.

As I mentioned, this is just one idea in how to use the mic stand.  There are other ways to apply it…

I’ll go ahead and do a follow-up vlog soon and continue with this.  In the meantime, let me know if you have specific mic stand questions and I’ll address them in the next video!

Amy Wolter

As a trained Live Music Producer for Tom Jackson Productions, Amy Wolter brings her years onstage as a lead singer & keyboardist - along with her experience as a producer, arranger, and songwriter - to singers and bands who won’t settle for ‘good enough’. She’s worked with artists at all levels, and genres ranging from Rock to Celtic, empowering them to have confidence and authority onstage, and put on memorable live shows, a few of whom have been on two of the largest US tours in recent history. Some of her clients include Grammy award winners The Band Perry & Lacrae, CMA and ACM –winning country acts, Gloriana & Thompson Square, 2016 The Voice contestant Mary Sarah, CCMA (Canada) winners High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee, and Winter Jam Tour veterans Sidewalk Prophets & Love and The Outcome.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. Thanks for all your questions! I will address these in either a Vlog or a webinar SOON. Stay tuned!!

  2. Love it, thanks so much!

  3. cool! I would be interested in tips like this for guitarists to use the stand. most of the time I have to use tripods at the clubs.

  4. Mich Lewis says:

    I’m a solo singer songwriter and play a guitar or ukulele when I’m singing. Any mic options for those of my ilk?

  5. Hi Amy! I love your posts. My question is, when you are not touching the mic, you refer to sing in, i.e., two different angles, say left 45° and right 45°. What happens with the mic direction and sound? I mean, you will not be singing perpendicularlly to the mic.

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Quinn Cosens says:

    Thanks for the advice! At Camp Electric a few weeks ago, you and Tom we’re talking about there being some songs that you’ll want to sing sitting on a stool. How would you handle a mic stand during those types of songs?

    • When you’re sitting you can choose to just hold the mic, or, lower the stand and place it in front of you. I’ll cover that in more detail on the next video blog!

  7. Thanks, love the video!!

  8. Hi Amy.
    Is there a particular brand of mic stand you would suggest?

  9. Mike Duenkel says:

    Thank you very much for the useful tips, I am very grateful and am now putting them into practice
    Mike

  10. Robby Norris says:

    Wow-that’s a lot to get down. Not sure all types of songs work visually with the ‘grab the mic and side step’ move.

    • No Robby – not all songs would call for this for sure. Still keep in mind ‘the song is your script’ ‘ for what you should be doing onstage….the tools, movement, energy – all have to make sense with what we’re hearing. Glad you pointed this out!

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