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Bluegrass Vocal Lesson: Microphone Technique


One of the many critical techniques that singers interested in performing publicly or with an ensemble need to understand is how their voice interacts with a microphone. Microphone technique is an essential skill for singers of all genres, however, particularly in the context of bluegrass, knowing how to balance one’s voice with the rest of the instrumentalists is of the utmost importance. Part of understanding how to balance one’s voice and achieve a great organic-sounding band mix is knowing a bit about the microphone’s construction, the type of microphone being used, and how the microphone works.


In this online vocal lesson, critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and ArtistWorks instructor of bluegrass vocals, Michael Daves, teaches about the unique manner in which the microphone is utilized in the context of a bluegrass performance, the type of microphones used, and, most importantly, how both the vocalists and instrumentalists should interact with the microphone to create a balanced sound.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to sing in the bluegrass style from a master vocalist like Michael Daves? Try some free online vocal lessons now!


“Condenser microphones are very popular in the bluegrass world, and are perfectly suited for bluegrass performances,” Michael states. “With a condenser microphone, you can capture the entire band using just one mic, which gives you a natural reproduction of the acoustic tones of the instruments and the voice.”


What is a condenser microphone?

In the context of a bluegrass performance, the most common type of microphone used is a condenser microphone. There are two main types of microphones: condenser microphones and dynamics microphones. Condenser microphones are more sensitive than dynamic microphones, and, due to their design, are better at picking up more detail in a recording or performance. They also feature lower self-noise and better accuracy across a wider frequency spectrum. Due to the nature of their construction, wider frequency response, and sonic detail, condenser microphones are ideal for capturing acoustic instruments with accuracy and that is why they’re so frequently used to record or amplify bluegrass performances.


“When using a condenser microphone, you also get this really interesting choreography on stage among the band members, because the band is essentially mixing themselves,” Michael explains. “At various times in the performance, each band member will have to come closer or move further away from the mic so that their voice or instrument stands out or lays back in the mix at different times.”


To learn more about microphone technique and how to integrate a microphone into your next bluegrass jam session, dive into this online vocal lesson from Michael Daves:


Microphone Technique with Michael Daves:



Have you always wanted to learn how to sing in the bluegrass style? Through our comprehensive online vocal lessons and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned musicians, like Michael Daves, and get personal feedback on your singing.


Michael’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner vocal methods to advanced performance techniques, classical bluegrass tunes, music theory, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced singer, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as vocalists and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



Bluegrass Vocal Lesson: An Introduction to Vocal Harmony with Michael Daves

Bluegrass Guitar Lesson: The 3 Shape Method with Bryan Sutton

Bluegrass Jamming Skills: Jam Protocol & Etiquette with Michael Daves




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