As a singer, your voice is your instrument. Whether it is professional, aspiring, or simply meant for the shower and karaoke, your voice is essential. Many people think that a solid or beautiful singing voice comes down to how you belt out those words, but there is so much more to it. Your vocal health should be something on the top of your priority list.
Your life as a singer can be very hectic – between practices, rehearsals, and performances, you can put a lot of strain on your voice. To maintain the health and well-being of your singing voice, here are ten tips that can assist you moving forward:
This should come as no surprise but doing warm-ups for your vocal cords can assist in keeping your singing voice primed and ready for action. Think of it as doing a workout; you want to warm those muscles up before you lift some weights.
There are many different types of warm-ups that you can do before a performance, and it’s a good idea for singers to use these techniques before hitting the stage.
- Tongue Rolls
- Lip Bubbles
- Vocal Seesaw
- Octave Jumps
- Elevator Slides
Any of these can be helpful in producing an effective vocal warm-up, are easy to do, and should take you about ten to twenty minutes before you start singing.
After you have finished singing your heart out, it is imperative to cool it down. Cooling down can be a quick five to ten-minute process that will help relax your vocal folds. Do a few gentle lip rolls or yawn while raising your soft palate and descend your voice slowly. Doing so will release any built-up tension from singing and is an all-around benefit for aiding vocal health.
When you sing, your vocal cords vibrate very quickly, and if you are not staying hydrated, your voice can become hoarse. A very simple and effective action that you can take to prevent this is to drink water. Water will keep your vocal cords lubricated and will make singing a lot easier on your voice.
Along with water, there are foods that you can turn to that are great sources of hydration:
Avoid Harmful Substances
It may come as no surprise, but smoking cigarettes or vaping is a great way to ruin your voice; your vocal cords are being attacked by numerous amounts of toxins and smoke anytime you take a deep inhale.Smoking/vaping can irritate or dry out your throat, making it progressively harder to maintain your voice and vocal health too.
Alcohol is both dehydrating and inflammatory, which impacts your voice, as does the sugar from any mixed drinks. When you can, only drink water.
Sticking to products that help how you sing are a bonus in keeping your vocal folds well. Natural products like throat lozenges and sprays that have slippery elm in them work well. Drinking herbal teas is a great way to keep your voice lubricated and to maintain vocal health. When you can, avoid refined sugars and look for products that use honey instead.
Much like working out, your body needs a rest day so that you don’t overwork it, putting it at risk of injury. The same thing can happen to your voice when you don’t give it a break after a performance, as it too can become fatigued. Whether you’re rehearsing or performing, pushing too hard on a tired voice can put you in an unpleasant situation. If you have a cold or feel allergies coming on, you should let yourself have a break.
It is essential to give your vocal cords a nap, meaning you need to avoid talking or singing for at least ten to fifteen minutes. This can be done every two or three hours and should be practiced after a performance as well. Listen to yourself when you perform, know when you have a tired voice and when to take breaks; this will benefit your body.
Humidifiers are a good investment for a singer; they can be placed somewhere in your studio, home, or room overnight. A humidifier can moisten any dry air, improve your respiratory health, and prevent your vocal cords from going dry. You will find that breathing in properly humidified air can help you keep your voice prepped for any upcoming performances.
Getting a good sleep at the end of your day is beneficial in recharging your body. A lack of sleep can fatigue you and your body, which will impact your voice as well. How will you sing when your voice sounds as sleepy as you feel? Getting a recommended amount of sleep is paramount for your vocal health and ensures you don’t perform with a tired voice.
Keep Your Throat Relaxed
When hitting those high or low notes, keep your throat and neck muscles relaxed. Trying to strain when you’re supposed to be relaxing them will damage your vocal cords and will impact your voice in the future.
Avoid Clearing Your Throat
Excessive throat clearing is a big no-no. It may not always feel like it, but what you are essentially doing is violently slamming your vocal cords together. Throat clearing can cause further inflammation or irritation which will prevent your vocal folds from coming together when you need them to. The next time you feel that you need to clear your throat, drink some water, which is a better alternative for your vocal health and your singing career.
Do Not Sing From Your Throat
The throat is a big part of how to project your voice, but you need to keep in mind that when the time comes, it needs to flow from your diaphragm. Learning how to properly sing with your body is probably the most important part of singing in general. Taking online singing lessons can assist in teaching you how to properly sing from your diaphragm and not from your throat. If you push from your throat, you will just further damage and strain it, which is not something you want. Remember, sing from your core; use your breath to support your breath while you sing. This should be on the top of the list for every aspiring singer.
It’s a pleasure to indulge yourself in singing, and taking lessons can be wonderful! Singing lessons provide you with every important aspect you need to prepare yourself for your musical journey. Look into booking a lesson today, and you’ll be one step ahead in prepping your singing voice for the big stage.