HOW TO…Look After Your Voice
As a singer, I’m often asked how you can get your vocal chords in top notch condition and how people who sing full time avoid losing their voices when singing every day. Vocal health is so important to singers; here are a few tips and tricks if you’re wanting to improve your vocal health.
Drink Drink and Drink Some More!
This point may stir a little bit of excitement in you but by drink I mean water. ‘Nature’s Vodka’ is best for your voice and staying hydrated can make or break your good vocal health. So try your best to drink 3-4 litres a day. There will be many trips to the loo but your voice will be so ready to sing.
Talking, Talking, Talking, Happy Talk
If you were to do a big physical work out, you would have to rest right? The same goes for if you’re singing a lot. Your throat is made up of tiny tiny muscles and the more you use them, the more tired they’ll get. But how do you rest it you ask? You just talk less. Give your vocals time off to recover. Don’t talk at all if your can help it after a big singing day (I know that isn’t always possible.)
You should also AVOID whispering at all costs; it’s an old wives tale that talking quietly is resting your voice, IT IS NOT! Whispering is a singer's worst enemy and it adds major strain to your vocals. As does putting on an accent or a funny voice, so keep your impressions for another day yeah?
Only Moo in Warm Ups
Eating dairy products as a singer can cause problems as dairy tends to coat your vocal chords, making it much harder for them to vibrate and cause sound. So milkshakes, chocolate and cheese are for your rest days.
Be A Bee’s Best Friend
As soon as a soreness in your throat creeps in it's tempting to reach for cough sweets and syrups from a pharmacy. But the best thing for your throat is honey. Have it in hot water with a squeeze of lemon, or even just a spoonful a day to sooth any soreness and keep your throat in top nick!
Steam Like A Train
Another saviour to a singer is steam. Breathing in steam automatically adds moisture to your vocal chords, which is the equivalent of downing water. You can buy fancy vocal and facial steamers, but if you don’t own one, a good old fashioned leaning over a bowl of hot water with a towel over your head will do the same job, although it may not look as glamourous. Some people advise to put oils and ointments into the water to steam, but I find having it plain and simple is best.
Say No To Drink (And Cigs)
Obviously a singer has a life too, and if in your down time you are partial to a bevvie and a fag, no one is judging. But if you have a gig coming up, or you’re going to be singing a lot in a short period of time, it’s best to swap your booze for snoozes and smokes for jokes!
Singing and self care come hand in hand, so to make sure you can perform your best, sleep for 8 hours a night and have a consistent daily routine. If your mind is healthy, your body will be healthy and if your body is healthy, your voice will be healthy too.
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