Taking good care of your voice is so important, that we can’t stress enough on it. You might be a singer who is just starting out, and not really aware of how your voice works or you could be a professional, caught in the world of late-night gigs. Either way, it is quite easy to become oblivious to the care your voice needs.
To have a long, consistent and successful singing career, you have to care for your voice. There are several bad things you might be exposing your vocal cords to. A lot of these do not have an immediate consequence but the damage can show up in the long run. To ensure that your singing voice remains healthy, you must check out this list of dos and don’ts.
Table of Contents
Let us start with the don’ts:
1. Don’t consume a lot of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks
Alcohol and caffeine are fine if consumed in moderation. In fact, caffeine is still alright if all you are getting is a cup or two of coffee every day. However, both caffeine and alcohol dehydrate you and make your throat dry. Avoid excessive alcohol intake and limit your coffee or tea to at most two cups a day. It is best to minimize these if you want better results, though.
2. Don’t smoke
It is a well-known fact that smoking not just damages your lungs but also irritates your vocal cords. The reduced lung capacity combined with drier vocal cords only mean one thing – poor voice quality. Keep your distance from tobacco and it will surely help you.
3. Don’t strain your voice
Many singers do not even realize when their vocal technique goes from right to wrong mid-session. Often, in attempts to reach those high notes, singers end up straining their voice. If you are not using the right voice projection, you might strain your voice even when you are comfortable with the notes. This is highly damaging in the long run.
The best way to avoid this is to get professional vocal training and learn the basics of singing technique. Singers with the correct technique can perform for hours on stage and belt powerful high notes without straining.
4. Don’t sing with a sore throat
Pushing your voice beyond its capacity is possibly the worst thing you could do. Singers often go on performing with a hoarse voice or a sore throat. This does more harm than good. Apart from that, you should not stress to sing or practice after a long and tiring day. Do not sing through exhaustion. Get enough rest first and then resume singing.
Now that you know which are the biggest enemies of your singing voice, let us look at some things you should befriend.
This seemingly simple tip is the most wonderful thing for your voice. Hydrating your body keeps everything working smoothly. Taking frequent sips of water keeps your vocal cordsflexible and avoids irritation. It is even better to take warm water, you could add a teaspoon of honey to that and it works like a charm! However, avoid any kind of drinks that are too hot or too cold.
6. Practice regularly to get your technique right
We have already discussed how using the wrong technique can damage your singing voice. Apart from getting a voice coach to train you, it is also on you to practice regularly. This makes it second nature for your body to breathe correctly, use the right muscles and sing without unnecessary strain on your voice.
7. Expand your vocal range gradually
It can be tempting to sing those high notes in a song you have always wanted to sing. Within a few weeks of starting vocal training, you might be tempted to attempt notes outside your range. If you notice that it is difficult for you to reach, do not push too much. Using correct vocal exercises, slowly expand your range. This might be more time-taking but is much easier on your vocal muscles.
8. Warm-up and cool down
Our vocal cords are made of muscle tissue. They need proper stretching just like any other muscle in our body. You would not start lifting 10 kg weights in the gym without warming up, right? There is no reason why you should put your vocal cords through this stress then.
Before every singing session, warm up thoroughly while sipping on water. It not only allows your voice to sing more flexibly and accurately on stage but also prevents damage. At the same time, it is equally important to cool down after your performance or practice. Do not fall into the trap of overlooking cool down asmany singers do. Taking a few minutes to stretch post singing can be highly beneficial over time.
Apart from these key dos and don’ts, you must listen to your body. Notice which foods or habits irritate your throat and curb their intake, like chocolates and dairy products. Always get ample sleep and rest to have a healthy singing voice. If you are aiming to become a professional singer and are looking for online singing classes, you must check out theunluclass by Monali Thakur. In this online course, she discusses everything you need to start a career in singing.