For singers, maintaining proper vocal health is a top priority as it can make a difference in pitch and sound. So whether you sing with a church choir or are part of a band, it’s important that you choose great habits that don’t affect your vocal health.
While guide books can really help improve the quality of your singing, understanding the science behind the voice is also extremely important. When it comes to health, whether physical, mental, emotional, or vocal for the matter, lifestyle can make a huge difference. If you are a singer looking to improve your vocal health to give outstanding performances, you are at the right place. In this post, we will discuss how you can maintain a healthy singing voice.
It is extremely important for singers to stay hydrated in order to sing better and have a clear voice. Water is no less than a magic potion when it comes to vocal health and a good voice. Herbal teas are also a good second option to clear the throat for a cleaner sound.
Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. A hydrated body produces thin watery mucus, ensuring that vocal cords stay lubricated at all times. Always keeping a water bottle nearby can ensure good vocal health.
Practice Warm-Up and Cool-Down Exercises
Add various warm-up and cool-down exercises to your singing practice routine if you wish to maintain your vocal health for years to come. The good news is, these exercises are incredibly easy and do not require any equipment such as dumbbells or yoga mats. Rather, these exercises only require the use of facial muscles, vocal cords, lips, and tongues.
You can warm up before singing by loosening your jaw muscles and lips, sticking out your tongue, and blowing through your lips. Try making some noises and sigh musically. For the cool-down exercises, try yawning. Or, you can roll your lips and sigh to release built-up tension.
Avoid Frequent Throat-Clearing
While clearing your throat can provide temporary relief and comfort, it is extremely harmful or your vocal health. If you wish to keep your voice in shape, give up on your throat-clearing habit as soon as you can.
Throat clearing is quite traumatic to your vocal cords and causes excessive wear and tear. This is because your vocal cords violently slam together when you clear your throat of bothersome mucus. Excessive throat clearing before and after singing can have negative effects on your vocal health. If it feels like something is blocking your throat, grab your water bottle and take a few sips.
Quit Substance Intake
Like we said earlier, singers have to make several lifestyle changes to ensure a good voice. While substances (tobacco, nicotine, chemicals) are bad for your overall health, they also impact your vocal health in several negative ways. Hence, you should stop smoking, vaping, and using other kinds of drugs to maintain your vocal range.
Inhaling smoke can permanently ruin the quality of your voice as it bathes your vocal cords in toxins. You will need to be very alert of what kind of air you inhale, as every tiny particle can play a huge role in irritating and drying out your vocal cords. Not to mention, substantial chemicals and toxins can cause severe inflammation and swelling of your vocal cords.
Humidify Your House
As we have already discussed, water and clean air are two crucial factors to improve your vocal health. The vocal cords need constant lubrication to prevent them from drying out. Most professional singers opt for humidifiers so that their voices get a boost before their performances.
Besides preventing dried and irritated vocal cords, a humidifier can also support your respiratory health. If you are a singer and are working on new productions or a concert, try installing a humidifier in your room. You will notice how doing so will instantly make a difference in your vocal health and voice quality.
Take Vocal Naps
Like anything else that uses up energy, your vocal health needs rest days as well. If you maintain a consistent workout routine, you’re probably aware of how important breaks are. In the same way that a strained body is more prone to injury, strained vocal cords are more susceptible to damage if you don’t give them a break.
Make sure you rest your voice if you have been practicing a lot lately. Vocal naps are incredibly necessary to maintain a healthy voice and prevent your vocal cords from experiencing inflammation or damage. It’s common to see singers continue singing despite allergies and flare-ups in their cords and throat. You should remember that doing so can have various adverse effects on your long-term vocal health.
Avoid Using Your Throat to Sing
This advice is especially from beginner singers wondering the reasons behind poor vocal health. While they are just one part of the complex system that produces voice, remember that the singing voice only comes from the vocal cords. As a singer, you must understand your body and what parts work in what ways to produce your singing voice.
Using your throat to sing, don’t produce the melodious singing voice that you want. What does produce good sound is when you use your breath to sing. You must sing from the core and allow your diaphragm to support your breath for singing. Relax your vocal cords, use your breath and let your voice resonate in your chest and pharynx.
While singing can be a hobby, doing it well isn’t as easy as decorating pots or guitars. Professionally singing into a microphone requires a good amount of time and effort. Not to forget, singers also have to make significant lifestyle changes, sometimes sacrifices, to support their vocal health.