Voice survival tips. Important information this time of year. Seems there is always a pollen or mold here in Nashville. In the Spring it will be grass and tree pollen’s. In the winter, the dry air and cold. There is always a natural predator for vocalists to battle no matter where they live.
I’m including a few tips that can help you stay healthy and in peak performance mode throughout the
touring season and beyond.
Being a professional singer involves unwelcome encounters with man made irritants such as exposure to smoke, alcohol, air conditioning; irregular sleep patterns that lead to vocal exhaustion, and over the counter and prescription drug therapies; all of which are also enemies to good vocal health.
Below is a list of useful do’s and don’ts that can drastically extend your singing career and make it more enjoyable and profitable. Some are common sense and may seem simple, but we all know that common sense can sometimes be very elusive when we need it most.
None of the advice given here has adverse side affects, so you should apply liberally and as needed.
Hopefully, it will enlighten or remind you of just how fragile and valuable your instrument is and that it is worth a little care for all it brings to you.
10 very healthy things you can do immediately and often for your voice:
1. Rest! If you’re tired, your voice is tired. Get lots of sleep, especially when it is irritated.
2. Drink Water! 6-8 glasses a day and constantly while you’re singing. (Preferably room temperature.)
3. Breathe! Breathe deeply and constantly (from your diaphragm) while singing to support your voice and eliminate strain on your vocal chords. Talking or singing from the throat without supporting breath puts a lot of strain on the voice.
4. Avoid talking or singing when your voice is hoarse! Also, try to avoid coughing or clearing your throat too much. This slaps the vocal chords together and inflames and irritates them.
5. Eat well! Fruits and veggies. They have vitamins A, E, and C, which help keep mucus membranes and throat healthy.
6. Exercise! Singing is a whole body sport. The more muscle tone and stamina you have, the easier it is to sing and sing well.
7. Avoid talking in noisy places! — (Or screaming at football games and concerts!) Also avoid talking too much before a show.
8. Avoid smoke, alcohol and caffeine.
9. Don’t eat spicy food before singing. This can cause acid reflux
10. Wash your hands a lot to avoid colds and flu. Use sanitizers.
11. Practice good posture! Don’t cradle the phone on your shoulder. This can cause neck and throat tension. Slouching can put pressure on your diaphragm.
12. Use a humidifier in your bedroom. Central heat and air can dry out your throat and sinuses.
The three biggies are:
- Technique! Technique! Technique! Warm up properly and Sing stress free!
- Drink! (water!)
- Rest! (Sleep. Quiet.)Focus on these and they will serve you well. You may also make using honey before and warm salt water after singing part of your ritual if you are very serious about the longevity and strength of your voice.
Here’s to a long, successful and enjoyable singing career!