Five Tips to Keep Your Voice Healthy

In many ways, the vocal cords are the singer’s physical instrument. They, like any other instrument, must be maintained before and after performance. If this does not occur, the voice can become fatigued and strained as a result of overuse and extended periods of mistreatment. As a result, it is critical that all musicians (whether or not they are primarily vocalists) take good care of their voice.

Train your voice and body like an athlete: 

Learn proper singing technique, avoid overuse of the voice, get plenty of rest, and eat a well-balanced, healthy diet. Singers are similar to vocal gymnasts in that they move through their artistic range with apparent ease and flexibility. Gymnasts are extremely disciplined individuals who spend hours perfecting their craft and are far more likely to sustain an injury than the general public. Professional singers, regardless of genre, face some of the same risks and must maintain a disciplined practice schedule with rest and recovery intervals in order to perform at an optimal level.

Allow your voice to shine.

Trying to imitate another person’s voice or singing style may require you to sing or do things that are outside of your comfortable physiologic range or current vocal skill level. This could cause vocal damage. Also, keep in mind that if you are imitating someone who is already famous, they have already made millions. You want to be the next big thing, not just a clone.

Take your time. 

You must pace yourself and your voice when preparing for a show or audition season. You wouldn’t try to get all of your exercise at the gym by going once a week for 5 hours. Instead, sing (and exercise) in smaller increments (30-45 minutes) each day, gradually increasing muscular skill and stamina. As you progress, you should be able to increase both the amount of time and the difficulty of your vocal skill.

Avoid phonotraumatic behaviours such as yelling, screaming, loud talking, and excessive singing

When you increase the volume of your voice, your vocal folds bang together more forcefully (much like clapping your hands really hard, loud, and fast). After a while, your vocal folds begin to swell and turn red in response to the impact. Long-term phonotrauma can result in vocal fold changes such as nodules.

Proper hydration. 

Throughout the day, drink plenty of non-caffeinated beverages. Although nothing you eat or drink gets onto your vocal folds, adequate oral hydration allows the mucus to function as a lubricant rather than a glue.

Drink more than 50 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated. Keep water with you throughout the day and sip it frequently to ensure you meet this goal. You should also consider purchasing a bedside humidifier to keep your nose, lips, and throat moist throughout the night.

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