As a musician, you’re told to care for your instruments thoroughly. With proper care and maintenance, your instruments produce better sound and improve your performance.
The same advice goes when you’re a singer and your instrument is your voice. The last thing you want to happen is for your voice goes hoarse or raspy, leading to voice problems that would end your singing career.
Check out these tips to learn more about exercising proper vocal care:
1. Watch your posture and breathing
You usually learn the best posture to sing in the first week of singing or voice lessons. The proper singing posture improves your breathing, leading to a better-sounding voice.
Improve your singing posture by:
- Standing up straight against a wall
- Shift your body weight to know which positions affect your voice
- Expand and contract your tummy
- Relax your neck and throat muscles
Basic breathing techniques also help you establish better control of your voice.
2. Warm up and cool down your voice
Practice vocal warmups before a performance and even before you start singing practice. Doing so will help your diaphragm and vocal cords support and produce the sound you need for the performance.
Start by warming up your facial muscles. Stick out your tongue, blow through your lips, and massage your face while singing. Proceed with humming, then with tongue trills.
At the end of your practice or performance, cool down your voice. Yawn, sigh on a descending note and do gentle lip rolls. Do these for five to 10 minutes, so your voice returns to its normal speaking range.
3. Practice a healthy lifestyle
Taking care of your voice involves maintaining your overall health. When you get sick, you’ll experience fatigue, sore throats, and stuffy nose that prevent you from singing properly. Singing while sick causes unnecessary damage to your vocal cords.
You can maintain a healthy lifestyle by:
- Getting some rest when you feel tired or ill
- Staying hydrated by drinking water and eating hydrating foods
- Avoiding antihistamines, cough drops, and decongestants
- Minimizing your alcohol and caffeine intake
- Not smoking
4. Humidify Your Home
Dry air strains your breathing and voice, so be sure to humidify your home properly. Moisturize your vocal cords by adding a humidifier, especially if you’re working on a particular project or show.
5. Focus Your Voice Appropriately
Know which vocal position and register best suits your voice. This will ensure that you won’t strain your voice and sing a register your vocal cords are not used to reaching. For example, don’t reach for a high note when you know you have a low register.
6. Rest Your Voice
Minimize speaking in between breaks from vocal practice or after a performance. When you’re in a noisy environment, such as a club or construction site, reduce your speaking time or move to a quiet place to continue the conversation.
The state of your vocal health can make or break your performance. Aside from knowing how to sing well, you also need to learn how to care for and protect your voice. With these tips, you can break bad vocal habits and minimize damage to your vocal cords.