As a singer, your body is your instrument, therefore, it is extremely important that you take proper care of your voice. Misuse and abuse of the voice can result in temporary or permanent damage. Follow some of these tips to promote good vocal hygiene so that you can continue to share your gift and love of music!
Be sure to drink a generous amount of water throughout the day to keep your vocal cords moist. While singing, it is best to drink room temperature water as hot water excessively loosens the vocal folds and cold water tightens the vocal folds. Consider eating foods that contain large amounts of water such as apples.
Always get plenty of rest. Just like other tasks in life, you will perform your best when you get adequate amounts of sleep. You will often find that your voice is sluggish when you are tired.
3. Warm Up
It is essential that you warm up before you sing. Your vocal folds are delicate membranes. They must be exercised before you sing to avoid damage. You will sing much better after a proper warm up.
4. Do Not Abuse Your Voice
DO NOT yell or scream. Yelling and screaming is very harmful to your voice. In addition, avoid clearing your throat, coughing, and whispering. These actions cause your vocal cords to slam together. Excessive throat clearing, coughing, and whispering can also damage the vocal folds. When you feel something caught in your throat, try swallowing or drinking water to clear away the congestion.
5. Listen to Your Voice
If your speaking voice becomes hoarse or feels tired, go on vocal rest, which means take a break from singing AND speaking. This is your body's way of telling you that you have overused your voice and you need rest. If hoarseness persists, see an ENT. It could be a sign of nodules or polyps.
6. Avoid Alcohol, Caffeine, and Smoke
Alcohol, caffeine and smoke all dry out your vocal cords, and we want our vocal cords to stay moist. Avoid these beverages and stick with room temperature water and decaffeinated beverages.
Which tips did you find most helpful? Let us know in the comments below!