People spend hours at the gym in order to get rid of extra fat, stay in shape and realize that perfect body. As a singer, similar discipline and focus is necessary if you want to keep your voice sounding great. Your vocal chords just like any other body part are not invincible. How you treat them has a direct impact on how well they serve you when you need them to.
The following tips can help keep your voice at its prime for longer
- Drink Plenty of Water Daily
Water is to your throat and vocal cords what lubricant is to a car engine. It lubricates your vocal cords and thins the mucus. High quantities of mucus can exert physical trauma and friction on your vocal cords. Take at least 8 glasses a day. This isn’t unusual actually given that 8 glasses is already the recommended quantity of water intake for an adult, singer or otherwise, per day.
- Exercise Your Voice
We mentioned the similarity between vocal cord care and physical exercise at the beginning of this article. Regularly exercising your voice especially before an audition or other performance is in keeping with this theme. Voice warm ups have a direct impact on how well you sing. That said, keep the warmups simple. Do not overly exert yourself.
A nice warm up technique is to test your classical music capabilities by practicing staccatos, glissandos and messa di voce.
- Take Vocal Naps
Your vocal cords have finite capacity and ability. Not even the most celebrated singers can sing continuously from morning to evening for days on end and still deliver a flawless performance each time. Your voice needs to rest and rejuvenate every so often. When on tour, schedule some nap time within every day. The longer the better but even as little as one hour should do the trick.
- Sleep Well
If short rests are good for your voice, sleep is even more important. Yet, for singers, getting enough hours of quality sleep isn’t always easy. They are often expected to perform late into the night and sometimes, at more than one location on any given day. It takes discipline, self-control and assertiveness for one to get the amount and quality of restful sleep they need each day.
It’s not only important for your vocal cords but also gives you a clearer mind and the required energy to deliver a memorable show.
- Stop Smoking
The dangers of cigarette smoking have been understood for decades now. For example, smoking substantially increases the risk of throat and lung cancer both of which can bring a promising singing career to an abrupt stop.
Smoking has temporary demerits too. It causes the vocal cords to swell. For a long and successful singing career, keep off smoking (fortunately for New York singers, the bars are smoke free so you don’t even have to tolerate second hand smoke). And if you do have to smoke, make the most of vaping and e-cigarettes which you can get at vapour.com.
- Maximize the Microphone
The ability to project your voice unaided in a large room is certainly a powerful asset for a singer. But no one can do that for extended periods without experiencing a steady deterioration in their singing. Thankfully, there’s hardly any event where you’ll be expected to perform without a microphone. This means there’s really no reason to shout yourself hoarse.
Before the event, work with the person in charge of the sound equipment to make sure the microphone is tuned in a way that will not require you to shout to be heard by the people at the back.
- Listen to Yourself
Regularly listen to your singing voice. Make the most of an ear monitor or floor monitor to keep tabs on what you sound like at any point in time. Listening to yourself is important for two reasons. First, you can quickly tell when you are straining or singing louder than necessary. Second, you’ll identify a growing problem with your voice before it gets out of hand.
As a singer, your vocal cords are your most important asset. Following these tips will ensure your voice box can be in top shape for longer.