5 Tips to keep your voice Healthy
Welcome to my 5 tried and tested top tips to keep your singing voice healthy! There are many things that you learn over the years of being a professional singer; How to sing through colds, ‘The Change’ That not only boys go through but also girls do to and What to do if you have a limited time to warm up.
So Here they are… My Top 5 Tips;
1. Honey and Lemon
Squeeze half a lemon into a mug, fill halfway with hot water. Stir in a teaspoon of Honey (Manuka Honey works best – you can get it at all major supermarkets. The Higher the + factor the more healing qualities it provides) until dissolved and then fill the rest with cold water to cool down the hotness!
So you ask why Honey and Lemon? It works wonders if you have a cold or are generally feeling unwell, especially before a performance. The Honey soothes the soar ness of a bad throat and heals whereas the lemon will cut through any phlegm and mucus clinging to the vocal chords, along with its vitamin C healing aid. It has helped me numerous times over the years and is now my go to remedy whenever i feel i am getting the slight start of a cold, regardless of wether i have a performance coming up or not.
2. Warming up
Before singing you should warm up every time. Vocal exercises are key to making your vocal chords loosen up and enabling them to vibrate more loosely. 10-20 Minutes is recommended before each time you sing.
Each singer has their own routine although mine is as follows;
– A few short Breathing exercises
– Sirens (Octaves)
– Arpeggios on EE, AH
– ‘EE’ Staccato
– Bella Señora
If you have limited time to warm up for a short few sings, simply performing some sirens to get your voice working is more than enough providing you do them properly and make use of your full range.
3. Drinking Plenty of Water
Keeping your vocal chords and overall body hydrated is a must to keep a healthy voice. When you start to loose the hydration in the vocal chords they become dry and irritated, this leads to singer straining for notes and in turn making the vocal chords rub together which may cause problems such as Nodules (Little lumps attached to the vocal chords that need to be surgically removed)
Each time you are on stage and also throughout practice is the most important time to keep hydrated as your vocal chords are in use, although keep this water to room temperature as ice cold water will send any warming up you have done backwards and in effect cool down your chords. So remember… Keep drinking water!
4. No Smoking!
Smoking causes havoc on a singers voice. You may be able to pick out well known stars who smoke simply by listening to their voices. The main surprising one is Adele, known for smoking and singing. You can hear this is some of her tones as they become slightly husky and raspy. (don’t get me wrong, i love adele’s voice and music!) Smoking brings a higher risk in laryngeal cancer and vocal polyps, neither of these do singers want.
5. Correct Breathing Techniques
Using correct breath control is vital to keeping your voice in tip top condition. Making sure enough breath is there to support each note is the way to keep any strain off your vocal chords, never should you ever sing from you throat, this is the one way you will strain and ruin your voice very easily. The best way to learn to control your breath is by performing various exercises before you sing to train yourself to control your breath flow from the diaphragm. Heres my best 3 exercises;
– Lying on the floor with a book on your stomach breath in and out using your diaphragm.
– Breathing in for 4 counts and out on a ‘tsss’ for 4, repeat and then out for 8 and so on going up in 4 each time.
– Breathing in and letting out a ‘tss’ for as long as you possibly can, repeat and beat each time.
Use these top tips and keep your voice in tip top condition! Give them a try and see how you improve your vocal ability.