A Singer’s Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Voice

voice lessons

Imagine trying to sing with a frog in your throat. For many singers, this feeling is all too familiar. The fact is vocal strain and pain are common occurrences for singers, especially for those who don’t take proper care of their voice.

Whether you realize it or not, your voice is an instrument, and needs care and attention just as much as any guitar or piano. Think about it. A guitar can be stowed in a protective case after an intense jam session, but a singer takes their vocal cords with them no matter where they go. Concert or no concert, a singer’s instrument is always in use, hence the reason why singers are more susceptible to vocal cord disorders and distress, and the reason why regular vocal care is so important.

Singers who constantly push their voice to the extreme without allowing their vocal cords a little R&R from time to time may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Hoarseness

  • Low-pitched voice

  • Breathy voice

  • Loss of vocal range

  • Throat pain while talking or singing

Luckily, there are steps singers can take to maintain a healthy voice and ensure a performance (sans “ribbit ribbit”) that will have the audience jumping to their feet with applause.

  1. Sing The Right Way

Everyone knows that nothing is more crucial to a singer’s success than proper technique, but did you also know that good technique is the basis for a healthy voice?  While there are many best practices to follow when it comes to singing, knowing how to properly breathe from your diaphragm is essential to avoiding injuries and common vocal cord wear and tear. Essentially, breathing from your diaphragm moves the effort of support to the abdominal muscles, thus keeping pressure away from the vocal cords and the throat.  Learning diaphragmatic breathing can be tricky at first, but once mastered, it leads to better breath control, improved vocal endurance, and superior tone quality.  To ensure you’re singing the correct way, you may want to consider taking voice lessons. Scottsdale Music Academy can teach you everything you need to know to perfect your voice and keep it in tip top, concert ready shape at all times.

  1. Drink Up

 

No, we’re not talking about alcohol! We’re talking about the other liquid wonder known as H20.  Water helps to thin your mucous and lubricate your vocal cords, allowing your vocal cords to smoothly move against one another and vibrate with ease. To keep your vocal folds adequately hydrated and moist, be sure to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. For even better results, consider investing in a personal steamer, especially if you live in a dry environment. The extra steam will help sooth irritated vocal cords and provide an added source of moisture.

 

  1. Take Voice Naps

 

Just because you’re no longer in kindergarten doesn’t mean you’re too old for a nap…a vocal nap that is! Taking short periods (10 to 15 minutes) of vocal rest from time to time, especially after extended periods of voice use, will help minimize stress and vibrations on your vocal folds. You’ll “wake” feeling refreshed and ready to tackle even the toughest of songs.

Other ways to maintain a healthy voice include:

  • Consistently warming up before a performance

  • Abstaining from smoking

  • Limiting alcohol intake

  • Avoiding vocal misuse, such as yelling and screaming or excessively  raising your voice

More than anything else, singers need to remember that their voice is a muscle and must treat it like one. Maintaining a healthy voice takes work and consistency, that’s why regular practice and training is essential. Singers who are serious about perfecting their craft should surround themselves with trusted professionals in order to develop performance skills, master proper techniques and prevent injuries.

If you’re looking for an all-star team dedicated to helping you reach new vocal heights, look no further than Scottsdale Music Academy.  When it comes to voice lessons, Scottsdale Music Academy knows how to turn even the worst Kermit the Frog voice into singing shape!

Give us a call at (602) 751-3537 today to learn how we can help you.

 

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