If you are learning music your voice is your biggest asset and taking care of your voice is imperative. Singing is one of the greatest stress busters and scientific studies prove that it even helps you live a longer life!
Now, if you’re reading this and thinking, “I can’t even sing there’s no point scrolling down” and are going to hit the ‘back’ button on your screen right now, STOP! Singing is natural. Really, everybody can sing. All it takes is a little practice, patience and the will to learn. In this endeavor of learning the art, health of your voice is most important.
Here are 7 easy and effective ways to maintain a healthy and melodious voice !
Every Sip Counts!! Drink Plenty of Water
Water keeps your throat lubricated and your voice functioning clearly. Ideally you should drink 8-10 glasses or about 2.5 liters of water daily to ensure good voice quality. Avoid having cold water. Luke warm water is recommended but water at room temperature is also good enough.
Get Lost in Your Dreams! Rest Well
Just like your body gets tired, so does your voice. Lack of sleep can cause lack of clarity, loss of volume, and diminishing tone quality. So make sure to always get a full, restful night of sleep. For kids (age 6-13), that is a minimum of 9-11 hours, for teenagers (age 14-17) a minimum of 8-9 hours and for adults (age 18+) at least 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary. This not only helps your voice but is also genuinely good for your health.
Practice, Practice, Practice!! -Regularly
“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing you do that makes you good.” – Malcolm Gladwell
Practice really does make perfect. A small vocal warm-up before singing is important but it is regular practice that will really make a difference. Make a habit of practicing different vocal exercises for at least 30 minutes to start with, later you can increase the time as you get better.
There are many videos and guides on the internet with various different singing exercises. Follow 2-3 different types of exercises and change them up every day so you don’t get bored! Practice also requires patience, you may not see a difference immediately but your voice will eventually get better. After all, slow and steady wins the race!
Bonus Tip: Getting a teacher to guide you through your musical journey will be of a lot of help and will help you stay on the right path!
Be Healthy! Exercise Regularly and Maintain a Proper Diet
This point applies to our voice care and also to our bodies in general. Achieving a good level of personal health is certainly beneficial to maintaining a great singing voice. This is because when we fall sick, we may feel fatigue, experience blocked noses, sore throats or may not even practice proper vocal technique when singing. This will cause unnecessary damage to our voices, and we would do well to keep ourselves healthy so that our voices will be healthy too. So, eat healthy foods like lots of fruits, vegetables and warm drinks like herbal teas and drinks containing honey etc. We need to eat well and exercise for our voice to sound powerful and have strength!
Bonus Tip: Before singing, avoid consuming foods and drinks that contain caffeine dairy. This produces mucus in our throats and makes it difficult to sing.
Heads Up, Heels Down!! Maintain Good Posture
Your voice is your instrument and it needs to be just like a piano or guitar in order for it to perform properly. Of the key components to beautiful singing, proper singing posture is of utmost importance. Always make sure that you maintain an upright and neutral posture and practice proper breath support when you sing. Practice basic breathing exercises in order to establish better breath control in our singing.
Throat is Treasure! Don’t Strain Your Voice Too Much
It’s really easy for us to strain our voice. For example, if you’re at a party and the music is loud it’s very easy to scream over the music, and we do that quite often without realizing what affects it has on our voices.
Here are a few bonus tips on how to avoid straining your voice:
- Avoid smoking. This does nothing for your overall health and it irritates your vocal cords.
- Make sure to warm up before you sing, speak publicly, or perform because this will allow you to execute your craft to the best of your ability.
- Try to resist clearing your throat aggressively. This may severely damage the vocal cords. Swallow 2-3 times instead of clearing the throat the traditional way and if this doesn’t work try gargling with water and clearing your throat gently.
- Do not force yourself to hit a high note.
- Make sure your throat is hydrated properly. Drink water in plentiful amounts as recommended before as well.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. Two servings a day is okay. On performance days, abstain from these substances completely because both of these substances dry out the vocal cords
Take a Deep Breath and Smile!! Keep a Positive Mindset
A performer’s mental state can have a significant impact on their voice and performance. Singers develop external muscular tension from emotional stressors such as a breakup, work difficulties, or even an argument with a loved one. Stage fright, or performance anxiety, is not simply stress about performing. There is a real physiological response, accompanied by the release of neurochemicals that produce symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, dry mouth and tight throat and trembling of hands, lips, and voice.
Make sure to have a positive mindset and be a confident performer as it affects how you showcase your abilities on stage not only from singer’s point of view but also from inside your body.
Here’s a bonus trick to avoid getting nervous and reduce stress before a performance.
Do a small breathing exercise where you breathe in for 5 seconds, hold it for 5 seconds and breathe out in 8 seconds. Try doing this 5-7 times as it helps calm you down and relaxes your nerves so you can go and nail that performance!
Last of all, remember you’re unique. While these tips may be beneficial, the best way to find out what works best for you is by trial and error!