As part of the Booths Music series of useful lesson and exam tips for musicians, here are seven handy tips on vocal health and well-being to help transform your singing!
Vocal Health Tips #1
Water, water, water! I can’t stress this enough. I hear a lot of students say they don’t like the taste water and can’t bring themselves to drink it … I listen and then just tell them they need to drink it anyway haha.
The vocal chords need lubrication in order to work properly and efficiently and you’ll get that from a healthy dose of water everyday. Opinion varies on what is an appropriate amount of water to consume and I find it varies from person to person depending on a few different factors. Play it by ear and just start drinking little by little and increasing your intake slowly over time (it’ll help you get used to the taste) until you start to feel the difference in your singing voice. Suffer through. It’ll be worth it I promise.
Vocal Health Tips #2
Tired body = Tired voice. Singing can take a fair amount of physical strength and endurance, especially if you have a demanding set. If you’ve been up all night partying or catching up on your latest TV shows you’re going to struggle. Get your 40 winks!
Vocal Health Tips #3
Exercise! This can be quite an overlooked area of singing. Getting some cardio in there will help increase your breath capacity and endurance when performing. If you have the luxury I recommend trying to sing whilst exercising.
Doing so might be difficult at first but in time you will be able to control your breathing much better and you should find your voice more stable when you’re performing whether running about the stage or stationary.
Vocal Health Tips #4
Keep Quiet … sometimes.
We’re singers. We make sound. It’s what we do but sometimes we need to learn when to be quiet. The vocal chords are a muscles and like any other muscle they need exercise AND rest! This doesn’t just extend to singing it’s talking as well. If you find your voice becoming very tired and croaky it might be worth taking out some time from your day to rest your voice.
Vocal Health Tips #5
Everybody gets sick but as a singer it’s about trying to keep the amount of times you get sick to a minimum. Being sick when you have to gig and perform can be extremely difficult and can harm your voice for quite a while afterwards. Investing in quality singing lessons and taking onboard all the other points in this blog should help you get through a set when sick but try and eat well, drink water and even start taking some multi vitamins to keep you all happy and healthy.
Vocal Health Tips #6
Keep Away from Dairy.
Cheese, milk, yoghurts and worst of all … chocolate. This one straight up sucks. Everyone at Booths music knows that chocolate is a slight addiction of mine but when it comes to a performance, I try and cut down my chocolate intake or cut out completely a few days before. Some people have better tolerances than others to dairy products so you might be one of the lucky ones that can wolfed down a pizza just before heading on stage. If not I’m afraid it’s a dairy-less existence for a few days. Binge afterwards and feel good about yourself haha.
Vocal Health Tips #7
Keep Away from Smoke!
If you smoke. Stop. If you’re around someone that smokes either leave the room or ask them to. Smoking does nothing positive for the voice. Well it does lower your voice and can make it a bit more gravelly but you can learn to do that anyway with proper vocal exercise. The negatives far outweigh the one positive of smoking. Smoking dries out your chords and irritates them. It also weakens your lungs and your lung capacity.
A final note (hehe get it? NOTE? Funny). Sing with passion, learn proper vocal technique, take proper care of your health and you’ll transform your voice for the better.
Part of the series of singing tips. Written by vocal tutor John. Singing lessons are available at Booths Music in Bolton town centre on a daily basis. Please ring 01204 522908 for more details or enquire in the form below.
See also: Exam tips for musicians.