Singers Spot Blog

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How to take care of your voice

Your voice is unique to you and unlike any other instrument, it is not replaceable. If it gets “broken” you can’t just go down to the local music store and buy a new one. With this in mind, I’ve written a few tips to help you keep your voice in shape.

1. Warm-up before rehearsal (or before a long day of talking) – warming up is as important to singers as it is to professional athletes. You need to get the blood flowing and stretch out as well. If you don’t, an injury could occur. It doesn’t take a lot of time 5-10 minutes will do the trick.

2. Drink lots of water – Most people know that they should be drinking eight 8 oz. glasses of water daily, but you might need more. If you divide your weight (in pounds) in half that will give you the number of ounces of water you should be drinking daily. If you drink beverages with caffeine in them or are more active you will need to drink more.

3. Don’t smoke – Aside from its other health risks, cigarette smoke irritates and dries the mucus membranes of your sinuses, throat and vocal folds. All of these areas need to be functioning well to sing your best.

4. Take care of yourself – Things like acid reflux, allergies and sinus infections need to be taken care of ASAP! Letting them linger untreated can irritate or cause harm to your voice. Acid reflux is a real pain and can be a very sneaky disease. Many people don’t realize that they have it until they see an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat Specialist or Otolaryngologist.) because their voice isn’t working as well as it used to.

5. Get some Z-Z-Z’s – Lack of sleep affects many things including your voice. It just won’t work as well if you are tired.

6. Use breath support – Breath support is not just important when you sing. It affects your speaking voice as well. If you don’t support your voice when you talk, it won’t be there for you when you sing.

7. Don’t scream – Let me say it again… Don’t Scream. It is hard on your voice and will tire it or possibly damage it. Use air horns or whistles at sporting events if you want to make some noise. Take a deep breath before you raise your voice and let a cooler head and more relaxed voice prevail.

8. Don’t whisper – If you are sick and your voice is hoarse. Don’t talk. Whispering when you are hoarse is almost as bad as screaming. Whispering when you are well isn’t much better.

9. Baby your voice – If you are sick or your throat is sore, don’t sing and try to minimize talking.

10. Just stop – If your voice feels tired when you are done practicing or at the end of the day, give it a rest and look at the way you were singing or using your voice to figure out how to keep from doing it again. If you experience changes in your voice or ongoing fatigue see your doctor or an ENT. It could be the start of something more serious.

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November 1, 2007 - Posted by | Voice Care

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