For those of us who can’t stop singing, here are five essential tips to keep our voices resonating:
1. Exercise Regularly: A singer’s voice comes mainly from air and vocal chords so it’s important to keep our breathing clear and strong. Daily exercise helps to enlarge our lungs and promotes a healthy diaphragm–essential organs which help us breathe at our best. Let’s maintain a healthy pair of lungs and diaphragm so that we can let our voices soar!
2. Hydration: Our bodies, yes, that includes our vocal chords, need to be hydrated with at least two liters of water everyday. Caffeine dehydrates the vocal chords but as long as we limit our coffee to one cup per day and drink it a few hours before we sing, we should be fine. Vocal chords need to be supple and moist to produce the perfect sound.
3. Keep Your Vocal Chords Warm: A light scarf in the summer and something a little warmer in the winter keeps our vocal chords flexible and ready to sing at will. Wear your scarf all day! A warm decaffeinated tea can both hydrate and relax the vocal chords before a performance as well.
4. Speak Sing: Yelling or screaming harshly can do havoc on our vocal chords, don’t we already know it? When we speak as though we’re singing–meaning, using lots of air and the right vocal resonation to maximize or minimize sound levels–we will actually be improving our voices. Also, whispering too much tends to dry-out the vocal chords.
5. Maintain a Balanced Diet: Eating too much food enlarges and hardens our stomachs. After an over stuffed meal, our engorged tummies will limit the range of our diaphragmatic movement and cause our blood cells to bring more oxygen to our stomach rather than to our lungs. This limits our breathing capacity and vocal range. If the body is handicapped to this degree, our voices cannot be at their best. On the other hand, eating too little can cause a lack of energy and focus, the result being a small and withered voice. As singers, we need to avoid citrus fruits and milk on a performance day because these foods will cause burping or worse, phlegm.
I hope these few tips helped you to understand how to care for your singing voice. I look forward to posting regularly here on my blog under Can’t Stop Singing! Make sure to subscribe for more useful and interesting articles and feel free to share them with your friends!