by: Billy DiCrosta
How to take care of your voice!
Do you dream of singing with the stars?
Do you dream of making your living as a professional singer? Or do you simply wish to improve your singing voice to impress your friends at Thursday night karaoke? Whatever your goal, there are specific things you can do that will help you to get more out of your voice, avoid excessive wear and tear.
All singers, experience a scratchy voice, vocal strain or even laryngitis. These steps will help ensure that you maintain your singing voice and keep it in the best condition possible.
It's important to understand that water goes down your esophagus into your stomach, not down the opening that leads to your vocal cords and trachea. So the only way water affects your cords is by being carried to them through the bloodstream.
While it's healthy and advisable for all adults to drink a minimum of eight, 8oz. glasses of water per day (half a gallon), it is absolutely essential for the singer, as this will maintain good hydration of your vocal cords.
Quit YELLING!!! When taking voice lessons or teaching yourself to sing, take it easy on your voice when you can. Constantly beating up your voice with yelling, whispering, shouting or over-talking for no good reason causes wear and tear that will just make singing harder and less fun. This might mean that when you go to a concert, don't waste your time trying to sing over the singer on stage, Sorry! Warm up your voice. Vocalize every day if you can. This will keep your voice to be healthy and responsive.
Sleep! For god sakes go to bed. Give up that last hour of channel surfing and let your body get the rest it needs.
Most people are aware that your diet affects how healthy your voice is but there's frequently confusion as to what in particular. Here are a few things you should know.
For instance, alcohol and sometimes - even mouthwash can contain ingredients that irritate the throat and dry the vocal cords. Foods that are really spicy can adversely affect your cords. Anything acidic can be problematic such as lemon (I know, there goes the tea with lemon and honey). And of course it's commonly known that dairy can also cause a lot of problems. So just be aware and be honest with yourself if something is getting in the way.
Any kind of smoking habit, whether it's first-hand or second-hand, not only will kill you, but it burns the heck out of your cords. Dries them out too. If you decide that your cool, hip style requires that you suck on a coffin nail just be aware and take it easy before you have to sing.
The bottom line is to simply be aware of how these things affect your voice. And if you're going to do them, do them in moderation. Take care of yourself!