The best vocal health tips for singers focus on what you should NOT be doing, as well as what you can add to your daily vocal care rituals to nurture your voice.
(UPDATED 10th MAY 2018)
The topic of vocal health comes up regularly when I’m working with singers & I also see many “Help, I’ve lost my voice/am sick & I have to gig!” posts on social media.
Focusing on your vocal health all year round is essential if you’re a professional singer or an emerging artist (or want to be).
Here are my top vocal health tips for singers, to be applied at any time of the year.
Let’s start with WHAT NOT TO DO:
- Avoid misusing or abusing your voice through excessive talking & shouting over loud music.
- Limit dehydrating drinks or stimulants like coffee, red bull & alcohol.
- Avoid smoke-filled environments & don’t smoke ANYTHING! (this includes marijuana)
- Minimise throat clearing
- Stop forcing, pushing or straining when singing
In an ideal world, staying away from these practices is going to give you the best chance of maintaining great vocal health.
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO:
1. Wake up your voice daily
Regardless of whether you are singing or not. Try using a siren to wake up your voice. Watch my video showing you how.
2. Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water.
You can work out exactly how much water YOUR body needs using this equation.
Your weight in kgs, multiplied by 0.033 = water (in litres) is the right amount for you to drink to stay hydrated each day.
You can also steam for topical hydration by inhaling steam from a hot drink, a bowl of water with a towel over your head to trap the steam, in the shower or with a specific humidifier or vocal steamer.
3. Use excellent technique when singing & pay the same attention to your speaking voice.
When I am coaching artists, we spend a lot of time on speaking voice mindfulness not only to preserve your vocal folds but to also balance & access different tonalities that we want to use to tell our stories.
4. Check your diet
Are you suffering from silent reflux that is damaging your voice without you knowing it? Avoid spicy foods or eating too close to bedtime as these can trigger reflux.
How can you tell if it’s silent reflux?? If you wake up with an unusually hoarse or croaky voice.
5. Release tension
Stretch your body daily & check in with your postural alignment to ensure you aren’t causing muscular stress with poor posture habits that can end up make singing harder than it needs to be.
6. Vocal Rest
In addition to getting the right amount of sleep you need to rejuvenate your mind & body, try to rest your voice periodically by not speaking for 20-25 minutes following high use situations like a gig, soundcheck or even if you are in a meeting that has you speaking for an extended period of time. This allows any swelling that has occurred to reduce before the next workload placed on your vocal folds.
What tips or tricks do you use to keep your voice healthy?
Share them below in the comments or email me – I LOVE trying out new remedies & preventative measures!
Keep healthy & keep singing!