How To Protect Your Singing Voice
By Chris Chew
Most people think that singers with good voices are born with them. Yes, although some people have better singing voices than others, most, if not all good singers undergo vocal training to improve their voices.
Most of the singer’s training is done through specific vocal exercises to achieve certain effects such as singing powerfully, getting vibrato into the singing voice or even expanding your vocal range so that singing higher notes is a breeze.
Unfortunately, this article cannot do that as the exercises must be physically demonstrated and manually practised. So instead of learning how to get a good voice, this article will show you how to protect and preserve your singing voice because your voice quality can be destroyed by bad habits that you may not even know you have.
Your voice is produced by a delicate mechanism and when used correctly, it rarely gives you any problem. So take good care of your precious voice and will serve you well for your lifetime.
The first golden rule to having a good voice quality is not to take up smoking and if you are already a smoker, do quit smoking before this nasty habit destroys your singing voice further.
The thousands of irritants and chemicals in cigarettes damage your voice and will certainly shorten your singing career and even your life unless you are a rock singer and need to have a raspy and coarse voice.
Always stay hydrated and as such, you need to stay away from caffeine, alcohol and other substance that dehydrates you. The vocal folds must be hydrated at all times to stay healthy and lubricated. So drink plenty of drink as much water everyday to keep them hydrated.
If you are on medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist whether the medicine you are taking is dehydrating. As a general guide, your body should be well hydrated when your urine is clear and not cloudy.
Everyone’s voice has its own limitations. So get to know yours. Shouting, talking loudly or even singing forcefully is damaging to your vocal cords, this is sheer common sense, but many singers still abuse their voices this way. So don’t shout.
Unfortunately, some people think that to sing powerfully, they have to shout. No, they don’t have to. You can develop a powerful voice with the correct vocal exercises without having to shout.
Your vocal cords collide with each other more than a million times everyday when you produce a sound and so, any extra harsh activities like shouting puts further strain on the already overused vocal cords.
When recovering from a coarse voice like say, from a sore throat, avoid any unnecessary conversations or phone calls to let your voice fully recover. Otherwise your recovery will be slower and even then, small permanent damages may occur.
You need to know that your vocal cords are muscles and therefore like any muscles, they need a thorough warm up before it can perform at its peak when you are singing. By the same token, they need to be cooled down with vocal exercises after your performances.
Just because you get away without warming up or cooling down now does not guarantee that you will not damage your voice in the future.
Next on the list is to avoid late night eating because this may end up with your stomach acid spilling into your larynx when you lie down to sleep and causing a hoarse voice and over the long term, permanent voice damage.
These are just some of the many things that you should not do to preserve, protect and maintain your voice producing mechanism so that you can have a good singing voice permanently.