Have you ever wondered how “seasoned” singers such as Mick Jagger, Dionne Warwick, or even Bob Dylan happen to maintain their singing voices throughout their golden years? At their age they can still rock it on stage so effortlessly unlike some younger singers today who lose their golden voices after just a couple of albums.
How do they do it? How do they keep their voices healthy even after decades and decades of performances? They did it by following a regimen of exercises and processes for their voice.
Whether you are a professional or an aspiring singer, keeping your voice healthy should be your priority. Here are some steps you can take to avoid voice problems. These tips are simple and do not have to cost you a lot, although it will take a lot of discipline and hard work.
One obvious tip for keeping your vocal cords healthy is to keep your body well hydrated. Of course, one cannot sing properly with a dry mouth. Drinking lots of water is not only healthy in general; it also helps moisturize your vocal cords. Drinking alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated beverages should also be kept at a minimum if not thoroughly avoided.
Smoking can irritate the vocal cords. If you are a smoker, quit. Smoking not only increases your risk of throat cancer, it also causes inflammation of the vocal cords that can make your voice hoarse and husky.
Train your voice just like an athlete. Warm up your voice through gentle vocal stretching before heavy use. Humming and using lip trills are effective warm up exercises. There are also some great breathing exercises for singers. Warming up helps reduce the risk of injury and maintain your voice in healthy condition.
As with any over used body part, your vocal cords may also wear down sometimes and you may find yourself without a voice. Avoid straining your voice. Yelling or cheering aloud can get your throat hoarse so avoid unnecessary shouting.
Learn the proper singing techniques and don’t overuse your voice. Keep your throat and muscles relaxed when singing. Don’t try to imitate other singers especially if the singing style is out of your current vocal skill level. Doing so can result to vocal injury. Study correct vocal techniques. You can find a professional vocal coach or learn through online singing lessons to ensure that you are doing it the proper way.
Becoming a famous singer requires a lot of practice, but this does not mean that you have to overuse your voice. Practice smart. Allow your voice some rest and avoid speaking for too long. Sing in smaller increments of time every day, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. As you improve, gradually increase the amount of time you practice and the difficulty of your vocal techniques.
In times of sickness do not forget to take proper rest and do not rush your recovery. If your throat feels dry, reduce your voice use. Hoarseness is a sign of soreness, so be sure to listen to your voice. Keep your voice care routine simple; do not rely too much on things such as vapors and pharmaceutical drugs to help you, although they may work on some people.
Taking care of your voice means taking care of yourself. Eat a healthy and a well-balanced diet. Get plenty of rest and don’t strain your voice. Since your voice is the instrument you use in singing, make your vocal health a priority.
Simple tips such as these may seem easy to do but in a busy and crazy lifestyle and schedule that may come with performing, you could just as easily forget to practice these tips. Remember to keep a healthy lifestyle, learn how to sing better and your voice will be just fine. Any voice coach will say the same. After all, the greatest singers only needed a glass of water and lots of practice.