- Most importantly, make sure you are consistently getting a proper belly breath – it will help you stay relaxed, build vocal stamina, be able to project safely and avoid injury in general
- Sing with good posture whether sitting or standing – it will help stay relaxed, keep you from over-compensating and hurting your muscles, and help the air to flow freely, helping you sing on pitch consistently
- Like any other muscle, the voice needs warm-ups, exercise and rest – Before your gig, do sirens, do vocal exercises, gently sing to the radio or a CD, or do the exercises with my Effortless Singing CD J. Warm up your entire range.
- Vocal pacing – Sing a little every day except if you’ve had a demanding performance schedule. In that case, rest your voice from singing or excessive talking between performances. Give yourself down time after long performances, but still warm up before each performance.
- Stay moist – A drink of water takes a while for it to be absorbed and have an effect so always drink a lot of water. It takes more air to vibrate dry vocal folds so it’s helpful to have a lot of water in your system all the time.
- Sing in a comfortable range most of the time. If you are singing in a style that requires continuous loud, high pitched, or forceful singing, or if you are using abusive character voices, do it from the belly breath and relax the neck and the muscle under the chin as much as possible to avoid damaging your vocal instrument.
- Avoid diuretics and drying medications. They dry tissue in your larynx, constrict blood vessels and reduce circulation. Excessive caffeine, smoking and alcohol also dry out the vocal folds and alcohol affects hearing, causing people to over-sing
- Chronic throat clearing and chronic coughing can have negative consequences for the voice – learn air blast coughing – it can be just as effective in clearing your throat. Chronic throat clearing and chronic coughing can also be a symptom of something serious so consult a physician if they persist.
- If you’re noticing a negative effect on your voice, you may need to change what you sing, how you sing or how often you sing. If you rest, make changes and still have a problem, consult a doctor. It could be something serious that needs immediate attention.
- If you think you have damaged your voice, REST and stay moist. Breathing in steam by spending time in a hot shower or bath also helps add moisture to the vocal folds.
- Make healthy singing techniques a habit by incorporating proper posture, belly breathing, relaxation and vocal warm-ups, exercise and rest into your everyday life. Singing becomes effortless when you no longer have to think about the techniques.
Singing is an activity that can out-live almost any other life activity. Take good care of your voice and it will bring you much joy and perform effortlessly for you for the rest of your life!
© 2015 Moondance Treasures Music Publishing