photo by Peter Castleton
As a voice teacher, each week I have students come into lessons with scratchy, horse voices. Vocal students struggle with frustration week after week with not being able to sing the way they want. A lot of times in talking to the student about their week I find that bad singing technique isn’t the main problem… it is how they treat their voice during the week. Screaming, whispering, and many other factors contribute to vocalists never being able to sing properly.
Here are a few tips to protect your voice during the week so you can sing to the best of your ability!
*Don’t scream, talk in a loud voice or whisper!
All extremes are harmful to the vocal chords and will wear down and make your vocal chords swollen. If this happens rest your voice! Sometimes it could take up to a week for vocal chords to heal properly. When you keep singing with swollen vocal chords they will only get worse and will take a very long time to heal. When in a loud room, talk into your friend’s ears instead of talking over the noise. When you are at a party or a sporting event, try to limit your yelling.
*Don’t over sing!
When singing in the car or at home, don’t turn the music up so loud that you have to over sing or shout to hear yourself. This will harm your vocal chords. Turn the music down so you can hear yourself.
*Be mindful of your milk intake (especially within 24 hours of a performance)
Dairy thickens the mucus in your throat thus making it difficult to control your voice.
Try to always be aware of what you do with your voice. Just like a guitar player keeps their guitar in a case so it doesn’t get beat up and ruined, we have to protect and keep our voice safe from harm so we can sound great and have a blast singing!
~ Rachel Nichols