If you are wondering how to take care of your singing voice and avoid downtime from singing due to losing your voice, hoarseness, inflammation, then this article is for you.
Apart from singers, at least 25% of the population use their voices for work: teachers; gym instructors, tour guides, and many others can also struggle with voice problems from time to time. For some reason, women are more likely than men to suffer from vocal issues.
When it comes to vocal care for singers, this is important, because even a benign condition could be a cost to your income and career.
While singing isn't fundamentally dangerous, like most things, there are risks that can be calculated and managed.
If you are a singer, you are wise to consider the associated risks and look for ways to take care of your singing voice.
Managing the Risk of Laryngitis
It is not uncommon that after lengthy singing lessons and concerts, as a singer, you could either suffer from throat, larynx, or pharynx irritations and even lose your voice. Knowing how to care for your singing voice to minimise this risk is important if you are serious about singing.
Unfortunately, when singers (or other people who use their voice to perform a job) have a poor vocal technique, they can end up harming their voice or even, altering their voice timber. Overexertion that results in inflammation of the vocal cords is not an illness but a result of vocal fatigue. Unfortunately, this can weaken a voice and make it harder to vibrate vocal cords correctly.
Laryngitis can be triggered by several causes: smoking, lack of sleep, stress, diet, overworking, and even bad posture during singing. All of this can cause reduced pressure from the lungs and even a reduction in intra-glottic pressure which vibrates vocal cords. Some have described laryngitis as feeling like a veil is covering your voice.
When it comes to how to look after your singing voice, rest is key. When you strain your already strained vocal cords to continue singing, nodules on the vocal cords can result from fatigue.
In some cases, chronic laryngitis, which is ongoing inflammation of the vocal cords can result to further deepen the voice.
As a singer, if you continue to sing, you put yourself at risk of serious injury. This is when knowing how to care for your singing voice includes turning to a medical specialist, like an ENT at times.
Additionally, you could seek speech therapy to help recovery. The important thing is to avoid making it worse which could cause dysphonia and a hoarse voice.
Quite simply, vocal care for singers can be compared to the way athletes take care to avoid injury.
Avoid the Risk of Dysphonia
Dysphonia can result from extreme use of your voice and unfortunately, it can affect every acoustic aspect of it. Taking care of your voice includes knowing how to avoid this uncomfortable conditional.
There are three main ways that dysphonia can affect your voice:
- Your timbre becomes broken, hoarser, or rougher.
- Your voice becomes higher or deeper.
- Your voice tires quickly and becomes week.
Dysphonia is a menace for any singer who regularly exerts their voice for long periods. It usually follows a typical vocal cord injury or complication like polyps, nodules, cysts, polyps, vocal flap paralysis, ulcers, or laryngitis.
Once you have overexerted your voice, unfortunately, a litre of water isn’t going to alleviate the problem and you will need to consult with a speech pathologist. This is often the case with beginner singers who have yet to work out. If you are a beginner, who has yet to work out ways to take care of your singing voice, this could be you.
Perhaps this explains it better. Many of us love to sing in our everyday lives, whether that is in the car, in the shower, or just as we go about our day, but few of us are professionals. We know how to imitate singers but few of us can fully modulate our voices.
Singing teachers and professional singers who have been through voice training know exactly what to do to avoid damaging their vocal cords and this is key if you want to know how to care for your singing voice.
As an amateur singer, you may not yet be fully aware of how much damage you can do to your voice without singing lessons.
Similarly, be careful not to self-medicate. Rather opt for natural remedies such as herbal teas, honey in hot water, lozenges, and essential oils. If your symptoms continue for more than a week, it’s advisable to see a professional.
Lifestyle: Ways to Take Care of Your Singing Voice
When it comes to ways to take care of your singing voice, the lifestyle that you choose is key. Like the general advice about regular exercise, a good diet, no smoking, and only occasional alcohol, the same is true when it comes to vocal care for singers.
We know that tobacco is detrimental to the respiratory system and whole body, but if you want to know how to take care of your singing voice, it should be completely avoided as it leads to inflammation of the vocal cords
Taking care of your voice also means taking care of your hydration. Drink at least one litre of water per day to avoid dehydration which is a quick way to tire out the vocal cords.
Regardless of your level of ability, if you are a performing artist, consider some of these ways to take care of your singing voice:
- Sleep in a ventilated, dust-free room.
- Invest in a humidifier.
- Avoid shouting.
- Spend time in silence.
- Wear a scarf.
- Drink honey and lemon water and use or eucalyptus lozenges.
Safe-guarding yourself against temperature variations in temperature is also a good way to avoid a sore throat. Cover your throat and wear a scarf in the winter months to avoid colds, viral infections, and even bronchitis.
Opt for herbal teas and spring water over alcoholic beverages, and engage in regular exercise which will increase your lung capacity and vocal stamina. Avoid spicy and acidic foods that can cause acid reflux and ultimately, negatively affect the voice. Also, avoid fizzy drinks if you want to know how to look after your singing voice!
Other ways to take care of your singing voice in addition to the above include living a quiet life (not easy when you are a performer) and resting as much as possible.
Other Vocal Cord Problems for Singers
As a singer, taking care of your voice is a serious business.
Rest is always the first step to how to care for your singing voice, but if this does not work, you could end up with a severe injury to your vocal cords.
If hoarseness persists for over a week, consider an ENT or speech pathologist to rule out severe problems like harmful tumours, which are not necessarily painful and can therefore go undetected. Don’t leave it until it’s too late, a check-up or surgery could help.
As a singer, taking care of your voice, means taking care of a valuable musical instrument.
How to Take Care of Your Singing Voice: Private Vocal Coach
If you are serious about how to look after your singing voice, one of the most important things you can do is consider a vocal coach. On Superprof there are thousands of verified tutors from all over the country who could help you to improve your singing. Of equal importance, they also provide you with invaluable ways for how to take care of your singing voice by improving your singing technique.
Private voice training is offered in three different ways, all of which have their own advantages and disadvantages.
Choosing a tutor based on location gives you the opportunity to have in-person tutorials which are tailored to your specific needs, strengths, and weaknesses. While this route may be the most costly, in the end, the benefits of private, face-to-face tuition are by far the most powerful.
Thanks to technology online singing tuition are also available via the internet. Again, these are private lessons with a tutor who can help to improve your technique and also show you how to look after your singing voice. The only difference is that you are not in the same room. This can be more cost-effective given that there are no travel expenses involved.
Finally, you could embark on group singing lessons that are more like traditional classes comprising of many students and a teacher. Here, the cost of the tutor’s time is shared between students, making it more affordable. Remember that the tutor will not spend as much time on you as an individual, however, you will improve your singing and find out how to care for your singing voice.