I’ve been having trouble singing as much as I like to sing and keeping my voice healthy so I’ve been researching youtube videos and thought I’d share some of the information I found. One of the things I liked a lot was that vocalists are athletes too and we should treat our voice like an athlete treats his body.
Warm up, eating the right foods, practising correctly, don’t strain, and relax.
Warm ups are extremely important for any type of singing on a regular basis. If you’re just doing karaoke for fun one night its not a big deal, but if you take singing seriously you should warm up even for half a minute before you do any singing at all. A great way to warm up is simply tensing up and relaxing. This allows your body to distress and loosen up which is important for singing.
Singing should come as easy as speaking if you’re doing it correctly.
Another great warm up exercise is to yawn which is kind of weird but it helps to loosen your throat and face muscles. When you start singing lip rolls are better than any vowels. This is because lip rolls loosen your lips and allow you to hit higher notes without straining your vocal chords. Also if you want to know how your throat should feel when you start sing gently cough a couple times. You should have that same open space when you start to sing. If you don’t you’re tensing up too much and could cause damage to your throat.
Obviously eating properly should come naturally anyway but singers usually don’t consider it a necessity but it can help you sing a lot better if you do. Having strong abs actually helps you use your stomach muscles properly and helps give you bigger breaths more easily. If your in shape and have endurance it’s easier to breathe correctly and it comes more naturally.
Eating healthy reduces stress and keeps you hydrated which is important.
Things that are good for your voice are- honey (creates a protective coating), ginger, green vegetables, fresh pineapple (cleanses out your system), water, gatorade, garlic, and hot water and salt
Things that are bad for your voice are- alcohol (dehydrates), caffeinated beverages (dehydrates), dairy products (creates a mucus), and chocolate
Keeping yourself hydrated and getting plenty of rest though are probably the two best things you can do nutritionally for your voice before a big performance or recording day.
Practising Correctly So when you go to start practising there are certain things you should be thinking about while your singing. Sing them over and over again until you’re feeling what you need to feel or else you’re going to push yourself too far and hurt your vocal chords.
- Keep an open space in the back of your throat. Instead of using your stomach muscles for more power first try breathing right and then open the back of your throat into more of a c shape and see how much volume control you can get just by doing that. You will probably surprise yourself.
- You should have no pressure on your throat. For that matter you shouldn’t be tightening your stomach muscles either. Everything should be loose and relaxed. Also I was reading recently that people tend to take to much breath most of the time which causes a chain reaction of tightening muscles trying to compensate for all the breath that you are using. Keep everything loose and relax especially your neck area or it’s going to sound hoarse, strained, and you’ll never hear as solid of a tone that you want.
- When going high thinking about going down. This is kind of a weird concept but it works really well. I’m afraid to say this incorrectly because I forgot the exact terms they used but it’s almost like reaching for the high notes, but creating the space down low giving you more room to have the power and the note without straining. It also helps a lot with pitch control in the higher register. It helps to smooth the transition between the different ranges.
- To get more of a resonating sound think of placing your sound forward but you are either opening up your higher register or the lower register. Placing your sound more forward allows your natural nasal tone which is your main resonator to help get a fuller tone in any range. You obviously don’t just want to sing from your nasal tone, but to get a full sound you will eventually need it.
- Think of runs like jewelry. If you use to many it sounds tacky and amateurish. Use them to embellish not take over.
Anyway these are just some things I found. Hope they help. Don’t stress, push, or belt, because you’re just going to push too much air and it might sound cool for one song, but it’ll hurt you in the long run.