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What Works For Your Voice?

Maintaining good singing voice is key to a successful career in this music business.

People often ask me what I do to keep my voice in top shape. Well, my voice is my instrument and so I take good care of it just as the guitarist would take care of his guitar. I have studied myself over the years, and know what works for my voice and what doesn’t.

I believe we are all sensitive to one thing or another. It is therefore extremely important for you to discover what works best for you and stick to it.

Singers are often likened to athletes. Some attributes they possess are as follows;

Firstly, they drink lots of fluid, especially water in order to avoid dehydration. This is by far the most important vocal health tip for the singer. You must drink water (Room temperature) often to keep the vocal cords nourished.

Secondly, they exercise regularly to keep their bodies in top shape. For the singer, regular vocal warm-ups and workouts are a good habit. Again, find out what works best for you.

Thirdly, they neither overeat nor starve themselves. I am yet to see a professional athlete who eats heavily just before taking a run. This is because; a full stomach can impede free movement of the diaphragm and make breathing difficult. Singing is hard work and as such, you need a lot of energy. A normal meal an hour or two before a singing session works best. If you need to eat intermittently, ensure you go in for something light.

Here are some more guidelines:

a) Avoid foods that add mucous: milk, ice cream and other dairy products.

b) Avoid foods that dry the throat: citrus fruits etc.

c) Avoid overly spicy foods, coffee etc.

d) Avoid sodas and other fizzy drinks, which put lots of air in your stomach.

e) Avoid ice cold anything. Your throat will constrict.

Note that these guidelines may not work for everyone. It is up to you to study what works for your voice and stick to it.

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Ref. Susan Anders