It doesn’t matter how many instruments you have mastered, as a recording artist your most precious instrument is your voice. And like the finest violin or guitar, you need to take good care of it in order to keep it performing well and in tune. Looking after your vocal health is an often neglected area of music promotion; however, it should be a never-ending process involving five relatively simple processes.
Good posture is critical to vocal health, and anything you can do to improve or maintain it should be part of your daily routine. Regular stretching is a great way to maintain a healthy posture, as it can help to prevent injury and keep your spine flexible. Yoga is perfect, as regular sessions with a professional instructor can help to keep important muscles strong and supple. If you have long-term posture or back-pain issues, it may be worth consulting a doctor about the Alexander technique, which involves correcting bad habits.
Building upper-body strength is important, as it can help you to stay in control of your singing voice. However, over-exerting yourself could lead to permanent damage. Your pectoral muscles provide support for your larynx, and if they are strong they can facilitate a better tone whilst preventing nasal qualities from developing in your voice.
Although building muscle strength sensibly can be beneficial to vocal health, it is important to stretch pectoral muscles before singing. Tightness will cause the shoulders to curl inwards – leading to a diminished vocal instrument.
Regular Aerobic Exercise
A strong heart and a powerful pair of lungs are crucial to maintaining your voice during long performances. Having that extra cardiovascular fitness will also help you to maintain tricky notes for longer, whilst remaining in total control of your tone. Good singers have total control over their breathing – even when they are moving around on stage – so there is simply no substitute for taking regular exercise. Brisk walks, running, cycling and swimming will all help.
Drink Lots Of Water
Although the rock and roll lifestyle may make it difficult to refuse a few beers during a gig, drinking alcohol can profoundly affect your singing voice – in both the long and short term. Instead, stick to water, as moist vocal chords are tuned for optimum vibrations when they are supple. You should aim to drink at least 4 pints of water every day, and for the best results it should be at room temperature. You should also avoid caffeine-rich drinks before performances, including coffee and carbonated drinks, as they can bring on bouts of acid reflux.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle
Just like any other part of the body, the vocal chords respond to a balanced diet. Try to avoid dairy on the days you perform, and limit your intake generally. Milk, cheese and butter promote the production of phlegm, which can directly interfere with the proper operation of your vocal chords. You should also steer clear of spicy foods as much as possible, as they can cause your vocal chords to swell. However, the biggest danger to your voice is smoke. If you are a smoker, and you can’t or don’t want to stop, cut right back on days you are scheduled to perform.
As an aspiring recording artist working with music promotion companies, your biggest asset is your voice. Take care of it and treat it with respect – and it could be your ticket to fame and fortune.
Ditto Music is an online music record label services and digital distribution company servicing over 50,000 artists across the world. Services include chart eligibility, royalty collection and online promotion.