Singing can be one of the most rewarding hobbies to pursue. You can break into a song virtually anywhere, and it can evoke powerful emotions. If you treat your vocal cords right, your singing voice will continue to improve over time. However, overuse and improper technique can spoil the very talent you worked so hard to develop. Not only will your voice become so raspy you can barely speak, but you also have the potential to push yourself to the point where surgery is necessary to repair the damage.
Don’t be deceived by the sound of a beautiful singing voice. It’s essential to be aware of the warning signs that indicate if any damage is forthcoming. The famous singer Adele sang her heart out to the delight of audiences around the globe, but the excessive pressure on her throat resulted in a vocal hemorrhage that caused her to undergo vocal cord surgery. There are some simple ways to improve your singing voice while still taking care of it.
Don’t sing from your throat.
The most effective way to avoid putting undue pressure on your throat while you sing is to learn how to engage your diaphragm, which is a muscle located under your chest that separates the heart and lungs from the abdomen. The main function of the diaphragm is respiration, causing your lungs to inhale and exhale as the diaphragm relaxes and contracts. Various breathing techniques can help you focus on locating and engaging the diaphragm as you build the strength of your singing voice. An easy way to gauge whether or not you’re using your diaphragm is to hold your hand over the muscle, and feel whether your singing causes it to go in and out.
Don’t overuse your voice.
Although it may seem like common sense to cut back on singing if you begin to feel discomfort, surprisingly, many people ignore painful symptoms. Listening to your body isn’t an exact science, but no one knows your body better than you do. Even when you do take a break, it can be challenging to know when it’s safe to start singing again. If you sense the fatigue in your voice, that’s typically the first sign that it’s time to stop and recover. Even though you believe your singing voice is improving or you feel as though you’re making excellent progress in your training, know that it’s okay to rest and pick up where you left off in the next day or so.
Keep your cords healthy.
Inflammation of the vocal cords can be caused by infection, reflux, pollution, or some activities like excessive talking, yelling, smoking, throat clearing, and of course, singing. It’s essential to drink plenty of water to keep your throat hydrated. Humidifiers can also prove to be extremely helpful to prevent your vocal cords from drying out. Avoiding spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, and smoking is important for the serious singers looking to keep their vocal cords in tip-top shape. Not surprisingly, many of these strategies are in line with a healthy lifestyle.
Taking care of your singing voice doesn’t necessarily have to involve ultimately changing your habits. Just start being more mindful of your singing behavior, as you incorporate some healthier life choices. Hearing your singing voice get stronger, and knowing you’re doing everything in your power to safeguard its purity will help keep you on track. Take care of your vocal cords, and they can take care of you.