Protect your vocals: A guide for singers to protect their vocals when you’re tired and unwell, as well as tips for how to warm up for that killer performance! Vocals can make or break an act, so learning to protect your vocals is a top priority!
Protecting your vocals is primarily about lifestyle choices. Two good tips to protect your vocals are to avoid speaking loudly or shouting (no more yelling at your siblings or shouting in nightclubs!), and avoid whispering as these two things cause the vocal cords to squeeze together tightly, which can create trauma.
Hydration is one of the best tips to protect your vocals, and drinking two litres of fluids a day, especially two hours before a performance, will do your vocals wonders. Avoid smoking, coffee and alcohol, as these will all dehydrate your vocal chords.
Finally, keeping your general physical health in check, working to reduce any muscular tension in your body, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a happy persona will all help to protect your vocals and allow your vocals to shine!
No matter how well we take care of ourselves, illness will inevitably hit from time to time. When a cold strikes, some great tips to protect your vocals include keeping your fluids up, and drinking a concoction of ginger, lemon and honey to boost your vitamin C and reduce inflammation.
A ten-minute session of the old ‘sitting over a bowl of steam’ trick is one of the best tips to protect your vocals, as it provides direct hydration and eases congestion. Taking cough medicine to prevent excessive coughing is another great tip to protect your vocals.
If you do find yourself having to do a performance whilst feeling under the weather, a top tip to protect your vocals is to make sure you warm up your vocals more than usual to prevent damage being done.
Warming your vocals up before a performance is a vital tip to protect your vocals, as putting undue strain on vocal chords that haven’t been warmed up properly can lead to permanent damage.
Some invaluable tips to protect your vocals when preparing vocals for a performance include releasing any general tension in your body. Exercises such as the spine roll, rolling your shoulders in circles in both directions and rolling your neck in half circles, will help achieve this.
Work to relax the jaw, tongue, lips, and soft palate to improve articulation and activate your air-flow. Some great tips to protect your vocals that help do this include jaw massages, lip and tongue trills and humming.
To really warm up the vocals, some great tips to protect your vocals include making siren sounds (‘eee’/’ooo’) and working your way up your range. Diction warm-ups (such as ‘mum’, ‘mee’, ‘mah’, ‘may’) are important, as are breathing exercises. A good breathing exercise is making ‘ssss’ noises, increasing the length you do this each time.
In summary, to prolong and protect your vocals your lifestyle choices, technical ability and vocal care will all contribute to the quality of your vocals and performances. So, follow our tips to protect your vocals and you’ll have vocals that shine in no time!
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