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Avoiding Damaged Vocal Chords

How to avoid damaged vocal chords

Avoiding damaged vocal chords: A singer’s voice is the most important part of their body. If a singer has damaged vocal chords, they’re unable to perform. When you’re tired or unwell, it’s important to know how to protect your vocal chords. It’s just as important to know how to warm up correctly before performing in front of your audience!

Damaged vocal chords

When feeling unwell, always keep your fluid levels up. Boosting vitamin C levels reduces inflammation. Sitting with your head over a bowl of steam eases congestion and provides hydration to the vocal chords. Taking cough medicine to stop excessive coughing will help prevent damaged vocal chords.

  • If performing whilst still feeling unwell, make sure you do a longer warm up than usual to help prevent damaged vocal chords.
  • Warming up before any show is essential as putting extra strain on your vocal chords without a warm up can cause permanent damage to your vocal chords, click here for tips on vocal warm ups.
  • Make sure you are in good posture. Release any tension in your jaw and make sure your breathing deep. Do some scales and tongue trills to relax your tongue and get your voice ready to move through the octaves. Finish with some humming to help cool your voice down.

How lifestyle can damage vocal chords

  • Avoid speaking and shouting loudly where necessary. This causes the damaged vocal chords to squeeze together, creating trauma. The same happens when you whisper!
  • Keep your vocals hydrated. Drinking two litres of water a day is what is recommended. Two hours before performing it’s important to drink plenty of fluid to lubricate the vocal chords. Keep the fluids at room temperature if possible, icy cold water or boiling hot tea isn’t what you should be drinking if you don’t want damaged vocal chords.
  • No smoking!
  • Avoid coffee and alcohol! Anything with caffeine in it improves the chances of getting damaged vocal chords.
  • Keep your physical health in check and make sure you get plenty of sleep!


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