22 Top Tips For Looking After Your Singing Voice

As a singer I’m well aware of some of the issues and problems that singers face. I’m sure at one time or another I’ve done plenty of things I shouldn’t have and risked losing my voice for good. I’ve sung with raging sore throats and not been able to speak for days, I’ve sung after big meals (trying to somehow sing around the burps) and after having more than my quota of coffee in the same day.

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So I thought I’d put together a list of tips I’ve found have helped me along the way.

1) Physical Exercises – Doing proper stretching and breathing exercises before you sing will help to put you in a relaxed state and get your body ready for singing. Remember that you use your whole body and not just your voice.

2) Vocal Warm Ups – These are essential along with item 1 to ensure a good performance and to avoid vocal injury.

3) Hydration – Drink plenty of water at least two hours before singing to ensure proper hydration throughout your body.

If you are really serious about your singing it’s recommended that you drink at least two litres of water during the course of each day (but not all in one go). Drinking water is also good for helping you detox, great for your skin and helps to control your weight, It really is a win win situation.

4) Take deep breaths – This helps to calm the nerves, but make sure you don’t get light headed and pass out

5) Power Notes – Clench your glutes (buttocks) when going for the power notes, this will give you more support and power.

6) Projection – Sing as if you are on a desert island, trying to get the attention of a passing ship, but don’t shout

7) If you get nervous when singing in front of an audience, fix your gaze past your audience

8) Don’t eat just before you sing as it can lead to indigestion

9) Avoid dairy products on the day you are singing as it produces phlegm and cattargh in fact, I have reduced my dairy intake dramatically over the last few years, and it really helps me.

10) Avoid coughing and clearing your throat too much as it can bring on laryngitis and damage your throat

11) Don’t sing of you have a sore throat, rest it and drink plenty of fluids.

12) Think about your posture, don’t look down and sing to your shoes, don’t sit down to sing, as your diaphragm will be constricted, Stand tall if you can

13) Make sure to exercise regularly, the fitter you are the stronger your voice and lung capacity will be,  My personal choice of swimming, I believe, is one of the best all round exercises for singers.

14) Sing regularly, the more you sing the stronger your voice will be and the greater your vocal range will become.

15) Avoid tea, coffee, fizzy drinks (a major cause of burping) and alcohol, neither helps your voice, and they do make you want to pee more.

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16) Stop smoking

17) Save and protect your voice, avoid shouting and don’t talk too much just before you perform

18) Find a vocal coach. There are some great vocal coaches and bound to be one in your area, For a cheaper alternative just check out the Artistworks link at the top of the Recommended Resources page

19) Bel Canto technique – Translated from Italian as “Beautiful Singing” it appeared in the latter part of the 17th century used in opera with a major emphasis on tonal quality and voice control.  I know that the fabulous Tony Bennett studied this technique, and on that basis alone makes it worthy of further investigation. 

20) Record yourself singing, then listen back and pick out the parts when you go off key, or lack consistency, then go back over just problem sections, over and over again until they sound better.

21) Work on smoothing out the transitions when you flip from your chest voice to your head voice

22) Enjoy yourself – singing should be an expression of yourself, you need to feel freedom when you sing and see it as a release of your inner voice as well as your external one.

I hope you get some benefit from these tips

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