Being a singer, your voice is your instrument. Of course, you need to keep it in good condition if you want to give good performances. You wouldn't play music on a rusty flute, and you shouldn't sing with unfit pipes.
Sadly, there are many aspects that can damage a singer's vocal health. Here are a few steps you can take to stay your pipes feeling and sounding their best:
Besides its obvious health hazards, smoking can cause shifts in a person's voice. In some very specific cases, such as shrieking heavy metal high notes, smoking is credited with increasing vocal range.
In the vast majority of cases, smoking essentially lowers the voice and makes it very difficult to reach high notes with good tone and volume control. The smoke also dehydrates your vocal chords, reducing their flexibility.
Smoking has also been linked to throat, mouth, and lung cancer. Secondhand smoke might be hard to avoid if you play in clubs, but you can however protect your pipes by certainly not inhaling your own smoke.
Ever wonder why singers keep a bottle of water close at hand? Your vocal chords need moisture in order to function at their best. Proper hydration keeps them nimble and allows you to strike a variety of notes quickly and smoothly.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day, and sip water within songs and during breaks when you perform. If you need a little flavor variety, any non-carbonated, decaffeinated beverage will do. Lukewarm is best.
Do Your Warm-Ups
Regular warm-ups are important to your vocal health. The same as you wouldn't work out without extending your muscles, you shouldn't try to handle a song without stretching your pipes.
Start by singing all the notes on the C chromatic scale, from bottom to top and back again. Then do a similar thing using the yawning method. Open your mouth and create one long note that flows by means of the notes without pausing (like a yawn that increases in pitch).
Know When to Stop
Occasionally your vocal chords just need a break. If you commence to feel any sort of pain or tension when you sing or ingest, give your pipes some recovery time.
Some touring vocalists try to speak as little as feasible between concerts. They prevent loud environments where they would be forced to shout, such as crowded bars or parties. This preserves their voices for those stressful performances.
Your vocal stamina will increase with time and practice. At first, you might need a break after just several songs. Stay hydrated and don't force notes; sing what is comfortable, and stop when you need to.
Support Your Immune System
Colds and sinus infections are the bane of singers everywhere. It's difficult to sound musical when your head is unventilated and your throat is sore, and who feels like being charismatic when they're running a fever?
Siding off seasonal ills by practicing good hygiene, drinking plenty of water, and eating an adequate amount of healthy foods. Sleep at least 8 hours a night to keep your body strong, and take a daily multivitamin.
Allergies deteriorate the immune system, so if you're an allergy victim, getting that problem under control can keep you healthier all year long. If you ever think that you have a throat virus or injury, seek health care attention.
It takes a little effort to maintain your pipes, but that's real of any instrument. Keep your body healthy and keep your vocal chords warmed up, and you shouldn't have any difficulties maintaining optimal vocal health.