11 Tips for a Strong Voice

11 Tips for a Strong Voice

We use our voice all the time, especially us musicians. For singers, it is not only the means of conversation, but a precious instrument. And that should, and must, be treated with care. Here are a few tips for maintaining a consistently strong voice!


1. Make voice functionality aware

In order to use your voice properly, you need to know how your “instrument” works. A challenge that is often underestimated, especially since singing and speaking seem so natural to us. But the fact remains: You can only rationally influence your strong voice when you are familiar with the connections between the vibrating vocal folds and vocal cords, the position of the larynx, pharynx, mouth, tone formation, breathing and much more. You have to understand your voice. It makes sense to, for example, take singing lessons for this.

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2. Be sure to warm up – cold starts are not an option

Athletes know it: The warm-up comes before the performance. Muscles, tendons, joints etc. must be carefully warmed up before the, often intense, performance. The same applies to the voice, because ultimately the voice is the sum of muscles, ligaments and mucous membranes, but also resonance space, breathing and posture. If you go straight from a cold start to full load, your voice doesn’t even know what’s happening to it. Warm up every time and if anyone laughs at you before the rehearsal they surely won’t be laughing when they hear your stellar (and safe) performance!

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3. Normalize volume – neither too loud nor too quiet

Speech intelligibility has little to do with loudness. Rather, sensible pronunciation is important; it’s always possible to be a little quieter. The louder you speak in everyday life, the harder it is on your voice. Of course, that’s no reason to become a quiet observer all of the time and constant whispering is actually bad for your voice. It’s about a bit of self-discipline. Just try to express yourself in everyday life with a healthy average volume and all the more clearly.

4. Strong voice: practice controlled breathing technique to perfection

Controlled breathing is probably the most important thing, both for singing itself and for long-term vocal health. In fact, its importance cannot be overestimated. Support your voice with deep, diaphragmatic, abdominal and chest breathing. Practice the breathing technique as a completely independent discipline until it literally becomes second nature to you and you basically have no choice but to support your voice while breathing perfectly. Keep yourself upright and give your voice space. It deserves it.

5. Don’t always push the limits of your pitch range

It is well known among vocal acrobats from opera and co. that the constant raising of the frequencies in the orchestra ends their careers much too early. If we constantly sing in the border area of ​​unhealthy heights, the voice can sometimes apply for early retirement or look for another job. Don’t always sing as high as you can. It is far better to transpose the songs a little lower. You’re not a trumpet and hopefully not a siren either.

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6. For a strong voice: live healthy and avoid extremes

In general, we musicians like to live in extremes. For your strong voice, that can easily be the end. It starts with the diet, for example with spicy food. The problem with spiciness is that the production of gastric acid is increasingly stimulated and as a result reflux can get into the esophagus, throat and also your vocal folds and mucous membranes. If you take singing seriously, you should reduce your intake of spicy foods.

7. Staying hydrated: both immediately and spatially

Vocal folds and vocal cords must not rub against each other when dry. Drink plenty of water and keep your vocal folds moist at all times. You don’t have to pour liters of drinks down your throat. We’re talking about humidification. Incidentally, this also applies to the air in the room. As far as possible, use a humidifier to ensure that the humidity in the room is around 30 percent.

8. Don’t allow dehydration in the first place

You should also avoid dehydration in your further behavior. If you drink caffeinated beverages or alcohol, make up for it with plenty of water. You should also avoid taking medications that could dry out the vocal folds. Incidentally, some cold and allergy preparations also belong to such voice-damaging drugs. Better ask your doctor to be on the safe side.

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9. Smoking is the enemy of the strong voice

It is well known that smoking is generally harmful to your health. The particular problem for your voice is that the smoke, including the nicotine and other additives, irritates your vocal folds. And logically you don’t want throat cancer either. The vocal folds are among the most cancer-prone parts of the body. So don’t even start, better leave it alone.

10. For a strong voice: Don’t ignore your body’s signals

The question that remains is: What are the signals that something is wrong with your voice? In addition to how you feel when you listen to yourself and your body, there are indicators that you should not overlook, especially since they are actually warning signs. It starts when your voice has become even slightly hoarse or stuttering, or suddenly sounds deeper, and it doesn’t end with the loss of the ability to target high notes accurately when singing. The same applies if you find yourself struggling to speak or you keep clearing your throat. It doesn’t get better by itself; Let your ENT doctor clarify the causes!

11. Don’t cheat the sound engineer and mic

Are you aware that a really versatile, and healthy, singing voice depends on your microphone technique? During sound check, for example, give the sound engineer on the desk a chance to realistically level the intensity of your voice. It is wise to hold the mic by the shaft and do not put your hand over the microphone basket. Also, keep the proper distance between your mouth and the microphone. And no, of course, don’t stand in front of the PA speakers. You voice is no match for howling feedback!

Shure SM58 LC microphone

Shure SM58 LC microphone

 

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Your feedback: How do you keep your voice fit?

How do you keep your voice in the best of shape? We look forward to many helpful comments.

Author’s gravatar
Joe has been singing since he can remember and started playing guitar when he was 10. He's been using it as a songwriting tool ever since. He is passionate about melody and harmony and admires musicians who create these in unique ways. Check out his alternative / indie projects Best of Feelings and Zef Raček.

2 comments

    Good remarks about the working of Vocaloca chords – I would add up: Long sleep, at least 7 hours before performance

    Well, I provide audio streaming services and I know that taking care of voice is to crucial for us as a business owner, however, thanks for providing essential information.

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