It’s easy to forget that singing requires the use of muscular functions. Like any muscle, it’s common to strain and push yourself too far if you’re not focused on treating your vocal chords right! It’s important to see your vocal chords like an athlete sees their muscles, start by treating yourself with care and performing daily ‘stretches’.
This will help with avoiding any unnecessary strains and pains. Below are three key problems vocalists commonly experience and how to make sure they don’t happen to you!
1. Straining To Sing
The symptoms when you begin straining your voice are painful and obvious, and not only to yourself! If you feel your vocal muscles becoming too tense, your tone getting pitchy, and your voice cracking, then you are straining your chords too far! This usually occurs because your vocal chords cannot vibrate fully at the frequency you need. This doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to go higher or lower, it just requires practice.
The best way to overcome straining is to perform exercises that limber your tongue and chords. These vocal exercises, like the one below, aim to build control, tone, and power so you aren’t left with a scratchy throat after one of your live shows!
Having a cotton mouth and itchy throat will cause your voice to sound reedy and scratched. It’s important to make sure you’re not only drinking enough water but also taking care of your throat. Always have water on hand, primarily during your shows. Investing in a humidifier or vaporizer for while you’re in the studio also goes a long way.
Dehydration is only due to a lack of water. It’s important to avoid alcohol a day before you’re due to sing! It not only dehydrates your entire body, but it also acts as an irritant for your vocal chords.
3. Incorrect Vocal Exercises
If you are still experiencing problems with your voice and have not been able to hit the right notes, there might be other underlying reasons. Another common problem is incorrectly performing your vocal exercises. Projecting your vocals incorrectly, especially continuously, will cause your voice to get used to the wrong frequencies and notes.
Beginner vocal exercises like the one below are a great way to slowly strengthen your voice so you can reach higher or lower frequencies!
Singing can be harsh on your vocal chords. Don’t forget to give them a break and a chance to strengthen themselves. Your throat and tongue are muscles of their own and need the same attention any other muscle on your body does!
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Barbara Kandek enjoys writing stories and listening to music. She also loves traveling the world and taking pictures of her adventures. You can find her on Instagram @b.vd.k