How to look after your voice

A good singer needs talent, passion, dedication and healthy vocal chords. Vocal health is of critical importance yet it is commonly overlooked. This article will give you some key techniques to ensure you are looking after your voice.

1) Diet
So you think you can wake up in the morning, drink a coffee and run off to your singing performance just like any other office job? Think again.
Diet is crucial consideration in to vocal health and particular food and drink should be avoided before and during singing.
Before a warm up it is important to moisturise your vocal chords. Hot herbal teas are great for this but make sure the tea is caffeine-free. If you are not interested in herbal teas make sure you are drinking room temperature or warm water instead.

Food and drinks to avoid.
Coffee and other caffeinated beverages - the caffeine will dry out your vocal chords
Cold drinks - this will chill your vocal chords down
All dairy - dairy creates extra phlegm which can irritate your voice

2) Warm up
It is amazing how many singers out there think that it is ok to simply start singing with absolutely no preparation. Your voice is a muscle just like any other in your body. A good warm-up should take any where between 20 minutes and one hour.
Start off very gently with low hums, and lip rolls.
Once you feel slightly warmer you can move on to vocal range warm up. Lip rolls are the best way to warm up your entire range but make sure you are not trying to sing your top notes too early in to the warm up.
Alternate between 5 note, arpeggios and octave & a half scales with your techniques to help smooth out breaks.

3) Maintenance
To keep your voice healthy, it is important to continue to work on all three voice types - Chest, Mix and Head. Make sure you practice vocal techniques for all three to ensure.

4) Don't forget to rest your voice
Even Beyonce needs rest. Over-use of your voice is just as damaging as shouting. Take a break, drink plenty of fluids and sleep.

If you follow these simple rules, your voice can be in the best condition it has ever been in. Keep practicing and good luck.