Copyright 2007 Natalie Brown
10 Vocal Health Tips
- Rest is very important. Get as much rest as you can. Even if this means cat naps in between shows, on the bus… rest wherever you can and learn to sleep in busy or noisy places.
- Eliminate any unnecessary talking if you have a heavy singing schedule. If you can come up with a series of 'hand gestures' or sign language to communicate with others to cut out unnecessary talking, this is good. When touring, make an Artist Pass/Lanyard or sign that says "Today is a no talking day for me". Do this if you feel that your cords are particularly fatigued. People need to understand that you make your living with your internal instrument and it needs plenty of TLC.
- NEVER WHISPER! This is about the worst possible thing you can ever do as it grates the cords together like sand paper and this is terrible for your voice!
- As much as possible, avoid coughing and clearing your throat. Try to swallow or sip water instead.
- Drink as much water as you can. Think of yourself as a plant that needs to be watered every day. You need water to keep your cords moist. Moist cords make for healthy cords.
- Try steaming with Vics Vapo Rub: Put 1 Teaspoon (or more if you like) of Vics Vapo Rub into some water. Stand over the kitchen stove and let this mixture work up into a good steam. Make sure you put a towel around your head to trap the steam. Take deep breaths and allow the steam to penetrate your lungs. This is a great prep for recording sessions. It opens you up and moistens your entire throat area.
- Avoid most citrus juice and caffeinated drinks while singing, since these can negatively affect your throat’s natural lubrication.
- Don’t eat a very heavy meal just prior to a show. Your body won’t have time to digest the meal, and the heavy volume of food in your stomach will make it harder for you to breathe, thus affecting your vocal reach and projection.
- As hard as it may be for you to do, avoid excessive loud talking and yelling, since this can lead to vocal strain.
- Never sing out of your range, and try to keep the most vocally demanding songs to the middle or end of each set where your voice has had a chance to warm up. Rest your voice and avoid excessive talking in between sets.
Natural Throat Coat/ Throat Soother-Comforter
Any kind of Tea you like Add 1 Tablespoon Honey (or as much or as little as you like) Dash of Lemon Juice
Home Remedy Teas
An old home remedy for sore throats is a tea made with lemon, apple cider vinegar, cayenne, and honey. Add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a tiny pinch of cayenne pepper, the juice of 1/4 lemon, and one teaspoon of honey to a cup of hot water. Stir. Typically, up to four cups a day is suggested
Natural Sore Throat Remedy
4 cloves of garlic, minced 4 chunks of ginger root, grated 1 lemon, juiced (or bottled lemon juice can work) 1/2 teaspoon of honey small dash of cayenne pepper 1.) Prepare all ingredients and place them in a large mug/measuring cup/teapot 2.) Cover with just boiled water and infuse for 15/20 minutes 3.) Strain and drink
Cayenne Gargle: -1 Tsp (or as much as you can handle) of Cayenne Pepper in room temperature water Gargle as needed Swallow bits if you can ***NOTE ABOUT CAYENNE***: Cayenne Pepper is a very effective blood thinner and so, like aspirin, you shouldn't take it prior to surgery.
Saline Gargle: -1 Tsp of Salt (non-iodized) in room temperature water Gargle as needed This helps cut back Phlegm somewhat. But do remember that your body can also produce phlegm as a result of a sinus problem, allergies or something else. Always to get to the root of the phlegm when there is an underlying problem that is causing it.