Your daily habits, like how you speak and what you drink, has a big impact on the health of your voice. By incorporating a few simple habits in your daily life you can keep your voice in top shape.
Of course warming up your voice before singing is important to keeping it healthy. But, the way that you treat your voice throughout the day also has a huge effect on how quickly your voice tires when you sing.
By applying these habits in your daily life and continuing to do them until they become regularly routines you should see an increase in the general health and ability of your voice.
1. Drink Water to Keep Your Voice Hydrated
Start your day with a big glass of water and keep hydrating throughout your day. A hydrated voice is limber and tires less easily.
If your licks and runs (fast melodic patterns when you sing) feel clumsy, or your speaking voice feels horse at the end of the day, you might just need to get in the routine of hydrating more.
As with the rest of your body, your voice has to get hydrated from within. This means that you actually have to drink the water and let it work it’s way through your body. One swig when you are singing is not enough to gain the benefits that come with hydrating your body.
Hydrating not only benefits your voice, it also helps your mind stay focused and prevents your skin from drying out. A general rule of thumb is that you should drink 8 8ounce glasses of water per day however, body size and activity level affects your daily need.
To calculate exactly how much water YOU should be drinking use this water calculator.
2. Do Lip Trills in the Morning
Lip trills are a stable in most vocal exercise routines but they are also great to help you ensure that you are speaking healthily throughout the day.
To incorporate lip trills in your daily routine, I suggest that you do a few in the shower in the morning. Many people already sing in the shower so it will be easy to make them a part of your daily repertoire 🙂
The steam and heat from the hot water is also a great soother for the muscles involved with speaking and singing.
Doing lip trills in the shower might seem silly. I promise you, that your speaking voice, and therefore your singing voice, will feel better throughout the day if you incorporate them as part of your daily habits for a healthy voice.
Challenge yourself to try it out for a week!
3. Avoid Speaking in a Deep Voice
Your voice has a natural pitch where it is most healthy.
Often we speak lower than our natural speaking pitch. This is common in situations where we need to establish authority, e.g. when teaching or speaking to large crowds.
Speaking in a low voice is also common for many people to happen at the end of the day. Here, we’re tired, and our energy is low which makes us use less effort in voice production. Tired speaking is also categorised by “drop offs”. You might have noticed it when people start their sentences in a regular pitch but then “drops the pitch” at the end of their sentences.
Drop offs and speaking in a too low pitch tires out the voice a lot. Make it one of your daily habits to be aware of speaking healthily as you engage in conversation at the end of the day.
If you want to find your optimal speaking pitch check out this video by New York Vocal Coaching
4. Be Aware of Touch Distance Speaking
We all know that straining your voice by yelling is a big no no.
When we yell, we force the air onto our vocal folds which causes friction and this friction makes them swell. Once you experience vocal strain the only remedy is silence and that is just never fun!
But, it can be hard to avoid yelling when you are in situations like a sports game or at a party with friends. So what can you do?
To avoid yelling, try to only engage in conversation where you are no further than an arms length from the person you are talking with. This way you avoid having to yell.
With the alternative being staying away from sports games and parties I suggest that you make touch distance speaking a part of your daily routine. With this habit for a healthy voice you can keep having fun and have a beautiful voice at the same time.
5. Stretch Your Neck Muscles
Just like any other muscle groups it is beneficial to stretch the muscles involved with speaking and singing so they can properly recuperate.
At the end of a full day of speaking and singing stretch out your neck muscles so that they can relax before a new day of activity. This is one of my favourite habits for a healthy voice because it also is relaxing and prepares you for bed.
Let me know in the comments below if you know of any great daily habits for a healthy voice.
Bonus Habit for a Healthy Voice: Breath Support
Lack of breath support can also tire out your voice. Try to stay aware of supporting your voice not only when you sing but also when you speak. To learn more about breath technique check out this post: How to Breathe When You Sing
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