The term “vocal hygiene” refers to the things you can do to keep your voice healthy and in good shape. Here are my tips to maintain a good voice!
DON’Ts – 10 bad habits and things to avoid
- Don’t eat too many fats and acidic foods because they can cause acid reflux.
- Don’t go to bed right after eating (for the same reason).
- Avoid warm drinks after singing.
- Avoid direct exposure to air conditioning or heating. Use a humidifier in dry environments and regulate your water intake accordingly.
- Avoid yelling and speaking in noisy situations.
- Avoid alcohol, drugs and smoke.
- Don’t sing when you are sick.
- Avoid clearing your throat and coughing often.
- Don’t talk too much after a performance. Give your voice some rest.
- Don’t whisper for prolonged periods of time.
DOs – 10 good habits for a healthy voice
- Sleep at least 7 hours per night.
- Drink at least 2 liters of water per day (around 8 glasses), and more before a performance (on the day before and the day of the performance)
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Keep allergies under control but if possible avoid medications that have a drying effect. Antihistamines tend to dry your voice out.
- Practice singing multiple times a day for shorter periods of time, rather than once for a long period of time. Take enough breaks.
- Maintain good posture and head-neck-shoulders alignment.
- Learn how to warm up the voice before singing and cool it down afterwards.
- Study vocal technique with a teacher to learn to sing without damaging the voice.
- Stop singing if you experience pain, discomfort, hoarseness or voice loss. If this kind of problem persists, go see an ENT (Ear Nose and Throat) specialist or a laryngologist that specializes in voice disorders as soon as possible.
– “Le parole della scena. Glossario della voce del cantante e dell’attore” by Franco Fussi and Silvia Magnani
– “Taking care of your voice” by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)