We’ve spoken at length about many of the concepts and philosophies associated with developing correct voice technique, we’ve discussed some of the emotional elements that are integrally associated with the act and art of singing, and we’ve begun to get into some specific applicable methods and exercises to help you develop into the singer you want to be.  So, let us now take a few moments to address a subject that is often neglected by most singers: VOCAL HYGIENE.

To practice vocal hygiene is to care for your voice by being aware of what effects various foods, drinks, and other elements can have on your voice, and overall health (the two, by the way, are INTEGRALLY related).   Your vocal mechanism (and body itself) is your instrument.  Just like any good guitarist, violinist, or saxophonist knows how to care for his or her instrument (what kinds of temperatures and moisture levels to avoid, how to maintain its level of repair, etc.), a good singer must be diligent when it comes to maintaining his or her own vocal (and overall physical) health.

Too often, singers sing the way many people drive their cars.  A person gets behind the wheel and expects the car to run perfectly and beautifully every time.  And a decent amount of the time, hopefully, the car does run that way.  But often times, a person will not consider what is happening beneath the hood of their own car.  As a result, they often don’t care for their car the way they should, and eventually, the car breaks down and stops working.  When this happens, these same people, frazzled and confused, don’t understand the ‘why’ behind the occurrence, and end up blaming the car, instead of themselves.

As singers, we need to care for our voices the way we need to care for our cars.  We can’t just assume our voice will always be healthy no matter what, and will always obey our every command.  And if we don’t care for our voice, and it fails us, we shouldn’t blame the voice itself.  It’s not necessarily that our voice wasn’t as good as we thought it was; it was that we didn’t care for it as we should have, and therefore have greatly limited its potential.

Obviously, developing proper vocal technique is important, and following good warm up and warm down routines is paramount if we want to allow our voices to remain healthy and to grow.  But additionally, we need to be aware of how what we eat and drink, and what other habits or practices we may have in our routines (or should adopt INTO our routines) can affect our vocal mechanism, both positively and detrimentally.

What kinds of fluids are healthy for the voice? Should they be drank hot…cold…room temperature?  What drinks are NOT good for the voice?  How about foods…are there foods that are either beneficial or detrimental for proper vocal health?  What practices *outside of* what we eat and drink can be helpful, or hurtful, to the voice?

These questions, and more, will be answered in the next set of articles/ on vocal hygiene. Keep an eye out!

Have a question about singing technique, voice training, or performance, or an article you’d like to see written? ASK DAN.

Receive email updates: