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How to Keep Your Singing Voice Healthy

Learn how to keep your voice healthy from vocal coach Cari Cole in this Howcast singing tutorial.


Hi I'm Cari Cole. I'm a celebrity vocal coach and artist development expert. And I help artist find their voice, craft their music, and create successful music careers. I've worked with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Courtney Love from Hole, I've worked with the band Journey. I'm going to teach you how to be a better singer and performer

I'm going to give you some tips for how to keep your voice healthy. The health of the body has a lot to do with the health of the voice. You can't mistreat your body. You need to drink a lot of water; you need to eat healthy. You need to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables that have a lot of vitality in them and have a lot of moisture in them. Singers need a lot of moisture. So number one is to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day. And this is non-negotiable. Water is non-negotiable for a singer, unless you want a really raspy voice. Raspy voices sometimes sound cool, but they have a lot of vocal problems associated with them. So it's not recommended. Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day; eating really healthy; eating lots of fruits and vegetables -- a lot of that vitality, you want. I do a lot of juicing, particularly when I sing a lot. And that juicing, all that extra nutrition, brings so much vitality. Singers need a lot of vitality and they need a lot of breath. Juicing helps to oxygenate the blood. So, we need a lot of oxygen in the blood as well.

You want to sleep. You want to sleep at least seven to nine hours. Some people are lighter sleepers than others, so I don't like to say you have to have nine or ten hours, but sleep makes a huge difference in the voice, as much as water does. Those are the two things that are non-negotiable. I know a lot of people when they are on tour have an issue with that is staying up late and that kind of thing. You have to learn to turn your mind off, maybe practice meditation or breathing exercises right before you go to bed. You can also use chamomile tea or Sleepy-time tea to help you drift off to sleep. I sometimes put lavender oil on my pillow because lavender is very relaxing and it helps you shut off the brain. I also use passion flower, which is an herb that allows you to turn the brain off and relax the nervous system, but it doesn't sedate you at all. So we use that a lot with touring artists. particularly because they are very pumped after their shows. It's like, okay, let's party! It's time to have some fun! And they end up staying too late and then they have to get up early for a radio show.

Just remember that the instrument of the voice lives inside the body, so the health of the body has a lot to do with the health of the voice. Treat your body well. If you're going to go out to a party and have some alcohol or whatever, which is not so great for singing but you want to have a little bit of some fun – and you want to eat pizza and cheese or things that we don't recommend so much for singing, just remember you have about three days to recover from that, for the vocal muscles to recover, the vocal instrument to recover. Think of it as a three-day rule. If you're going to go have some fun, make sure there's three days between that fun and your singing.

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