If you are new to singing in a choir, you will want to know how to prepare your voice for singing to make sure that you don’t strain your voice. All singers have their own preferred methods for taking care of their voices and warming up before a show, so here is a general overview of the basic processes that you can customise to make your own.
Taking care of your voice over the long-term
Always drink lots of water (as opposed to juices or soft drinks) as this keep your vocal cords nice and moist, which is important for singers. Some say that pineapple juice is good for the vocal chords. Purchase a humidifier that will help to prevent your vocal cords from being dry at home, particularly if the humidity is below 40%, and a hand-held humidifier that you can take to the venue on the day of the show.
Knowing how to prepare your voice for singing is important, particularly when many people are not aware that diet can affect the voice. Some foods such as pasta, dairy and even chocolate and coffee can dry your vocal cords and are best avoided when you are approaching your show date. Instead, supplement your diet with fruit, soups and herbal teas or honey and lemon in hot water to keep your vocal cords moist.
Warming up your voice before a show
To activate your breath you need to take a few normal breaths, relax your shoulders and then start to channel your breath into your lower abdomen rather than your chest area.
Make an ‘S’ sound when you exhale to activate your vocal cords, relax your jaw (massage your jaw using the heels of your hands) and continue until your breathing is slow, steady and deep.
Lip and tongue trills help to prepare your lips and tongue for singing and don’t forget to sing some scales and do some humming, before cooling down.
Some quick tips
- Warm your voice up gently.
- Don’t go for the high loud notes until your voice is warmed up.
- Sing regularly.
- If you feel your voice is getting sore then stop singing.
- Rest your voice when required!