As a singer, you want to improve the tone and quality of your voice to get better all the time. On your quest to achieve this, you come across several “helpful” materials on “how to improve your voice.” It could be frustrating following tips and tricks without getting any tangible result. More often than not, there are habits and lifestyle routines that may not make this possible.
You just find out your voice never gets better after every performance. Your rehearsals are usually ordinary, not satisfactory, or maybe awful, to say the least. The thing is many things may be responsible for your not-too-good voice.
There are foods, drinks, habits, etc. that you need to stay away from if you want to leave your audience amazed after every performance. You will improve your voice by avoiding these things intentionally.
There are certain foods to be avoided because of their negative impact on your vocal cord if you really want to improve your voice. While some foods increase the phlegm in your throat, others leave your vocal cord inflamed. Heartburn, acid reflux (stomach acid) as a result of your diet will always have a negative impact on your vocal cord as a singer.
Some foods to avoid
You love milk, yogurt, ice cream, cheese, and other dairy products. As good as they may taste to you, they need to be avoided. These dairy foods are specialists in the production of phlegm in your throat. Having mucus in your throat is terrible business for a good singer.
The vocal cord will be furred up, and usually, the best sound is not produced because of these clogs. Stay away from dairy foods entirely if you want to sound better in your next rehearsal or performance.
These foods are usually tasty! How on earth will I ditch something as lovely as spice in my diet? The truth of the matter is these spicy foods can cause acid reflux. They can also heighten reflux in the body. The effect of this is dryness in your vocal cord, which by extension irritates the throat.
This may be the reason you are still struggling to hit those high notes every time you try to. Salty foods have the same effect too. Avoid salty and spicy foods to improve your performance.
Also, try as much as you can to avoid heavily peppered foods. This can also irritate your throat, causing mucus.
Read: MXL V67GS Review
On your quest to becoming a better singer, you need to stay away from certain beverages too. You may say taking one or two glasses won’t hurt, I suppose it won’t also help, so what’s the point? Most times, it is advisable to stay away from some drinks for two to three days before your performance.
This will give you a better chance at optimum performance.
Some drinks to avoid
Coffee and caffeinated drinks
Although caffeinated drinks and coffee may keep you active in a way you’d love, they have a diuretic effect. This means you’ll end up dehydrated after taking coffee or other caffeinated drinks.
Your vocal cord becomes dry and irritated as a result of this. The way out of this drinking much water after taking the coffee or caffeinated drink to counter the drying effect it would have had.
Hard drinks like rum, vodka, gin, whiskey, and tequila can be extremely dehydrating. Every form of alcohol has a drying effect on the body system.
This can lead to reflux, which is not suitable for your vocal cord. Also, it may cause a constriction in the blood vessels of your vocal tissue, which in turn makes you lose control of your vocals. It is advisable to avoid alcohol for a month or more if you have a major concert and you want to sing optimally.
Acidic fruit juices should be avoided before sleep at night. Cold drinks make the voice stiffen. Every other drink that can cause any form of dryness in the throat (like a mixture of lemon in water) should be avoided. You want to make sure the pathway to quality sound production is warmed up, flexible, and adequately lubricated.
You may need to quit some practices to improve your voice. Some may not be bad habits, but I believe making sacrifices are essential to achieving worthy goals.
Avoid smoking and smoke-related activities/areas
The reason for this is not far-fetched. Smoking irritates the throat and vocal cord. It also damages the capacity and ability of the lungs to hold notes.
Breath control, which is a very vital element in good singing, may become difficult for ardent smokers. Also, being surrounded by puff and smoke-related activities and areas may irritate the respiratory tract, leading to mucus and a raspy or hoarse voice. The lung function that supports singing may be impaired too.
Avoid clearing your throat
You may be tempted to do this often, try as much as you can to quit. This is because clearing your throat is violently smacking your vocal cords together. Doing this often will lead to swelling of the vocal cords, which in turn results in vocal fatigue.
The best way to get rid of the phlegm in your throat without hurting your vocal cords is by sipping warm water or caffeine-free tea. Another approach is vocal warm-up exercise until the urge to push out the phlegm comes.
4. Avoid Shouting
Yelling, screaming, singing loudly should be avoided. This will soon take its toll on your vocals if not managed adequately over time. When you scream, your vocal folds bang together heavily.
It becomes red and swollen after an extended period, leading to vocal fold nodules. This can be avoided by putting your vocal cords to rest after a short period of loud singing.
Generally, working closely with your voice coach will help improve your voice significantly. Some other things could be avoided and yet, not mentioned that your voice coach will give you based on experience.
It is safe to say a healthy diet and habit will help improve your voice.