Posted on April 19, 2017December 15, 2021
Von Astha Tripathi
21 Responses to How do I take care of my voice?
I remember when I had major voice problems during an important time in my life when I had to record back-to-back episodes of a reality TV show. Let me share my experiences and insights based on which I can give you some advice on how to take care of your voice.
It all started with a phone call to my best friend, I laughed out loud; although today I don't remember the joke he made that day. I had just survived a grueling two hour battle when I took the call. After that big laugh, I literally lost my voice mid-conversation. It was an unexpected and hard truth that I had to face in that moment. Somehow I managed to record a few episodes later, but I couldn't last longer because my condition was worse.
Later I consulted an otolaryngologist and found out that there was a formation ofvocal noduleson my vocal cords. He said it was due to excessive mechanical stress, including repeated or chronic overuse of the voice or an incorrect method of producing the voice. With good medication and proper vocal rest, I somehow managed to get my voice back in a few weeks. However, it took me 2 years to fully recover, since singing was my only profession I couldn't get rid of shows and recordings. In the meantime I have also tried many home remedies for healing and some of them were helpful.
I believe that a sound is a direct manifestation of one's own voice. Therefore, it is important to properly care for such an important instrument of our body. Each voice is unique and different from the next. Sometimes I wonder how that happens. You may be able to match your voice to an existing sound, but scientifically it will never be the same. Since ancient times, the use of the voice has been very important in all circumstances; in healing, in teaching, in evolution and realization, therefore the Indian tradition had a great intuition about the power of sound oranything. What is an ideal singing voice? Bharat Muni, in his treatiseNatya Chastra, pointed out the following qualities of a good voice for singers and actors that apply to all of us.
Shraavako-tha ghanah snigdho madhuro hyavadhaanavaan tristaanashobhItyevam tu shatkangasya guNaah smarataah
Let me translate that for you.
What are the characteristics of a good voice?
- Be heard well (loud enough)
- Be finely tuned and richly textured.
- Be soft and not hard.
- be sweet and harmonious
- Balanced in all three octaves and registers
Natya Chastra, Bharat Munis Great Work um 5thecentury B.C. It is the oldest and most authoritative Indian text that speaks about various aspects of the voice.
However, one cannot change one's natural voice, but one can definitely improve and maintain its quality by following some basic measures. For singers it is the 'riyaz' or 'swara sadhana' through which the limitations of one's voice can be lifted.
How do you keep your vote?
- Think of your voice as your body. (See also Narad's ancient treatise Nardiya Shiksha, where he coined the term "gatra-vina" (body sounds) for the human voice.) That being said, knowing your voice is just as important as knowing your body. Each voice has a pitch limit. Choose a key or sruti that is comfortable for you to sing in the highs and lows. We can help you with thathere.
- Feel the vibration in different parts of your body as you play a note. Throat, chest, abdomen, etc. It will help you understand the effect of sounds in your body. There are three voice registers, as Bharat Muni says: the chest (uras), the throat (kantha) and the head (tiros).namely.,Mandra (low), Madhya (medium) and Taara (high). Therefore, when the notes are played in these registers, it is known as the head, chest, and throat effect.
- Breath control is an important factor in singing. It's not really about how much air you can store before you perform, it's about releasing it evenly every time. we have somethingbreath control techniquesto help you with that.
- Begin practicing with 'Sa' of your scale, then slowly work your way up mastering each note accordingly. There may be times when you are unable to hit the right note. No panic. Sometimes your body doesn't respond the way you want, neither does your voice. Calm down and just focus. Learn more about the importance of practicing your Swarashere.
- If you are a beginner, start your Riyaz craving for 15 minutes and gradually increase it by 5 minutes each day. This will help your vocal cords get used to it and respond better.
- It is often recommended to practice in the morning hours. This is because the mornings are calm, peaceful, and cool, just like the vocal cords. It becomes easy to focus and condition your voice in the morning.
- "Kharaj Sadhana" is a very popular Riyaz technique for morning singers. It's actually best for male vocals as they have a good base. For women, it will help gain some weight in their voice. However, this should not be practiced for hours as it can also ruin your vocal cords. Daily practice is more important than practicing for hours a day, especially for beginners. Start with "Sa" of your scale, then work your way up in descending order until you can sing a note clearly and easily. Also, the notes played must be in staccato form. Strengthen these notes by practicing them daily. Basically, this helps you build your voice. Not only is it mastering low notes, but it also helps open up the voice in the high register. You can find these lessons in ourHindustani 101Course.
- Remember not to put too much pressure on your vocal cords while singing. Riyaz, when performed with proper technique, can never cause pain or vocal strain.
- Relax your jaw, lips, tongue, throat and head before beginning the riyaz. A little practice is needed (as in the slow movement of all these parts) before you begin the riyaz. we have many moreVocal warm-up exercises.
- Record your sessions as this will help you spot mistakes and improve your interpretation.
- Examine the food that affects your voice. Every human body is prone to some or other allergies. Therefore, each of us should identify the foods that we should not eat. But consuming something too cold or too hot can damage your vocal cords. If you have cold allergies, avoid ice cream, cold water, cold drinks, etc. Just remember that everything you eat goes through your vocal cords, so it will definitely affect your voice minimally. So always try to eat food at normal temperature.
- “Voice rest” is an important factor that is often forgotten. After a rigorous practice session, the voice should rest for at least the next 15 minutes. Avoid talking too much, or speak softly if necessary. Also, avoid speaking too loudly, shouting, and laughing out loud in your daily life to maintain the structure of your voice.
What home measures are there to take care of your voice?
- Gargling is a common practice among all singers. Whenever your throat is itchy or you have a blocked cough, you should gargle. Gargling with warm water right before your performance also acts as a catalyst and gives you a vocal boost.
- My guru advises me to gargle with warm water with a pinch of salt or turmeric. Use turmeric when congestion occurs, it really helps a lot. Use salt every normal day. I've tried and tested it, so I highly recommend it.
- Mulethi or liquorice is a popular spice that not only acts as a good flavoring agent but also as a sedative. Many singers use it to calm their voice.
- Honey softens your vocal cords. Consuming a tablespoon of honey daily is highly recommended for a good voice.
- Few people also consume ghee with misri after riyaz. It might help with vocal mobility.
- Some Ayurvedic spices like cloves, black pepper, ginger, etc. They are useful to eliminate itching in the throat. But consuming too much at once can cause other health problems.
I have tried and tested these home measures. Remember as I said above every human body has a different structure so please consult your doctor or do not follow these measurements blindly. Know your body, know your voice and take good care of it accordingly.
More interesting articles
- How to Sing Better: Vocal Flexibility
- How to Breathe While Singing: Breath Control Techniques
- How to Sing Better: Importance of Vocal Warm-Up Exercises