Vocal Health Hacks: Quick Tips to Keep Your Voice Stage-Ready

Vocal Health Hacks: Quick Tips to Keep Your Voice Stage-Ready

Losing My Voice… and Getting It Back

You know that sinking feeling when you lose your voice right before a big performance? Been there, done that, and let me tell you – it’s not a fun experience. But the show must go on, right? As a seasoned performer, I’ve had my fair share of vocal health challenges, and I’m here to share some hard-won wisdom to help you keep your voice in tip-top shape.

A few weeks ago, I was in the midst of a crazy gig schedule – moving houses, rehearsing, and performing back-to-back. By the time I hit the stage on Saturday night, my voice was toast. I’m talking zero mid-range, struggling to get any sound out at all. Talk about a nightmare scenario. I had a rehearsal coming up on Wednesday and another gig on Friday, so I knew I had to get my voice back, and fast.

Vocal Rest to the Rescue

The first thing I did was something that probably goes against every performer’s instinct: I rested my voice. Yep, that’s right – no talking, no whispering, no laughing. Zip, zilch, nada. I communicated through notes and charades for a good 22 hours between my teaching sessions. And you know what? It made a significant difference.

One of my students had a similar issue after a cold, where she lost part of her range for about three weeks. But a single 8-hour period of vocal rest resolved the problem completely. Talk about a success story! The key is to be strict with yourself and really give those vocal cords a chance to recover.

The Power of Sleep

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I have rehearsals and gigs to get to! I can’t just disappear for hours on end.” I hear you, but trust me, your voice will thank you for it. Your vocal cords, like any other muscle, repair themselves better when you’re resting. And if you’re battling a cold or flu, as I was, sleep is the best medicine. So, don’t skimp on those Zs, my friends.

Easing Back In

Alright, so you’ve done the vocal rest and gotten some quality shut-eye. Now, it’s time to start singing again, but you’ve gotta take it slow. Begin with some low-volume, low-effort vocal exercises – think “meow” and a buzzy, resonant “hmmm.” Slide around your range on the “ee” vowel, but keep it small and easy at first. Don’t push it, or you’ll end up right back where you started.

I like to think of it like easing a car back onto the road after a flat tire. You don’t just floor it and hope for the best – you take it slow, feel out the situation, and gradually build back up to your normal speed. The same goes for your voice. Be patient, and you’ll be back to belting in no time.

The Importance of Proper Technique

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I’ve been singing for years! I’ve got this technique thing down.” Well, let me tell you, even the pros can use a refresher course every now and then. As someone who’s been coaching singers for over three decades, I can say with certainty that the majority of us don’t have perfect technique, even if we think we do.

Take it from me, the guy with over five octaves of range – I’ve learned a thing or two about the art of vocal mastery. When I first started working with the legendary Seth Riggs, the pioneer of the Speech Level Singing technique, I was dumbfounded. In the first 10 minutes of our session, he showed me how to redirect my voice into a true “mix” (that sweet spot between chest and head voice) and take it up to a high C and beyond. Mind. Blown.

The Power of Music Theory

Now, you might be thinking, “But I’m just a natural singer! I don’t need all that fancy music theory stuff.” Well, let me tell you, those child prodigies who can just open their mouths and sing like angels? They’re the exception, not the rule. For the rest of us mere mortals, a solid understanding of music theory can make all the difference.

Think about it – if you’re just blindly practicing your vocal exercises without any real knowledge of chords, progressions, and rhythmic structures, you’re missing out on a huge piece of the puzzle. Your practice sessions will be so much smoother, and your ability to pick up on subtle nuances in the music will skyrocket. Plus, your producers will love you for it, since they won’t have to spend extra time working on your rhythm.

The Importance of Consistent Practice (and Accountability)

Alright, let’s talk about the nitty-gritty of actually becoming a great singer. In my experience, the most successful vocalists I’ve worked with all have a few things in common: a good teacher, a consistent practice routine, and a healthy dose of accountability.

I’m talking weekly lessons, deliberate practice, and even a practice journal to keep you on track. Think of it like training for a marathon – you wouldn’t just show up on race day and expect to crush it, would you? Nope, you’d be putting in the work, day in and day out, with the guidance of a coach to keep you motivated and on the right track.

The same goes for singing. It’s a skill that takes years to truly master, so be patient with yourself and trust the process. And don’t be afraid to seek out a qualified coach to help you along the way. Trust me, it’ll make all the difference.

Putting It All Together

Alright, let’s recap the key takeaways here:

  1. Vocal Rest: When you’ve pushed your voice to the limit, give it a break. Zip those lips and let those vocal cords recover.
  2. Sleep: Your voice needs its beauty sleep just as much as the rest of you. Prioritize rest and relaxation to help your voice bounce back.
  3. Easing Back In: When you’re ready to start singing again, take it slow and easy. Gradually build up your strength and stamina.
  4. Proper Technique: Even if you’ve been singing for years, there’s always room for improvement. Work with a coach to fine-tune your technique and take your voice to new heights.
  5. Music Theory: Don’t underestimate the power of understanding the theory behind the music. It’ll make you a more well-rounded and versatile singer.
  6. Consistent Practice (with Accountability): Becoming a great singer is a marathon, not a sprint. Commit to regular practice, and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a coach to keep you on track.

Remember, your voice is a precious instrument, and it deserves the same care and attention as any other part of your body. By implementing these vocal health hacks, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your voice stage-ready, no matter what challenges come your way.

And if you’re looking for a top-notch musical theater education and performance center to help you on your journey, be sure to check out the amazing resources and programs they have to offer. Your voice will thank you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top