There are many variables that can cause issues with your voice including seasonal atmosphere changes, general body hydration, stress, tiredness… the list goes on! In this blog, we will look at the general day to day care tips all voice artists should know. It is important to prevent problems by knowing your body, your voice, your limits, and how to take care of yourself.
Dehydration can be caused by many factors; not enough water, smoking (first or second hand), caffeine, alcohol and salt can all cause your body to lose water so you should try to avoid these as much as possible. Staying hydrated is very important for your vocal cords as they are surrounded by a mucous membrane, which must stay wet and fluid for the cords to work properly. A lack of hydration causes this membrane to thicken, which makes your throat feel clogged up.
Lemon flavoured water is often stated as being a favoured drink to help bind the mucous and flush it out if there is an excess of it in your body. On the day of the voice-over recording session try to drink as much water as possible, and during the session drink Room Temperature water as cold water can cause your vocal cords to constrict and tense up.
Dairy products are a bad choice for any voice professionals as they can cause the mucus to thicken, coating the vocal cords and affecting the smooth operation of the larynx. Food such as cheese, milk, yoghurt and ice-cream should all be consumed sparingly when using your voice professionally.
Before a voice-over recording session you should try to get a good night sleep. You will find that the lack of energy from a bad sleep causes your vocal muscles to tire quickly and be less flexible than normal. This lack of energy can then lead you to over compensate by forcing the sounds out which creates tension and ultimately pain and hoarseness in your larynx.
You should also always try to avoid straining your voice by not shouting. Excess strain can eventually cause nodes on your vocal cords, which limits your range, flexibility and tone.
Finally, before a voice-over recording session always be sure to warm up! See part 1 of this ‘How to Care for Your Voice’ post for some tips on warm up techniques.