So you are listening to your favorite vocalist sing something. It sounds beautiful – to the point where you have to ask yourself, “How on earth does their voice sound so clear and strong? There seems to be no effort nor strain when they sing!”
Good! People should also say that about you when stepping behind the mic and speaking.
How does that happen? Well – singers sound the way they do, speakers can go on a lengthy amount of time, and on-air personalities can talk for hours on end without sounding hoarse … because they take care of their voice. It starts with treating your voice with the utmost care before the ‘record’ button is pressed.
A singer is instructed to not obstruct themselves so they can deliver the most powerful vocal … even if it is a whisper. The same premise applies in speaking. Don’t limit yourself when you are on the mic … even if it requires for you to whisper. Your voice is a powerful instrument.
Here are things not to ingest before (or during) your time behind the mic:
- alcohol (it relaxes your throat too much and dehydrates your voice)
- dairy products (it produces mucus – which is a throat irritant)
- soda/soft drinks (dries your voice – especially with the acidic properties it holds)
- coffee/other caffeine (except green tea and honey — even though it is hot, caffeine dries your vocal chords just like alcohol)
- anything cold (this contracts your voice, and that forces your throat to be tense … and a tense voice is not a good one)
- smoking (besides the health risk, it is an instant irritant to your voice … and incessant coughing is not a good quality to have behind the mic)
Here are things you ingest before (or during) your time behind the mic:
- water (room temperature water is the best for your vocals)
- green tea and honey (you are drinking something warm and soothing at the same time – plus green tea is more herbal and more on the decaffeinated side)
- apple cider vinegar (for when you are sick, drink this … and add a little honey to it so you have the vinegar killing off lingering bacteria in the cold while soothing your throat and vocal chords to power through once on the mic)
- raw honey (straight from the bottle – it keeps the coughs at bay and gives you more power with your chords as it gives your voice added lubrication)
Limit the harsh clearing of your throat. If you do this often enough, you will permanently damage the vocal chords. Slip in a menthol cough drop or lightly cough to clear your throat. That limits irritation to your voice.
Cold water is good to drink – just not before you are recording. Even cold water contracts your voice – which was covered earlier.
Your voice is the vehicle which will drive your audio medium more than anything else. Taking care of it – will ultimately take care of you in return.
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