Monthly Archives: December 2012

Why You Should Avoid Clearing Your Throat

Many singers battle phlegm on the vocal chords. An instinctual move by many of us is to clear our throats. The problem is that action of constantly clearing our throats to remove that mucus is actually very damaging to our voices. Nothing wears our your vocal chords quicker than abusing them.

 

When you clear your throat, you are violently smashing your vocal chords together. This causes friction and your vocal chords become enflamed. They can get swollen as blood comes to them to heal them. Imagine smacking yourself on the arm or the back repeatedly. After a while your arm or your back becomes very red, warm and sore. That mucus that forms on your vocal chords is there to protect them. However it does become a hinderance for singers.

We think that to clear our voices, clearing our throat is the way to do it. However we experience many students who suffer from vocal fatigue or even loss of voice all because they are not conscious of the fact that they are clearing their throats. Here are some steps you can take to be conscious of this tick, and also how to clear your thoat without clearing your throat.

1. Gargle with warm saline solution (salt water). Simple table salt mixed with warm (not hot) water can draw mucus up from your vocal chords. Your voice needs to be clear and moist to operate correctly. Gargling for a few minutes can help eliminate the mucus that forms on your vocal chords.

 

2. Drink plenty of water. This is a given. All singers need plenty of water. If you drink enough water, the mucus will thin itself out.

3. Avoid fatty foods, and acidic foods. Your voice is your instrument. If you are to maintain your instrument to be healthy, your body needs to be healthy too. When you eat fatty or acidic foods, your body finds ways to eliminate that acid. Your body uses mucus to eliminate waste from your respiratory system. If you eat highly alkaline foods, water based foods, and drink less caffeine, sugar or soft drinks, mucus will thin and the body will not have a need for it.

4. Avoid alcohol. Many singers work in night clubs and bars. The temptation to drink alcoholic beverages may be present, but it will not assist the health of your singing voice. Alcohol and substance over use can lead to missing days at work, and less money. If you are a professional singer, your singing voice is part of your livelihood. Make adjustments where you need to to maintain a healthy voice.

5. Get plenty of sleep. The recommended dosage for sleep is 8-10 hours as a full time singer. Restful, deep sleep is a must as a singer. Mentally and physically you can become drained and your singing voice will suffer if you do not get plenty of good, restful deep sleep.

At True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.

John Kenney is a musician in Central Florida and is training to become a certified vocal instructor.

Developing Vibrato Without Causing Vocal Strain

We coach a lot of professional working musicians who are always investing in their singing voice. For many students, their voice and playing an instrument is their basis of the income. Total emersion into the world of vocal development is the key to practicing and maintaining your voice, and getting the edge in the music business.

Creating great vocals comes from practice you may hear, but it also comes from educating yourself. Studying how the voice works, and approaching singing from a scientific standpoint can be beneficial to your singing career. I remember I studied with my teacher Mary for over a year straight and had little milestones, but my real development and progress happen with my endless pursuit of understanding, application and practice.

One of the focal points for many of our students is vibrato. Everyone wants to create a smooth singing voice and develop natural vibrato. Vibrato is one of the things that makes your voice sound free and natural. We develop by vibrato using specific exercises.

These exercises are tricks to make you free your voice of tension and learn to feel natural vibrato. Vibrato should be natural, but to get there you need to get rid of all tension in your voice and body. Few voice teachers are able to help students develop and understand vibrato. They give the same answer and don’t really know how to get a result, which confuses many students.

Always remember many singers are blessed with an amazing sounding voice and we are drawn to it. But can they negotiate through many bridges with no strain? Normally we think because their sound is so good, they must know how to sing, but if they have a limited vocal range and blow their voice out regularly, do they really know how to sing? The answer is, no!

In our industry the less strain and more ability we have in our voice means we can deliver for years to come and continue to earn a living with our voice. Most teachers can pull out a few things that sound good and throw some instructions in that seem to make sense, but why are they not out there singing?

I stand behind the technique I teach, not because I have the best sounding voice, but because night after night I sing, connected, over a huge range and almost never lose a note and 15 years ago for me that wasn’t true. I caution voice students and potential voice students to be aware of who you are listening to. It is very important to learn from many, just pay attention to their track record and there own personal abilities in their voice.

At True Connected Voice we are always available for one on one training and lessons, weather via Skype or if you are in Tampa FL, Orlando FL, or any of the surrounding Central Florida areas contact us today and unlock the true potential of your singing voice.

Joe Genuardi

Joe Genuardi is a vocal instructor in Central Florida and performs voice lessons in and around Central Florida, Orlando, and the Tampa Bay area.