Shut Up

hat's the cure for a great many vocal problems even if it is hard for many to follow. You may have been reading about Adel's vocal problems. One person in the article talks about how fragile the voice is. Well...that is one perspective. Fragility is only an issue when the singer doesn't understand the limitations of the voice.

The Old School taught that the singer could sing for about two to two and a half hours and day and then basta! No more. What makes a voice fragile? Singing for three hours and then going to a party and talking. That's what does one in. Those old singers would even shut up for a few days before a important performance. And no coughing either. They were taught to refrain- if at all possible - from coughing which brings the folds together like a hard slap on the face. Think that doesn't hurt?

Vocal health isn't that complicated if you follow the rules.

1) Plenty of hydration, and I am not talking vodka! Alcohol and caffeine can wreak havoc with the vocal folds. The singer needs at least eight glasses of water a day. Going out on the town? Have a big glass of water before you go to bed.

2) Plenty of sleep, which is perhaps the greatest aid of all.

3) Food that doesn't give you reflux (do you really want to be burning your vocal folds?)

4) No more than two and a half hours singing! If you have to do more than this you are risking injury which no amount of technique can help.

5) No yelling ever. While Pavarotti once called singing refined yelling, the reader should observe the word refined in the sentence. To yell is to compress the vocal folds in a marked manner. Even as little as a few minutes can have an adverse affect. In short: if you are going to get pissed off and have an argument, keep your wits about you and use your singer's voice.

6) Shut up! The simplest and most effective route to vocal health is to refrain from talking and singing when unnecessary. For the extroverted singer, this is often very hard.


Ken Taylor said…
Thank you so much for bringing this subject to life. I think this particularly is an overlooked struggle for many singers. I loved that you brought it up and gave realistic expectations and rules. Fantastic article keep them coming!