5 Ways to Achieve a Golden Voice
By Nina Syahira
January 6, 2015
Teacher. Motivational speaker. Singer. Nurse.
These are some people whose job relies on communicating with society to help and inspire. The human voice is as delicate as it is essential in building bridges in gaps between strangers. It can connect us to one another on a unique and intimate level. A simple hello to someone can even brighten up their day and put a smile on their faces. Talking to someone evokes a sense of compassion and mutual understanding that are useful when dealing with life’s stresses. It’s why when we haven’t seen our loved ones in so long, for example, we get emotional just hearing their voices again.
So don’t take it for granted, it’s a gift that we should treasure.. Here are 5 great exercises you can follow to ensure no danger to your voice occurs. A little goes a long way so start working towards a healthier voice today.
1. Breathing exercise
Breathing is the key to great singing. It’s so basic and natural that you often don’t pay enough attention to it on a daily basis. But just like doing any strenuous activity, the way you breathe can determine how well your voice sounds. There are many exercises you can do to learn the proper technique of deep breathing.
For example; inhale as much as you can by using your diaphragm, make sure your abdomen expands and not your chest as you breathe in, release the air through your mouth slowly and make a hissing sound with it and exhale as long as you can. Do this every day and time yourself. With each time, you’ll improve your breathing and realise how much your air capacity truly is. Yoga, anyone?
2. Improve resonance
Ever noticed how singers have certain facial expressions during a performance? Making those eyebrows raised up and mouths a little pouty isn’t for show. These gestures move facial muscles to actually help improve vocal production. By doing so, it opens up more room for air to travel. It may feel strange at first but just keep practising it.
3. Gentle humming and cooing to warm up your voice
This acts as a warm up for your voice to help relax the tension in your vocal muscles. The best time to do this is when you wake up in the morning.
4. Do cardio and strength workouts
Taking care of your voice is said to be like training for a marathon. Improve your overall stamina and it will work wonders to your voice especially when singing. Do regular cardio and strength workouts (check out our Get Fit and Power Up series on YouTube for suggestions!).
5. Lip or tongue trills
Singing is supposed to be fun, so relax. If all your muscles are tensed up, you won’t be able to sing properly. Why not do the lip or tongue trill to relieve the stress? The lip trill is like blowing a raspberry by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing to produce a sound. The tongue trill is rolling the R’s. Try the above vocal warmups where one of them makes use of the lip trill to practise.
Your voice is a delicate instrument that you should learn to use properly. Its sound is produced by the vibration of the vocal folds. These are muscle tissues located opposite each other in the larynx which is between the base of the tongue and the windpipe that leads to the lungs. To make a sound, the vocal folds will snap together just as the air from the lungs blows past. This causes a vibration from which sound waves travel through the throat, nose and mouth that act as the resonating cavities to modulate the sound. To breathe, the vocal folds will then open.
So as you can see, it’s quite a process. Do seek a professional to ensure you’re doing these exercises safely to avoid further harm to your voice.
Photo sourced from nidcd.nih.gov
Do you love to sing? Warm up those vocal cords because it’s time to hear yourself on national radio!
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