As the winter season settles in, our vocal cords enter their most demanding season of the year – and that’s where these cold weather tips for singers come into play.
Our larynxes generally prefer warm, moist air ranging from 60 – 70 percent humidity (think a tropical rainforest.) As a result, when the climate becomes dry and cold, vocal cords become desiccated, which is likely to leave any singer vulnerable to throat infections and vocal fatigue.
With these risks in mind, allow me to introduce you to the best:
Cold weather tips for singers
Breath using your nose
Of all cold weather tips for singers, this is the most essential breathing habit that any performer can learn: and during winter is the perfect period to commit to it.
We’re all programmed to breathe through the nasals, mainly because the nose provides the much-needed warmth and humidity for air as it goes into our throats and lungs. Better yet, the nose is designed to filter out germs, viruses, and allergens in a manner the mouth cannot.
That’s why your nose tends to get stuffy when you’re not using it to breathe while walking outside.
Here is a detailed YouTube playlist on how to breathe properly.
Keep your immune system happy
Learning how to breathe through your nose won’t protect you 100 percent of the time. And if you get sick, remember that over the counter throat lozenges and decongestants can be harmful and shouldn’t be your go-to medication source all the time.
Excessive usage of these medicines tends to dry out your airway and is also likely to increase the risk of infections.
As an alternative, consider taking multivitamins or vitamin C every day to help boost your immune system. This tip coupled with the first one should be sufficient to keep your vocal cord safe during the cold weather.
Stay well hydrated
We tend to pay attention to hydration in hot seasons. But dehydration is also likely to sneak up on our bodies during the cold weather.
What’s more? The voice you let out is produced by the vibration of vocal folds (or vocal cords), and their tissue is protected from damage by a significant layer of mucus. To create this slimy substance, your body requires lots of water.
In addition to that, it is not enough to only drink water after performances. You have to maintain a sufficient level of hydration if you want to maintain peak performance.
Avoid smoking cigarettes
It goes without saying that cigarette smoking damages your health. But did you know that this practice can also result in lasting damage to your voice? According to this research from Kings College in London, smoking cigarettes can cause 100+ more mutations than normal in each cell of a singer’s voice box.
Ensure your tongue stays on the roof of your mouth
The last of our 5 cold weather tips for singers will back up the first tip. When you’re not singing or talking, your tongue should be resting on the roof of your mouth. Training your tongue to stay in this position will promote proper jaw function, which will, in turn, ensure that you’re not using your mouth to breathe.
Follow these cold weather tips for singers to help your singing voice perform at its best at all times. And as a general rule of thumb, do not sing or perform if your throat hurts. I know it may sound obvious to you, but lots of singers I’ve come across tend to go on with holiday gigs even when they’re sick.
The key is to listen to your body so you do not cause any more harm and recover as quickly as possible.
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