The Five 'Worst Things' You Can Do To Your Voice
When we don’t have enough hydration, all the organs in the body suffer. I always imagine it as the difference between a dried prune and a plump one. The brain is one organ that works much more effectively when it’s hydrated and you sure need your brain when faced with a script to sort out. The muscles also need to be hydrated. The voice is created by using the brain and the muscles, which is why you need to drink at least 1 litre of water per day.
Drinking Alcohol, Smoking Cigarettes – The Enemy of Hydration
Not only are cigarettes full of toxins and chemicals, which in the long term can and do cause permanent damage to your mouth, tongue, throat, aesophagus and lungs, they are incredibly dehydrating. So is alcohol, which is why we get a headache. I’m hardly advocating wowserism! Anyone know knows me, knows I like a drink but before a day in the studio, take it easy. Dehydration can make your voice raspy, croaky and crackly and your performance restricted and inconsistent.
If your overall fitness is poor, your energy is at a low ebb and your weight is up, you’re putting stress and strain on your heart and lungs. Your performance at anything is going to be compromised. If this describes you…you know what to do. You need vitality and health to be a top notch voice performer.
Not Warming Up
I always warm up before a job. I have some simple techniques, tongue twisters and exercises that are part of my routine before I get to the studio. The difference between the range and variety of vocal gymnastics that can be achieved by a voice that has been thoroughly warmed-up is astonishing.
Never ever scream! It can do permanent damage to your vocal chords. It may seem like a simple thing when you’re asked by a producer or director, but you must tell them, ‘sorry, I don’t scream’. There are so many different screams available to them in the massive library of sound effect (SFX) that they have. I would even take care with yelling, unless you’re really well warmed up and understand how to project your voice proficiently.