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  • Becky Ykema

LOVE YOUR VOICE LIKE IT'S A PART OF YOU

I may be biased, but I think one of the most fun things we can do in life is sing. And YET, so often we give these vocal cords of ours zero love!


If you're a singer of any kind, how many times do we roll out of bed, drink two cups of coffee, then grab a mic and make our way to stage without having done anything to warm up? I am SO guilty of this! What I'm realizing after years of battering my voice around and thinking she can just lob the ball right past the outfield is this: she actually deserves a little warming up. She deserves a hot cup of water. She deserves having those muscles gently moved and stretched and loosened before going for the home run.


How do we love our voices well?


HYDRATION

It's all about the amount of water you drink 24 hours before singing. Coating the throat with a big cup of water right before you sing is always nice but not that impactful. Remember, what you ingest through your esophagus does not actually touch your vocal folds. They are two different and disconnected systems and never the two shall meet! That said, while honey and lemon will make your throat area feel nice and warm, it's way more about the hydration you put within your whole body the day before.


WARM-UPS

I know, I know. No one likes doing vocal warm-ups. It can feel lame or pretentious. But what if we flipped that thought? What if the kindest thing you can do for your voice is help it loosen up? Here are a few exercises to practice:


- Vocal Warmup 1: All About That Buzz


- Vocal Warmup 2: I Know, I Know, I Know, I Know


GENTLE SINGING

Sometimes in the car on my way to singing or recording, I will put the song material on and simply hum along, or gently let my voice rise and fall on an "ah" sound while continuing to commit the songs to memory. It's gentle and easy, reminding my vocal cords of where each note placement goes and how each note feels.


WARMTH

I'm talking physical warmth. If you sing in a super cold space (this has been true of my past six years), your throat muscles will be tight and tense. Wrap a warm scarf around your neck. If that's not your jam, zip up that hoodie all the way or put a coat on. Helping your throat not be tense will truly give you more range and more control over your vocal tone!


I hope these tips are helpful! I'd love to hear what works for you. Drop me a note!

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