One of the biggest mistakes which you as a beginner singer can make is not to clear your voice for singing. Generally speaking, beginner singers focus on just warming up their vocal cords, which is a good idea, but in addition to warming up you also need to clear your voice for singing. If you have ever tried singing just by warming up your vocal cords you probably noticed that no matter how good the warm-up was, that sometimes you still have a hoarse voice.
To have a clear voice for singing you have to do daily vocal exercises, and most importantly have a clear diet. Most singers force their vocal cords way too much, and they do not let their vocal cords to recover, in the long run, this will not allow them to have a clear voice for singing. Taking a break from singing for a couple of days usually will clear your voice for singing.
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When it comes to clearing your voice for singing there are two aspects on which you should focus, your diet and voice clearing exercises. Diet and voice clearing exercises have a massive impact on the quality of your voice, even if you are naturally talented with a good voice you still should do daily exercises to clear your throat and a balanced diet suitable for singers. If you need more information about singers diet, check out my recent article ( Top 18 ) Foods to improve singing voice.
Most people who are not familiar with singing exercises think that clearing the voice is the same as clearing your throat, although they do have similarities between them, however, the outcome of both will be vastly different. Clearing your throat will let you sing higher notes a lot easier while clearing your voice for singing will allow you to have a soft and clear voice. If you have read my recent article How to make voice clear and soft? ( Fast and Easy ), then you probably are familiar with some of the practices listed below.
Daily exercises for a clear voice
You have probably heard the phrase “practice makes perfect” and this is also true for singing. If you are a beginner singer you will have to incorporate in your day-to-day life a strict exercising routine focusing on warming up your voice and clearing your voice for singing. One of the biggest problems I have noticed with beginner singers is the lack of commitment, they do love to sing but are unwilling to practice the different types of exercises in the long run which will end up hurting their voice.
Dry swallow to clear your voice
As a singer you have probably heard of the dry swallow, most singers do use the dry swallowing technique to clear the vocal cords from mucus. Dry swallowing is as simple ad taking a sip of water but without the water and you will be only swallowing your saliva. You should practice dry swallowing a couple of times a day if you ever notice that you do not have enough saliva to swallow than this is mostly because you are dehydrated.
If you do not have enough saliva in your mouth to even dry swallow then your vocal cords are definitely dehydrated and it is time to take a couple of sips of water.
Clear your throat to have a clear voice
It is essential to clear your throat to have a good sounding voice, however, most people force themselves and their vocal cords doing this practice. If you feel that your vocal cords have mucus on them you should take a couple of sips of water and simply “humm” for a couple of minutes or even talk. By humming or talking your vocal cords will vibrate and eliminate the mucus, do note that you will not be able to achieve this if you are dehydrated.
Breathing deeply clears the voice and throat
Breathing plays a big role in clearing your voice for singing while breathing mucus can be dislodged from your lungs and it will end up on your vocal cords. Most often times this happens to beginner singers who do not practice breathing and tend to breathe fast and shallow. Take a couple of deep breaths before you start singing and you will notice a major difference in the quality of your voice.
Warming up your throat clears your voice
Without a good warm-up practice no matter how talented of a singer you are, you will only limit yourself. Warming up your throat by simply humming has two effects both of which are extremely beneficial for your voice. The first one is that during the warm-up you will actually warm up your vocal cords, just as a muscle to prevent injury and to have a much better singing voice. The second effect is that through the warm-up you will produce a lot of vibrations which will dislodge any potential mucus formed on your vocal cords.
Relax your neck muscles for a clear voice
If you feel that your neck muscles hurt after you have sung a couple of songs then this might be due to you forcing your neck muscles while you are trying to hit the higher notes. This problem mostly occurs for beginner singers when they are trying to hit the higher notes they force themselves so hard that the veins start popping off on their forehead. Sing in front of a mirror and take a close look if you are forcing too much pressure on your neck muscles.
If your neck muscles hurt and you are a beginner singer than this might be just due to the fact that your body is not accustomed to singing, this neck muscle soreness will fade a couple of weeks after your body has already adjusted to frequent singing.
Doing tongue trills to clear your voice
Tongue trills are excellent for clearing your voice for singing, no matter what position you use with your tongue either upper or lower are both good for clearing your voice. The best part of tongue trills is that you can perform them almost everywhere, some singers sing in the shower while others use tongue trills to prepare for singing.
Singing softly will clear your throat and voice
Singing actually clears your throat, although you need to do it correctly. While you are singing just to clear your throat do not focus on hitting the high notes at all, try to sing as relaxed as possible and with a low pitched voice. The vibrations from this singing practice should be enough to clear your voice and throat.
Clear your voice by vibrating your vocal cords
While doing your warm-up with singing it is vital that you check yourself for vibrations, your lips and sometimes your entire face should vibrate. If you are a beginner singer you probably will not be able to achieve this for a couple of weeks, but keep on practicing and you will end up vibrating your entire face. Once you have achieved a full vibration of your lips and face you will have your voice cleared and ready for singing.
Getting plenty of rest will help you have a clear voice
Most beginner singers overlook the fact of how important a good night’s sleep is for their voice. Your vocal cords operate just like your muscles do if you use them continuously and do not let them rest and recover your voice will suffer and stagnate in the best-case scenario, not even mentioning how dangerous it can be once you have strained your vocal cords and didn’t allow them to heal up properly.
Think it like you are going to the gym, but instead of working on your muscles you work on your vocal cords and on your throat and chest muscles. As these are being used and forced they will start growing if you rest enough and this is how you get better at singing. One of the most important aspects, when it comes to singing, is the diaphragm is, just as your throat muscles and your vocal cords your diaphragm will also need time to recover, aim for 8 hours a sleep a day and try to maintain a strict sleeping pattern.
Have a clean diet for clear voice
When it comes to having a clear voice for singing, diet is extremely important, if you frequently consume dairy products, alcohol, and sodas you will limit your ability to sing in the long run. There are a lot of food items that do actually hurt the quality of your voice, however, there are some which will actually help your voice like ginger tea, if you want to know the full benefits of ginger-tea for singers check out my recent article Is ginger good for the voice? ( Yes, But Why? ).
Things that make your voice unclear
- Sugar: sugar has a big impact on your health and your vocal cords, although it is quite hard to avoid sugar as it is in most foods and drinks you should still limit yourself as much as you can.
- Salty foods: Salt is essential for the human body, without it the human body can not function correctly. But too much salt in your diet will lead to dehydration and will impact the quality of your voice.
- Alcohol: If you are a singer you probably already know how harmful alcohol is for your voice, either don’t touch it or drink in moderation.
- Dairy products: While most dairy products are healthy, they are not the best for singers.
- Spicy food: Spicy food takes a lot of energy to digest, and it uses up a lot of water during the process, which inevitably leads to dehydration.
- Coffee: Coffee is not as bad as some of the other items listed here, however, you should still avoid drinking coffee right before you sing.
- Second-hand smoking: If you are a serious singer you probably are not smoking, although even being in the company of people who smoke will irritate your vocal cords due to second-hand smoking.
Things to eat and drink for a clear voice
- Water: Water is extremely important for singers, as though singing the body eliminates a lot of water. If your goal is to clear your voice for singing you should drink lukewarm water. Do note that you should take small sips often rather than big gulps of water so that your vocal cords will be hydrated. Some vocal coaches also recommend drinking cold water as it tightens the vocal cords, although this does work for some, it is still not the best ways to clear your voice for singing.
- Fruits and vegetables: As a singer, your main goal is for you to have as much energy for singing as possible, you should try and eat foods that do not need a lot of energy to digest, especially before singing. Do note that you should only eat 2 hours before singing, as the 2 hours should be enough for the food to be mostly digested and the gasses eliminated, which you probably do not want to happen while you are singing.
- Garlic and onions: As a singer, the last thing you probably want is a garlic breath, although garlic and onions have both voice clearing properties. In addition to this, both of them are extremely healthy for your lungs and will even clear up mucus formed on your vocal cords.
Having a clear voice can be a challenge especially for beginner singers, but by practicing the above exercises and following a clean diet also listed above you should be able to clear your voice fast and easily before any singing sessions. Do not get discouraged if you are not seeing results from one day to another, singing just like everything else which matters takes time, what makes the difference between you singing in your shower and in front of a paying crowd is your determination.