As a singer, it is vital that you know how to relax your voice, sooner or later you will hurt your voice and you will probably want to avoid it at all costs. If you find that your throat and vocal cords hurt after you are singing then it is time to give your voice a break and a well-needed rest. Most singers push themselves way too hard, remember singing is a marathon, not a sprint, so take it slow and steady.
You can relax your voice by not singing, avoiding whispering, staying hydrated, massaging your neck, eating honey, using diaphragmatic breathing, using tongue exercises, and getting plenty of sleep.
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While singing every day can improve your ability to sing but you have to give your voice time to recover. The problem is that most singers do not think that giving a break for their voice is beneficial, they think that it is just a waste of time. The truth is that your voice is made up of several parts, like your vocal cords, diaphragm, and lungs, and you can not force them every day and expect to get better at singing.
This is one of the main reasons why so many beginner singers improve a lot in the first couple of weeks and then they notice a sharp decline in the quality of their voice after a couple of months. If you constantly use your voice for singing than you are not allowing your body to rest and to heal properly. As a beginner singer you will do some damage to your vocal cords, simply put your body is not used to singing and in the first week, your throat will probably hurt.
Pushing through this process isn’t the best idea, as you could end up with permanent vocal damage. If your throat starts hurting after singing than just take a break from singing until it doesn’t hurt anymore. If you want to know more about how you can maintain your vocal cords healthy then check out my recent article How to take care of your vocal cords for singing? ( In 10 Easy Ways ).
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If you want to relax your voice completely you will have to stop singing for a couple of days. Relaxing your voice is not going to happen overnight, so you will have to dedicate to this process a couple of days. This is especially important if you tend to find your throat hurting after you sing, get a couple of days off and stop singing entirely during this time. Talking in a normal tone is fine just don’t overdo it, remember your main goal is to relax your voice.
The first couple of days you won’t notice anything but from the third day, you will start noticing that your speaking voice is more pleasant and in some cases even changed. This is normal if you have been singing almost every day for the past couple of months. You probably never fully relaxed your voice and your vocal cords were always tense. You should stop singing for a week if possible, and you will notice that once you start singing your voice will be significantly better.
A lot of singers think that in order to relax their voice they need to whisper while talking. This is completely false, in fact, whispering puts a lot of pressure on your vocal cords and throat and you might even end up losing your voice. Instead of whispering just talk with a normal tone voice, this is your natural voice and it takes very little effort for your vocal cords to produce it. If you constantly find yourself losing your voice after singing then check out my recent article for the most likely causes for it Why do I lose my voice when I sing? ( Top 11 Probable Reasons ).
Relaxing your voice and staying hydrated goes hand in hand. Generally speaking, most singers will have tense vocal cords due to not hydrating themselves correctly. While you are singing, talking, and even breathing your body eliminates a lot of water. Your main goal should be to replenish this water which will allow your body to function properly. If you think you’re well hydrated by drinking soda and other juices than odds are that these are actually dehydrating you.
For singers, the best way to hydrate themselves is with lukewarm water. Hot water might damage the vocal cords and cold water will constrict the vocal cords and alter your voice. If you are a big fan of hot tea or coffee than you should stop driving it for a couple of days. The problem with hot drinks is that if you have tense vocal cords or damaged vocal cords that the hot drinks might make the damage or the tension even worse.
Massage your neck
Although you can not massage the inside of your throat and your vocal cords, but the next best thing is to massage your neck. Simple circular motions with your fingers should be fine, just keep in mind to not apply too much pressure. The way neck massages work for relaxing your voice is by increasing the blood flow in the area. With the increased blood flow, your body can transport more nutrients to this area and repair the damaged parts.
This is why when any part of your body hurts you instinctively start massaging it, when your head hurts you hold your head and when your stomach hurts you hold your belly. In addition to this you might also have tension in your neck muscles which are directly affecting the quality of your voice, so a good massage is more than welcome. Massaging your neck will also allow you to have a better speaking voice, for more information check out my recent article How to have a nice voice when talking ( In 13 Simple Steps ).
Honey is a superfood, and for singers, it is probably one of the best foods you can eat. I know that there are a lot of miracle throat sprays for singers, but trust me not one of them can be compared to the power of honey. Honey has a lot of health benefits, mostly for the respiratory systems and for your throat. In addition to this honey also has antibacterial property, which can help you fight off an infection or it can simply prevent it from happening.
This is why most throat lozenges contain honey as one of their main ingredients. The honey will make a protective layer on your that and vocal cords, this will eliminate the excess mucus and protect your throat.
As a singer, you should probably already know the importance of diaphragmatic breathing and how to use it for singing. Breathing with your diaphragm will not only allow you to sing better but it also helps you to relax your voice. While you are using your diaphragm for breathing you will ease the nation from your throat as you will have to inhale and exhale less often. Breathing with your diaphragm also will allow you to relax your entire body.
The more airflow your throat gets the easier it can relax, although you should keep in mind that you have to be well hydrated. If you are not well hydrated you will find that your throat will dry up extremely fast and your voice will not be able to relax.
Use tongue exercises
Your tongue is one of the most powerful muscles in your body, and yes your tongue can get tired. Singing takes a toll on most singers, especially if they are singing professionally every day. With a simple exercise, you can relax your tongue which will allow you to relax your voice. Take your thumbs and put it under your jaw, at the base of the tongue, now move around your tongue a bit and you should feel it with your thumbs.
Move your tongue around a bit while you are in this position, just don’t overdo it until it hurts. Your main goal is to relax your tongue muscles a bit, once your tongue is relaxed you should notice that your throat is also more relaxed.
One of the best and easiest ways to relax your voice is to get plenty of sleep. Your body is actually preparing and healing yourself while you are sleeping. This is why it is important to get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Once you are sleeping your body will actively work to fight off possible infections and to repair any of the damage that your body or throat might have. You will notice that in the morning you will have something called a morning voice, no need to worry about it as everybody gets it, and it will pass in a couple of hours after you wake up.
There are several ways on how you can relax your voice, my personal recommendation is to try a couple of them out and see which one works for you. Singing is fairly complex and everybody’s voice is different what works for others in terms of relaxing your voice might not work for you. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to take a vocal break once in a while to allow your voice to fully rest and recover.