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Musicians: How to take care of yourself?

by jannymart

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Every gift comes with its own price. And the gift of a beautiful voice is no different. There are lots of examples of even great and famous artists ruining their life due to reasons as varied as excessive smoking or incessant partying and undisciplined lifestyle choices. People are free to neglect caring for it and to squander it away if that’s what these Guitarists Wanted , but for those who want to nurture this gift and protect its longevity, this article can be your starting point for all that you need to know about caring for yourself. So read on.

  • Get sufficient rest

Even though this seems like an obvious point for not only musicians but for everybody out there, it has to be mentioned here again because of how easily people brush off the importance of adequate sleep and rest. Musicians must be sure to get their 8 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping repairs the body’s damaged cells. Go to bed early and get up early, unlike the other way around which most people, particularly the young age group, are prone to do.

During tours and concerts, the harsh routine is bound to take a toll on musicians but ensuring a healthy sleeping pattern otherwise would make a lot of difference to endurance and stamina and ultimately, the voice quality.

  • The importance of healthy eating

Some wise man once said that we become what we eat. He couldn’t have been more right. It is important to watch what goes into our bodies because it is bound to affect our bodies. For singers, it is advisable to avoid oily, greasy food. The best thing to do here is ensure that you eat healthy at all times.

Some food which musicians avoid are caffeinated drinks, alcohol, very hot and heavily peppered or spicy food as well as food that are too salty. Many musicians go to the extent of avoiding fruit juices because of their acidic nature and also dairy products. Basically, the stress here is on not consuming anything that induces dryness in the vocal chords.

  • Stay away from smoke and Dust

Smoking is of course the easiest way to kill a singing voice. It directly affects the lungs and that is never good news for a singer. In fact, even second hand exposure to any kind of smoke is detrimental for the voice.

Again, dust could cause several types of allergies. While our immunity system can take care of a lot of things, it differs for everyone. Thus, it is better to be safe then sorry and better to avoid dust and smoke.

A lot of singers recommend steaming as beneficial for the throat because it opens up the vocal chords as well as relieved nasal veins.

  • Keep your vocal chords adequately hydrated

Singers should keep in mind that their vocal chords need adequate hydration. When we talk or sing, our vocal chords vibrate with great speed and intensity. Singing or talking leads to the vocal chords getting dried. So to keep the very fragile vocal chords functioning flawlessly, singers should be sure to drink lots of water and keep their body hydrated.

  • Warm up before performances and do vocal exercises

Singers do need to warm up, just like any other athlete has to before he puts his muscles through the strain of sports. Similarly, before subjecting the vocal chords to the rigours of thorough singing, they need to be warmed up.

There are also a variety of breathing exercises that help musicians strengthen their lungs so that they can improve their range and vocal prowess. Singers should learn these from trained professionals.

Breathing and proper breathe control is a very crucial aspect that singers must learn to master. While the singer breathes from the stomach, meaning the diaphragm and the surrounding abdominal muscles, the voice emerges from the vocal chords. No other muscles should be involved in the act of singing as doing this has the ability to change voice quality, unless doing that is what the musician wanted.

Taking the help of a good vocal coach or trainer would be very beneficial for musicians and this would also avoid any kind of injury due to use of wrong breathing technique or wrong vocal exercise. It is definitely not unheard of, for musicians who have not received training or information on the mechanics of singing, injuring their vocal chords permanently.

  • Do not ignore the importance of correct body posture

Musicians should maintain a good body posture, particularly while singing and preferably, at all times. Keep your face relaxed along with relaxing your neck and jaw. Stand straight and maintain an upright stance while singing.

As we have mentioned above, singers must learn the correct way to sing and the muscles that need to be employed in order to not only conserve their body’ energy but also to cut risks of injury.

  • Rest your throat

Musicians should try not to shot too much or be in crowded and noisy situations that require them to shout or talk loudly as this places an undue stress on the voice. Many a times, going to watch a match or even to a noisy club, can end up with people coming back with harsh and broken voices due to all the shrieking and talking loudly. Musicians must be careful for something like that not to happen to them, especially before a show or concert.

Talking less avoids strain on the voice. Again, whispering is to be avoided as it just adds strain to the vocal chords.

  • Pay adequate medical attention when needed

If musicians find some pain of discomfort pertaining to their throat, they must not ignore it and should go to the doctor immediately.

Again, there are medications like some anti depressants etc that adversely affect the vocal chords and subsequently, the singing voice. Therefore, singers who have to take medicines must consult the doctors beforehand on how it might affect their voices. It is definitely better to make an informed choice in this matter.


A musician’s life can be very taxing.  It is hard enough on the vocal chords with you spending hours and hours practicing your notes and tunes. Add tours and concerts to the equation and what a musician would have is essentially an immense possibility of hurting their voice and subsequently, their career if they have not been attentive enough to it. So, for a musical singing voice that retains its melody throughout life, which surely is something that all musicians wanted, keep in mind what you just read and you are going to be fine.


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