As a singer, your voice is your instrument. Just as a piano player regularly tunes his piano and a guitarist changes her strings, caring for your instrument is incredibly important! Without an understanding of the basics, you may be setting yourself up for unnecessary strain, fatigue, or even irreversible damage.
Start with the simple things: pay attention to your nutrition and health in general, including eating well, staying hydrated, not smoking, and getting enough sleep.
From there, consider how your health influences your singing. A proper warm-up is incredibly important before using your voice, as is staying hydrated at all times, which keeps your vocal cords from getting irritated.
You also might notice specific foods that affect your voice — some singers find they don’t perform well after eating or drinking dairy, for example. Or, you might feel lethargic after eating fast food — keep that in mind if you have a performance coming up!
There are also natural variations in vocal health throughout the year. On some days, our vocal cords may just not want to play along. One good way to conduct a daily voice check-up is to let out a nice and noisy yawn in the morning. If your voice easily slides into a high register, you’re good to go. If not, you may want to consider toning down the vocal exercises that day.