So, you have practiced for months and finally booked that gig at the local pub. You feel great about your vocal cords and are ready to take on the world, but something happens. A few days before the gig, you start to notice that your voice sounds different. It’s not as strong as it used to be, and you can’t seem to hit those high notes like you used to. What’s going on?
Several things can cause vocal changes in singers, both temporary and permanent. As a singer, you must be aware of the potential risks to your vocal health and take steps to avoid them. And in this article, we are going to discuss a few of the common causes of vocal changes in singers. We will also discuss the mindful tips to keep your vocal health in check.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Common causes of vocal cord changes in singers
Below are a few of the most common reasons why your vocal cord may change:
Voice change during puberty
The first common cause of vocal cord changes in singers is puberty. During puberty, the body goes through several changes, including a change in hormone levels. These hormonal changes can cause the vocal cords to grow and thicken, leading to a change in voice quality.
This is completely normal and usually resolves itself within a year or two. However, experience other changes in your voice during puberty, such as a sudden loss of volume or pitch. You should see a doctor to rule out any other potential causes.
An aging vocal mechanism
As we age, our bodies change, and so does our voice. For example, the vocal cords are naturally thin and atrophy with age, which can change vocal quality. Additionally, the muscles and ligaments that support the vocal cords can also weaken with age, causing the voice to sound weaker and less stable.
Fortunately, there are things that you can do to combat the aging process and keep your voice sounding its best. These include maintaining healthy vocal habits, such as drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive voice use.
Common cold or upper respiratory infection
The common cold is one of the most common causes of temporary vocal cord changes. When you have a cold, the mucus in your nose and throat can irritate the vocal cords, leading to hoarseness. Additionally, the infection can cause the vocal cords to swell, making it difficult to produce sound.
Fortunately, most colds will resolve independently within a week or two. But if you feel like there is any respiratory infection that lingers, it is best to see a doctor.
Your vocal cords may be damaged
The vocal cords can be damaged by many things, including overuse, smoking, acid reflux, and even dehydration. When the vocal cords are damaged, they can become inflamed, leading to changes in your voice.
Damage to the vocal cords can be permanent, so protecting your vocal cords from injury is important.
How to keep your vocal cord healthy?
Now that we know some common causes of vocal cord changes in singers, let’s discuss a few tips on keeping your vocal cords healthy.
Practice Good Vocal Hygiene
The first step to keeping your vocal cords healthy is to practice good vocal hygiene. This means avoiding things that can irritate or damage the vocal cords, such as smoking, shouting, or using your voice excessively. Moreover, you should also avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
Warm up — and cool down
Warming up your vocal cords before singing is important to avoid injury. There are some vocal warm-ups that you can do, such as humming or singing scales. It is just as important to cool down your vocal cords after singing. This can be done by doing gentle vocal exercises or drinking warm tea.
If you are experiencing any vocal cord changes that are impacting your quality of life, you may want to seek out voice therapy. A therapist can help you identify any underlying issues and develop a plan to get your voice back to its optimal state. Moreover, you can take vocal training classes from a vocal coach to learn how to use your voice correctly and protect your vocal cords from strain.
Don’t sing from your throat
One common mistake that singers make is singing from their throats. This can strain the vocal cords and may even cause permanent damage. Instead, you should sing from your diaphragm to avoid strain on the vocal cords. Learning how to sing correctly can be difficult, but avoiding any potential damage to your vocal cords is worth it.
Avoid Smoking and dangerous substances
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your vocal cords. The smoke from cigarettes irritates the vocal cords and can cause long-term damage. If you smoke, you should consider quitting to protect your vocal cords. You should also avoid other substances that can damage the vocal cords, such as alcohol or drugs.
Maintain good breath support
Breath support is important for singing correctly and avoiding strain on the vocal cords. When you breathe correctly, you use your diaphragm to push air up from your lungs. This provides the power needed to produce sound without straining the vocal cords.
Vocal cord changes are common in singers, but they can also be caused by a number of other factors, such as smoking, dehydration, or even acid reflux. Protecting your vocal cords from damage is important to maintain a healthy voice.
Moreover, if you are looking for vocal classes, visit the Melodica Music institute today. We offer the best Music classes in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Sharjah. Our instructors are experienced and can help you develop your vocal technique. Contact us today to learn more!