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Singing injuries

The heart of an injury

At the heart of any injury is a feeling of fragility and there is no longer hiding the fact that we are not indistructable. When you can't sing you feel vunerable, especially if your livilehood stems from it. The worst thing you can do is to deny anything is wrong and keep on pushing, because you’ll tense up more and may do more damage to your voice. Most singing injuries stem from a habit of not listening to what your voice and body wants to do. Just because you sang for hours last week doesn't mean you can do it next week or even the day after. Your voice is a reflection of your body; sometimes you feel great sometimes your under the weather or a million things in-between. If you deny the ‘humaneness’ of singing and treat it like an exterior instrument you'll always put pressure on it to perform.

10 steps to avoiding singing injuries

1 warm up your voice

Warming up your voice can mean going through a set of exercises, but it can also mean beginning with some light singing. If you launch straight into some demanding singing you’re going to tense up your neck, shoulders and vocal chords. Over time that demand may result in wear and tear on your singing system and ultimately injuries. I often start a days singing with just simple humming. The vibrations in humming tend to help you relax and it's much easier to humm than to sing, so it's a nice way to warm up you vocal system.

2 Don't sing when you get up

After you get up it takes a few hours for your muscles to be ready to support your singing . If you jump out of bed and start singing you’re in Danger of straining something.

3 smoke less drink less

I know many many people smoke and drink and sing, and I know many won't give up just because they sing. Yet there a still things you can do. Don't drink before you sing, save it until after. If you smoke keep especially hydrated just before singing and don't smoke right before you sing.

4 don't sing too high for your range

There is a difference between stretching your voice and straining it. Stretching your voice is about slightly pushing your range. Straining is about knowing you’re too far outside of what you should be doing.

5 don't over think singing

If your obsessing over whether your singing right or whether you’re doing any damage, this can have the effect of drying out your voice and make it harder to sing. This is especially true if your voice is your living or you value your voice. The pressure you put your voice under to be it's best causes your muscles to tense a little too much and your voice to dry. Focus on how singing feels in the moment, not how you want it to sound

6 don't sing when you’re ill

Use your intuition here: in the periods of onset and leaving with an illness a little singing is fine but if you have a full blown cold its best to stop.

 

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