Caring For Your Instrument

 Any good musician will tell you that caring for your instrument in one of THE most important things to stay on top of.  The same goes for vocalists.  Over the years I’ve learned more about the proper care of my voice.  It’s not always easy but I do my best.  The most important thing is hydration.  I drink tons of water. Mostly without ice, especially if I’m singing.  I always have water with me at rehearsals-room temperature.  Just remember- water, Water, WATER! 

The next thing is warming up.  Just like you wouldn’t do a full workout without warming up, you also should never sing in full voice or for a sustained period without warming up your voice. I tend to do different scales, arpeggios or vocaleses to warm up.  Watch out for vocal strain.  I don’t go out a whole lot but if I do you will rarely hear me yelling out or howling in laughter.  I might even have my mouth open cracking up but there might not be any sound! (insider secret revealed!)  I’m constantly in scarves from Fall to Spring to the point where my co-workers tease me about over dressing but I tell them that I have to protect my voice!  It’s bad enough I work with kids and anybody who works in an Elementary school knows that it is a germ factory!  So I do what I can, loading up on antioxidant rich foods, taking vitamins etc.  Do I drink tea? Yes but keep in mind it serves the purpose of making your throat  feel better but it does not heal your vocal cords, that is a myth.  



So as it goes, I did a great job of taking care of myself and my voice all the way to December, but my husband who doesn’t have my 15 years of built up immunity from working in public schools has been subbing for a couple months and brought home this horrific bug that took over my whole house!  Sore throats, chills and fever, congestion and guess what- loss of voice!!!  It wasn’t the flu, it was just this horrible mutant ninja virus!! 

So I’m at Walmart and the Salvation Army bell ringer was ringing and singing and I stopped to listen cuz he was really singing! So then he was like –You must be a singer! I said yeah why? He said cuz singers always stop!  Let me hear a little something. So I gave him a quick one liner. Now mind you my voice was shot to hell thanks to the mutant ninja virus! So he was like that was beautiful! Tell me about yourself! That led to a whole conversation—yadda yadda yadda. So I’m like I gotta go shop so he says well on your way out you have to give the people a song! I said no I don’t that’s your job!  He said you can’t be stingy with your gift!  (that’s where he got me). So I’m shopping dreading going back out there bcuz I KNOW my voice is not to where I need to be singing for anybody!  But I couldn’t avoid him so as soon as I walked out he said I KNOW you’re going to bless us with a song.  I said you first. So he busts out with a song, then it was my turn.  So I squeaked out Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas with as much tonal quality as I could get away with having 35% of a voice.  He was like OMG that was beautiful!  I was like OMG you’re a lie!! (In my head only) LOL!!  Anyway, enough of that story.  That was just yesterday and my voice is STILL jacked! I was supposed to do a little singing this weekend but I don’t really see that in my near future. Good thing I don’t have a gig this weekend.  I was mad that I wasn’t able to book anything but now I’m glad bcuz I don’t know what I would do. Being hoarse is one thing but this is more like laryngitis.  Well that’s all for 2nite.  See you tomorrow.  If you see me out do NOT ask for an A selection!!  IAMJAM!

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