5 practical exercises to take care of the voice
Before giving talks, introducing yourself to someone important, there is a detail that often goes unnoticed: the need to take care of the voice so that it does not betray us.
Just like before we do sports, we warm up the muscles, it's paramount treat our vocal cords with the care they deserve and prepare those little muscles for the work they have to do. Of course, singing in the shower is an excellent way of warming up, but maybe one of these others also comes to you well, which I explain below, before you go on stage or give that lecture, you would not have access to it.
The goal is, through a good use of our voice, avoid overload and vocal fatigue to prevent injuries such as aphonia , the polyps in the vocal cords, etc ... at the same time that we find our own precious voice and we bring it longevity.
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Exercises to take care of the voice
Although some people have unique patterns of vibration of the vocal cords that make them more suitable for interpretation, imitation or song (because they move faster and close with more force than usual), we can and must take care of the voice and develop it until its optimization . In addition to the exercises I discuss below, protect the neck of the cold, drink warm drinks (especially ginger or erísimo tea) and flee alcohol and snuff before using the voice for a long time are tips to consider.
These exercises come from my learning as a soprano, they helped me and they still do it every day. They not only improve the voice ... they also relax and increase concentration. In addition, they are quite discreet, with what can be done at any time without attracting attention. For example, before entering to teach, give a lecture ...
With the feet apart, aligned at the height of our hips, and the knees slightly bent, we direct the coccyx forward and raise the arms to the ceiling, we grabbed a wrist with the other hand and pulled it up. We repeat changing hands. About three times per hand will be enough to stretch the intercostal muscles and help the diaphragm to relax .
Now we massage our neck, trapezius area and shoulders to soften the muscles. We move the arm over the head and place the palm of the hand over the ear, pulling gently on the head, stretching all the muscles well. We can intensify it by stretching the opposite hand towards the ground.
Then we support the chin on one shoulder and rotate the head downwards with the chin always touching the body to the other shoulder and always return rotating downwards.
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2. Facial relaxation
With the tongue, we press the walls of the mouth as extensively and strongly as we can. After we pinched cheeks and cheeks, the area of the ciliary arch, we pull our ears ... and we press again with the tongue. You will notice that now the language is able to reach much further with less effort. Repeat two or three times. Once we have heated it, tongue out, stretch down and forward, wait 15 seconds and relax inside.
If it bothers (in the base, not in the frenulum) repeat until it does not bother more. The same towards the sides: tongue out, stretch down and right side, hold 15 seconds and relax inside. The same to the left side. Repeat until it does not bother.
3. Heat the diaphragm
Feet separated at hip height, forward coccyx, knees slightly bent, inspires in full breath and it expels the air with a lot of pressure by the mouth almost closed , emitting F sound while controlling with your hands the amount of air that is emitted from the abdomen. With practice it is very easy and it helps a lot to learn to manage the air we use when speaking. It is one of the most useful voice care exercises.
4. Warm the vocal cords
With the lips in the shape of a duckbill, loose, the throat open and the head inclined with the chin sticking to the chest, inspires by nose without nasal noise and expires by the mouth sonoramente imitating a horse and doing with it that the lips vibrate. Repeat 5 times.
Place the incisor teeth on the lower lip and make out a soft sound exhaling a lot of air, imitating the buzz of a bee with the letter V. Do it another 5 times.
Chewing with vertical movements of the jaw, tilt the head down and add the vowel O, repeating MO, MO, MO. 5 times.
5. Placing the voice
To do this, in the "sing" (or talk) position that you already know: legs separated feet at the hips, coccyx advanced, knees slightly bent, we lower the chin to the chest and say a phrase. The voice has to resonate in the upper palate and vibrate in the incisors . Repeat the phrase until you make sure your voice is in that position, and you can even rehearse the speech, text or lesson you are about to expose.