Vocal Hygiene I

Hello friends.Last week we videoed a dozen or so segments with vocal tips to appear on YouTube over the next few months. A lot of the subjects that we cover on this blog can be seen with a more in depth  explanation. Also have you “liked’ us on Facebook yet? How about twitter?(rlygoodsinger). OK, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, lets talk about singers and what we eat and drink and how this effects our voices. This falls into a larger category called “vocal hygiene’. Vocal hygiene is simply how we take care of our voices through what we consume , and how you treat your body, ie: excercise, sleep, etc..Lets start with the most common food to avoid if your going to be singing or speaking:Dairy. Why are you drinking and eating from a cow anyway? Its kinda strange if you think about it. lol Anyway, we have to understand that milk is a form of mucous designed by nature so that the mommy cow can feed the baby cow. Our bodies have a difficult time trying to break dairy down, hence the excess of mucous created by its consumption. If you are singing that  day, or even the next day, dairy is some thing that you need to avoid.In that same category is citrus. Consumed fresh, citrus doesn’t cause us any problems as singers. It even helps to stimulate the production of saliva(lemon).When you buy  citrus juice however you are  consuming a pasteurized product. Again, the body doesn’t recognize this sugar water and so it too remains in a mucousal form. Another thing about processed citrus is its tendency to cause acid reflux. Again, raw citrus-good, processed citrus-bad. Now lets talk about salt. There is a lot of confusion as to the workings of salt as many singers gargle with it to attract moisture, and many complain about how consuming salty foods makes them thirsty and gives them dry mouth. it works like this, salt is a magnet for moisture. Where ever the salt is, that’s where the moisture goes. SO…if you gargle with salt, the residue will attract moisture to the oral pharynx and vocal tract. If you consume salty food, your body will supply as much water as it can as it is being attracted to the food that you just consumed. On top of that, we become endlessly thirsty and that too can dry out the mouth and throat. How does that one work? well, our mouths have a certain ph balance that keeps us moist and constantly producing saliva. When we drink plain water or worse, brush our teeth with toothpaste and water, we are removing this balance and actually causing dry mouth. Quite often singers will intentionally consume a salt free cracker or two just to restore that salivary balance in the mouth. Another great  way to avoid dry mouth is to mix apple juice in with your water,. Even a little bit will help activate the production of saliva.Interesting so far? Well stay tuned for part II on vocal hygiene and remember to USE DOLCEVOCE!

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