How To Take Care Of Your Voice? A Guide To Good Vocal Health

How To Take Care Of Your Voice? A Guide To Good Vocal Health

The human voice is a remarkable instrument that transcends cultural boundaries and touches the hearts of people worldwide. From enchanting Bollywood melodies to soul-stirring Carnatic renditions, voice plays a central role in numerous music traditions. However, as precious as this gift is, our voices can face challenges and limitations that demand proper care and attention. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the significance of the human voice, explore the experiences of vocal struggles, and provide invaluable tips to maintain good vocal health and enhance your vocal abilities.

Section 1: The Essence of the Human Voice

1.1 Voice: A Medium of Expression

The human voice is not just a mere vocalization; it is a medium of expression that conveys emotions, stories, and messages. Each individual possesses a unique voice that is inherently different from others, and this uniqueness adds a distinct charm to every performance. The power of the voice to connect with listeners on an emotional level is nothing short of magical.

As we marvel at the diversity of voices, we must also ponder the origins of this incredible gift. From ancient times, various cultures recognized the importance of the voice in different aspects of life. In Indian tradition, the power of sound or “Nada” was revered and harnessed for healing, teaching, spiritual evolution, and accomplishments. The recognition of sound’s profound impact on human life emphasizes the need to nurture and preserve our vocal instrument.

1.2 An Unforgettable Encounter: The Journey of a Vocalist

The journey of a vocalist is often marked by moments of joy and challenges. Personal anecdotes of vocal struggles can offer valuable lessons to aspiring singers and professionals alike. I had one such encounter by facing major vocal problems during a critical phase of a TV reality show.

I remember a phone conversation with a best friend that led to uncontrollable laughter. Unbeknownst to us, this laughter followed a rigorous two-hour Riyaz (practice session). As the conversation progressed, we suddenly lost our voice, which was an unexpected and harsh reality to confront.

How to take care of your vocal health
How to take care of your vocal health

The toll of excessive vocal strain, repeated overuse, and improper voice production became evident when I sought consultation from an E.N.T. specialist. Diagnosed with a vocal nodule, I embarked on a journey of recovery with medical intervention, vocal rest, and home remedies. The recovery process spanned two years, during which I had to continue performing despite the challenges.

This experience made me realise the importance of timely intervention, proper vocal care, and self-awareness for aspiring singers and professionals to protect their vocal health and preserve their vocal instruments.

Section 2: The Science of a Good Voice: Learning from Natya Shastra

2.1 Natya Shastra: A Timeless Guide to Voice

The Natya Shastra, a classic treatise on performing arts attributed to Bharat Muni in the 5th century B.C., is a treasure trove of knowledge encompassing various aspects of voice and performance. As we explore the qualities of a good voice, Bharat Muni’s insights serve as guiding principles for singers and actors.

The Natya Shastra defines five essential qualities of a good voice for singers and actors:

Being well heard (loud enough)

A good voice must have adequate volume and projection to reach the audience effectively.

Being well-tuned and richly textured

A pleasing voice should be in tune, avoiding any pitch inaccuracies, and possess richness in tonal quality.

Being smooth and not harsh

A smooth voice flows effortlessly, captivating listeners without any harshness in its delivery.

Being sweet and harmonious

A sweet voice resonates with the audience, creating an emotional connection and harmonizing with the surrounding musical elements.

Being balanced in all three octaves and registers

A balanced voice demonstrates proficiency in all three octaves and registers, encompassing mandra (low), madhya (medium), and taara (high) notes.

Understanding these qualities can help aspiring vocalists develop a keen ear for their voice and work towards enhancing its attributes.

Section 3: Nurturing Your Vocal Instrument: Practical Tips for Vocal Maintenance

3.1 Treating Your Voice Like Your Body

In Indian tradition, the human voice is likened to the body itself, referred to as “Gatra-vina” (body lute) in the ancient treatise Nardiya Shiksha by Narad. Just as we prioritize physical health, vocal health should also be a primary concern.

One fundamental aspect of caring for your voice is to know its limitations and capabilities. Every voice has a pitch limit, and understanding this helps in choosing an appropriate key or Sruti for singing. By selecting a comfortable range, singers can avoid vocal strain and achieve a smooth and effortless rendition.

3.2 The Vibratory Experience: Feeling the Music Within You

The process of vocalization involves the generation of sound vibrations, which resonate in different parts of the body. By feeling these vibrations in the throat, chest, stomach, and other regions, singers gain insight into the effect of sound inside their bodies. This heightened awareness allows them to adjust their vocal techniques and improve their overall performance.

Additionally, Bharat Muni’s classification of voice registers – chest (uras), throat (kantha), and head (tiros) – corresponds to the mandra, madhya, and taara notes. Understanding the role of these registers during vocalization enables singers to explore the full range of their voices and achieve a balanced, resonant sound.

3.3 Mastering Breath Control for Seamless Singing

Breath control is a fundamental aspect of vocalization that requires more than just the amount of air inhaled before rendition. Managing breath with uniformity throughout the performance is essential for achieving seamless, sustained notes and dynamic control.

To enhance breath control, singers can engage in specific techniques that focus on breath awareness, such as diaphragmatic breathing. By strengthening the diaphragm and regulating the flow of air, vocalists can master the art of breath control and elevate their singing abilities.

3.4 The Riyaz: Your Key to Unlocking Vocal Potential

The term “Riyaz” or “Swara Sadhana” refers to the practice sessions undertaken by singers to overcome vocal limitations and improve their overall vocal abilities. Riyaz involves a systematic approach to voice training and is an indispensable practice for aspiring singers and established professionals alike.

By developing a structured Riyaz routine tailored to their individual needs, vocalists can target specific areas of improvement and gradually expand their vocal range. Persistence, patience, and consistency are essential for successful Riyaz sessions, enabling singers to unlock their vocal potential.

3.5 Setting the Stage for Productive Practice

The key to effective Riyaz is gradual progress and consistent practice. Beginners are encouraged to start with short sessions, such as 15 minutes, and gradually increase the duration each day. This approach allows the vocal cords to acclimatize to the practice routine and respond more favourably over time.

Practising in the morning is often recommended due to the calm, peaceful, and fresh atmosphere. Mornings are conducive to concentration and vocal conditioning, setting the stage for productive practice sessions. Specific techniques, such as “Kharaj Sadhana,” cater to the unique requirements of male and female voices, fostering vocal strength and flexibility.

3.6 Maintaining Vocal Health: Avoiding Strain and Ensuring Relaxation

Maintaining vocal health is of paramount importance to every singer. By avoiding excessive pressure on the vocal cords during singing, vocalists can prevent vocal strain and potential damage to their voices. Adopting the right technique in Riyaz ensures that vocal pain or strain does not become a hindrance to vocal growth.

Relaxation exercises for the jaws, lips, tongue, neck, and head are essential pre-Riyaz activities that prepare the vocal instrument for optimal performance. These simple exercises promote vocal flexibility and reduce tension, enhancing the overall vocal experience.

3.7 Recording Sessions for Growth

Recording practice sessions serve as a valuable tool for self-assessment and growth. By reviewing recordings, singers can identify areas for improvement, assess progress, and make necessary adjustments to their techniques. Self-analysis through recordings provides valuable insights and inspires continuous improvement.

3.8 The Culinary Connection: Nourishing Your Voice

Dietary choices can significantly impact vocal health. Vocalists should be mindful of foods that can negatively affect their vocal cords, such as extremely cold or hot items. For individuals with cold allergies, avoiding ice creams, cold water, and cold drinks is advisable to protect vocal health.

Consuming food at a normal temperature is beneficial, as anything ingested passes through the vocal cords and can influence vocal quality. Adequate hydration with warm water is also essential for maintaining vocal health.

3.9 Embracing Silence: The Healing Power of Vocal Rest

After intense practice sessions, giving your voice ample rest is essential for preventing vocal strain and maintaining vocal texture. Vocal rest should also extend to daily life, involving minimizing talking, speaking softly, and avoiding loud laughter or screaming.

Section 4: Home Remedies for Vocal Health

4.1 Gargling: The Time-Tested Solution

Gargling with warm water soothe an itchy throat or clear congestion

Gargling with warm water is a common practice among singers and helps soothe an itchy throat or clear congestion. Gargling just before a performance can act as a catalyst, offering a vocal boost and ensuring clear vocalization.

4.2 Honey: Nature’s Elixir for Vocal Smoothness

Honey to soothe vocal cords

Honey is renowned for its healing properties and can effectively soothe vocal cords. Consuming a spoonful of honey daily can contribute to a smoother vocal texture and reduce vocal strain.

4.3 Ayurvedic Spices: Healing Your Throat

Ayurvedic spices help soothe an itchy throat and offer relief from minor discomfort.

Ayurvedic spices such as clove, black pepper, and ginger possess therapeutic properties beneficial for the throat. These spices can help soothe an itchy throat and offer relief from minor discomfort. However, moderation is key, as excessive spice consumption can lead to other health issues.

4.4 Individuality Matters: Consultation and Care

It is essential to remember that every individual’s body and voice are unique. Home remedies may vary in effectiveness for different individuals, making it crucial to consult a doctor or vocal coach for personalized vocal care. Understanding one’s body and voice is the first step towards taking good care of it.

Take Care of Your Vocal Health

Your voice is an extraordinary gift that deserves respect, care, and nurture. By embracing the wisdom of ancient Indian traditions, practising Riyaz app with dedication, and adopting healthy vocal habits, you can unlock the full potential of your voice. Remember that every voice is special and carries a distinct identity, so embrace your uniqueness and sing from the heart. Through this comprehensive guide, we hope you gain valuable insights and embark on a journey of vocal excellence.

Let your voice shine brightly, and may it continue to inspire and uplift not only yourself but also everyone who listens.

Happy singing!

Other Articles of Interest

Common Questions on Vocal Health

How to get your voice back in minutes?

Rest your voice, stay hydrated, and avoid straining it. Gentle vocal warm-ups and steam inhalation can help soothe your vocal cords.

How to make voice sweet and soft naturally?

Practice vocal exercises, maintain proper breath support, and avoid excessive throat tension. Honey and warm water can help soothe your voice.

How to get a good voice?

Regular vocal practice, proper breath control, and vocal exercises can help improve your voice's quality and range.

How to get sweet voice naturally home remedies?

Home remedies like honey, warm water with salt or turmeric gargling, and consuming mulethi (liquorice) can naturally enhance your voice's sweetness.

How to clear voice for singing?

Stay hydrated, avoid cold foods, gargle warm water, and rest your voice to clear it before singing. Proper vocal warm-ups can also help.

How can I make my voice sweet?

Focus on breath control, vocal exercises, and relaxation techniques to achieve a sweeter and more melodious voice.

How to take care of the voice of singers?

Avoid straining your voice, practice vocal warm-ups, stay hydrated, and incorporate vocal rest to maintain good vocal health.

How to make your voice sweet and soft for singing?

Practice regular vocal exercises, maintain good posture, and use proper breath support to achieve a sweet and soft singing voice.

How can I improve my voice for singing?

Work on vocal exercises, breath control, and seek guidance from a vocal coach to improve your singing voice.

How to make our voice sweet for singing?

Emphasize proper breath control, stay relaxed, and practice singing exercises to enhance the sweetness of your voice.

How can I make my voice good for singing?

Regular practice, proper vocal warm-ups, and healthy vocal techniques can help you develop a good singing voice.

How to make your voice melodious?

Practice singing different scales, work on breath control, and explore various vocal techniques to add melodiousness to your voice.

How to take care of your voice as a singer?

Stay hydrated, avoid vocal strain, warm up before singing, rest your voice when needed, and follow good vocal hygiene practices.


  1. You’re so naive to say that “Just remember anything you eat passes through your vocal cords so definitely it will affect your voice in minute ways.”

    You seem experienced and I don’t mean to insult but learning is a process which never comes to an end. Hope this clarifies:

    No, liquids and food do not pass through the vocal cord because the vocal cord is located anatomically in the larynx also called as voice box primarily for respiration or breathing (respiratory system). The anatomical respiratory passageway includes the mouth and the nose, to the vocal cord, larynx going into the trachea (windpipe) then into the lungs. The foods and liquids usually pass through the digestive system passageways which involves the mouth, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, small intestines and into the large intestines.

    PS: It is a good thing you guys are doing here. This forum will be helpful to a lot.

    1. Hi Anuj,

      When I said food passes through vocal chords, I did not mean to say that the food comes in direct contact with the vocal chords. It is just to say that the temperature of the food will have a certain affect.

      Even for this, there is no certain proof that there is such a long lasting impact. But what is certain are the short term impacts; for instance the numbness after eating an icecream, dehydration after oily food and so on.

      Thanks for giving a chance to clarify it further 🙂

      1. I fully agree with Astha Tripati that every food affects the vocal cords directly or indirectly. Her point is very strong and based on practical experiences Anuj. You are pointing out only the technical reasons. Every food and drinks that you take in normal, hot or cold forms affects the body, the digestive system and specially our throat and our voice. The burning example is the great singer Lataji who never drinks ever cold water and takes water for an earthen pot only even in summer days.
        Hope you would try these suggestions… With best wishes……. Ravindra K Kapoor

    2. Thanks for pointing out. I literally thought the same – food goes to our trachea instead of esophagus and I had my err moment.

      Now that it has been clarified, I understand what the writer was trying to convey. Nevertheless, it’s a good article.

  2. Dear Astha,
    Nice article. This article is really helpful and gives an insight into precautions need to be taken to maintain your voice.
    I would say this article is written from a singing perspective, one needs to take it rationally.
    Cheers !

  3. there is any another secret of singing.. because all singers eat and drink also who know about that please share with me their experience

    1. Do practice 2hrs. Later after eating something..
      Avoid over’s ..very important..
      I strugglled a lot BCS of this bad habit

  4. This Was A Really Beautiful And Helpful Article. Thank You So Much!
    Well I Have A Doubt. There Are Many Pandits Who Believe In Long Hours Of Riyaaz Since The Beginning. Like I’ve Been Learning Since 5 Years Now And What I Discovered Is That If Your Throat Is A Room, Riyaaz Is A Broomstick To Clean It. “Jitni Zyada Jhaadu Lagaoge Utna Saaf Hoga.” Yeh Baat Mujhe Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty Ji ne Kahi Thi. So Shared A Big Teaching With Everyone Here. Hence, In The Above Article It Can Be Contradictory To Start With 15 Minutes Of Riyaaz. Basically One Should Never Put A Strain On The Throat To Damage It, But With A Proper Technique One Can Perform Their Riyaaz Irrespective Of The Amount Of Knowledge. Thanks For This Beautiful Article!?

  5. Hello dear
    Actually I was doing riyaz From sharp A since long time n m a female singer so is this effects bad on my voice
    For 15 days I have got some throat problem like rough n cranky voice
    Is the reason is behind behind this ?
    Please Answer my question
    I getting fed up

  6. My wife has lost her voice after an left brain surgery. Is there anyway out to regain her voice with some help or medicines?? I shall be thankful to anyone who helps her out

    1. Hello. My mother in law almost her voice after consuming strong medicine to treat Thydroid. She then turned to a good homeopath in Jalandhar City, Punjab near Maksoodan Chownk. His name is Ravinder Singh.
      With his diagnosis and medication, her voice came back in about 15 days. Now is perfectly fine since last 6 years.

  7. Thank you very much for the article. This is really very helpful. I have a low voice scale but my music teacher was forcing me to sing in a much higher voice, she told me this will raise my voice scale. But after a few days my voice was completely chocked and blood started coming out. I was treated for pharengitis…. Doctor told me leave singing. I stopped singing, left the music school forever. Later after couple of years, I joined another music school, and my new guru, he told me to Know first proper scale and then to culture it. All the things told by you are true and practical as per my experience. Thanks again for the informative article.keep posting.

  8. I am 60 yrs…keen to learn hindustani classical vocal
    Have started swar riyaz in mornings from one of the fb post
    Kindly suggest good online teacher to take forward
    Thank you

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