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Christine Almuete

How to Protect your Voice when Singing

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Introduction

As singers, it’s important to take preventative measures to not hurt our voice and throat and to protect them in the long run. Having worked with many students and observed many lessons and coachings, I have seen first-hand how easy it is for students of all abilities and skill sets to fall into harmful habits.

Healthy practices for taking care of your voice are often understated and rarely talked about as much as they should be. It’s very important to learn how to take care of your voice in order to sing more easily and naturally, and to avoid long-term damage.

 

Warm up

As with any instrument, warming up is essential and is often taught at the very beginning of instruction. Vocalists, however, should be taking extra care to make sure they are fully warmed up before jumping straight into a practice session or performance.

Warming up is especially important for vocalists because for us, our bodies aren’t just controlling the instruments, our bodies are the instrument. Warming up is perhaps the easiest way to prepare our voice for a productive and safe practice session. It’s a controlled form of singing that doesn’t put stress on the vocal cords.

It’s similar to how an athlete would stretch before completing a workout. Without a proper warm-up, you could pull a muscle or get tendinitis. Singing scales, buzzing your lips, or sliding your voice up and down through your full range are great ways to warm up! If you need extra guidance, YouTube is a great source with tons of helpful videos and examples.

 

Use your diaphragm properly

When singing, it’s important to remember that the power and sound should be originating from your diaphragm. This can feel odd and unnatural at first if you’re not used to it, but believe me when I say that this will be a huge help to you in the long run.

Many singers will try to use their throat instead, which can lead to a hoarse and scratchy voice, and inflamed vocal cords. When your throat tightens in an attempt to create sound, the vocal cords constrict and aren’t conducive to a relaxed airflow.

If you have a hard time singing with your diaphragm consistently, it’s a good idea to focus on that when doing your warmups. After some time, you’ll learn to naturally sing without a constricted throat. You won’t have to make such a conscious effort, and your vocal cords will thank you.

 

Stay hydrated

This is a simple trick that can (and should) be done both in and out of the practice room. I’ve always carried a bottle of water with me—to every lesson, every practice session, every performance, and even in everyday life. Our bodies are made up of over 70% water, and hydration is necessary for every bodily function—especially singing.

Being dehydrated stretches so much further than just a dry mouth. There are so many small parts involved in singing from the lips and tongue all the way down to the diaphragm. All of these parts need to be in prime condition in order for the voice to function at its best, and lacking hydration is a common issue that can cause damage on many levels.

Some signs of dehydration include a scratchy or dry throat, excessive coughing or clearing of the throat, thirst, or a darker colored urine. You may even find that it required more effort to use your voice. The effects of dehydration vary, but they all prevent good and healthy singing. Keep a close eye out for these signs and if they occur, remember to hydrate a little extra.

It’s recommended to drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. Remember that things such as exercise, caffeine, and alcohol can also reduce your bodies fluids. Remember to adjust your water intake accordingly.

 

Avoid singing when you are sick

Sometimes, in cases of performances or important auditions, singing when sick is pretty unavoidable. If you, like I, have had to perform when feeling under the weather, you know how uncomfortable it can be. It really isn’t fun.

Singing when you’re sick is not only uncomfortable, but it can slow down your healing process and make it take longer until you feel better. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, as previously stated, but it’s important to rest your voice when sick whenever possible.

A scratchy or inflamed throat is not conducive to relaxed, natural singing, and can not only damage your vocal cords, but can also lead to the cementing of bad habits. You may find yourself adjusting your carefully-formed healthy and natural singing habits to try and make singing less painful or uncomfortable. This could lead to bad practices in the long-term that would then need to be fixed.

This rule is especially important if you find that singing is painful. Pain is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong, and therefore we need to listen closely. If something doesn’t feel right, stop! Give your vocal cords a rest and try again another time.

Vocal rest involves not singing, minimal talking, and no whispering. Whispering is especially bad for your vocal cords and should be avoided. The less you use your voice, the more quickly it will be able to heal. Vocal rest can vary greatly in length, so do what feels right for you.

Get a good vocal coach or teacher

If you really want to make sure you are forming healthy habits to take care of your voice, it may be best to just hire an expert to help you out. Every singer and every voice is different, and therefore it is difficult to learn everything from a YouTube video or an article online.

A teacher would be able to watch and listen to you sing and point out the things that you are doing well and what things still need work. They also serve as a second pair of ears to make sure that your voice sounds natural and not tense. Finding a good teacher may just be the extra push you need to open up your body to the healthy habits that will help your voice prosper in the long run.

 

Conclusion

If you haven’t already noticed, there are many small things and habits that can be harmful to your voice, and there are many things that you can do to ensure that your voice stays in optimal shape over the course of your singing career. Properly taking care of your voice may not be easy at first, but with time and practice and patience, you’ll find that these “rules” become habits, and those habits will change your singing for the better. Be kind to your voice and your voice will be kind to you!

Rebekah Klemp is a writer for Guitartricks.com and 30Daysinger.com

How to set your diaphragm free

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Your diaphragm is the source of your vocal energy, and therefore you must control it, for healthy and correct vocal performance. if your diaphragm cannot move freely, it can also disrupt your vocal cords function.

It is a large, cap-like muscle, situated between your ribcage and abdominal cavity.

Upon inhaling, your abdomen is contracted, thus lowering and flattening your diaphragm.

This, in turn, pushes your abdominal muscles out, widening the ribcage cavity, milling your lungs with fresh air.

Upon exhaling, you relax your diaphragm, forcing it upwards again, thus drawing your abdominal muscles in and forcing the air of your lungs.

During a vocal performance, the airflow makes your cords vibrate, thus generating a sound.

By moving your abdominal muscles in and out, you can raise and lower your diaphragm, even though it is an involuntary muscle.

When making a sound, you should gradually raise your diaphragm by drawing your abdomen muscles in. This is called vocal support.

The purpose of vocal support is to make sure the diaphragm is contracted and relaxed exactly at the right speed and intensity, and exactly at the right moment.

The reasons for movement imbalances of your diaphragm:

  • General physical fatigue
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Hoarseness
  • Vocal system lesions
  • Incorrect vocal technique
  • Overstraining of the diaphragm
  • Insufficient exercise of the diaphragm

What to do?

In order to make your diaphragm move smoothly, you must press it hard and fast.

Therefore, before any vocal effort, exercise your abdominal muscles in order to activate your diaphragm:

Draw your abdomen in and push it out forcefully, several times, making no sound.

If you have no vocal cords lesions or any vocal issues, hum mildly while moving your abdomen.

Warning!

Never put off the treatment of your vocal issues! They might grow worse due to the strain you put on your vocal cords, especially in the case of lesions or incomplete closure of the vocal cords.

If a problem persists for more than two weeks, treat it immediately!

We, TMRG voice specialists, treat all kinds of vocal issues, and have scored many successes. Our therapy plan offers a variety of solutions, such as:

  • Vocal cords strength and flexibility improvement;
  • vocal cords moisturizing;
  • Shortening the recovery from lesions;
  • Vocal cords better closure, and so on.

We are here for any question.

Avi Pilo TMRG voice specialist

AVOID VOCAL DAMAGE!

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To avoid vocal damage, start your vocal system gradually!

Vocal professionals should only intensify their voices gradually.

 Vocal professionals, namely singers, lecturers, and public speakers,  should only intensify their voices gradually. Otherwise, vocal difficulties are expected. The gradual acceleration of your vocal cords movement is meant to build up your “vocal momentum”, which helps them operate smoothly and safely.  

Therefore, we recommend taking the following precautions

  • Avoid starting your vocal daily routine with shouting, loud speaking, coughing or throat clearing. They are extremely harmful, since they rub your vocal cords against each other, wearing them off. In extreme cases, coughing and strong throat-clearing can cause bleedings, polyps, and even paralysis of your vocal cords. If throat-clearing and coughing is inevitable, make it as gentle as possible. 
  • In the beginning of an intense vocal effort day, always make sure to perform vocal warm-up exercises, in order to build up what professionals call acoustic energy, which will make your voice more intense, smooth and easier to generate.

  Perform the following vocal exercises:

  • First of all, a short general warm-up,  such as jogging and hopping.
  • Then, A short humming, preferably with your nose closed with a nose-clip or your hand, to channel your voice to frontal resonance cavities.
  • Gargling with your mouth filled with water.
  • Short vocal exercises with a TPV device, 3-4 minute long;
    • First, inhale the vapors, to warm up your vocal cords, literally. Then exhale, while making various sounds.    
    • Carry out the vocal exercisers with the water bottle filled up to one-third of capacity, gradually increasing the vocal range and water capacity. If you suffer lesions or vocal fatigue, use only one-third capacity.     

(we will soon inform you about more TPV vocal exercise).

  • Use TMRG Classic Solution and TMRG Classic Spray, to increase the blood supply to your vocal cords , clear your respiratory system from phlegm, acids and bacteria, and coat your cords with a protection layer.   It  also regenerates the vocal cords’ outer layer.

    To conclude:

It is most important start our daily vocal activity little by little, letting your voice warm up, thus gathering vocal momentum.

I am here for any question about your vocal difficulties.

 +97237363065

Talya, a TMRG Voice Specialist

So keep safe-and sound!

Summer Time Vocal Tips: Don’t think that your vocal difficulties will be gone with the wintertime’s violent viruses and microbes!

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In certain parts of the world, summer means heat and dampness, which means your body finds it difficult to keep cool. In other words, during hot days, your body temperature may rise significantly. This may have the following ill-effects:

Don’t think that your vocal difficulties will be gone with the wintertime’s violent viruses and microbes!
  • Dehydration and loss of minerals vital for your nervous and muscular systems, including your vocal cords.
  • Impairment of your heart functioning, which means a decrease of blood supply to vocal cords in particular and your muscles in general.
  • Decrease in available energy amounts.
  • Decrease in oxygen intake and impaired airflow control.

Attention: in the summertime, your appetite decreases, which may result in weight loss, which, in turn, may increase dehydration and vital minerals loss.   

These effects combined may decrease your vocal abilities and increase the vocal effort required.

What to do?

 Well, your body can adapt to extreme conditions, but you must help it, the following way:

Adjust your diet:    

  • Drink a lot of water: at least 2 liters a day, preferably cold, (at a temperature of 4-degree centigrade), for quicker absorption by the stomach. Before any intense vocal activity, drink between 2 and 3 cups of water. Carefully make sure to drink regularly throughout the day. 
  • Eat citruses, tomatoes, and bananas, to compensate for the minerals loss.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables rich in water.
  • Eat salty food for supper, to compensate for the minerals lost through urination (due to intense drinking). On extremely hot days, lick salt, to prevent dehydration.

Avoid the following:

  • sweetened soft drinks, since the extra sugar will decrease your stomach’s water absorption capacity and hinder the natural cooling of your body.
  • Drinks containing caffeine and alcohol, since they stimulate urination and dehydration.
  • “heavy foods”, that is, foods that you know they make you feel “heavy”.

In extremely hot days, cool yourself in several ways, such as:

  • When outdoors, if you feel dehydrated, place a towel cooled in a refrigerator on your head.
  • On extremely hot days, try to stay in climate-controlled places, and avoid intense exercises, to save energy. Note: a climate control system’s air can dry up your throat, so make sure to keep a window open. If you feel too cold, wear additional clothes.
  • Dip yourself in cold water, or wash with cold water at when you finish taking a shower.
  • Our weekly tip: to refresh your throat on hot summer days, use TMRG Voice Saline Oil Spray. For vocal professionals, TMRG Classic Spray is better, since it improves vocal quality. 

Most importantly, keep performing your vocal exercises, even in hot days, at least a few minutes a day!

For any questions regarding your vocal performance, just email us. 

So keep safe and sound!

Talya TMRG voice specialist.

3 Amazingly Simple Exercises That Will Get Your Voice Ready For a Performance or Combat Hoarseness

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Introduction

Back of the neck, throat, jaws and facial muscle tension are symptoms of hoarseness or vocal difficulties. In these cases, these muscles cannot contract or relax as smoothly as required. In other words, muscle contraction feels either too weak or too strong.

What to do?

You can solve this problem with three easy exercises (we recommend watching the attached video):  

  1. Gargle the water while making ascending and descending tones. Drinking a sufficient amount of water, is important for several reasons:
    1. It keeps your vocal cords, and your body in general, moistened.
    2. It improves the body’s electric conduciveness, thus improving the communication between your brain and muscles, and your vocal muscles in particular.
  2. Yawning exercises: yawn several times, fully and in a row. The benefits of yawning for your vocal performance are:
    1. Release of the jaw joint muscles
    2. Release of facial, tongue and oral muscles, as well as other voice box muscles.
  1. Neck muscle release exercise: rotate your neck and head very slowly and gently, while pronouncing separate letters or whole words. This exercise is especially important, since the neck muscle is the first to be affected by tension.   

So keep safe-and sound!

Talya

A TMRG Voice Specialist

HOW TO CURE COUGHING: One of the greatest threats to your vocal performance

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Introduction

An intense cough, or a sequence of serious coughs, may have many harmful effects on your vocal cords, from mild hoarseness to worse damages such as lesions, bleeding, etc.

 

The causes of coughing

Coughing is a physical natural reaction to the entry of waste or foreign particles to the system, aimed at preventing suffocation.

But, once you use coughing to clear your throat from obstructions, or excessive phlegm and acids from your breathing system, it can be harmful. In such a case, instead of solving the problem, coughing may cause ongoing vocal cords damage.

In such a case, coughing provokes coughing, which, in turn, generates inflammation.

 

How to deal with persistent coughing:

 

  • Buy flax seeds in a naturopathic pharmacy or even in a supermarket, boil one spoonful in two cups of water, let it cool down,  filter and drink it. This should soften and relax your throat.

 

  • Use TMRG Voice Powder, to remove excessive phlegm and acidity, and soften the coughing. This powder is also a general solution for hoarseness, vocal cords warts, and vocal cords wear-off problems.   

 

 

So keep safe-and sound!

Talya, a TMRG voice specialist

Disinfection and relaxation: The Best Cure for Wintertime Vocal Issues

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Introduction:

Wintertime conditions inevitably create vocal discomfort, sore throat, and pains following a vocal performance. These, in turn, cause hoarseness, vocal cords lesions, such as warts, edemas and polyps.

 

You can easily treat and even prevent all these problems.

 

What to do?

First, have a vocal rest and drink a lot of water all day long.

In addition, carefully avoid, or at least minimize coughing and throat clearing, the inevitable effects of wintertime sicknesses and vocal discomforts, in order to avoid wearing off and seriously damaging your cords.

If this doesn’t help, you can use a combination of relaxation of vocal muscles, with herbal medicine and inhalation.

 

This is where TMRG Voice therapy kit (TVT) steps in:

  • Our synergy oil and herbal medicine solutions offer an immediate relief, clearing your throat from inflammations, excessive acidity and phlegm, and shorten the mucous tissues or cords recovery from damage or wear-off
  • Exercising with TPV device offers a combined effect of vocal cords stretching and vapor inhalations, which relieves your vocal cords strain, as well as disinfecting and moisturizing your throat. All it takes is just a few-seconds exercise combined with a short inhalation.

 

 

What to do?

You should perform exercise and inhalation with the TPV, alternately, each for a few seconds at a time.

The exercise must follow the inhalation, which moisturizes the throat and relax your vocal muscles.

Then, you should exercise your vocal muscles, to stretch and contract them, in order to prepare them for normal functioning.

 

The combined effect will be enhanced flexibility and strength of your  

This treatment offers both an immediate relief as well as dealing with the cause of the problem and a long-term improvement. Most importantly, you can always use it whenever necessary.

Carefully remember to combine exercises and solutions.

For more information, visit our site,

 TMRG Voice Specialist Keep safe-and sound!

 

A Few Minutes of Yawning Can Release All Your Muscles!

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Introduction

Your jaw joint-the connection between your upper and lower jaw, (under your ears), is the location of more nerves than all other joints. Therefore, a few minutes of yawning exercise can release many voice muscles, such as facial, lips, and jaw muscles, and positively affect your larynx muscles. Surprisingly, it can also release muscles all over your body.

 

The benefits of a simple yawning exercise:

  • A smoother vocal performance, due to the release of the jaw and facial muscles
  • An increased mouth aperture, which, in turn, positively affect the pronunciation of spoken and sung words, due to increase capability of vertical, horizontal and circular jaw movement.
  • Minimizing the chances of hoarseness and other ill effects of excessive tension in the chewing muscles.
  • An easier closure of the vocal cords, increased capability of generating high tones, and of using front cavity resonance, due to the lowering of the voice box.
  • The release of calming hormones and intensified oxidation, which positively affects the entire body.

 

What to do?

 

Perform the following exercise between 3 seconds and a few minutes at a time:

 

  • Open your mouth wide, and start yawning.

 

  • Keep yawning, while slowly massaging your jaw area.
  • Inhale through your mouth, and then exhale and close your jaws.
  • While yawning, let out sigh-like sounds, which are generated spontaneously while yawning.

 

 

 

For maximum muscle relaxation, we recommend yawning slowly, opening your mouth wide and taking deep breaths.

   

So keep safe-and sound!

Talya

A TMRG Voice Specialist