Now, how to sing like Adele? That powerful, full of depth, and beautiful voice of superstar Adele? Or maybe hit a C8 like Mariah Carey or Adam Lopez? Or dream of being like the sopranos singers, Maria Callas and Luciano Pavarotti?
These singers have marvellous vocal range and pitch, winning multiple grand awards universally. However, every singer is exposed to the dangers of vocal cord damage due to the wrong singing techniques or pushing themselves to a vocal beyond their capabilities. Voice coach Marianna Brilla explained what vocal cord damage is; “It’s a motor problem. The singer has to understand the way you’re running your engine (singing technique). If you don’t fix the engine, it’s going to happen again.”
The vocal cords are composed of twin infoldings of mucous membrane stretched horizontally, from back to front, across the larynx. They vibrate, modulating the flow of air being expelled from the lungs during phonation. The vocal cords open when we breathe and close up when we speak.
There are several diseases that can infect your vocal cord if not properly taken care of. One of the illnesses is vocal cord lesions. Vocal cord lesions are benign growths that include nodules, polyps, and cysts. All of these can cause hoarseness and are typically associated with vocal overuse or vocal cord trauma. Vocal cord nodules, also known as singer’s nodes, are repetitive overuse or misuse of the voice. These callous-like growths develop in the midpoint of the vocal folds.
Another common illness faced by singers is laryngitis, inflammation in your voice box or vocal cords, due to overuse, irritation or infection. Once your larynx or voice box becomes swollen, your voice will be hoarse, or worse, it will be hard for you to talk. This is very likely to happen to singers who have just had their live concerts. Due to singing for an extended period of time, their larynx gets inflamed. Laryngitis can be acute (short-term), lasting less than three weeks, or chronic (long-term), lasting more than three weeks.
Most of the time, singers and bands, especially those who are into rock music or often push their vocals to be loud, are subjected to strenuous vocal tasks, which could lead to vocal cord haemorrhage. What happens is, a blood vessel on the vocal cord may rupture. Singers who suffer from vocal cord haemorrhage are advised to rest their voices completely. They have to take a rest until they are fully recovered.
It is every singer’s worst nightmare if they ever get any sickness that will affect their vocal cord. Hence, it is important for singers to take serious care of their cord by finding the right singing technique and not pushing their voice too much. Apart from knowing the right singing technique for your voice, it is also important for you to have a vocal care routine for your voice.
One of the many ways to care for your vocals is through natural remedies by using essential oils.
8 Essential Oils to Sing Better
Peppermint oil is one of the most versatile essential oils out there. It can be used aromatically or topically to address a number of health concerns. For singers, peppermint promotes healthy respiratory function and clear breathing, so you can hold your breath for a longer vocal range, just like Celine Dion in her song, All By Myself. *wink*
Looking for an essential oil that you can use for yourself, the crowd and music equipment? Introducing: Lemon essential oil. Lemon essential oil is one of the most popular citrus oil due to its versatility and powerful antioxidant properties. Just like peppermint, lemon essential oil supports healthy respiratory function and can soothe an irritated throat, as well as warding off free radicals.
Apart from helping with your health, you can also use lemon essential oil to put you in a positive mood. When you are feeling good with a happy vibe, you can easily rouse the crowd from the stage! Moreover, you can use lemon essential oil to clean your beloved microphone by disinfecting it from bacteria from the antibacterial properties of lemon essential oil.
Have you ever been in a situation where it gets hard for you to sing because you keep choking up on the mucous congested in your nose and throat? Well, worry no more. By using eucalyptus essential oil, you can get rid of sticky substances, reduce mucus and soothes your sore throat, subsequently improve your respiratory to sing without a glitch anymore!
Frankincense essential oil has always been a favourite in the essential oil world and has the potential to help with cancer tumours (yes, it is believed to have cancer-fighting benefits. Frankincense essential oil has an anti-inflammatory property that can help patients with laryngitis, inflammation in their vocal cords. This Boswellia tree miracle can also help to clear your lungs and improve your breathing, so you can hit higher notes with a stronger voice!
Clammy hands, cold sweat, tense shoulders, butterflies in the stomach, with heart-pounding so hard that it will leap out of your chest? These are the stage fright symptoms that you might experience before going on stage. Fret not! Lavender essential oil is the way to go. The benefits of this flower have been discovered 2,500 years ago and since then has been used in many things such as mummification, purifying the air and anti-depressants.
Diffusing or sniffing lavender essential oil before going on stage may help you to relax and calm your mind, as well as ease your muscles so you won’t look too stiff during your performance. Sometimes, it gets hard to sleep at night especially when you are anxious for your performance the next day. Don’t forget to diffuse a bit of lavender essential oil for a good night sleep before your big day!
6. Jasmine essential oil
What is your favourite flower? Mine is jasmine. Why? Because it has a natural aphrodisiac quality that, – okay, no, sorry! Jasmine essential oil not only helps patients with laryngitis and soothes coughs or hoarse voices, but this ‘Queen of the Night’ flower is also capable of soothing your nerves whenever you are feeling anxious and help you gain confidence.
Pull this baby out of your bag and take a quick sniff to conquer your stage fright and giving yourself a boost of confidence to put up a performance of a lifetime.
Think you can only have chamomile in your tea? Darling, the little white flower can be used in more things than just tea. Chamomile essential oil is known for its anti-depressants and is highly recommended by psychiatrists from all over the world for this particular property.
Besides helping you to fight anxiety and depression, chamomile essential oil can also help with throat infections. Hence, while you are sipping on your warm cup of chamomile tea, rub a few drops of blended chamomile essential oil diluted with a carrier oil, on your throat, for that extra throat and vocal care.
Do you have a throat infection or tonsillitis? Just days before your big performance? The horror! *scream
Calm down, all will be all right. Tea tree essential oil will be here to save your day! Tea Tree is well-known for its powerful antiseptic property and ability to treat wounds, which is why it is one of the top antibacterial essential oil.
It has been documented in numerous medical studies for its ability to kill various strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi. To cure dreadful tonsillitis with natural remedies, just blend a few drops of tea tree essential oil into your chosen carrier oil and rub it on your throat twice a day. Say bye-bye to tonsillitis in no time!
So, love, if you ever want to sing like Adele, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson or Luciano Pavarotti, use the handy tips that we have shared above to sing like your favourite superstar singers and unleash your singing potential!
Using essential oils as natural remedies for your voice care routine is something you can commit to maintaining good and healthy vocal cords. Combining the use of essential oils in taking care of your vocal card and knowing the right techniques to sing better go hand in hand.
On that note, I hope you will have a fabulous karaoke singing session with your besties and perhaps, stage a singing performance of your own someday. Here’s to your singing dream and good luck!
From a singer to another, Wani