Time for a refresh- so in the last Singing Myth article , we clarified that; you don’t just sing from your diaphragm, you should give kids singing lessons, you shouldn’t eat dairy before singing, you should whisper properly (or not at all) and use Vocalzone! So here we will elaborate on another 5 singing ‘myths’ to help you on the road to singing success.
Myth: You shouldn’t drink caffeine before singing.
Fact: This singing myth is in fact correct. We all love a morning coffee as a pick me up, or just a nice beverage throughout the day to keep you alert. It is commonly thought that caffeine acts as a boost for not only your body, but your throat as well. It can give you more authority and projection vocally- but this is as far as the benefits go for singers. Caffeine can also act as a painkiller that masks the strain in your voice, but this can cause a swollen and potentially damaged throat over time. Masking the pain does not help at all, instead it can lead you to feel further damage and pain once the caffeine effect wears off. Imagine you have your hand on a scorching hot iron, but you can’t feel it and just keep it rested there- you can’t feel the pain now, but boy will you later…
Obviously one cup of joe in the morning is not all bad, just like having anything in moderation really. But excess caffeine will dry out the throat and that isn’t really ideal once you have the mic in front of you. So if you do give in to your caffeine cravings, try and follow it up with a more soothing drink such as water or fruit juice.
Myth: You can break a glass with just your voice.
Fact: This singing myth is as impressive as it is true. This is a very commonly believed singing myth, but not a lot of people have actually seen it in action. Wine glasses are usually broken once we’ve had one too many glasses of Merlot, but once a deafening pitch of roughly 550 Hertz is reached, a glass is very capable of shattering. Even the slightest scratch or chink on a glass can weaken it significantly- so if you’re practising this trick to impress your friends, pick a weakened instrument! Oh, and wear goggles.
Myth: Singing is just a form of entertainment.
Fact: Although singing IS one of the best forms of entertainment, it can’t be simply labelled this because of a singing myth. The classification of singing is very subjective and down to interpretation, but it is viewed by many as a sport. Three of the characteristics of a sport include; an activity that involves physical exertion and skill to entertain an audience and competing against others. Now, I’m sure all of you singers will agree that singing is not an easy task- the strain you put on your voice and the stamina you need to persist through a long performance is key to a good career. You can in fact burn up to 400 calories during a singing lesson, allowing your coach to turn your body into a vocal machine- surely this takes more physical effort than a sport such as darts or snooker? Either way, when anybody next asks what sports you compete in, you can now tell them that you’re a full blown singing athlete!
Myth: Having a swig of alcohol during a gig will help soothe the throat and assist with your singing.
Fact: As much as we all wish this singing myth was true, it is in fact, false. Alcohol has high potential to dry out a performer’s voice by irritating the mucous membranes that line the throat. This can lead to the incapability of hitting those high notes and can prevent your voice from getting the most out of it’s vocal range.
Even excess alcohol after a gig will give you an inevitable hangover that can have negative effects on the throat for numerous days afterwards- so try to go easy on the celebrations after the show. Now, we’re not expecting you to never have another pint ever again, but it’s best to be careful around performance times and not drink too excessively. You may be used to your favourite music stars consuming all sorts before, during and after a gig, but it’s scary to think you could create lasting damage to your voice all because you didn’t know when to stop getting the rounds in.
Myth: Consuming honey is good for your voice.
Fact: Ah, an enjoyable and true singing ‘myth’! Eating/drinking honey (or products containing honey) helps to soothe and relax your voice after putting excess stress on it. Egyptian physicians would actually use honey as a key contributor to good health and the ancient Greeks would use the liquid in a very similar way- in the aim of promoting virility and longevity. Most singers opt for a mixture of herbal tea or boiling water to mix with the gooey goodness- and some artists have been known to drink it straight from the bottle! But if you’re going to do this, it’s probably for the best that you don’t tell your dentist.