Proper preparation before a recording session can prevent excess fatigue and injury to the vocal cords, as well as mistakes and repeated takes that can prolong a session for many hours. Here are a few tips on preparing your voice for recording.
1. Know your Part
- Memorize the part so well that singing it is second nature. You should be able to sing your entire part a cappella.
- Refrain from extensive practice 2 or 3 days before the session.
2. Get plenty of rest.
- Go to sleep as early as possible and try to get a good night sleep the night before the recording session. Rest rejuvenates your system and gives you energy.
- Sleep in a comfortable position with your head even with your body. A proper sleeping position helps prevent neck or back cramps.
3. Use an air filter in your rehearsal space to prevent dust from getting trapped in your throat and lungs.
- Keep an air filter in your bedroom to ensure that you breathe clean air while sleeping.
4. Don’t smoke or drink, as smoking and drinking are damaging to the lungs and esophagus and may pose long-term health risks to the throat.
- If you are a smoker, minimize the amount of cigarettes you have the day of the recording.
- If you are a drinker, refrain from heavy drinking the night before your recording session.
- Don’t stop smoking suddenly just before a recording session, as doing so may create problems. Excess mucus may accumulate in your throat and nasal passage and may inhibit your ability to sing without a nasally, congested tone.
5. Refrain from talking or yelling.
- Don’t wear out your vocal cords. Talk as little as possible the day before your recording session. If you need to communicate, consider using a portable marker board.
6. Drink warm water and tea.
- Room-temperature water soothes the vocal cords and opens up the esophagus. Ginger tea is particularly beneficial for the throat. Drink as much tea as you like to keep your throat relaxed and ready. Adding honey provides a bit of a coating for your throat.
- Drink plenty of water prior to and throughout your recording session. Don’t drink ice water, as it can tighten the vocal cords.
- Refrain from drinking coffee the day of your recording session. The acidic properties in coffee are dehydrating and may have a negative effect on the throat.
7. Ease into the session with vocal warm-ups.
- Warm up gradually, loosening up the chest muscles, lungs and vocal cords. Find information on vocal warm-ups online or take lessons from a vocal teacher.