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How to loosen up your vocal cords before singing

You need to loosen up your vocal cords before giving a singing performance otherwise you will feel a strain that will neither let you touch lower scales nor higher scales. The beauty of your singing performance depends a lot on how relaxed and reverberating your vocal cords are.

Too much practice or loud speaking sometimes stiffen or strain your vocal cords and you need to relax them. When you can relax them you can sing with maturity and express deep emotions through your singing.

Loosening up or relaxing vocal cords before singing

It is preferable that you have a musical keyboard with you, a piano or a harmonium would do. Take some deep breaths and relax yourself. Get rid of all the thoughts that produce tension in your body and mind. Bring a smile on your face and try to laugh at something. The basic idea is to get rid of all the thoughts that may strain your vocal cords.

Once you are feeling relaxed start playing notes on your keyboard and humming them quietly. Don’t go very high and don’t go very low, just the middle notes that you can easily hum. Take 4 notes at a time and start ascending and descending in relaxed successions while maintaining a beat, something like

do re mi fa mi re do

Keep repeating them and make sure the sound is coming either from your chest or your stomach and not from your throat or nose. There must be no strain in your throat. Try to whisper these notes sometimes as if you’re singing them into somebody’s ears. Once you are feeling relaxed start going towards the lower octave like

do si la si do re mi (the lower ones, not the higher ones)

And keep repeating these notes so that you feel more relaxed.

What is the lowest note your vocal cords can manage? Take 1 note higher and try to sing it non-stop for at least 30 seconds. If you cannot manage 30 seconds, sing for as long as you can manage and keep repeating that. This will make you comfortable on that note and loosen up your vocal cords.

Remember that the lower you can go the more relaxed your throat will be and you will feel your vocal cords loosening up. Don’t be in a hurry. This should just take 15-20 minutes. Repeatedly practising lower notes makes it easier for you to reach higher notes automatically but this is not true if you keep practising the higher notes. Higher notes normally strain your vocal cords and may also harm them sometimes because you’re basically stretching them.

Once you are totally comfortable with the lower notes, start moving towards higher notes but move 2 notes at a time. Remember there should be no strain while you move towards the higher scale. There is no hurry, again. If you hurry the strain will come back. Keep singing those notes, 4-3 notes at a time and start moving towards the higher octave.

Eventually you should reach the highest scale your vocal cords can easily accommodate. Descend and ascend, dissend and ascend, and keep doing this without tiring or straining your vocal cords. Remember that you need to loosen them up and not cause them to strain.

Once you have practised these notes start singing first

re re re…

Move towards higher notes and lower notes and keep doing this.

You can do the same ascent and descent with first

ga ga ga…
gi gi gi…

And then

ka ka ka…
ki ki ki…

You can also try

o o o…

Because on the higher notes saying o sound can be a bit difficult sometimes.

By the time you are through with this exercise your vocal cords should be quite relaxed and you should be able to give a stellar performance. Keep in mind that you have to be in good spirits when you are about to sing.