How to Improve Your Voice… FAST!

If you’re anything like me… you know what it’s like—we want our voice to sound better… NOW! I want to hit that higher note, sing that challenging song, have better tone, not have such a tired voice on Sundays… whatever it is. I want it… Right. Now.

Yes, vocal training takes time. Mastering your vocal instrument takes time, patience and diligence. There’s no way around that.

But… there are things we can do to improve our voice… FAST. If you want to whip your voice into shape for worship team, a special solo performance you’re doing, an upcoming audition, etc.—it’s gonna take some commitment from you, but you CAN see results quickly, if you do the right things.

Specifically, these 10 things I’m going to share with you.

And I’m not gonna beat around the bush. You need to do ALL of them. There are no shortcuts. You don’t need to be perfect in every area, but if you really, actually, sincerely want your voice to improve quickly, you need to make changes in EVERY area.

1. Exercise your voice.

3-5 times/week. Minimum 15 minutes/day. If you’re going through the “Discover Your Voice” or “Master Your Voice” course, do the workout that corresponds with the lesson you’re on, or, choose from one of these vocal workouts. It’s proven—the voice responds to vocal exercise. Increased range, stamina, better tone… it’ll happen!

2. Warm up before you sing.

Not sometimes. Every time. Singing a song is not warming up. Chasing your kids on Sunday morning is not warming up. The voice is a powerful instrument, but it’s also fragile and prone to damage. A good, strategic warm up will not only protect your voice from damage (so important!), but it will also give you better tone, range and stamina (who doesn’t want that?!)!

Many of the Worship Vocalist course workouts have warmups built-in, so make sure you don’t skip those first few tracks—and I encourage you to add this great morning warmup to your Sunday (or any other day!) routine if you haven’t already! (Not a subscriber yet? I made a free one for you here…)

3. Work out.

3-5 times/week. Minimum 15 minutes/day. Cardio, weight training, whatever you want. Exercise has an incredible impact on your body and your voice—it’ll warm up faster and perform better… not to mention you’ll just feel better all-around!

4. Get lots of sleep.

7-8 hrs/night (minimum). This is an area that most of us don’t do well in… but research shows it’s ridiculously important for our health. Most of us are capable of being in bed for 8 hours, we just choose not to!

5. Keep your voice hydrated.

8×8 oz water/day (minimum). Keep your body hydrated! If you feel dry, it’s already too late… so you’ve gotta keep constant hydration going. Chug that water—and add some electrolytes as often as you can (a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and fresh organic lemon juice are my go-to’s!)—these minerals are so important for the body and will help keep you hydrated!

6. Eat healthy.

Eat good stuff. This one can be a super subjective… and nuanced topic. The bottom line is: we’ve gotta pay attention to what we’re fuelling our body with. Your voice is a whole body instrument… and food is what fuels your body. So pay attention to your fuel! Digestion has a massive, massive impact on your voice… so this area is way more important than most people think. You don’t have to overhaul your entire diet (although I do recommend it!), but please… make smarter choices than perhaps you normally do. Less dairy. Less gluten. Less sugar. Less fried foods. Less processed foods. Less coffee. Try consuming 1/2 as much (or less) of them as you normally do. Even better would be cutting some out completely.

And definitely, for the day or two before you sing on worship team, fuel your body with ONLY good things. Veggies. Fruits. Whole grains. Organic. I promise—you will feel better and you will SING better. (Or, you can go ALL OUT—I’ve recently done a massive overhaul to my diet… I’ve gone completely whole foods, plant-based. No flour, dairy, sugar, animal products, or processed foods. There is no “cheat day”. Moderation does not work for me—but that’s me… I’ve dealt with unhealthy food addictions my whole life. And honestly, for the first time in 20 years, I feel FREEDOM in that area of my life. I’m eating to live, not living to eat.)

7. Don’t eat late at night.

No eating within 2 hours of going to bed. Just don’t do it. Late-night snacks cause reflux when you lie down in bed (it’s often “silent reflux”, so you don’t even necessarily feel it, but it’s terrible for the voice… essentially bathing the vocal cords in acid!). Not to mention, usually those late-night snacks are not the healthiest ones!

8. Reduce stress.

Chronic stress leads nowhere good. Work less. Play more. Invest in healthy relationships. Cut out toxic ones. More sunshine. More good books. More great music. Stress is a voice-killer. Reducing stress in your life will result in dramatic changes to your voice.

9. Seek help and feedback.

It’s difficult to journey alone, and it’s difficult to be the “judge” of our own voice. So don’t! The “best of the best” in the world still have coaches—it’s not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of strength! If you serve on a worship team, ask your leaders for feedback on your voice and areas where you could improve. If you have vocal questions, post them on the site so I can answer them. Join the next small group class on Facebook, where I take you through one of my vocal courses and give you feedback on your vocal exercises so you know you’re on the right track, or submit a recording of yourself singing a song to get my detailed feedback and analysis of your strengths and areas for improvement.

10. Give it to God.

He’s your coach. He wants to help. He cares about the details of your life and He cares about your voice. James 1:5: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you.” Wow, what a promise!

So… there you go! 10 things you can do to sound better… sooner!

There’s no need to aim for perfection in every area. Don’t kick yourself if you don’t accomplish all these things every day. We’re aiming for better, healthier habits—and we need to do it in a way that doesn’t cause the stress we’re actually trying to eliminate! But I challenge you: make some changes and commit to them for 21 days. Yes, 3 weeks. You can do it! It’s not too long to feel overwhelming, but it’s long enough to be able to see results.

Remember—vocal discovery and mastery is a marathon, not a sprint… but time and time again, I’ve seen in my students’ voices and in my own voice… that perseverance, diligence and patience truly do get you where you want to go. And even though it may be many months before you get to “that” place (we all have some crazy ideals of what we want for our voice… which usually are possible, but they DO take time!)… if you can make positive changes in these 10 areas… build better habits, increase your awareness of your body and your health—you can and will notice significant, dramatic results in your voice… even in a short amount of time!

Who’s with me?! Do you want to see FAST improvement? What changes are you committed to making?

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Responses

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    1. Love your thoughts here Charmaine. It isn’t all about having the best technique and just sounding perfect on stage. It’s also about being wise and taking care of our bodies and minds and being diligent with our vocal workouts etc. When everything is in balance and “good” that’s when God’s glory is displayed through us. Love it!!!!

    2. 2 or 3 weeks of vocal exercises alone made a huge difference for me which is such a great motivator to keep going! Making better food choices has helped more than I like to admit. This girl loves cheese… Next one I am going to work on is the physical exercise!

    3. These are great tips and I need to put them into practice. I hate coffee so I don’t drink it but I drink a healthier alternative but I have noticed that caffeine and dairy affect my voice when I sing. So I do not eat or drink those things before I sing at all anymore. I have been cutting out and avoiding a lot of the other stuff you mentioned as well. Water is a big one for me. I do good for a couple of days and than do not so well for a couple of days. I usually get back on but have not gotten that consistency daily yet. I am a nursing mom though so I notice I want/crave water a lot more for obvious reasons so I have been trying to be more intentional.

      All these tips are so good and I will start applying them all! Thank you!

    4. I love lemon water. Do you suggest drinking it before singing, or is it a better thing to add on days I am not singing. I know it’s healthy for your body & hydration, I just wondered if the acidic nature does anything that you know of to the vocal cords?

      1. From what I understand, lemon is acidic, yes, but once digested/metabolized it is actually very alkalizing for the body—so it’s fine for your voice before you’re singing as well as on other days. But certain foods are a trigger for some people, so you really just have to listen to your body—if you drink lemon water and find your throat feels WORSE, don’t do it… if it feels better, do it!

    5. Getting lots of sleep is definitely a hard one for me! I’m known for being able to live on 5 hours or less of sleep. It’s hard when you want to accomplish so much, you feel like that day flies by and most of my quiet time is at night. But I also want to improve my voice and I will have to be better at this.
      I didn’t know that eating before bed was so bad for your voice – I’m definitely going to work on this one.
      Thank you for these 10 things!

      1. Aw girl—the thing is, we THINK we can live off of that little sleep, but actually, our body is usually breaking down on the inside because of it, and it shows up in health issues later. I would highly recommend that you start getting more!

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