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Voice Culture and tips to practise music

9:49 PM Posted by Vijayasri

There is a common saying among singers - 'The voice I speak with and the voice I sing with are different'. Here comes to picture, the term "Voice Culture".

Human Voice is unique and different.'Voice Culture' is nothing but the technique of bringing the voice under control is termed to as "voice culture". This requires a good breath control and the flexibility of speech organs which ofcourse is fulfilled by focussed mind.

Every voice has to be trained and strengthened in its own way. Each voice will have its individual traits and limitations. The voice culture must take care to reduce the limitations and enhance the voice.

Tips to practise music :

• Generally, the first advice we hear from our ancestors who were experts in carnatic music is we have to practise early morning.
But the truth is DO NOT start the practice immediately as you wake up. Give sufficient time to your voice to stabilize. Gargle with warm water. Talk to people. Get your tongue to movement and moist your throat before you start the first practice for the day.

• DO NOT practice in very high pitch (Shruthi) when the sun is right on the head (that's between 12 and 4) in the afternoon. If your pitch is five and half, better to practice in five (say half a pitch lower than yours), at this time of the day. This would avoid ware and tear.

• Learn to modulate your voice. DO NOT sing with the max voice beyond upper sthayi rishabhan. Soften the voice to reduce the stress on the vocal chord. This doesn't mean you bring in false voice. Using false voice would help in effortless singing, but that would not leave the audience with the feel of divine music. Know the difference between singing with open voice and singing loudly. And the difference between singing with a false voice and singing softly.

• Proper physical posture is required during your sadhakam (practice exercise). Certain voice types would get strained with 2-3 hours of practice but some people can go upto 5-6 hours in one stretch. It is important that you understand the nature of your voice and its limitations. One should know his/her own capacity to practice and NOT overdo! If the posture and the singing technique followed are correct, at the end of the practice session, the abdominal muscles should get strained and not the voice chords. This could be a self check. (Nabhi hruth khanta rasana-Origin of voice is from the abdomen)

• Diet plays an important role in maintaining the voice health. Drinking warm water helps; hot tea, Clove in honey, ginger kashayam,pepper milk, a cup of milk with turmeric or panam kalkandu do wonders to soften the voice and clear the throat. If you have a sensitive throat, avoid drinking cold water and eating chill foods like icecreams.

* Many of the singers say it's good to talk softly and sometimes even limit the talking/screaming to avoid straining your throat.

More than everything, committed and focussed mind plays a very important role for any kind of success.


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