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How to improve your voice

Posted by: Ibrahim Badshah

A “Good” Voice is one of the azeem nemat of Allah(TA). This is true and is a fact, but there is hope for everyone else too. In fact not only a “good” voice, but voice itself is an azeem nemat of Allah(TA). Allah(TA) has given everybody the potential to “sound good”. Every body can train their voices, and this too is a proven fact.

Nobody is a "born" narrator, a singer or a voice artiste; yes he/she may have a sweet, melodious voice by birth but still his/her voice needs to be trained enough to modulate, and resonate, and to be able to perform professionally.

I would like to share with you some tips on how to improve your voice, so that you are able to understand and discover your base, rhythmic voice and have some control over your throat to produce variation and modulation in your voice as and when necessary.

However, to be a good Zaker–e-Husain, you need to modulate your voice according to the mood of the script. This is the first requirement of being a professional voice artiste.

Looking in to some basic tips to improve our voice:

1. Every morning one must have the habit of doing "Riyaaz". You can start with thinking of the lowest note (pitch) of your voice, or for reasons of clarity I will say think of the "sa" or "do" of your voice as specialists tend to name it.

After this take a deep breath and start reciting your "sa" or "do" in your base voice till your breath comes to an end. Keep in mind you have to inhale fully and should go on producing your "sa" voice till the end of your breath in a continuous pitch without any breaks, variation or modulation. Your voice should be constant. This will not only help you in having good base voice but also increase your voice stamina. Please note that you need not say "sa" or "do" or anything like that while practicing. In fact you can have your own “sound triggers” that remind you of a particular pitch desired or targeted. "Sa" and"Do" are just indicators of a particular pitch. You can design your own triggers that remind you of these pitches. These can be anything from "aa" "ba" "ca", or anything like that. The important this is that every time you thing of that trigger it should remind you with, and help you recall the exact same pitch time and again.

2. If your target is to be the Main/Lead Voice, you should practice everyday at least two "scripts" with proper diction, pronunciation, modulation (as & when). If you do not have the stamina, you may lose your voice in a lengthy script. Your voice may sound bold, enthusiastic, and fresh in maybe the first quarter of the script. Until you have reached the third and maybe last quarter your voice has grown tired and has become “low” in the end. What you need is stamina in your voice. One should work hard on the stamina of his voice to remain constant till the very end.

3. You can record your voice everyday and listen to it. In fact listening to your voice may be one of the best practices for improving yourself. As you can judge and improve so well by listening to how you sound. Inshaallah taala by this practice, everyday you will notice some improvement.

4. Yoga can also play a very important role in keeping our throat & voice healthy.

5. One should feel good about his voice. If this is the case, he will always strive to make it better. He likes his voice so much that he would love to "like it more" if it were "better". One of a prestigious voice artiste I know once told me his secret. I would like to share it with all of you. He told me that as "qurra" practice by reciting the word 'ALLAH' (TA) in an earthen pot or a 'mutka', a zakir e husain can also practice his scripts similarly in a “matka”, before appearing for an audition or recitation in a majlis.

6. Stay away from aerated drinks as much as you can; stay away from very cold drinks, chocolates, pickles, chilies and anything very sour. Even if you might have to eat them occasionally, do try to clear your throat with gargling with plain water. I hope all of you brush your teeth before sleeping. Try to gargle your throat by simple Ayurvedic Gargle Concentrate, diluted in warm water before going to bed everyday. This would minimize any chances for infection while you are in your sleep.

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