If you sing, whether in a rock band or choir, on stage or in the shower, you should understand how to maintain the health of your singing voice. After all, your performance can be made or broken by the condition of your voice. Fortunately, maintaining vocal health for singers isn’t too difficult. You can sing your heart out with a little common sense and insider information on vocal-health tips. Your vocal chords serve as your instrument when singing. You wouldn’t use a cello to paddle a canoe or a flute to hit a golf ball. Similarly, you must never misuse your voice. You can use your entire vocal range and create a full, pure, tuneful sound if your vocal cords are healthy. Your vocal health should be your top priority if you want to pursue a career as a singer, even if you are more like Iron Maiden than Iolanthe. Two triangular bands of tissue at the top of your windpipe are called vocal cords or vocal folds. When you speak or sing, they close, pulling tighter for higher notes and remaining loose for lower notes. They are open when you are breathing. Your vocal cords should be soft, smooth, flexible, and uninflamed. Your voice may be harmed by allergies, smoke (both cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke), tension, overuse, and abuse (such as screaming). Any note you sing will sound rougher and more breathy if you have inflamed or irritated vocal cords, which will prevent you from hitting the higher notes in your range. It’s fine if you prefer a breathy sound; however, you should choose that. You’ll be able to sing in any genre as long as your voice is adaptable and strong.