Does alcohol improve your voice?

There are many excuses for a singer to drink alcohol. Ever heard any of these?

“I’m just warming up my voice.”

“It’s just to calm down a bit.”

“I feel nervous, so I drink.”

“I’ve been playing in Irish pubs for years, this does nothing to me.”

“I’ve got a cold. This hot whiskey helps me get better.”

“Of course I drink. It helps to get that blues voice.”

While first these explanations (kind of) seem to make sense, there are many good reasons a singer shouldn’t drink too much alcohol, especially before a performance.

  1. Actually, the muscles of your throat will constrict with the consumption of alcohol. In order to hit the high and the low notes you’ll need your full vocal range, though, and keep those muscles relaxed and smooth. Unless you’re a professional, drinking a bit is okay, but if you drink too much you’ll damage your vocal cords sooner or later (besides the fact that of course your entire body will react to alcohol at one point).Does alcohol improve your voice? 
  2. Also, alcohol will dry you out faster, which means that during a performance you can easily dehydrate. While this might not seem to be an issue during an Open Mic performance that lasts 10 Minutes, it will be noticed if you’re on stage for a longer time.
  3. Plus, alcohol will actually slow you down. You may not notice, but you might activate your vocal muscles too late or too early due to a lack of coordination.

Of course, often it is simply fun to drink, especially if you’re having a good time with friends in a pub. Just remember to warm up your voice before the performance and if still keep drinking alcohol don’t forget to also drink lots of water.

If you noticed any good or bad changes in your voice due to drinking alcohol, tell us your story in the comments below! If you like to participate at one of our great Open Mic Night, you can contact us here.

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