Sore Throat/Cough When You Have to Sing?

Discussion in 'Vocals' started by rbf738, Jan 15, 2011.

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  1. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Hey a bit off topic because I actually have a show tonight as opposed to having to record anything (tho I think we're recording the sound board audio), but the idea is still the same. I was getting over a cold but think I regressed a bit or just hit another stage and now I have a sore throat, I'm coughing, and i'm very much congested and looking for what kind of remedies you all would suggest in terms of medicine or what not so that I can sing as best as I can tonight?

    I've heard water is the best expectorant for loosening mucus so maybe I should just focus on that rather than attempt to sing hopped up on this or that. I'm not sure, thoughts?
  2. boxcar

    boxcar Active Member

    Jan 14, 2010
    Okanagan,B.C. Canada
    Fisherman's friend lozengers work great between sets but they taste awfull.
    Throat sprays freeze you temporarily but hurts more later.

    When i used to sing 6 nights a week in cover bands(50 or so songs a night), my throat would get so it would just start slipping. For that,you eat one big raw garlic clove before bed and the next day, all is well again,but your breath really stinks that whole day so it has to be a day
  3. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Mar 20, 2008
    currently Billings
    The best thing you can do long term for your voice is to take some vocal lessons from an opera singer. Really. There are ways to sing that are less destructive than others. Additionally, gargle with salt water and use a saline nose spray to combat any post nasal drip which either caused or aggravated your throat.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    1. Start drinking water NOW! Hydrate as much as possible. Water during the performance does not do much good.

    2. Throat coat. Our grocery store carries it. Helpful, but no miracle cure.

    3. Penny Nichols has an exercise called "the witch sound" that really opens things up without tearing up your vocal chords. I can't really describe it to you well, but it's sort of like a cross between a witches cackle and the sound the the Penguin made on the old Batman TV series.
  5. rbf738

    rbf738 Active Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    Thanks for the tips everyone, I'll def. book mark this and try some of this stuff out. I've been drinking water non stop today if nothing else so hopefully I'll be in decent shape tonight.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:

    Most illness (sore throats) including body aches is related to dehydration, incorrect sodium levels and too much sugar (no sugar is the key to healthy living). A healthy body is approx 75% clean water, our filtration system and organs work better if you keep it flowing.

    Most people do not come close to the healthy amount of water needed daily so they catch all sorts of things going around. The older you get, the less water you drink, the more stagnant the swamp becomes.

    water water water
  7. JohnTodd

    JohnTodd Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2010
    Standing right behind you!
    Anything with caffeine can cause water loss. Avoid soda/coffee/tea when performing. Maybe fine beforehand, but you'll have to pee a lot, so allow time for that so you don't have to pee during a show.

    Sing with proper technique. Never strain. Obey these rules or lose your voice. SOme voice injuries will never heal.
  8. Raininggently

    Raininggently Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    Winnipeg, MB
    Home Page:
    I'd agree with those in the water camp. Hydration = Health.

    When you do get sick, another tip is to cough quietly, if you have to cough. Take a deep breath and use your diaphraghm - not your larnyx - to expel needed mucous.

    You can also try using a steamer before a performance and placing a warm wet towel around your neck after a performance.

    If you want to start boosting your long-term health, get more raw food, especially leafy greens into your diet. I LOVE LOVE LOVE green smoothies, and when I drink them consistently (usually one a day) I don't get sick. If you've never heard of them, you can learn how to make them and get some free recipes here: Your FREE 3-Day Green Smoothie introduction to Raw Food!!

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