Singing When You are Sick

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Singing When You are Sick

When you are sick, the best and wisest thing to do is to rest your voice. However, for all you singers out there that need to be singing in a performance on stage, then there is still hope when you are feeling under the weather. Singing when you are sick is difficult, but there are ways to alleviate your symptoms and help you to sound good. Usually, when you have a cold or the flu, and you have a commitment to sing, there are precautions that you should take and things that you mustn’t do in order for you to avoid damage to your voice and to your vocal chords.


What you must do when you are sick and have to be on stage singing.


  • Spend more time with your vocal warm up exercises as well as your vocal cooldowns after you have sung. When you warm up more than normal, this will help you to be able to reach those high notes because the warm up exercises will help to stretch your vocal chords. In your cooldown exercises, spending more time will allow your voice to heal while still being flexible so that they will be ready for the next time that you sing.


  • Stay hydrated during the day. This will keep your throat moist. I normally find that drinking water with a few slices of lemon squeezed in helps.

When you are performing on stage, then I suggest that you keep a bottle of water with you so that you can take some sips of water between your songs.


  • Rest your voice throughout the day to avoid any unnecessary use on your voice. This extra rest will help you with your performance later on.


  • Sleep is also important as it will help to heal your vocal chords and fight the illness. If you have time, take a short nap before your performance and have a good night’s sleep the night before.


Now here is a list of things that you mustn’t do when you are sick


  • Try to avoid taking antihistamines. If you take these, they will hinder you rather that help you as they tend to dry out your vocal chords. And singing with dry vocal chords will mean that you won’t be able to project your voice powerfully.


  • Try not to over extend your voice. If you push yourself to hit that high note, then this can actually do damage to your voice. So take a look at the songs that you will be singing. If you are singing a more challenging song with a lot of high notes that you find hard to reach, then when you are sick, these notes will be even harder to reach. So I suggest that if you can, you should change your song choice to involve songs where you can hit that note comfortably.


  • Try to avoid coughing. I know that when your throat is irritated, then coughing sometimes alleviates that tickle in your throat. But you need to try to avoid coughing so that it doesn’t scratch your throat. If you feel that you are going to be coughing, take a drink of water immediately. If that doesn’t help you, then take a cough drop/lolly. Suck on the cough drop and this will coat your throat and may make you cough less.


I know that when you are sick, it is hard to sing to your best ability. But I hope that above tips when you are sick will help you to be comfortable when you are singing. These tips also help you to put less stress on your voice. So this means you won’t damage your vocal chords. Once you have plenty of rest, then you will get better and will be able to perform to your best ability once again.

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