Singing with Common Ailments

Tip for Week of December 20, 2010

Colds, flu, infections, menstruation, along with self abuse like shouting, smoking and drinking, cause the vocal cords to become inflamed. Whilst some vocal rest is advisable along with plenty of water, gentle vocalizing is also essential to reduce the swelling and keep the cords flexible. Lip bubbles (a bit like shivering), tongue trills, hooty sounds like goo or goh working within the first two vocal bridges should gently reduce the inflammation and have the cords back in shape. It is essential that none of these sounds are pushed or sung loudly, but kept at a normal speaking volume. It is commonplace for singers to take complete vocal rest, but if this is done for an extended period, then cords can get stiff, thus increasing the time for rehabilitation. It is important to monitor progress, and if hoarseness persists or worsens, stop vocalizing and see a specialist as soon as possible.

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