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ArtistWorks Vocal School Lessons: Singing with a Cold

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you never get sick.
But, if you do get a cold, you might
wonder whether you can sing,
if it's okay, what you, should you do?
And so, let's address that.
There are two types of colds.
One is the lower respiratory system.
Then the other is what's called the upper
Now, when it's, when you have an infection
up here, you'll sound usually
different to yourself than other people
and it won't sound like the same voice.
You'll, you know,
you notice that you sound weird, or at
least different to yourself than usual.
But, usually you can get by with it and
there's no physical
reason why you couldn't or shouldn't sing
under, with that kind of cold.
If your sinuses are stopped up of course,
it makes it more difficult to breathe,
and that can make singing more of a
tedious experience.
See about getting homeopathic remedies
rather than ones with drugs in them,
because that kind of logs out the body and
can also affect the vocal folds
if you take things that really dehydrate
your body, from a,
a, a medical drug type solution.
So, try to get homeopathic or natural
One such, that might work for you if you
need, is there are a number of different
brands of they're called saline solutions.
Saline is similar to seawater but not as
So there's salt in the, in the water and
it, you know,
it's like a nasal spray basically and it's
really good for
the mucus membranes of your nose and your
sinus cavity, and
can help to reduce any swelling and
dripping nose and, and that type of thing.
It opens the passageways but it's not
addictive where
other sorts of pharmaceutical nasal sprays
can actually become addictive and
if you stop using them, you stop being
able to easily breathe and
it just, it becomes a vicious circle.
Now the lower respiratory is the time when
it's really better not to sing at all.
So that would if you've got bronchitis,
if you're coughing up phlegm, if you've,
if you're doing a lot of coughing.
That's banging the vocal folds together.
And aside from any kind of infection which
would cause inflammation in the vocal
folds themselves, the banging of them when
you cough fattens them even more.
So that's a real tough time to sing, not
only because it's harder to sing,
but also if you're putting that kind of
demand on your voice while they're
while they have infection, you can prolong
the period
of time that it takes to rehabilitate your
voice and it can be pretty frustrating.
So, it's difficult to say no [LAUGH] to
to sing if you have that kind of illness,
but it's really important to.
[COUGH] I referred to Adelle earlier, I'll
do it again now.
She had had a problem with getting sick,
and they just kept her on the road,
on the road, on the road, and in the
recording studio and
she was singing over this intense lower
respiratory infection.
And her voice just got really bad from
and it, that aside from the polyps that
she developed,
which are like little little balloons of
mucus membrane on the vocal folds, and she
had to get surgery for it.
That aside, she ended up hoarse for
a really long period of time, and then
finally started having to cancel things.
So, cut it earlier, by which I mean just
figure out a way of getting
out of any vocal singing commitments when
you've got lower respiratory infection.
And hopefully you don't get it and
hopefully you never will.
But if you do, that's my advice.
Finally, there are a number of
other sorts of remedies that you can use
if you have a cough.
So briefly what they are, and have to do
with having tea that has
licorice root in it, and it's not the heat
of the tea that's good by the way,
it's what's in the tea that helps.
And ordinarily I tell a person, any
not to drink anything iced or hot before,
real hot, before singing.
The reason why is that when you have iced
drinks, it constricts
the muscles of your voice, just like if
you put an ice pack on any other muscle.
And if you're a runner you would know that
you don't put an ice pack on your leg
muscles and then start running.
That would be ridiculous.
Just like you would not put a heating pad
on your muscles or
a hot water bottle and then run a race.
Same thing for the voice.
Tea does not wash off your voice, and if
it did go down that tube,
you would be coughing quite a bit.
So, you know, these old housewives' tales
oh, you know, you're going to have some
tea so
that your voice is much better, that's not
the way to go.
That's mixing two things.
That's mixing drinking tea for when you
have an infection in the back wall of your
throat and it, and the tea is soothing,
that's different.
Tea doesn't touch your voice, and
hopefully it never will.
But, to help with coughing, things like
licorice root or
teas that have licorice root in them, and
you can actually do a web search for that.
There is a tea called Throat, Throat Coat,
and it has licorice root in it and
it's wonderful for when you have any kind
of respiratory infection, sore throat.
And also ginger tea, where you get raw
ginger root and
just slice it thin, maybe ten slices,
cover it in a pot with water,
let it steep for about 20 minutes, low
flame, don't boil it.
And then just drain the water out from
it's gonna have a lot of nice ginger
element in it.
And if you want it sweetened, you can use
honey, not sugar.
And then just sip it through the day or
night or whatever.
And it helps to reduce the effort to
So, those are a few advices that are
natural remedies.
You can, again, look up other ones on the
web and here's to your vocal health.