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Singers, Learn How to Avoid Throat Irritation When Singing

Updated on April 28, 2017
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Respected vocal coach and professional singer, Audrey Hunt lays it on the line when it comes to the responsibility of singing.

Keeping The Throat Healthy

"If I cannot fly let me sing." -- Stephen Sondheim.

Singers and speakers alike will often acquire throat irritations. This interferes with the voice and interrupts the singing process. This can be most frustrating, especially when we don't know what causes the irritation. Any type of irritation in the larynx can rob the vocalist of a successful performance. Every singer has a responsibility to learn what to do to avoid throat problems. The tips I'm going to talk to you about are proven -- they've been tried and tested for years among singers from every genre.

  • When we sing loud and long, it is crucial that we use proper breath support to avoid abusing the voice. Always measure the amount of air needed for each phrase. When releasing air as you sing, hold back (suspend) and don't allow all the air to escape at once.
  • A tickle is caused from dryness in the throat. The dryness can cause coughing. To avoid this, drink plenty of room temperature water to keep the vocal cords hydrated. You may also try drinking warm lemon tea, with a small amount of honey before singing. This is better than anything on the market, which really does nothing anyhow.
  • Avoid any yelling, screaming, and extreme temperature changes, such as going from air conditioning to a hot temperature, and vice versa.
  • Sleeping with a humidifier is necessary for serious singers. The steam from the humidifier, enters the nose and throat, bringing much needed moisture to the area. This is highly important for those who sleep with the mouth open, which dries out the throat. You can also inhale steam from a hot shower or boiled water (put a towel over your head when inhaling the steam). Be careful not to get a steam burn.
  • Moisture to the throat is needed at all times, particularly when singing and giving speaking presentations. Sip, sip, and then sip some more all day long. Keep a bottle of room temperature water with you at all times. The throat must be wet in order to function.
  • Never drink ice cold water, juice, or soda within three to four hours before singing. Cold temperatures restrict the vocal bands, hindering the vibrations needed to produce sound.
  • The same holds true for alcohol, antihistamines, most medications, and of course, smoking (including second-hand smoke). If you can't control these substances, you're better off not singing. I personally have worked with very famous singers, who smoke, drink, and do drugs and I have witnessed what happens to these voices. Some artists have spent a small fortune for "quick fixes" just to be able to do a concert and sound great. You would be amazed at who these singers are. So do not fall into these bad and destructive habits in the first place. It will take its toll.

"A song will outlive all sermons in the memory." -- Henry Giles

Yelling, screaming can cause vocal nodes/nodules
Yelling, screaming can cause vocal nodes/nodules
Avoid drinking ice water
Avoid drinking ice water

Laryngitis?

Laryngitis can last a anywhere from a few days to weeks, and it can re-occur again. It can be brought on by a virus. But most singers who contract laryngitis do so by abusing the voice box. The three main reasons for vocal abuse are (1) Yelling or screaming at a sporting event (or at your kids) (2) Singing too loud (over singing) and/or (3) Singing too high.

  • Rest. If you suspect signs of vocal abuse, you must rest your voice. Stop singing and even speaking, if you can. Give the vocal bands time to recover and heal. Otherwise, you invite more throat irritation. Bathe your throat with water by drinking not only h20, but warm lemon with honey tea. Using fresh lemons is best and bring faster relief.
  • Easy humming. As soon as your throat is better, introduce easy humming before singing vowels found in words. Correct humming gives you a feeling of vibrations in the lips and lip areas. Take care that you "place" the tone in the nasalpharangeal (mask) area. Your singing range must be the middle range of your voice so that it is easy and very relaxed.
  • Don't force it. Never, ever force your singing voice. Good and correct singing should always feel easy. There is never a strained or forced feeling. Like all of Mother Nature's off-spring, the human voice should be natural and easy, even when singing loud or high. If you feel any discomfort in the throat area, your singing is incorrect.
  • Breath support. The best friend to the singer and speaker is breath support. With every note you sing, with each word you form, you absolutely must have enough air for the tone to "ride" on. Diaphragmatic breathing acts as a "seat" or "cushion" for the tone. If you try to sing louder or higher without the support for the voice, you will suffer vocal abuse.
  • Avoid polyps/nodes. At all costs, you want to avoid growing polyps/nodes on the vocal cords.

It's best to avoid dairy products.
It's best to avoid dairy products.

No Dairy While Singing

Dairy products are a no-no and must be avoided before singing. Most dairy, especially ice cream, will cause phlegm and mucus to build up. Mucus is thick and makes the singer want to clear their throat. Clearing the throat is not a good habit. Every time you clear your throat, it's like scratching your vocal cords with your finger nails. Instead of clearing your throat, just swallow a few times. If your mouth is dry and water is nowhere to be found, simply and gently bite the tip of your tongue. This action will provide you with enough moisture to swallow.

So, save the ice cream for after a concert, or rehearsal. Ditto for other dairy foods.

"Singing lessons are like body building for your larynx." -- Bernadette Peters

Have a Tickle in Your Throat? Try Salt Water

As a singer, I have found that salt water is one of my best friends. I can't tell you how many thousands of students this easy combination has rescued from a tickle to a full-on sore throat.

  • Saline spray. My favorite is a bottle of nasal saline spray (salt and water). Simply spray the salt water solution up into your nose to wash out the germs. As soon as you get a tickle, by flushing your nasal passages, you can prevent the mucus from getting too thick.
  • Gargling. Another way to go is to try gargling with warm salt water. Add a few teaspoons to a half cup of warm water and then gargle. Repeat this several times each day until symptoms disappear.
  • Avoid coffee and chocolate. The other foods to avoid before singing are coffee and chocolate. The caffein in both products will dry out the throat.
  • Good health. Nourish your body with good nutrition and get plenty of sleep. Remember, as singers we use our entire body when we sing - our bodies are our vocal instrument. Protect it, care for it and remember to "tune it" often with correct warm ups.

Your voice is meant to serve you with power and beauty all your life. Following these tips will assure you that it will.

"I can’t stand to sing the same song the same way two nights in succession, let alone two years or ten years. If you can, then it ain’t music, it’s close-order drill or exercise or yodeling or something, not music.” -- Billie Holiday

Sing with joy.

Quotes From The Greatest Tenor in The World, Luciano Pavarotti

"I'm not a politician, I'm a musician. I care about giving people a place where they can go to enjoy themselves and to begin to live again. To the man you have to give the spirit, and when you give him the spirit, you have done everything."

"I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent and this is what I have devoted my life to."

"Nothing that has happened has made me feel gloomy or remain depressed. I love my life."

(I love this quote from Pavarotti)

"If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them."

* * *

About Pavarotti:

"The whole world will be listening today to his voice on every radio and television station, and that will continue. And that is his legacy. He will never stop." -- Zubin Mehta

Last Performance

Warning: Sing Within Your Key Range

Every song you sing should be written in your key. What does this mean? Your singing voice has a range which is limited to how high and how low you can sing. When a singer needs the notes higher it means the song needs to be in a higher key. This works the same for low notes.

Singers do not sing in just one specific key. This is because composers use different keys (scales) to write music. Professional vocalists hire manuscript writers to transpose the music into their specific singing range.

Most people learn a song by imitation. They repeat what they hear regardless of whether the song is too high or too low for them. When they do this they can damage their voice because they strain the vocal chords. The result can be hoarseness, a sore throat, or eventually vocal nodules will grow on the vocal bands.

This happens often in choirs. Never allow a choir director to make you a soprano if you are an alto...or a tenor if you sing bass.

How do we know if a song is too high or too low for us? It's really quite simple. Listen to your body. If singing a high note doesn't feel easy - the note is too high. The same is true for low notes.

Sometimes using proper diaphragmatic breathing will help to sing higher notes. This is because higher notes require more air. This doesn't always work. You must be the judge.

The general rule for all singers is: If the notes are difficult to sing - don't sing them.

With proper use and care your voice will last you a lifetime.


One of my favorite tenors ~ He sees through his heart

© 2011 Audrey Hunt

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    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      So now I know I can blame my inability to sing on my days as a "wild woman".:)

      I'm assured when I visit your hub to always learn something and to be superbly entertained. Up/useful, awesome and beautiful.

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

      l´m no singer but l found this article very interesting . l read it with one of my closest friends in mind. Her voice brings tears to my eyes.

      Thank you for such great information.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dim, dear friend ~ Thank you so much for sharing this with me. She must be a beautiful and expressive singer! How blessed you both are. She, with an exquisite voice - and you, for your deep appreciation of her clear, stunning voice. What a magnificent friendship you both enjoy. And you, my dear, have a heart as big as the world you live in. ~ vocalcoach

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      Every singer - no, make that every singer and every person who wants to be a singer or speaker - should read this comprehensive information you have put together for saving and conserving one's voice. Excellent, Audrey, and rated way up

      The two arias from two of my favorite tenors were excellent selections. Thank you for including them.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      drbj - I have long suspected that we have some of the very same interests. And now, I am sure of it. I am absolutely thrilled to find that you favor the same tenors and arias as I. Wonderful! And I shall think of my amazing friend, drbj, from now on whenever I listen to these selections. Thank you for your very kind and supportive comments on the information I have given. So, how 'bout a hug? Sending you one from Nashville. :)VC

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      This hub has wonderful tips for your voice to be in peak shape for beautiful singing. You chose 2 of my favorite singers for your videos. I think this hub is rate up and beautiful.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh Pamela - I am really happy to hear we both share an appreciation for these tenors. I could listen to both of them all day. There is an element of inspiration and truth in their voices. Not to mention the absolute perfection in singing. Thanks, my friend for the rating. It is so nice of you to support me in this way. Hugs ~ vocalcoach

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

      am not into singing but do theater and sometimes the throat gets completely jammed just moements before a performance - it happened to me just the afternoon of a big act which i was opening.

      a great local remedy i was given was to cut a lemon into two ,heat it in a microwave for a minute take it out sprinkle black pepper powder on it and squeeze it directly into the throat.

      worked wonders and was ale to get on stage. repeating it too often may though give u blisters in the throat .

      give it a try sometime

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      neeleshkulkarni - Hi there! Gee, I want to thank you for the tip. Also, gargeling with cayenne pepper is a very fast working agent. I can imagine you, an actor, on stage. Bet you are awesome! Thanks for stopping and for your comments. Break a leg! :) vocalcoach

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 6 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      You always give such great advice on singing. I love the fact you share your wisdom and experience with others. :)

    • Phillbert profile image

      Phillip Drayer Duncan 6 years ago from The Ozarks

      Very good info! Too bad I was always a horrid singer. I joined a choir at one point and after several one on one sessions with various teachers they decided it would be within the best interest of the team if I would simply stand there, pretend I was singing, and look pretty. As you can tell from my picture I didn't do so good at the pretty thing either. My choir days were sadly short lived.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      phillbert - Well, I wish I could have had the chance to work with you. :) You would have become the next Pavarotti! You gave me a chuckle and I sure needed that tonight. Thanks so much for reading this and taking time to share your cute story. :) vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      mistyhorizon - well, you are so sweet to say that. Your kind comments mean the world to me. Thank you, friend. :) vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Fay - Ha, ha, ha - just can't picture you as a "wild woman". Then again, I'm sure at one time, we all were - or still are. :) Love your comments, Faye - and love you too. :) vocalcoach

    • sofs profile image

      sofs 6 years ago

      Great tips here vocal coach. I can use them for my children who sing. I appreciate your sharing this information. Thank you.

    • tamron profile image

      tamron 6 years ago

      I always wanted to be a singer as a child but that dream went down the tubes because of smoking! As always a great informative article thanks for sharing! Ping Ya!

    • FCEtier profile image

      Chip 6 years ago from Cold Mountain

      Voted UP, tweeted, and shared on FB.

      One point of clarification re: "Sleeping with a humidifier is necessary for serious singers. The steam from the humidifier, enters the nose and throat, bringing much needed moisture to the area."

      Over the 35 yrs I've practiced pharmacy I've often counselled patients on the difference in vaporizers and humidifiers.

      A vaporizer produces the steam (hot). Pulmonologists have evidence that it can cause pneumonia.

      So, I always recommend a humidifier - cool mist or at least room temp. That gives you the moisture without the dangers of the hot air vaporizer.

      Very informative and helpful hub!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      We are always learning something new about you...I didn't know you Sing? What a treat to hear. Wonderful tips as usual for all of us to find useful in our lives. Thanks for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      b. Malin - You are such a delightful and refreshing hub friend. I just love it when I receive an email confirming that you have paid me a visit. I begin to sparkle as I read your always welcomed messages. Yep - been a singer since childhood. Raised 3 kids by myself - all on my own, with nothing but my singing/piano gigs.

      :) vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      FCEtier - Oh, thank you so much for the clarification between vaporizers and humidifiers! You are such a prince. This information needed to be included in my hub. Thank you for your expertise and thank you for rating up, tweeting and sending to FB. I have found a real gem in finding you. :) vocalcoach

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I thought that this was excellent! I have a few people who would love to know this and I'll be sure to share it:). Up and everything:)!

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 6 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      Thanks for these common sense tips. I only sing nursery rhymes to the grandchildren but need to keep my voice in trim for them!

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      tamron - hello my sweet friend. I'm glad to hear that you no longer smoke. (I'might be jumping to a conclusion here) :) And if you and I could work together, I have no doubt you would become an awesome singer. So glad to see you tamron. Take care :) vocalcoach

    • neeleshkulkarni profile image

      neeleshkulkarni 6 years ago from new delhi

      been a while since a pretty girl called me awesome VC. thanks for the moral boost.lol

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Gypsy Willow - I always say, the most beautiful singing comes from a Grandmother. Those sweet sounds linger in a childs memory forever. Thank you, Gypsy Willow (love the name).

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 6 years ago from London, UK

      Very good advice and I can share it with anyone I know who sings.

      Best Wishes.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Realhousewife - Hello, my friend. You are doing so well here on HP. Keeping my eye on you :) Thanks for the rating and comments. Hugs vocalcoach

    • sergs_pogi profile image

      sergs_pogi 6 years ago

      Wow. Amazing hub. Very informative, though long. This makes me wonder aside from being a vocalcoach, are you sing regularly, too? Voted up!

    • goprisca profile image

      goprisca 6 years ago from Bangalore

      Hai,

      Very useful hub.

      As I am a bathroom singer, no need to bother about clarity of my voice. Both singing and hearing is me.

    • profile image

      Marina Lester 6 years ago

      Awesome information! I've always wondered what I could do for my voice. I love to sing! But I'm really guilty of always clearing my throat, seriously it's ridiculous sometimes. It just came up when I turned 18 and suddenly had common allergies, my throat feels like it often has a constant tickle. I don't know what to do about it and it's a real concern to me because I love music so much. Thank you for this post and for the ideas, and confirmation of my fears haha about clearing my throat :P Cheers, our Hub vocalcoach has you covered, sing on world!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Marina - Love your comments - so very much! I'd like to see you try going without dairy and chocolate for a few days. That may really help to get rid of that tickle. Again, so glad you stopped by. :) vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      goprisca - Very nice to see you here. Thank you for your comments. I have a big smile! Thanks

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      sergs - Yes, I have been a professional singer since I was 16 years old - also a professional pianist. As soon as I figure out how to put my videos on you tube, I will display my singing and piano performances. Thank you, very much for your comments. Always wonderful to see you here! :)vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Lady E - Thank you for sharing my hub with anyone that you think may benefit from reading it. Take care, dear lady! :) vocalcoach

    • wilbury steve profile image

      Steve Webb 6 years ago from Great Wakering, England

      Excellent, well written hub with helpful,interesting & practical advice. Many Thanks for posting!! :>)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      sofs - I'm very glad that this information will be of help to your children that sing. This is my purpose for writing this hub. Thank you for visiting - and now I will pay you a visit. :)

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      wilbury - You play the guitar - awesome! The Beatles will always be tops in my book. Their music is classic and will live forever and is loved by all. Thanks for reading my hub. :) vocalcoach

    • jacobsterling profile image

      jacobsterling 6 years ago from New York

      wow.. very useful hub..

      i used have concert on my bathroom..

      now that i read your advice maybe i can improve my singing ability now and avoid throat irritation when i'm rockin' on my bathroom..haha..yeah! Godspeed!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Jacob - Singing in the shower also works! Glad you stopped by and thanks.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 6 years ago from Guwahati, India

      The hub has provided very useful information. Thanks for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      H P - Thank you for reading this, my friend. I am pleased that you found this information useful. Have a wonderful day. :) vocalcoach

    • QudsiaP1 profile image

      QudsiaP1 6 years ago

      A must read for all singers!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      An interesting inside of a world I don't know nothing out it. I enjoyed reading it.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hello - Can you see how supportive you are to me? Even though this topic may not be on your list of "priority reading" - you still take the time to look at my hub and leave a comment. That rates #1 with me - and hello, you are #1 in my book. Thank you dear friend. Love, vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Qudsia - Hi, friend! Thanks for popping over to read this. It's like playing tennis with you. I hit the ball to you, and you return it (and over the net) :) Thanks

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 6 years ago from United States

      Music is my life, vocalcoach and you sure did give me some great tips on how to maintain these chords of mine :)

      Voted up!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I love singing and your tips really useful for us. I hope I can follow your advice above. Rated up as usual. Have a nice weekend! Cheers....

      Prasetio

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Ruchira - You have made my day! This is exactly what I hope for when I write for singers. You are so kind to share these positive comments. Can't begin to thank you enough. Let me know when ever you need help with your voice. Always here for you! :) vocalcoach

    • Satyam7 profile image

      Satyam7 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I always suspected these things, but wasn't quite sure. Thanks for sharing. This is a great hub.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Satyam7 - How nice to see you here! Thank you for the comments. Very glad you found this information helpful. Hope to see you again, soon. :) vocalcoach

    • Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

      Sylvia Van Peebles 6 years ago from Southern California

      You are right on the money. As a choral music director and teacher, I have taught all of these to my students!

    • rishworld profile image

      rishworld 6 years ago from Dreammie Kreatiw World..

      Very very very useful..... Frankly i needed this from so many days.. Special thanx for sharing... Luv :)

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      rishworld - How wonderful to see you here and to know that my hub has helped you. That is all I want. Thanks for giving me a smile. :)vocalcoach

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 6 years ago

      Wow, great information! I don't sing (and the world is grateful), but I do read to my aunt who has macular degeneration. Sometimes my throat gets scratchy, so I read your suggestions with a lot of interest. I'll think of my reading as a performance, and now I know how to prepare for the performance. Thank you!

    • Harlan Colt profile image

      Harlan Colt 6 years ago from the Rocky Mountains

      What an awesome hub. I love it. I took vocal in college 100 years ago... lol... and have forgotten much of this, and some if it I never knew - or else I forgot it so completely its like its brand new all over ha ha. I really enjoyed this. I am going to fan you! oops almost forgot, what about singers like Aerosmith - Steven Tyler who scream a lot - some of those hard rock guys that scream all the time - how do they keep screaming without bursting a their vocal chords? They get on stage and scream for two hours. Paul Stanley of Kiss - one of the strongest voices in Rock... amazing. Just curious.

      - best wishes,

      - Harlan

    • Support Med. profile image

      Support Med. 6 years ago from Michigan

      I'm in trouble already, love the coffee!!! But I know what your mean....Salt water is a good acquaintance of mine whenever I feel a little throat irritation. These tips are great and I will remember this hub. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!!!!!!!

      "If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them." I agree with this quote and regret that so much as been taken away from the public school systems for the children. There are some schools which are still fortunate to have it, but in many music, art, drama and even physical education has been taken away, so sad. Pavarotti's words should be on a billboard.

      v/r

      BTW: Looks like you were singing your little heart out there!!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Support Med. ~ Hello my beautiful friend! What magnificent comments you have left here. I hope everyone that visits my hub, read your words and is as moved by them as I am. Your own hubs are also some of the best in hubland! BTW ~ I love my coffee as well, especially in the morning. :) vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Sylvia's Thoughts - Thank you so very much for reading my hub and commenting. Your confirmation is so welcomed. Coming from a choral professional like yourself, I am very honored. I look forward to reading your hubs, which I will start - right now!

    • Fossillady profile image

      Kathi 6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      This is very useful Audrey, I need to show this to my son who's recently purchased a guitar and spends time singing and playing his guitar. It's his new hobby! I'm thrilled...I hear him clear his throat at times and strain his voice for those higher notes! Thank you for sharing...ps Pavorati and Adrea are amazing and I adore Barbra (Her face is so soft in that photo)

    • Richard83 profile image

      Richard83 6 years ago from West Virginia

      Hey there. I am a songwriter and singer. This is great advice. I haven't made it nowhere but to be honest, I haven't made my move. I write country. It is great to meet someone that shares the same passion. It is TRULY an HONOR. Many thanks.

    • profile image

      CollB 5 years ago

      A really useful and informative hub. I took singing lessons myself to project my voice, initially for presentations to fellow students in seminars but I find the techniques used, good in general and your tips, especially that of not drinking ice cold drinks a few hours before 'singing'. Voted up and again enjoyed reading this hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      CollB - Learning to "place" the voice in a "mixed" vocal register, such as chest/mask will help in projecting the voice for both speakers and singers. Clean enunciation with crisp consonants and open vowels are a must. Thank you very much for your excellent comments. A real pleasure!

    • profile image

      Margaret 5 years ago

      Hello there! Thanks for the article I found it very interesting! I started singing quite a while ago, and the problem I get most of the time, is that it feels like my throat is not clear enough, like mayeb there is too much mucus in there, that I find myself clearing my throat often - but the thing is I don't have anything dairy or chocolate before singing, and I still get it in my throat. What would you advise me to do in this situation? Thanks!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Voted up! Very useful article with so many useful tips. When I sing, I get a sore throat very easily. Take for granted, I don't sing all that much these days but I hope to in the future. Glad to follow. Take care and I look forward to talking with you.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      A very beautiul nd useful hub,another gem to vote up.

      Here's to so many more hubs to share on here.

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • funmontrealgirl profile image

      funmontrealgirl 5 years ago from Montreal

      I don't myself sing, but I have friends who do so I bookmarked this and fired it over to them in an email. Great information.

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      Very useful hub! I wonder what warm-ups are "destructive" that singers shouldn't be doing?

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Qudsia - Very happy to see you here. Thank you for taking time to leave a comment for me~

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Prasetio - I want to thank you, my dear friend for reading, commenting and voting on my hub. I hope you can use some of these tips to keep your throat healthy. Best wishes ~

    • profile image

      DBoone 5 years ago

      I really thank you for this advise. I'm just getting over a sore throat and I'm going to use these techniques faithfully. I'm a gospel singer, and sometimes being a gospel singer we sing hard, and I get hoarse sometimes. One question, what are some good everyday throat exercise that you recommend?

    • collegatariat profile image

      collegatariat 5 years ago

      Thanks for the pointers! The portion on laryngitis reminds me of a story about Renee Fleming-- she had the soprano solo in the Christmas oratorio in her sophomore year and woke up the morning of the performance with no voice! She ended up singing that night after a day of babying her voice, but that story always amazes me. You have some great advice to give, so thanks for taking the time to share it.

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Audrey, these are excellent tips for a singer. One of the leading legends of bollywood playback singing - Mohammed Rafi, is a fine example. He was a non drinker, a non smoker, was not a party guy. He spoke almost in a whisper as his son reveals in an interview but in front of the microphone roared like a lion. A gem of a human being in real life.

      I have just written a hub on him.

      I fully agree with this wonderful hub points and wish singers especially would emulate and incorporate the key points outlined by you to maintain their voice.

      I will share this hub with my brother who is a sings too.

      Voted up & awesome and shared.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      rajan jolly ~ Taking good care of our voice is important for all of us. Singers and public speakers must be even more careful of how they use their voice.

      One of the hardest habits my own students find difficult to stop is "clearing the throat."

      I will check out Mohammed Rafi by reading your hub. I know I will enjoy this. Thank you my friend for your comments, voting up and awesome and sharing!

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Emeldah - Please contact me through hubpage. You may send me an email.

    • bmukherjii profile image

      bmukherjii 5 years ago

      Amazing..thanks VOCALCOACH for writing this hub. I am a singer and I know how it feels when your voice get damaged just prior to a stage show. In my case, over singing and drinking chilled water are main the causes

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      bmukherjii ~ I consider it an honor to have you, a singer doing shows, comment on my hub. You have confirmed 2 of my rules for avoiding throat irritations.

      Thank you so much and I hope to see you again soon.

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      Golfgal 5 years ago from McKinney, Texas

      Your pen name caught my attention as I am a singer. Mostly raised in the choir, solos, weddings, funerals, joined a band and made a Christan based CD one year. I love to sing. I agree with all you said...I will add one thing. After singing pineapple juice is amazingly soothing to the throat. Also it helped when I had solos to sing over the holidays and had no voice from a sinus infection. The PJ helped me cope with that tickle and soothed. Not sure exactly why. It was recommended by a voice coach long ago. Voted you up..

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Golfgal. I love hearing from singers. And your comments are so very welcomed. I especially thank you for your information on PJ as I have never heard that before. Thanks for your vote up and I hope to see you again very soon.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 4 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for the tips - I had never heard of the tip of the tongue thing, but it works a treat. I always drink room temperature, as cold water hurts my teeth. Glad I have a life-long good habit, even if it is not on purpose.

    • profile image

      zito manyisa 4 years ago

      thanx for the ideas i was sad about my voice but when i started to learn more in your page it realy helped me, and now i can sing as a bird, THANX A LOT

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Red Elf - Hello. Glad to have your comments. It helps to have feedback like this. Also, I'm doing extensive research on the benefit of drinking room temperature water as opposed to cold. Keep an eye open :)

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      ezrahnoelle 4 years ago

      My 9 year old daughter is performing in a show in Branson. She says its like a dream come true. She has told me since she was 4 years old that God wants her to use her voice to be a blessing to others. We moved to Branson after this theater contacted us and wanted to hire her. She is highly allergic to cedar trees and is taking allergy shots for that and many other allergies. She sings and yodels but after a bad case of the croup and taking steroids she still can't sing. She got up on stage last night and her voice went out on her. Her ENT is going to scope her on Monday and we're trying to locate Dr Dennis Resting who we've heard has worked wonders for other performers in this area. He's hard to find though. We've cut out all dairy, tried local honey, tea, lots of water but her voice isn't coming back. The worst part is what its doing to her emotionally. She tells me all she wants to do is sing and she doesn't understand why this is happening to her. Only 1 song a night shouldn't be too much on her voice. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions I would be open to them. She's so sad and complete vocal rest is hard for a child but she's doing great t it. We have a humidifier that's by her bed and on 24/7, she does her sinus rinses and gargles salt water... all without me telling her to because she loves to sing. She said the stage is her home... my heart is breaking for her. Look her up on YouTube if you want to hear her. Search channel gecheek or Ezrah Noelle.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Ezrah - Thank you for sharing your daughter's story. I'm so very sorry about her allergys. I will check her out on youtube and wish her the very best. It is best to stick with a specialist for treating her allergies. Thanks again.

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      chrmgbill 4 years ago

      Why is it when I sing I am usually fine but if I start hoping I get through song without my throat drying out and shutting off (cough) it always does ?

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      chrmgbill - Build your confidence and your technique and your problem will disappear. When you "hope" you get through a song, that indicates fear and your body responds by tension which drys out the throat. Also, keep your throat hydrated with room temperature water.

    • profile image

      Vocalstudent 4 years ago

      You're kind of an ass man. If you take allergy medication (antihestamines), you're better off not singing? What kind of crap is that to tell students?

      I don't care if oh so many singers have ruined their voices, they did damn well while it lasted. Proper care is important, I agree, but just because you have problems (health or abuse problems) does NOT mean you're better off not singing.

      Axl Rose, Sebastian Bach, Geoff Tate, Bono, Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera, etc.

      Great singers all, and all have done alchohol, drugs, or something else. And the world would have missed their voices if they listened to that one tid bit of advice. Be careful what you say and how you say it man, you might prevent some great singer from chaning the world because they misunderstood you being serious about "singer don't take antihistamines (allergy meds)".

      I'd rather listen to somebody with heart and pretty good sound (Bono), than somebody with the best technique in the world.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Vocalstudent - Thank you for reading my hub and sharing your opinion. I appreciate your passion.

    • profile image

      Shirley Laux 3 years ago

      Wow,this is amazing opened my eyes,and ears the lessons given here and thanks for sharing it with us. Yes same goes with me rather listen to someone with awesome vocal cords than some one just pretending he has them and follow the advise of great singers,and how they did it and made it happen,,thank you for sharing.

    • profile image

      Raman Joshi 3 years ago

      thnx for ur tips of vocal chords,

      the lemon tea plus honey is best medicine to the chords I got, because of ur tips. Thnk you....

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Shirley - I thank you for your wonderful message. I invite you to read more articles that I have here on hubpages. Thanks again. ~ Audrey

      Raman Joshi - I'm happy that the rea and honey worked for you. Come back and see me again - Thanks = Audrey

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      jim 3 years ago

      40 years of singing professionally and you're right about the water, salt, lemon, and honey... but I never consciously knew about the humidifier trick. I've always noticed the more humidity in the air the clearer my voice is - in fact playing Bangkok a couple months ago I was hitting highs I haven't hit in years lol. Thanks for pushing that to the front of my mind.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      jim - Thanks so much for being here and for sharing your story. And you are so welcome. It is both my pleasure and my joy to share what I know about the voice with others. I love hearing from professionals like yourself.

      Regards.

      vocalcoach

    • profile image

      Nicole 2 years ago

      I had a bad cold last winter and tried to sing through it, but now that my cold is gone it hurts to sing and sometimes even talking a lot is uncomfortable. Any advice?

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      chris 2 years ago

      Thank you for the info you have shared in such detail. I am a singer & often deal with excessive mucus & have already consulted a doc. I will use your tips for voice maintenance and I know I will benefit from them. Be blessed for sharing your gift with others.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Nicole - Thank you for being here. I would advise you to see a specialist (ENT) to rule out damage to your vocal cords. You want to make sure you are free from vocal nodes.

      Rest your voice and refrain from singing. Do not whisper. Learn diaphragmatic breathing. I have instruction for this. Let me know what the doctor says. - vocalcoach

      chris - I appreciate your kind comments very much. If I can be of further help, drop me an email. Thanks chris. - vocalcoach

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 2 years ago

      This is a great hub. Thank you for putting this useful information together. I can do everything you said except avoiding chocolate.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      toknowinfo - Thanks for being here and taking time to leave a comment. I'm with you on chocolate. :)

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 2 years ago from Japan

      Some very good tips there. I should share this with our band singer.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hezekiah

      Thanks so much! So nice to see you here. Take care. Audrey

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      anteniomigree 21 months ago

      Hello there, I discovered your blog by way of Google at the same time as searching for a comparable matter, your website came up, it looks good. I’ve added to favourites|added to my bookmarks.

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      neaddikibiord 20 months ago

      It really a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

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      Elise 18 months ago

      Audrey, every winter I get a scratchy dry throat for at least two months straight. Is it ok to sing through this?

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 17 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      antentomigree - You've made my day. Thanks for adding my articles to your favorites. I write for people like yourself. Hope to read more comments of yours on my other posts.

      neaddlklblord - Thank you for your kind comments and for reading my article. I'd love to hear from you again as you visit more of my hubs.

      Elise - Hi. Hydration is crucial for singing with a scratchy throat. Drink room temperature water as cold restricts the vocal cords. Also warm up your voice for at least 10- minutes before singing. Thanks

    • profile image

      Raghava.S 15 months ago

      How to sing conituously In A 2-3 Hours Live Concerts With Out Getting Tire And Strain Of Our Vocal Cords?????

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 14 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Using diaphragmatic breathing while singing not only provides the singer with stamina...it also protects the voice from straining. Be sure not to over-sing.

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      Patricia Kirby 8 months ago

      I am/was a singer songwriter, crooner, swing style. I am not in my late 70's and although not involved in singing/recording as I once did, I still would like to sing now and then. However, when I attempt to sing (croon) it's not long before an itchy/cough type feeling prevents me from going on. I am very fit and healthy, don't drink, smoke, or indulge in anything which would contribute to this irritation. It's only there when I sing.. especially when I drop my voice to the lower notes.. I'm sure it's not serious but I would like to sort it out, bothering the doctor seems a bit excess. Some of my songs have been semi finalists in the U.K. Int. Singer/songwriter contest and I would like to submit more. Can I cure this problem? I am featured on You Tube, Lady Lyrics and Music, my own plus standard numbers are there, I have had a good following for many years.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Patricia

      Thank you for being here and for leaving your comments. I would need to meet with you in order to give you an opinion. Everyone is different responding to a variety of techniques. I will take a look at your video and get back to you.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 8 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Patricia

      After searching for your you tube video I am unable to find your video. More information is needed. Thank you.

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      Maira 3 months ago

      Not everyone among us is a singer, but it does not mean that throat clearing is not your concern. You should never take your throat for granted for it is one of the greatest blessings we human have. When the throat is itchy, feels dry or swollen or there is a problem in producing voice, it has to be dealt in a way that offers you no side effects. What’s more better than dealing with few home ingredients.

      Amazing healthy life tips...

      Thanks for sharing :)

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 3 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Maira

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. Your alerting non-singers as well as those that sing is important. I respect your views on this subject. Again thanks.

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      Mags 2 months ago

      I try to warm up my voice before singing, but am anxious to get started. I drink warm tea with honey/no milk, while singing. After I sing my throat is always coated and am a bit hoarse. I sing many high notes and woodshed my parts. How much time should I practise especially high passages?. Is singing for 45 mins too long when you are a novice? When in choir, I rarely have this problem.

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      Sierra Huey 6 weeks ago

      I wish I can do that

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      dvora swickle 8 days ago

      can you ever reverse a frozen vocal chord, its so hard now and coughing is horrible. sheeeeeesh

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