Q: How Do I Sing When I'm Sick?

June 2, 2018


Here's a few helpful hints to help you through a performance when you're feeling under the weather.


Find Your Focus


  • Stressing and panicking will only make things worse. Find focus and relax

  • Visualize the performance in your head when you get worried

  • Keep talking to a minimum 




  • Take a long hot water wasting shower and use a humidifier at bedtime.

  • Water!! Drink more water than you can stand until you are peeing clear

  • Sip warm tea containing slipper elm bark and use moisturizing lozenges

  • Lip bubbles through the melody of the song if you feel the need to practice


Shorten or Modify Your Performance


  • Cut repeating choruses or a less important verse in the song

  • Play with the key of the song until comfortable

  • Ad lib over repeated lines and choruses if you can’t cut them from the song

  • Modify difficult melodies to work around vocal inadequacies



 We all get sick time-to-time, unfortunately for singers and people who use their voice for a living, the slightest bug can turn our worlds upside down.  As vocalists we rely on our voice everyday to make a living: paid gigs, paid voice overs, auditions, live concerts, recording studio, and more. All these opportunities can come to a dead stop if the voice isn't working properly or we aren't feeling one hundred percent. It's a scary notion to think that you can't hit that money note because you woke up sounding like a sailor. We'll cover a few ways to find your focus, take the time to care for yourself and some tips on what to do when performance time comes.


Focus. Try to stop worrying and focus in on what's really going on the day of the performance. What is the scope of the performance? Is this a birthday gig for mom or are you about to sing in front of fifteen thousand people? Not all performances require the same amount of 'vocal cash' as others. Is your voice severely effected by the illness? Is it a sore throat NOT a sore voice? Understanding the difference will help you get a realistic overview of the situation, and help you plan the next steps. We're talking about singer self-care.


Singer Self Care is overlooked all that time and that needs to change. We must always be taking care of ourselves before anyone or anything else! This is fairly simple and can include things like: taking a really long hot shower, drinking massive amount of water, using a humidifier, enjoying a cup of slippery elm tea, and possibly some meditation. You'll find tremendous satisfaction and improvement in your overall health after taking a proper amount of time for singer self-care. Finally, let's take a look at the actual song or set list that is going to be performed.


The first things that usually pops up in a singer's mind is to change the key. You do not necessarily need to change the key of the song as it can cause more complications that it's worth. Instead of a key change try altering the melody to go below or above the troublesome segment. You can also modify the length of the song by cutting a repeating chorus or verse. If you're not with a band and using a track have the music ready to start from the second verse or ask the sound person to fade the song starting at a certain time in the song. Last but not least, stylize and ad lib on repeating choruses and troublesome high and low notes.


About Emmett


 What do award-winning singers, singing tv show finalists, and television personalities have in common? Artists and professional singers turn to Emmett Hayes for vocal preparation, vocal coaching, and vocal advice. Voice problems can lead to fear and self-confidence issues for a singer, and that's where he comes in. If you're tired of your voice getting fatigued, running out of air, and cracking you have found the best vocal prescription.


Emmett Hayes has spent more than a decade as a vocal coach and technical voice instructor. Having taught thousands of voice lessons and more than one hundred public vocal master classes, Emmett has developed a proven and effective vocal technique.In an industry where "time is money" a skillful voice coach can save singers hours of studio time, days of vocal rest, and thousands of dollars in ticket refunds due to vocal issues. Eliminate the vocal fatigue, cracking, flipping and jumping through vocal hoops. Get personalized, straight-forward coaching and expert technical voice instruction by scheduling a personal voice evaluation now.



















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