Something myself and my singy friends suffer from, from time to time is a scratchy voice. More often than not, this coincides with the times we need our voices most: before a gig or show, audition time, etc… half the time this is probably psychological, the other half of the time it’s probably something we’ve all given to each other (particularly if we’re rehearsing for a show). Either way, I know I end up feeling as if I’ll never sing again: a little dramatic, I realise this…. however I do know I’m not the only one who gets like this!
Thankfully there are a number of solutions … here are my top 5:
1. BE QUIET! Voice rest is so very important and the solution you hear the most. If you can hold off speaking for a day or so before a show, it will be very effective. Carry a note pad and pen around instead - It's our vocal chords equivalent to bed rest.
2. HUG YOU’RE THROAT! Keep your throat warm with a scarf. Not a substitute for warming up, but does mean you’ll be more comfortable in your warm up.
3. COMMUNAL CUPS! Don’t drink out of cups from a public place. I've witnessed varying degrees of effort when it comes to washing up - dirty cups are a breading ground for passing around the germs!
4. GARGLE! What you actually gargle with is a personal preference. Sadly, not a taste preference as every remedy I ever came across tastes awful! Cider Vinegar and Cayenne Pepper (in water) are my go-to-gargles.
5. AVOIDANCE! Dairy is a big no no. This means no chocolate, cheese, butter or milk. “That’s ok”, I hear you say … “I have almond milk in my tea”. Afraid not, caffeine is also a no go zone, along with carbonated drinks, hot drinks and very cold drinks. Basically, just drink room temperature water and eat lettuce.
What are your top 5? Tell me more below ...
Quick disclaimer: all of the advice here is for a scratchy voice. If you are very poorly and have lost your voice it is wise not to sing at all until you feel better, as it could cause permanent damage.