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Dry mouth during performances

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Alright, so I am more of a classical vocalist. I'm a vocal student and I just had a vocal recital last night. My mouth was very dry and It was very difficult to "wet my whistle." Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to help with a dry mouth right before a performance?

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showtunesongbird:

Dry mouth for a performance is a very common occurrence in singers. It occurs for a specific reason, and there are lots of things you can do about it.

Dry mouth is a physiologic reaction to adrenaline. As you begin anticipating the performance, adrenaline begins to be released in your system to get you ready to do the thing you are about to do., just like you were going into a competitive race, responding to danger, etc.

Of the things you can do, the more important (IMO) is to understand that this excitement is perfectly natural. If it does not happen, then the performance will be emotionally flat. Many performers and athletes call this rush of adrenaline 'the pump', and not only expect it, but have adopted certain mental disciplines (ways of thinking about it) to cope. QUite often, they could call this 'getting psyched' for the game or the performance.

'Getting psyched' is simply a euphemism for getting to that place in your imagination and thought process so that you can ride the energy and excitement rather than let it defeat you. Its best not to hold it in, but to release it. For me, that comes down to acknowledging that I am getting excited, not that I am getting nervous. Its the same energy, viewed from either the positive (excited) or negative (nervous) side. For myself, and for those I coach, I think the 'I am getting excited' expression is more useful, and actually say it out loud as an affirmation. I recommend that the next time you are prepping for a performance that you _say_ 'I am getting excited'. When you greet your accompanist, tell them 'I am very excited to be doing this with you today'.

That sort of positive attitude will go a along way to reducing the effects of the adrenaline, but will not eliminate them. To help with dry mouth, some slightly acid fluids will help release thin saliva. Of these, sucking on a lemon slice is probably the most easily accomplished... or, as an alternative, prep some lemonade, a little on the bitter side, for sipping before you go onstage. You can even mix a little 'Real lemon' juice for your water backstage water bottle.

Once you are a few songs into the performance, and have connected with the audience, the excitement will change into energetic enjoyment, and the dry mouth will likely go away.

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Sure, warm tea. I recommend Celestial Seasonings brand and get the "Mint Magic"... its a great mint tea for singers. This will do great things for you. Remain hydrated, drink much... keep it warm... mint opens the resonators a bit and allows you inspire better.

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When posed with the dry mouth issue we point our customers to the Thayers line of dry mouth relief. drymouthprevention.com When I was riding my bicycle I used to ride with a lozenge in my mouth. It helped immensely including eliminating the bad dry mouth taste when I was finished. I have reviewed a few other related products including biotene, bye dry and another I can't remember the name of and was not impressed with either the effectiveness or flavor. Thayers comes in two, mint and citrus honey. Personally I like the mint as it has that "vapor" that helps open you up.

While some form of citrus is used in almost all sprays or lozenges as the actuator for the saliva glands, using a lemon slice or even lemon drops in water can have a deleterious effect since it is an acid. If you have any inflammation or lacerations in your throat unmeasured citrus could burn making matters worse.

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Thayer's is great for this....... also a little self-hypnosis trick which can circumnavigate the problem of using lemon in your drinks: close your eyes and breathe deeply and calmly for a moment. Then imagine putting a fresh, whole lemon onto a chopping board. In your mind, slice through the lemon, visualising the juices running, and even imagining the smell. For most people, this will be enough to cause salivation and...... no more dry mouth :-)

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Everybody I know has had this at one time or another.

Here's what we do. It will sound funny but it works.

You can put your baby finger in your mouth and that will start you to salivate.

There was a story of a lady who wasin a car accident and she drove off a ramp into a revine. She was pinned in her car for 2 days before they found her and she reported that she put her fingers in her mouth to keep somewhat hydrated. She also at one point put a penny that was in the little change cup in the car, in her mouth and said that helped also.

Here's one more

Stroke under your chin from your chin to your larynx back and forth. weird but these both work. At least they won't hurt to try.

Cheers,

Joani

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