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Singing with a cold / flu

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Friday I came down with some sort of respiratory virus. I'm coughing a lot. My speaking voice is about 2 or 3 whole steps lower than normal. My low range is great! But my passagio area is really bad - cracking and straining. The muscles in my larynx must be inflammed? My head voice is ok, but I just can't connect smoothly through my passagio. I made it through a 3 hour recording session just fine - except that I skipped the higher singing and will come back to it when I'm well. the highest non-falsetto note was F#4.

Update - It's impossible to sing. I have to wait this out.

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Absolutely, don't push your voice now or it'll take longer to heal - it sounds like the infection is near your cords.

I've had inflamation above and below the cords and I could sing like usual but as soon as I hear my voice becoming bass heavy, cough

or feel any kind of irritation on the cords I know I've got to stop. You know the drill... lots of sleep, hydration and no sound whatsoever till it's healed.

Especially if it's laryngitis.

Hope you get better soon Guitartrek,


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Just recovered from the exact same thing - took about 2 weeks to completely be able to sing again. Unfortunately had to cancel a show because of it. As Thanos pointed out - lots of sleep, hydration and little to no use of the vocal chords. I drank a lot of Throat Coat and pumped up the Vitamin C as well. Was back in the studio yesterday without any ill effects.

My Best To You!

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Melissa Etheridge would take advantage of a cold or flu and record her scratchiest, bassiest notes while suffering from that. It would make for a neat recording. Of course, she couldn't reproduce that in concert, unless she was sick with the same thing while performing. But for a recording, it was neat. And it didn't strain her voice. Just a natural sound she produces when she's ill.

Not that you have to, also. Just saying, sometimes it's neat to come up with a sound that no one else does.

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actually there's some disagreement about absolute vocal rest even during illness. Some PhDs I know suspect that a few minutes every hour or two, of very relaxed nasal-resonant vocalise (humming or eee/ooo vowels, pitch glides) can speed up healing. It keeps circulation moving through the larynx, "takes out the metabolic trash," and might even interrupt some of the inflammatory process within vocal fold cells.

This is speculation so far, no evidence one way or the other. Very important to consider it "rehab," not "singing" and be sure that it feels comfortable (and very forward-resonant) even if what comes out is very low pitch or crappy quality. Don't fix the sound, just consider you're doing a mini vibra-massage to the instrument. If it takes a lot of effort to squeeze out any sound, definitely lay off.

Sleep, steam, normal home-remedies are still most important.


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