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Having problems at Gigs? Do you find that some days your voice seems dry?  I'm not going to go into the normal nag about smoking although you should try to avoid anything that is likely to dry out your voice before a performance, so here are a few tips on what to avoid before & during your show:-

1. Orange or Citrus Juice and caffeinated drinks - can affect your throats lubrication.

2. Milk & other dairy products - furs up the throat, avoid drinking Milk, Cream, Tea and Coffee prior to singing.

3. Dry Ice Machines - The chemicals used dry up the throat.  If the effect is an essential part of the show use a Fog Machine with cooler (water & glycerine based) or Haze Machine (chemical based but non-toxic).  Both can still affect the voice if inhaled, make sure you have plenty of water to lubricate the throat.

4. Eating heavy meals prior to a gig - the food doesn't have time to digest and sits heavily in your stomach.  This makes it harder to control breathing, vocal reach and projection.

5. Smoke filled environments - pretty impossible to do if your playing pubs n clubs but do what you can by taking a wander outside for fresh air during the breaks.

6. Asprin - can contribute to tinnitus and vocal chord hemorrhage

7. Excessive loud talking and yelling - can lead to vocal strain

8. Coughing and clearing your throat - swallow or sip water instead.

9. Alcohol - although a small drink may help to relax you, alcohol may numb the chords and too much will cause lack of control (vocally & otherwise!!)

10. Sing out of your range - save the top notes for when you can sing them correctly and don't over-reach or you could end up damaging your voice!

Pace yourself at a gig - move vocally demanding songs to the middle or end of each set to allow your voice to warm up beforehand (a vocal warm up before the gig is also advisable) and then rest your voice during the breaks.

Treat allergies and infections promptly and rest your voice when ill. Drink plenty of water during the day to keep your body hydrated and voice lubricated, 8 - 9 pints is recommended. (Beer doesn't count!). Keep a bottle of water at the side of the stage!

Also Read
Hearing Sensitivity
Throat Tension
Vocal Health
Vocal Health Q & A available on the FAQ

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Health Links

These are just a small example of the extensive links to online information and resources we have available in the Vocal Health section, which contains links to anatomical and health related articles, organisations and advice for singers. (All links open in a new window).

For the Health of Your Voice
Tips and advice on things singers should avoid to maintain vocal health from Dr. Nancye Roussel.

Article by singing teacher to the stars 'Tona de Brett'.

Healthy Practice for Musicians Book
Packed full of practical advice covering every aspect of a musician”s physical and mental well-being.

Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers

L'Atelier du Chanteur's Singers FAQ
extensive Singers Health FAQ.

La Voix
French site (no english) has some excellent diagrams of the larynx, respitory, hearing and resonation systems of the body.

Musician's Health
explanation of musician's injuries, along with guidelines regarding injury prevention.

Protecting Your Hearing
A word in your ear by Clive Williamson (Sound on Sound writer) at Symbiosis Music.

(Royal National Institute for Deaf People provides information for tinnitus sufferers, hard of hearing and deaf people. Their site includes a searchable directory of uk services and a host of free factsheets and leaflets on all aspects of hearing loss, tinnitus and deafness available for download.

Society of Singers
nonprofit charity that helps professional vocalists, worldwide, in times of crisis.

The Performing Arts Medicine Association
organization of physicians and other allied professionals dedicated to improving the health care and treatment of performing artists through education, research, and teaching.

The VoiceCare Network
nonprofit educational organization providing lifespan voice education for choral conductors, music educators, church musicians, singing teachers, singers and speech pathologists.