Ep.99: Singing With a Sore Throat – Vocal Warmups

Singing with a Sore Throat

Downloads of Vocal Warmups for Men and Women are at the end of the blog.


What’s the best thing to do for a sore throat if you have to sing?


Inside this video I’ll highlight doctor and professional singer recommendations.


And here’s the best thing I can do for you. For both men and women, I’m going to give you warm-ups to do before you sing with a sore throat and “warm-downs”  for after your performance or rehearsal.


In Episode 98 I recommended you not sing sick. But what about times when you have a moderately sore throat and still hit all the notes.


This happens all the time. You are a little under the weather, it’s the beginning or ending of a cold and your throat is sore but you can still sing the notes.


What do you do to make your throat feel better? What can you do to make you sound better?


Here’s some links to doctor and professional singer recommendations on treatment for singing with a sore throat.









Singing With a Sore Throat – Safely

Here are some other steps to sound your best during the performance or rehearsal without damaging your voice.


If you are singing in a rehearsal:


  1. Talk with the directors and let them know you are sick; not to make an excuse, but to let them know you are going to be “marking”. That means you are not going to sing full out. You will take the lower octave on high notes and be singing lightly.
  2. If you are playing a character you will do it without the added character voice.
  3. You will be pulling back on speaking volume if you have lines.


If you’re singing in a performance that’s sometimes a little bit different.


  1. If you don’t have to take the high note, take the lower one. Your voice is the priority.
  2. Avoid excessive or loud speaking before and after the performance.


Singing in rehearsals and Performances

Singing With a Sore Throat Drink Water and Get Plenty of SleepScreen Shot 2016-08-22 at 3.14.53 PM

  1. Drink at least ½ gallon of water or more during the day of the performance.
  2. Be rested. Get plenty of sleep. This will help your voice even when you are healthy.


When you’re sick, your vocal cords are puffy and swollen. You may be dehydrated. Perhaps you’re extra tired. These things add up to thinking you aren’t in your best voice. Here are vocal exercises to do before you sing with a cold or a sore throat.


The link for the exercises to download are down below in the description.


Vocal Exercises to do before you sing with a sore throat or cold.


The first is the 1 ½ scale and the second is the arpeggio.


I’ll demonstrate each of these. I’ll demonstrate in the men’s key but women you do them the same way. The recording that I’m going to provide for you, that you can download and use to practice, will each be in your individual appropriate keys.


The first exercise for both men and women will be:

Bubble Lips [Demo]

Tongue Trill

[u] (as in “new”)

[i] (as in “eat”)



The next set of exercises are the arpeggios:

Bubble Lips [Demo]

Tongue Trill

[u] (as in “new”)

[i] (as in “eat”)




Here are some tips:


  • Do them soft to medium soft with a slight dopy or hootie sound.
  • Do them 30-60 minutes before you start singing.
  • For a “warm-down” do the 1 ½ scales exercises soon after you finish.


When you’re doing these warm-ups and warm-downs, do them lightly, gently, softly. Add a little bit of dopy sound as you need to. If you start to crack or if you start to brake, go a little bit hooty or a little bit dopy.


The other tip that I would provide for you is if you crack or break go back to the previous exercise where you didn’t crack or break, add a little bit of that dopy or hooty sound. [Demo] Try it softer.


Again the key on these exercises when you’re sick is do them soft, do them easy. Don’t put a lot of pressure on it. We’re just getting them [Vocal Cords]  limbered up and warmed up. I think you find this to be really helpful.


I love it when I’m not sick. I’ve gone the last 13 months without getting a cold or being sick. We can’t always control that.


We can control our vocal technique. To help you do that, go to PowerToSing.com and take the vocal test, the PowerTest. The test will give you your vocal type, which is what you tend to do when you sing higher through the first vocal bridge.


Take the quiz to get your vocal type then go to the Knowledge Center and learn all about your vocal type. Then download the free exercises and start improving your voice immediately.


I’m Chuck Gilmore with Power To Sing. You can sing higher with beauty, confidence and power. I’ll see you inside the next video.


Download the exercises here:

Men’s Warm-Ups and Warm-Downs When you are Sick

Women”s Warm-Ups and Warm-Downs When you are Sick


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Chuck Gilmore

If you want to do more with your singing voice it is possible. This is the first and most important message. It is possible to achieve your dreams to sing better, to sing higher, and to add beauty, confidence and power to your voice!

I know this because I’ve experienced a real change in my voice. I am reaching my dreams to sing and perform. You can find happiness and fulfillment with your singing too!!


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