Ariella's Vocal Notes- Blog

Sticky vocal chords…Help

By Arumuga ganesh

Hello Ariella,

I just started using your cd,”Voice Lessons to Go.” I’m having lots of fun and I think the other drivers might be amused when I have the windows down in the car:) I have a question. What can I do about mucus on my vocal chords? I know I can sing higher, but it feels like my vocal chords are sticky. Thanks (sorry if this is a little gross) Heidi

Hi Heidi,

This is a yucky subject, but a relevant one for singing. Mucous on your chords can be caused by a variety of problems such as; what you eat, allergies, sickness, and heartburn.

This is something you are going to need to figure out over time. In general though. Drinking regular tea before you sing will help to strip your chords of mucous. Also, vocalizing helps to shake off the sticky stuff due to the vibrations in your vocal chords when you sing. So start with doing both of those regularly.

If you do have allergies there is medication you can take to help, but watch out for the drying effect that some medication can cause to your vocal chords. Bring this up with your doctor so he is aware to be conscience of your singing when prescribing you something for the mucous.

Stay away from foods such as orange juice, peanut butter, and chocolate before you sing. Also most dairy products can cause excess mucous.

Acid reflux can also be a real bummer for singers. The acid sitting at the base of your chords can create a mucous that is defending the delicate larynx. Speak to your doctor about medication for this as well.

I hope this helps for a start. Without me knowing you it is hard for me to see what is really going on.

Good luck!

Ariella Vaccarino