These actions make the difference between singing night after night or cancelling a gig –says Jaime Vendera
1. Keep your cords hydrated. Our bodies produce ‘motor oil’ for our vocal cords to keep them from overheating. That oil is called phlegm, which is typically thin and clear. When we lack water, phlegm turns thick (like engine sludge) and yellow, especially after consuming certain foods, caffeine, or alcohol. Today, I’m issuing the gallon challenge! Start drinking a gallon of water a day to maintain hydration. As well, buy a portable steamer that allows you to attach a water bottle to the top to use at night in your hotel room/ tour bus.
2. Flush your sinuses. When I was on Dr. Oz several years ago, I gave him a Neti pot, which is used to irrigate the sinuses via salt water. The sinuses can become inflamed and infected via the pollutants we inhale, which can lead to a cold. Dr. Oz said to me, “You brush your teeth everyday don’t you? Then you should also flush the sinuses every day.” I totally agree, so start flushing!
3. Boost your immune system. Every morning add two packets of your choice of Vitamin C/B complex powder. There are multitudes of brands in a variety of flavors on the market, so choose one you like. As well, add a teaspoon of flax oil, and ten drops of liquid zinc to 16 ounces of water. Shake and drink for a mixture to boost the immune system and mental frame of mind, reducing inflammation and rebuild vocal tissue. Do NOT take on an empty stomach as zinc can upset the stomach.
4. Use the Fixer Elixir. The fixer elixir is a gargle for use when your voice is shot and you must perform, consisting of one tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, (MUST be Bragg’s) half teaspoon of fresh lemon juice, a big pinch of cayenne pepper, and an equal pinch of sea salt, in a cup of hot water. Gargle and spit as needed. I gave this formula to Myles Kennedy years ago when touring with Alter Bridge and he was sick. I saw him gargling on the side of the stage, making the most awful faces, but, hey, it got him through the show…