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  • A male student encountering some issues when singing (Singing Teachers)

    Posted by Eliza Fyfe on June 8, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    I have a male student in his 30’s who is encountering the following issues when singing:
    – suddenly dry and painful feeling in the throat when singing
    – happens with talking as well sometimes, but mainly singing
    – water loosens things up but then it happens straight after
    – could just be sore throat but worried we don’t know the order of sore throat and then singing when it’s sore, or singing until it’s sore..?
    He’s doing his warm ups beforehand and I have advised him to see a doctor just in case, but any tips?

    Eliza Fyfe replied 8 years, 9 months ago 4 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    That sounds like a physical irritation to me. Possibly caused by some incorrect vocal fold closure maybe? Are you hearing any faint raspiness in the voice generally?

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Yes – lots of raspiness!

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    It’s a good rasp though, he sounds good

  • Ben Reeves

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm

    I teach a young girl who has a naturally raspy voice, but one session she complained that her voice was hurting. I put it down to constriction and/or lack of closure, but I must admit that I really don’t know that much about rasp. It sounds like it could well be related though!

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Maybe there’s too much breath in the rasp? Or is he trying to belt high notes with the raspy tone?

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Yes – and I’ve pointed this out and encouraged him to try a more “yawny” purer tone

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    I’d suggest that’s likely what’s doing it. I’ve always thought of it (well I was taught it like this) the raspy tone requires a kind of partial vocal fold closure. This makes it act like a sail in the wind when the air rushed past it. If we push a lot of air through it, we effectively expose that sail to a storm and it’s likely to rip and tear. I always get my students fully voicing high notes as any kind of vocal distortion effect (like rasp or growl) can really easily damage the throat.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Yes, this is what I thought, at least I was on the right lines then. Sometimes I teach and don’t really think I even know what I’m talking about. Encouraging isn’t it?

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Lol I know that feeling. Especially when you teach people that used to be pupils of Matt Pocock! I console myself with the knowledge that even Janice Chapman, whose work I love, says “more research is needed” to various things. Even the best get stumped sometimes

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Just go with it and hope they buy it, that’s what I say

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    Hey guys, it’s the rasp that’s causing the hurt! Any quality, be it breathiness or rasp, that a student can’t turn off spells trouble, especially one like that. I always say to students that ‘We love the rasp, but we don’t want it on by default because it narrows our options.’ It’s caused, as Chris said, by the over pushing of air through the glottis, causing the vocal folds to whack together with too much force, causing oedema and inflammation. I’d advise using light ‘twang’ exercises to get him phonating without any breathiness, then make that healthy sound the default.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    So twang rather than yawny warm ups???

  • Matt Pocock

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Ideally both – the yawn for the relaxation and the twang for the phonation! And very low-effort twang: a mosquito sound at most.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    June 8, 2015 at 5:12 pm

    Thanks for your help all, have forwarded the info on to my student 🙂

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