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Can I hurt my voice and throat without producing sound?

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Something I've grown accustomed to when listening to extreme vocals is 'imagining' I'm singing it in a way the music might feel, and that involves producing no actual sound, but tensing as if I'm blasting a big screaming high note. And I'm writing this because I'm noticing as I sit here that my throat seems a little unhappy about it. So I'm wondering, is it possible I'm actually doing some damage even though I'm not producing sound?

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not damage -not immediately at least-, but hearing some extreme vocals and just being convinced that the singer is destroying his voice (despite this could or could not be true), could leave you in a not so good position/approach to then vocalize, sing or use your voice in general, cause as you say, you tend to emulate, to activate some muscles in preparation to "replicate" what you think or feel the singer is doing (so if it is hearing what you feel is a bad coordination, could make you block your breath support or tense some constrictors on your throat BEFORE even you start using your voice).

my recommendation is avoid this and try to hear singers that you know for sure that have a really free voice and range etc (like bruno mars) -or that use extreme vocals that you like, singers that you know or feel arent destroying their voices, someone like mike patton for example or anyone you like-, do this before, and during breaks when practicing, it will motivate you and help you have a better approach to the practice, and also it will condition you to emulate their mix, efficient distortion, or any good coordination they are making :) 

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I would not say damage, but I can definitely relate to it. It is more like over-tension. It also happens if you "sing into yourself" while listening to a normal song, not only extreme stuff. You are basically tensing the muscles in the throat without providing the airstream that is usually there to provide some relaxation.

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22 hours ago, benny82 said:

I would not say damage, but I can definitely relate to it. It is more like over-tension. It also happens if you "sing into yourself" while listening to a normal song, not only extreme stuff. You are basically tensing the muscles in the throat without providing the airstream that is usually there to provide some relaxation.

Yeah, I think that's exactly it. For my whole life, when I get to the intense parts of music and I'm into it, I tense up. It was a problem with piano too, because I would naturally tense my arms when I went big, and it took a long time to stop doing that. Now I'm going through the same with singing - a big intense part = me getting really into it and tensing my throat.

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46 minutes ago, PianoandGuitarguy said:

Yeah, I think that's exactly it. For my whole life, when I get to the intense parts of music and I'm into it, I tense up. It was a problem with piano too, because I would naturally tense my arms when I went big, and it took a long time to stop doing that. Now I'm going through the same with singing - a big intense part = me getting really into it and tensing my throat.

Yep, another problem that often happens is when people "go big" in singing they tend to open up the vocal tract to create "space" when you need to do exactly the opposite (create narrowing/resistance).

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I'd say yes, but only temporary pain. You're engaging muscles. I've actually done it before. You say your throat feels unhappy, so there you go. And the general rule is, if it hurts, stop doing it.

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On 4/1/2017 at 2:13 AM, PianoandGuitarguy said:

Something I've grown accustomed to when listening to extreme vocals is 'imagining' I'm singing it in a way the music might feel, and that involves producing no actual sound, but tensing as if I'm blasting a big screaming high note. And I'm writing this because I'm noticing as I sit here that my throat seems a little unhappy about it. So I'm wondering, is it possible I'm actually doing some damage even though I'm not producing sound?

It is a psychological response. Even when watching sports you may find that your arm twitches when watching someone hit a baseball. Being that it is a psychological response change the way think about making those sounds. For one thing you do not know HOW those sounds are made you BELIEVE tension is involved. Tension is NOT involved it is relaxation that gives those sounds. Distortion is made by tissue being loose and allowed to vibrate freely. 

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On 4/2/2017 at 8:42 AM, geran89 said:

not damage -not immediately at least-, but hearing some extreme vocals and just being convinced that the singer is destroying his voice (despite this could or could not be true), could leave you in a not so good position/approach to then vocalize, sing or use your voice in general, cause as you say, you tend to emulate, to activate some muscles in preparation to "replicate" what you think or feel the singer is doing (so if it is hearing what you feel is a bad coordination, could make you block your breath support or tense some constrictors on your throat BEFORE even you start using your voice).

my recommendation is avoid this and try to hear singers that you know for sure that have a really free voice and range etc (like bruno mars) -or that use extreme vocals that you like, singers that you know or feel arent destroying their voices, someone like mike patton for example or anyone you like-, do this before, and during breaks when practicing, it will motivate you and help you have a better approach to the practice, and also it will condition you to emulate their mix, efficient distortion, or any good coordination they are making :) 


This is not very related, but I couldn't stay silent, hahah. As much as I deeply love Kyo for his awesome screams, I wouldn't take his early screaming ( up to 2009 probably?) as an example to follow xDDD unless I want me some nice vocal surgery xP His Uroboros' screams and later sound way healthier though.

 

On 4/3/2017 at 2:21 AM, benny82 said:

I would not say damage, but I can definitely relate to it. It is more like over-tension. It also happens if you "sing into yourself" while listening to a normal song, not only extreme stuff. You are basically tensing the muscles in the throat without providing the airstream that is usually there to provide some relaxation.

 

I totally relate to that, man. When I "sing for myself" , as my mom tells me to do so I don't bother the TV viewers hahah my throat sets into a placement or coordinations that makes my normal singing harder later. 

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haha good to see you here :P

yes, kyo's most recent -i dont know why im talking in english since we both speak natively in spanish, we even live in the same city ldskkfj xd- ahem!, kyo's most recent works are indeed a lot more polished, i mean i like all the different "phases" during his career, but he clearly had some moments in which he didnt care at all about technique, at least above the scenario, if there were constrictions of breaks, he didnt care, but what i like of these crazy times and experimentations is that it is on these times that kyo started exploiting his emotional side on the performance, being really raw, a lot more than when he was more technical far in the past, and before start giving again more priority to the vocal technique and prolixity, above the stage!

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My throat acts like it's about to sing and clinches occasionally when listening to a song especially on screaming or high notes.  It did bother me at first, but I figure it can't do that much harm and is probably nothing more than a nervous habit or tick.  What I do when I have those is accept them and move on.  Also I smoke weed everyday and my voice is fine and getting better, been doing it off and on for the past few years.  I've got it in my mind that I need to quit soon.  Partially because of my voice even though the effect is hardly noticeable.  Then again I've been doing it so long I don't really have a non smoking voice to compare it too.  Well that's a lie cause a few months back I did quit for 6 months after I was really sick.  End rant.

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