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Throat Soarness after singing

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v3nge
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Hi, this is my first post here, I've been singing and going to a vocal coach for about a year. When I sing, I start getting a sore throat after more than 20 or so minutes. It isn't very prominent pain unless I strain too much. I used to get a lot of tension on high notes but that has gotten a lot better since I've been working on it. Anyway, it gets sore even when I don't notice too much tension. Then it will usually go away within an hour or two. Could some one help me figure out what the problem might be?

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My first guess would be breathyness, but it would be if you'd post a clip of yourself singing so somebody here could help you. Try singing while keeping your hand in front of your face. You should feel heat, not wind. If you feel wind, you're too breathy. The old opera style of vocal coaching was to put a candle in front of your mouth when you sang. You were supposed to use to little air that the flame would not flicker and not get put out. If you're too breathy, your vocal cords are getting blow torched, in a way, each time you sing. Not good for them and you get hoarse and sore.

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Interesting, I just read about this in cvt yesterday (I just started reading the book). I will try to post a clip but I'm not sure when it will be. Now that you mention the breathy thing, I should say that I have trouble with the support technique in cvt. I find it hard to flex the muscles around my solar plexus while not flexing muscles in my stomach. And I also feel like it pushes the air higher into my chest when I keep the stomach pulled in. I am assuming you've read the book since you mentioned the candle thing, in hindsight it seems like I'm jumping to conclusions lol. Anyway if you know about that, maybe you could help me with it.

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Interesting, I just read about this in cvt yesterday (I just started reading the book). I will try to post a clip but I'm not sure when it will be. Now that you mention the breathy thing, I should say that I have trouble with the support technique in cvt. I find it hard to flex the muscles around my solar plexus while not flexing muscles in my stomach. And I also feel like it pushes the air higher into my chest when I keep the stomach pulled in. I am assuming you've read the book since you mentioned the candle thing, in hindsight it seems like I'm jumping to conclusions lol. Anyway if you know about that, maybe you could help me with it.

If I may be so presumptuous, since Martin is no longer here, jonpall is the unopposed go-to guy on things CVT. You are definitely corresponding with the right person to understand that system.

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I don't think I know the most about cvt on this forum, although I guess I know a lot. And I've studied many other systems, too, btw. But note that this candle thingy is mentioned in many, many vocal systems. The chapter on support in the cvt book is perhaps overly complex in my opinion - maybe because they wanted to cover EVERYTHING about support. You must realize that for singing in your chest voice, you may not need to support much at all, but just "let it happen". It's only when you start to go high up in pitch and/or increase the volume where you very gradually need to increase the support. But to start off with, sing very easy melodies in your chest voice without supporting at all! Support (by contracting the muscles in the abdominal region) is only really needed for high, loud notes. The higher and louder, the more support. And if you overdo the support, you simply waste energy and might constrict your throat. I think you should post a clip.

To comment on your comments: Don't try to "flex the muscles around your solar plexus while not flexing muscles in your stomach". Just inhale by relaxing your whole body completely. LET the air in, don't force it and don't try to inhale quickly. Just as fast as it wants to go. Don't raise your shoulders and relax your throat. Also, only take in as much air as you need. Inhaling TOO much air will build up too much pressure so don't do it. Now, when you sing the phrase, notice that the inhalation process will have raised and expanded your lower ribs very slightly - as a side effect of your stomach going out (which is a side effect of your diaphragm going down, pushing your intestines outwards). While you sing the phrase, KEEP your lower ribs in this position and let your stomach go in very gradually, as if working against resistance. The higher and/or louder your notes are, the more effort you have to put in to do this. But in the middle or your range, where your easy notes are, this takes practically no effort at all (and that's the way it should be because you don't want to waste energy).

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Okay, so bringing your stomach in is more of a way to add support, in the book she makes it seem like it's a kind of prerequisite of support. I will try to record a clip sometime. In the mean time, how does one usually combat being too breathy? Thanks.

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I will do that. Here are some audio clips, I'm sorry that they aren't very good examples as there are parts in both that I am very "breathy" on purpose, if the parts with more volume sound breathy however, that isn't on purpose. These are just tracks that I found digging around on my computer (I don't think they're too old though, a month or two at most) but I was unable to record a new one because a friend is borrowing some of my equipment right now.

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39271261/voc_4_4.wav

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/39271261/voc%20test.wav

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Links aren't working. I see this error:

Error (403)

It seems you don't belong here! You should probably try logging in?

You can also check out our FAQ or forums and maybe you'll find what you were looking for. Or maybe you should try heading home.

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Ok, I listened to your clips. The first clip had so little volume that I could barely hear it. The second was slightly louder so we could work with that. First of all, you're squeezing your throat when you sing. You need to have it more relaxed. It's probably because you're trying to "put some emotion in your singing", which is good but you're bringing some unnecessary tension along with it. So what I would suggest for you to start out with is to sing the very same melody (and record it for us to listen), but this time sing it like you were in a choir. That means I want to hear absolutely no emotion at all. Just long sustained notes with no vibrato at all and no "feeling" - and your throat and whole body as relaxed as humanly possible. Once you can do that (it might take a few runs), you can gradually go back to putting in "feeling" into your singing but try to do it this time around without clenching your throat muscles so much. Could you record a clip like that? Btw. props to you for being brave enough to post your clips. That's the mark of someone who not only wants to get better at singing - but is definitely going to! Have a nice one.

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