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How long until serious?

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Hey guys, about a month or so ago I started to notice a little hoarseness to my voice in the mid to upper range (around the passagio). I initially thought I had strained my voice, but then decided that it was probably from the slight cold I had (this is the first winter since I've started training seriously, so I have no past experience with how my training is effected with colds or illness). I still think it was from the illness, so after a few days rest I decided to lightly practice again, accepting the lower notes, earlier passagio etc so as not to strain my voice.

Somehow, I think it was a combination of my cold/illness going/settling in my voice (probably from the tiredness etc of vocal training) with a combination of having to speak louder in bar settings etc, I blew out my voice or got laryngitis. The day after going out and this occuring, I could hardly speak at all. Each day, my voice got a little bit stronger, with myself constantly drinking water, swallowing spoonfuls of honey, and trying to speak as little as possible to help.

It has now been slightly over a week (happened on a Sunday morning/Saturday night, it is Tuesday afternoon at this writing) and my voice is 80-90% back, except for some hoarseness in the passagio/bridging area. I have not sung or trained other than to lightly test out my voice, and to do some hums and lip rolls to help strengthen my voice. I hope to have my voice back by next Monday, and regardless that would be the earliest I start singing/training again.

My question is, how much time not regaining my voice since the incident is when I should see an ENT? 3 weeks? I know I read somewhere that Rob has said it takes A LOT of pressure/trauma to actually hurt your voice/fall into nodes/polyps territory, so I think (hope) that I've just blew it out; especially considering that there wasn't a single moment or moments where I was full on pushing/in agony from REALLY using my voice in a negative way.

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I personally wouldn't worry about it. From what I've heard it's normal for the voice to sometimes take a long time to completely recover from illness, often several weeks. Personally, the few times I've gotten a sore throat or something, the symptoms would be gone very quickly, but it would sometimes still take me a week or so before my voice gained its full strength and technique back.

Thanks for the reply!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I wish I had read this thread earlier.

For those who have read my tale of woe, please, skip this. It's for jco.

When I first came to this forum, I had been singing for a long time.

Everyone was trying to create distortion in the voice. A few were covering like Brian Johnson from AC/DC. And kept talking about false vocal fold distortion.

I tried it or what I thought was it, from the descriptions. And gave myself partial laryngitis.

Twice. Why twice, because, though others may find this hard to believe, I do NOT think that I know everything. I thought I had done something wrong the first time. And so, I tried it again. And suffered the same malady, again.

Each time, it took a few weeks of not singing. Of speaking only when necessary and in close quarters, in order to not push my voice. When I approached singing again, I started with light falsetto descending slides. Because during the time of my self-inflicted injury, I had no fine control.

Getting back to the classical techniques like one might find with Anthony Frisell or Dr Fillebrown brought my voice back. And I never went to a doctor. But I did scare the bejesus out of myself.

And realized a few things. There are some things my voice cannot do and I should not try to make it do. This earned me the label of being lazy. So be it.

I also realized that having "distortion" has never been that important to me and I should not have pursued that in order to "fit in." I completely own that bone-headed mistake.

I also came to realize that I am not a baritone. Never have been, never will be. And whenever I try to go to low for my voice, it usually results in the most pointed criticism. Even if I was just doing it for effect.

So, as a rule, I don't go below my lowest full volume note, C3, even when speaking.

You are probably going to be okay. Rest, hydration, easy going re-entrance into singing. Combine that with not doing again what it is that caused you a problem should help.

It is often said that you can sing with a cold if the cold is not in your throat.


Well, if it's in the chest, your breath support is crapped out. If it is in the head, your resonators are blocked. Better to give it a rest and get well. IMO.

Especially as most of us are NOT professional singer currently on tour. And even the pros sometimes cancel a date if they are under the weather.

Let alone us armchair serenaders.


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