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Scratchy Stuff

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Keith
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I just started vocal workouts again yesterday, and I didn't do any straining or reaching for high notes. I simply did scales from I'd say E2 to A4. I did them with the TVS "eh", and also "ah". I did 5 tone and octave scales. When I was done, I tried to sing a couple songs, and my voice wasn't clean at all. It sounded scratchy. Any ideas why? It may be important to mention, but I did this about an hour after waking up.

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There's many possible causes:

-squeezed the vocal folds too much and/or pushed too much air during the workout

-didnt workout long enough or high enough to really warm your voice up

-didnt eat breakfast first

-abused your voice the day before

-haven't sang in a while

-didnt warm up with a semi-occluded phonation

-just still not out of morning voice yet (time factor)

-jumped into medium to heavier phonations too soon

-acid reflux of some sort

Etc. more than likely you'll find a cause in that list

I believe none of this stuff should ever be a mystery, you can always trace it back to a cause

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By the way I've found this scratchy sound is always what we commonly call "constriction" and happens when something in your technique is out of balance causing the throat to close. But constriction is sometimes not directly caused by technique - the condition of your voice can also throw your otherwise good technique off balance and cause it.

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I also forgot to add to that list, you could just be dehydrated. And in the morning that's very likely.

Not singing in months does all kinds of ridiculous things though. And singing in the shower doesn't really count. At least youre using your voice but the way you hear it in there hides a lot of potential issues. As Phil once told me, "you can sing in falsetto in the shower and sound AMAZING!!!" which is scarily true. It's nearly impossible to really train in the shower, the best you can do is do stuff like humming and lip trills where its more about the health of sound production. But if you try to train bridging and connecting in the shower you're more than likely wasting your time.

Did you notice the scratchy stuff in the workouts too or just the singing?

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Towards the end of the workout I started to notice I was singing with some rasp, and I could feel the scratchiness.

There you go.

If the rasp is kicking in that early it could definitely be an issue of your airflow and compression not in balance. Too much squeezing the folds or too much pushing air out will often lead you to a distorted sound over time

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