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By Vocal Coach Brett Manning
With A Sore Throat
Q: Is it OK for me to sing when I have a sore throat?
Depending on what's causing it, singing with a sore throat can
be catastrophic. I tell my clients, "if it hurts to swallow,
don't sing!" Conversely, if it's a mildly soar throat, consult
your doctor (it's a good idea to find a good ear, nose, throat
specialist in your area and build a relationship with him) and
then use your best judgment. Dry air, singing abusively, and viral/bacterial
infection are some of the more common causes of a sore throat.
Some people just wake up with a sore throat every day of their
life. I've found that the majority of those people have acid-reflux,
which means they are burping up stomach acids while they are sleeping
or sometimes even while they are awake. For most, however, this
happens in the night, so they may be completely unaware of the
problem. They then wake up with a scratchy, raspy voice and a
sore throat. There are numerous web sites directed to the problem
of reflux. Let me recommend a couple:
a dry throat is often a sore throat, consume two to three quarts
of water every day. I actually drink up to a gallon or more a
day. If you live in an arid climate, sleep with a humidifier next
to your bed and try to warm up your voice in the shower. The moisture
is an incredible help for your voice. Also, learn to breathe in
through your nose as much as possible. This will help moisten
the air before it reaches your cords.
next concern is vocal abuse. Some of the causes are singing too
high and too loud for too long, screaming, yelling at a football
game or concert, talking at the top of your voice in a noisy crowd,
breathing cigarette smoke (first- for second-hand), doing voice
impersonations that are extreme or that cause strain and talking
or singing with a raspy, manufactured sound.Whenever my throat is
sore from vocal abuse I try to get some vocal rest, drink plenty
of liquids, and then rehabilitate my voice with gentle exercises
like humming, lip bubbles, and tongue trills.
you get laryngitis and your tone starts to 'skip' or 'cut out' in
the middle of a sustained note, you really want to get serious vocal
rest. Most of all, ALWAYS consult your physician if things don't
clear up rapidly. By this, I mean, if you get a sore throat in the
morning and it clears up by noon and doesn't come back (this occasionally
happens to me) then there's usually nothing to worry about. Otherwise,
call the doctor, because if this condition is medical and you don't
get help, no amount of vocal rest will help. I personally prefer
herbal immune system remedies, but do what works best for you.
information about how Singing Success can help you learn to sing!
voice lessons like pulling teeth? Every lesson I've had was a
miserable experience where I was criticized for every little "wrong"
thing I did.
You are so right. Unfortunately, most voice teachers are still
training their students to look and sound like classical singers,
using techniques that have nothing to do with developing a contemporary
sound. That's why students who don't enjoy older styles of music
often find voice lessons frustrating and fruitless. Brett Manning
will never stifle your unique sound and style. In fact, the Singing
Success Program provides tools and techniques that will allow
you to sing with more style. Besides, who wants to listen to someone
who sounds like every other "proper" singer?
voice cracks as I sing higher. Is there any way to get rid of
that little break in my voice? What
you are experiencing is a "disconnect" between your
chest voice and your head, or falsetto, voice. The way to connect
these two voices is to develop an ability to blend these two in
what is known as the "mixed" voice. This is taught in
detail in the Singing Success Program, but there is an exercise
that you can try right now.
sing up to where your 'break' occurs. Now drop down a couple of
notes and sing in a whimpering voice with the word "nay"
and gently climb up in you range. If you keep a slight crying sound
you'll notice the tone climbing behind your soft palate and settling
more into your head voice. All this should happen without breaking.
Obviously, it is very difficult to teach this without your ears
being employed in the process, but you may still want to give it
I improve my tone quality? Tone
quality improves when the correct musculature is engaged in the
singing process. Feel underneath your chin with your forefinger
and slide it inwards to the point where your neck meets the muscles
under your chin. Now swallow. Notice how your larynx (Adam's apple)
raises up and the muscles under your chin tighten up as you swallow?
These muscles that are engaged in the swallowing process are opposed
to those engaged in the singing process. The use of these muscles
while singing creates a myriad of problems that can take years
to correct if left unchecked. For good tone quality, you must
learn to sing without the outer muscles of the larynx. Doing so
will set free your natural voice, drastically improving tone quality
and ease of use. Naturally, the Singing Success Program contains
techniques that will help you do this.
it really possible to teach style? Until
now, there really has not been a comprehensive system of teaching
vocal style. There have been scales played to reflect certain
genres, such as the Blues Scale, but that's really not enough.
Brett Manning worked with hundreds of brilliant vocal stylists
to co-develop training techniques based on their various skills.
Using these techniques you can develop style skills so prolific
that you'll be able to reinterpret any song you wish into a unique
masterpiece. Think of it this way: As a singer, you are the artist
and the final "painting" is up to you. Brett Manning's
style training just gives you more colors to work with.