Treating Hoarseness: Can good vocal technique be bad for you?
Many vocal professionals consider “Technique” as the ultimate solution and immunity against and in treating hoarseness. Is that so?
Don’t get me wrong: a proper vocal technique is necessary for vocal hygiene and excellent professional performance. However, it comes at a price. It can make you overlook your vocal condition, instead of treating it on time, and properly.
Paradoxically, vocal performers with strong voices or excellent vocal techniques, might wear out their vocal folds, thus suffering accumulated vocal damage. Instead, they should just rest and treat their vocal disorder.
This is why even vocal coaches and speech therapist who use the best vocal techniques, experience occasional vocal disorders and difficulties and even vocal folds ailments.
What should you do?
The sooner you detect the disorder and treat it, the more chances you have to avoid accumulated vocal damage. So understanding the source is crucial in treating hoarseness.
What is vocal fatigue?
Vocal folds, being cartilages, wear with time, and mostly, under strain. Vocal strain might damage not only their outside, but sometimes their inside as well. The major causes of it are intense vocal strain for a long time, under challenging acoustic conditions, as well as the conditions of specific vocal performance, which require temperamental and intense singing or speaking. For example, a schoolteacher who must address 40 lively and noisy kids in the morning, when his vocal cords have yet to warm up, must endure noisy environment on a daily basis, which causes him vocal fatigue. Likewise, a singer who must perform many hours at a time, night after night, must sing both high and low registers as best as possible, sounding loud and clear. So naturally, he may suffer vocal fatigue.
Such disorders, unless fully cured, may have long-term negative effects on your voice. Bear in mind that the air you breathe is full of germs, which might damage your voice, especially. There are also the springtime and autumn seasonal allergies, and wintertime diseases, which often cause respiratory system irritation and hoarseness.
If not cured, they may have accumulated effect, worsening the vocal disorder, to the point of inability to sing or speak. This may even drive the performer to despair, making him think of giving up vocal performance altogether.
Hoarseness is a quite common problem, so there is no need to get depressed about it, just treat it properly.
Vocal fatigue symptoms:
If you are a professional singer, you may feel your voice breaks at high notes, or that you fail to perform all your usual tones, especially in the higher register. You may also find it difficult to sing with low intensity.
If you are a lecturer or teacher, you might feel you must speak loudly, pressing your voice, in order to sound clear. Since you have to strain your voice, it might break.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to learn how to treat vocal fatigue symptoms, and treat the slightest symptoms as soon as you detect them.
Tips for treating hoarseness
Sometimes, you just have to have a vocal rest and minimize your vocal effort: talk less; avoid talking in noisy places and with bad acoustics; keep silent for several times a day. It is necessary, though not easy, because you just cannot be available to everybody all the time, without renewing your vocal energy.
Here are some widely used tips to relieve your voice during vocal strain. Practice them for at least two weeks, until your voice gets back to normal:
Try to communicate through text messages and emails, or leave written notes, in order to speak as little as possible.
- Have a sufficient night sleep.
- Completely avoid speaking for at least one hour, twice or three times a day.
- Speak softly, and don’t press the words during vocal fatigue. Move your mouth more, but do not press the consonant too hard.
- When speaking quietly, use additional airflow, to smoothen the voice production and massage your vocal cords
- Use excessive lip-movement, to allow your listener to read your lips. It will also allow your lips and tongue support your voice and force the words out.
- Pause more frequently between words, even if it sounds somewhat “machine-like”.
- You should feel the resonation in your chest and back cavities when you vocalize.
- You should feel the resonation in your nasal cavity and sinuses when you vocalize. To practice it, you can use our nose-clip.
- Inhale steam, to unblock your airways, using a steam inhaler, or wrap a towel around your face, over a boiling water pot. We recommend combining it with applying TMRG Voice Synergy Oil.
- Perform the following exercises:
- Breathe out, while pronouncing the “s” sound, making sure to exhale smoothly. Support your breath from the abdomen or expand your rib cage.
- 5-minute long yawning exercises, to release your jaw, 3 times a day.
- Use TMRG’s natural solutions to shorten your voice recovery, as well as protect and improve your vocal quality.
Everyone may suffer a vocal breakdown, so you must learn how to restore your voice in times of intensive vocal effort, using the suitable solution.
So keep safe and sound
TMRG voice specialist