Hoarse voice during warm-up

Posted in Category Singing Basics
  • M
    Marie-Jude Salomon 1 year ago


    I just finished the Day 2 class with Camille, and my voice is a little hoarse. I felt something in my throat during the warm-ups, as if a muscle had been forced out, and then my voice started sounding hoarse. Even now, I'm sipping water, I'm feeling a ball in my throat as I'm swallowing. Where am I going wrong?

    (This is not my first class, and I have definitely felt that kind of hoarseness during warmups before.)

  • C
    Camille van Niekerk 1 year ago

    My favorite exercise for reducing strain and pain is singing through a straw. I encourage you to "reset" with some straw glides throughout your warmup. See below for more guidance!

    Straw phonation

    Here's a lesson explaining how to use the straw with some exercises: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EecSsVgM3TM.

    And here's an article explaining the benefits in detail: https://www.voicescienceworks.org/straw-phonation.html

    You can sing any exercise through a straw (except for belting exercises), but this channel has a ton of straw warmups for you to check out: https://www.youtube.com/c/SingingStraw/videos

    Modifying exercises

    You can always drop out if an exercise gets too high or low to be sung comfortably. But before dropping out, try three things:

    1. Modify the exercise to make it easier (ie: sing on a lip trill, hum or NN/NG instead of an open vowel or other syllable, if that's more doable). 

    2. Sing most of the exercise, and just "think" (audiate, or sing in your head) the pitches you can't reach without straining or going sharp/flat. This gives your vocal folds an opportunity to still adjust and prepare to sing those out-of-reach pitches, even if just air comes out. 

    3. Make sure you're shifting registers when necessary. For example, you may be unable to sing higher pitches because you're still in chest voice, in which case you'd need to "shift gears" and find your head voice placement. 

    More on strain & pain:

    Here's a live lesson I did on strain & vocal health: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6HRdzfpT20

    And an article on preventing vocal injury: https://www.30daysinger.com/blog/vocal-nodules-preventing-injuries

    And here's a guide to reducing strain: https://www.30daysinger.com/blog/how-to-reduce-vocal-strain

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