Singing Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
Hey Dudes and Divas!

Welcome to Singer Forum by Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy. Enrolled KTVA vocalists have access to the full singer forums, self-registered members have access to limited areas of the KTVA singing forum. Register to learn more.

To enroll in Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Singing Lessons click here.

Mucus and unwanted rasp

bentkbentk Posts: 1,184Pro, 2.0 PRO
Hi all,

Anybody notice some issues now and then with 'unwanted' rasp as a result of mucus in the nasal areas/throat?
I especially notice it when sustaining long notes, and especially in chest. It doesn't hurt my ability to hit the notes, and sustain them, but it adds unwanted rasp to the sound. Now the sound isn't 'bad', but i rather not have the rasp.

Naturally, i have this issue to a varying degree. Sometimes notice barely anything or nothing at all, and other times the rasp really takes over the sound. When sustaining a long note, the rasp can creep back in after time, as if the vibrations cause this. I can also feel the mucus. It's less so with head voice.

Would love to hear some thoughts, insights, whatever :)

All the best,



  • WigsWigs Posts: 570Moderator, 2.0 PRO
    I notice in my mid and lower range especially if I am not practicing regularly. It seems like vocal fry or something even though it's not at the very bottom of my range. It takes alot of concentration and air management to get the sound clean. For me it's mostly on the back side of my scales as mentioned in another post rebuilding the rocket ship, I must let go support or allow my cords to get loose or something.
  • DiegoDiego Posts: 8712.0 PRO
    I think it's because of the mucus blocking a full open throat, and creating rasp because of the vibration and lack of space. I has happened to me, and it is really annoying, after a while of warming the voice up it usually goes away.
  • doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Posts: 2,627Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management
    Hi @bentk,

    as sorry as I am, I do not believe that I can contribute anything meaningful to your question. I noticed myself the same issue that @Diego mentioned. But for me it is clear while this is happening to me: I am still smoking cigarettes. At the moment I am switching to vaporizing but did still not manage to leave my hands of the cigarettes totally.

    Do you suffer from any known allergies?

    Sorry, that I can not help you with a better answer.

  • bentkbentk Posts: 1,184Pro, 2.0 PRO
    edited August 18
    Hey thanks for the replies so far everybody. It's not really that any mucus is 'blocking' my singing, it's just unwanted rasp from the mucus that 'rattles' in the throat or nasal cavities. I also notice that after warmups this can go away. Having some oregano oil (a few drops in a little bit of water) was a really good tip here on the forum, and it's my secret weapon if i really need it. It seems to really open up the cavities and remove some mucus. If you are interested in oregano oil, please do read the package etc. These oils are pretty, well, almost caustic, lol. Very concentrated, and shouldn't be ingested too much. I recommend (as the package says) to mix it with something like honey or water like me. It doesn't really mix with water, as it's an oil, but it's a little less 'burning' that way.

    So i do a good warmup before i sing, but after some down-time from singing (a half hour or hour or so) some mucus could have built up again, causing the rattle to come back. So it can be a bit of a struggle if you have to wait a while before singing again (due to set construction or whatever).

    @Diego it's good to hear that i am not the only one it happens to occasionally. Thanks for letting me know! Anything you do beside the warmup?

    @Wigs I think i recognise what you are saying, it might be the same thing i mentioned as 'rasp creeping back' into the sound, and in your case, on the way down of the scale. However, i don't know if this is a mucus thing for you.

    I also like to avoid eating foods or drink other beverages besides water just before warming up and singing. Sometimes it's not possible, but it's better in my experience.

    Please don't apologise @doc_ramadani , you don't need to. All these replies contribute to the topic. However, you really have to quit smoking! Better not even use e-cigarettes or 'vape' etc. There are very effective programs to stop smoking, as i am sure you know of as a doctor. However, it will of course be difficult to remove such a habit, so i wish you all the best with this struggle.

  • WigsWigs Posts: 570Moderator, 2.0 PRO
    I forgot about the key word of mucus in your discussion so I think you're right that it's something different for me.😎
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,315Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @bentk … How is your hydration level? I find when I keep my yap open too long, I start to dry out. This in turn can yield rasp. I tend to try to counter this with Aloe Vera juice when I feel it coming on, as it settles everything down quickly.
    I live in a pretty arid locale, so I actually have to be cognizant of this now.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 1,184Pro, 2.0 PRO

    Hey Phil, good to hear from you!
    I try to keep myself hydrated, but it's possible that it's still a factor. When i go to a rehearsal i usually drink pretty well before hand, and during the rehearsal itself. And coming to think of it, it's usually not that my throat is dry. When this rasp is prevalent, i usually feel the phlegm in my nasal cavities and throat. I just need to get rid of it, so i use the oregano oil or/and drink a lot of water. I will also take my eating more into account. Especially not eating too soon before warming up and singing.

    I tried the aloe vera juice before, and it's really nice stuff. It's just usually loaded with sugar. There are some that use sweetener though, which i am not a fan of. But even though it's sweet, it still soothes the throat it seems.

    And just to make it clear, i don't have this problem all the time, and to varying degrees. If a tiny amount of rasp creeps in now and then, i don't mind. It's barely noticeable then.

    Maybe, if i have down-time during singing or rehearsals, i should just do some lip burbles now and then to keep the throat clear.

    Thanks for all the input!
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 1,315Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Good stuff!
    One thing about Aloe juice, is that is helps to recover from reflux flare-ups :+
  • samw2019samw2019 Posts: 1642.0 PRO
    Hi, good to be training, I'm trying to stop/heavy cut down smoking myself, it's more difficult than I thought, so it probably accounts for my own rasp which I think I get at certain points on scales.

    But before getting the course after trying to sing heavy rock I got almost husky after practicing even speaking and I found the scales in the technique really cleaned me up so hopefully your training could remove rasp even if that's when it comes out doing certain notes at the difficult points.

    I'm learning the Volume 1 myself so don't know too much to offer anyone else advice, and I smoke like I say, but it immediately started cleaning up my voice after starting, first with the youtube scales and then 10-fold with the training proper. Difficult for me to say for more difficult exercises people are doing in the later volumes especially. But mucus is probably easier to clean up, this oregano oil sounds interesting for emergencies I think. Anyway I was outright cracking and voice breaking before I started which is gone now! All the best
Sign In or Register to comment.