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.

Phlegm etc.

bentkbentk Posts: 763Pro, 2.0 PRO
Hi all!

I have noticed that today and yesterday i seem to have some more trouble with singing (or alternatively, read: accessing) in my upper-mid voice and my bridging. Now i haven't been doing a lot of KTVA for the past 2-3 weeks because of various reasons, but i do not think i would notice such a set-back from 2 weeks. I've been without KTVA training for a week or more before, that's just life. But thankfully, it never seemed to have any influence over that time period, but you also don't progress.

So some days ago, my singing was fine, i had about the same comfortable 'access' on the whole within my whole range so to speak. But now i notice a feeling very low in my throat, almost at the base, well below the larynx. And at times, my voice seems better. I really suspect that it's phlegm or something, because now and then it's better, or suddenly get's worse with a crackling tone and feeling in the area i described. As if there is some phlegm just sitting there, but just stubborn enough to not be swallowed. I am also not sick or anything.

It takes me much more effort to access my higher range, and to bridge at certain areas of pitch. The 'easy' lip roll bridging goes OK, but more challenging ones, and higher bridging is asking more effort from me than normal. Also, i notice just a little more of that lower resonance sounds when talking. Not that my pitch is far different than normal, just that resonant tone we all know from males. You hear it very well when Ken talks.

I was wondering if anyone has any ideas, tips, or similar experiences? It's slightly frustrating for me, because i usually don't experience something like this, that it actually inhibits parts of my singing. Not unless i am also sick or something. I am usually able to sing it all off, but that also seems harder now. The KTVA exercises go better than singing, but also ask way more effort and i fall slightly below my normal range. Besides tips such as gargling salt water, drinking lemon tea and taking apple cider vinegar, i am really hoping that some of you have some excellent, phlegm crushing/flushing ideas! I am aware of the video that Ken made, but i would like to hear some stories from experience from you guys. That way, i might be able to narrow down the most effective ways, and combine them.

Thanks!

Ben

Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 12,714Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    Sometimes you will just lose that crisp edge that makes your passaggio and upper mids sound so good and so free. That can happen from oversinging or it can happen from low-grade phlegm or mucus that isn't so much full-blown illness as it is going out in weather, coming back into heated homes, or other irregularities.

    The more "in-shape" our voices are, the less these variations will hold us back, but we aren't supermen or women and will have better days and worse days as a living instrument. We want only the better, but we have to take what comes.

    My go-to to cut through the gunk is oil of oregano. It's not a "fix-all", but if I'm pretty sure that any issues I have are related to sinus or mucus on the cords, I will go for a few drops of O of O. Just knowing I have a bottle of it on hand lets me have a "secret weapon" that can give me a little bit of confidence. I also have the little hand-held "MyPurmist" vaporizer/humidifier. Those are kind of spendy, but if I'm feeling sick, out it comes. I have some of that "kick-ass Immune stuff". It's pretty gross. I have to be dying before I want to spray that stuff in my throat voluntarily. It must be made from earthworms or something like that.

    I have found the least expensive place to get these items to be from eBay.

    Bob
  • bentkbentk Posts: 763Pro, 2.0 PRO
    I see that the oil of oregano is readily available here, so i can definitely give that a try.

    The reason why i am ruling out over-singing, is that i am normally able to sing day after day in a similar manner, and with the same 'freedom' after the same workouts. So a sudden drop in performance, and the suspicious feeling deep in my throat tells me that this is more of a phlegm issue. I can also tell that it gets worse, the more i feel down there.

    A humidifier is also something i will consider. When i have a cold, i take a nice hot shower which also helps a lot, but the humidifier might also be able to help me out with 'regular' obstructions.

    Thanks Bob! I hope others also have some great tips that i never heard of.

    All the best,

    Ben
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 807Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    I am actually skirting a cold that my son brought home from school... Mine started with my vocals being a little bit more gravelly than normal. At first I thought "Cool, I sound like Paul Rogers!" Then later that night I figured out why, as I felt the heat behind my eyes and the itch in my throat. I immediately started off with my "Cold-Killer mix of Zinc, Vit-D, Vit-C and Echinacea... chased by lemon water.
    Its now day 2 after that and almost all symptoms have subsided. Along with Bob's suggestion, I think I am going to start using a scarf, as it is getting colder than balls now and I find myself instinctively trying cover my throat when I go out in the cold.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 12,714Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited December 2017
    One thing that dawned on me that I had forgotten to mention, is when I do have to fight an illness, my secret, secret weapon is the liposomal vitamin C. It costs way too much (about $40 a bottle) but when I get down to really wanting to fight a cold or sore throat, it's about the most potent vitamin C you can get. I save it for my "big guns" when I'm desperate. You have to keep it refrigerated, and it has an expiration date, so no reason to not use it when you need it. But just knowing that you have it if you need it gives you some hope to make it through a big gig when you've got a big cold.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 763Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Thanks so much for the replies, it's all stuff i can look into. Luckily i don't get colds often, but that doesn't mean that i stay clear of phlegm 100% of the time.

    Hydration and healthy whole-foods are the most important for me, as i am also active with exercise etc. Healthy food usually accompanies a exerciser regime. And for that matter, i also encourage everybody to exercise.

    I would hate to cancel even the smallest gig because of a cold or some kind of obstruction in the throat!

  • bentkbentk Posts: 763Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Hey @highmtn

    I got myself some oil of oregano to use in case of severe phlegm accumulation. I wondered how you take it? I presume you mix it with tea or just water? Do you drink it cold or warm?

    All the best,

    Ben
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 12,714Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I take it straight out of the dropper. A couple of drops under the tongue and a few in the back of the throat. Stand by for flames coming out of your ears and throat.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 763Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Oh my goodness. I tried some water with one drop, and i think the smell of oregano will never leave that glass. That stuff is insanely concentrated. You must have a throat of steel! I am not sure if that is ok for your throat seeing it's concentration. That it might be something to consider for the long run, although i think you don't use it daily... I hope.

    Anyway, i truly understand why you take this stuff, it works really well, haha. Great suggestion.

    Thanks!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 12,714Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    I only use that stuff when I have gak the consistency of setting concrete in my throat and the only way to get rid of it is to blast. Using it isn't that pleasant, but my throat is still there when the glup is gone.
  • bentkbentk Posts: 763Pro, 2.0 PRO
    It surely burns away the gunk. Clears the airway very well, i never knew. Thanks!
  • Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Posts: 807Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Sounds like that "Fisherman's Friend" cough syrup... it feels like it is cauterizing your throat on the way down !! :-p
Sign In or Register to comment.