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Any person with muscle tension dysphonia?

NicoMkGt94NicoMkGt94 2.0 PRO Posts: 19
edited May 2020 in Vocal Health and Wellness

I have a general question regarding muscle tension dysphonia. Sometimes when I sing I can sound really bright, with that ping that ken mentions several times and doing effortlessly the Volume 2 workouts and some of Volume 3. However, something weird happens to me after a while: out of the blue (without having any cold/flu or any other problems), I start feeling like I lose that bright ping and start sound airy and with the need to push to reach high notes (where normally I don't need to do this). It's really frustrating because the notes I could sing freely the day before, the next day are incredibly difficult to achieve. In my personal case, I don't have any pain at all and can affect the range of my chest voice, head voice, or both.

Luckily, if I do some specific exercises (like stretching the neck, pull out the tongue and sing, doing scales through a straw, etc) it starts to release the tension and in a few days, I recover the resonance I had before. However, if I don't do anything it could take up to weeks or even an entire month to recover.

I'm just posting this to ask you guys if you are familiar with muscle tension dysphonia and whether you see with my case that this could be the reason why I start to have this "mysterious hoarseness". It can be really frustrating and it makes the workouts to be a lot harder, both physically and psychologically.

I would happily share a recorded warmup/workout, but I can't these days (when I record myself I'm in a rehearsal room: I normally do my warmups and workouts using Beltbox in order to sing at home and avoid disturbing my neighbors and housemates). However, I'll try this as soon as possible, whenever the rehearsal room reopens again.

Thanks a lot for your help guys :#


  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,042
    Its difficult to say, sometimes I have trouble getting the ping the next day and I put it down to not doing my workout properly the previous day. If im gentle then by the end of the week out I get the ping back, never heard of it happening like in your case though. Get your scales up when you can, then we can tell if there is indeed something you should change in your routine.
  • IraRIraR Member, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 54
    @NicoMkGt94NicoMkGt94: If you haven't already, have yourself checked out by a good laryngologist. I did, and I had some degree of vocal fold paresis which I was compensating for, which had lead to full-blown muscle tension dysphonia. Sometimes there really is a problem, and it helps to know more exactly what it is, although it can be confusing! Sometimes it's worth stepping back and getting some perspective on the problems.

    For quite a while, I did a lot of sternocleidomastoid massage, other throat massage, a lot of sighing, speaking exercises, some speech pathology work, etc. I walked around all day long trying to keep my uvula raised as much as I could during normal daily activities, and trying to flatten/lower the back of my tongue. For a while it was frustrating, but six months later I didn't need the massage and sighing and speaking work. After about 15 months, I seem to be in a better place, and ready to jump back into the Forums (I missed you guys, @Wigs, but needed to take time off to figure out what my problems were).

    I just bought Ken's Voice Repair - Heal from Home Course, as soon as it came out (2 days ago) and I'm anxious to see Ken's perspective on vocal damage and repair.

    My comments here are not to be taken as advice! Muscle Tension Dysphonia is a really serious diagnosis, and as with all vocal damage, it should not be taken lightly, if you think that's going on. Try to assess how you feel, check the damage, make a chart for yourself. What worked for me won't necessarily work for you, so be very careful. Wishing you the best with your training. @IraR

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