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Killing my voice to fight the mucus from winter's dry heat at home

I have every possible problem under the sun when it comes to my singing, I started the program 5 months ago. If you heard me singing right now you would take my mic and hit me over the head with it before throwing it away. My biggest problem is post nasal drip from dry heat, I can't clear my throat enough times. Out of frustration I try to punch through the phlegm by screaming rather than singing. Another reason why I over-sing is because of singing alongside the original tracks I want to imitate, forcing me to get louder to "stand out" over the original singer. I know in time I will correct everything and become able to sing "Better Than Anyone Else", I do have a powerful voice after all. I am now wondering if I should give my voice a break to get rid of the hoarseness. I don't know how to slow down or stop, I am just not wired that way. I used to do AC/DC covers as a teenager because I sounded just like Brian Johnson, now I am 48 and can't do that to save my life. I am not interested in that sound anymore, I picked on Brent Smith from Shinedown and have been massacring is music with my voice. I have an incredible amount of confidence that soon enough I am gonna be not just good but amazing, but right now I sound like the victim of a horrible crime screaming for help lol

Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,558Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited April 2014

    Have you sought help with the post-nasal drip?  Certainly you need to stay as hydrated as possible.  I've gone through periods where I had too much mucus on my vocal cords.  I went to an ENT and he confirmed that and put me on a one-month regimen of mucinex.

    I didn't like it, but it helped.  I also cut WAY back on coffee, as it is a diuretic.

    I didn't have post-nasal drip, just mucus that was persistent and interfered with my singing.

    I'm all better now.  I stay hydrated.

     

    It would be good for you to find if there is anything that can be done to help stop your post-nasal issue.  Waiting for the seasons to change can be frustrating.

    One of the problems with clearing your throat is that the very act of clearing your throat can irritate your vocal cords and make it feel like you need to clear your throat.  So you get caught in a loop of always feeling like you need to clear your throat, and that can cause problems with your upper midrange notes.

    Certainly clearing your voice by screaming is a less than ideal solution.  That might indeed lead to someone throwing your mic away after banging you on the head, as you said. ; ^ )

    Drinking Green Tea, inhaling steam vapors (especially with a few drops of Tea Tree Oil in the vaporizing water), long hot showers, and lots of drinking water are ways to help clear mucus.

    One way to reduce irritation while giving your cords a chance to rehabilitate might be to sing lightly, very gingerly for a while.  If you're really slamming your cords, they may actually need a little rest from that kind of activity.  Hard glottal onsets can be very rough on the cords, and it sounds like you're the kind of person that sings all-out all of the time.  You just might need to pull back on the throttle for just a while. 

    I think an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist might be able to take a look and maybe make some recommendations for you that could be very helpful.

    I hope you get clear of this stuff soon.  Sometimes problems like this are hard to shake off, and tend to linger without treatment.  Take care of yourself, and get back into singing shape!

     

    Bob

  • rabctakhrabctakh Posts: 10Pro
    edited April 2014
    I thank you so much for your help Bob, I am gonna take your advice on everyrhing, as well as Ken's on this sticky issue (minus the coffee enemas at this time lol). My chords are very swollen, great voice if I wanted to say "This... is CNN". So I am gonna pull back on the screaming and the coffee (the orally consumed type). I will also learn that drinking water is good, I don't even know how I am alive when I barely drink water. I have had some recent breakthroughs that have given me great hope, time to heal and sing like a bird (black crow in my case lol) Thank you so much, I will take all of your advice. It is also so true about that never ending loop with clearing my throat. I hope to post the results of my singing with your help, I humbly admit I couldn't do it without you guys.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,558Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    : ^ )

    Good for you, my friend @rabctakh!

    Good Singing to You!

     

    Bob

  • TrineTrine Posts: 269Moderator, Enrolled

    Hi!

    I also sometimes have problems with mucus, and also hoarseness.

    I have found these solutions:

    1. Don't panic. In the beginning I stopped singing when I was hoarse, but I have discovered that I can still sing, if I do it the right way, which is:

    2. Sing lightly. I start out very gently. It may sound terrible, but again: don't panic. The fog will disappear, slowly. After a while my voice gets clearer, not exactly angelig, but getting closer.

    3. Sing away the mucus. Often I start out being a bit hoarse, but as my voice gets warmed up, I can feel that the problem is the mucus, like it is sticking to my cords. When I sing it is like it starts to dissolve, come to the surface and hoarsness goes away. Then I sing away the mucus. I go on singing and singing, and it is like it pushes away the mucus, no clearing needed. You just get this slimy thing coming up, and you sing until it is gone.

    And of course: drink water. Water is good, water is not boring, water is best :-)

    This is the gentle, pe patient, no panic approach :-)

    Trine


  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,558Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Trine is right on the money in her post!

    Sing through the gunk, don't try to clear it out by "clearing your throat".  Sing through it.

     

    Bob

  • rabctakhrabctakh Posts: 10Pro
    edited April 2014
    Hey thanks Trine  and Bob, I am starting to improve on the mucus by doing what you guys have told me. My singing is slowly improving but my volume is still a big issue even though I am trying to fix it. Somehow I have a bad tendency of being super loud even when I talk. I don't hear myself as loud as others do, perhaps because some partial hearing loss. My girlfriend cringes when I talk, she says I have a deep loud voice that penetrates walls even when I "whisper". The whole thing reminds me of an old friend who was so massive, he looked like a shaved sasquatch. He was always so damn loud, and as a result his voice was always hoarse, in fact maybe I am deaf thanks to that big bastard lol. Anyway... I am improving slowly in all areas, but I better drop my volume fast before I hurt my vocal chords even more.
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,558Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    @rabctakh,

    Have you been to a doctor to see about your hearing?  Sometimes they might pull a big hunk of glup out of your ears that is muting your hearing.  I've had a doctor pull chunks out of my ears and suddenly I could hear high frequencies that dogs couldn't even hear!

     

    Bob

  • rabctakhrabctakh Posts: 10Pro
    edited April 2014
    Wow that is something to consider, I did lose the high frequencies more in my right ear. I wouldn't be surprised if a gerbil came running out. I was a DMZ MP for the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, and a Peace Keeper in the Middle East for the 101st Airborne. I heard enough loud crap going off around me which I am sure killed some of my hearing as well.
    I am also gonna review KTVA and focus on breath support, as well as cutting back the air. Somewhere between loudness and passing through too much air I am still hurting myself.  I am sounding much better overall, but find holding my breath more confusing than Chinese algebra written in braille lol
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 14,558Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro

    Yes, if you were around artillery, explosions, or arms fire, you may have been exposed to extremely high sound pressure levels of the most deafening kind!  If you've had ringing in your ears, that can take a toll on your hearing.

    Glad you made it through all of that. 

    Support can be a little challenging to wrap your brain around, but really, in the end it's just a means of balancing your breath and using your entire body to produce sound rather than just your throat.

    Bob

  • rabctakhrabctakh Posts: 10Pro

    I have been sticking to volume 2 but decided to go fishing for KTVA info in volume 3 supplemental. I have been doing EVERYTHING wrong that can cause hoarseness etc. Over singing, drinking gallons of soda, drinking no water, you name it I've done it. Sometimes I feel like someone put a foot down my throat and wiggled it around, time to change that. Ok so here is what I am going to do, I am going to stop being a moron. I am so happy I found all this info today, I woke up with that as my main mission for today. I am so exited right now because I know exactly what to do, and that my problems have an easy fix. All I have to do is change EVERYTHING, because I have been doing everything wrong. THERE'S HOPE FOR ME!!!!... YESSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

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