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Anyone experiencing cracking, fatigue.....???

Hi Everyone,

My name is Andrew. I have been singing singe age 10, and I am now 37. Last year, I experienced some major vocal problems when I developed mild calluses or nodes. These are tiny little calluses that develop on the vocal cords, very much like calluses on the finger tips of guitar players. After multiple visits to the ENT, I was told to stop singing for a while, take some meds,.... Long story short, the voice healed itself over time. My doctor told me to consider looking into some vocal lessons to make sure I am using the proper techniques.

This led me to find Ken Tamplin online. I have now been working the KTVA Volume 1 for 9 weeks. I am consistently stretching chest voice to a D5. I am now able to sing a B4, and on a good day, I can sing a C5. From time to time, I have some hoarseness or fatigue. If I over-sing, I tend to have some cracking the next day. This is usually down low around A3-E4. I don't mind having some rasp to my voice because I am a rock singer. However, sometimes when I hold long notes, they tend to crack. And, if I sing real low, the notes seem to crack more often than not.

So, I am interested to hear if there are any singers out there who are experiencing the same vocal health issues? Has anyone ever had nodes? Does anyone suffer from cracking or fatigue? Does anyone suffer from stamina?  I would love to hear anyone's experiences or stories.



  • rcrosierrcrosier Pro Posts: 275
    I've been singing for about 10 years (I'm 56), started later in life, after singing a bit as a child, then not singing for many years, partly due to frustration over changing voice and cracking...

    And, yes, I have been experiencing exactly the same symptoms as you describe, after a practice session.  I have never known to have any nodes or calluses before, have had an ENT look years ago, and they did not find anything.

    I do, however, suffer from GERD (and snoring), which I'm working to control, but it definitely causes me issues, and makes my voice hoarse almost every morning for a few hours.

    Oddly, I've been finding that after I "sing through" the initial tightness, I can go for several hours in a gig, and not feel bad the next day.

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    edited September 2014

    When you stretch your cords in order to increase your range, you can expect them to be a little bit looser when they are more fully relaxed.

    You may want to experiment with adducting the cords a little more firmly, to keep them together better when they are in their loosest tense condition.  That requires a little bit of concentration on your low tones.  Don't forget to use good support on your lowest tones also.  We tend to stress that a lot on the higher tones, but it's also a requirement as the notes get really low. 

    Also, make sure that you aren't getting the back of your tongue too close to the sides of the back of your throat.  That can rattle at low tones.

    DO make sure you're not oversinging.  It's not until Volume 3 that Ken begins to add to the moving targets the task of cutting back the air flow and compressing the sound.  That, along with massive support, will be the key to your vocal longevity.  You will actually reduce the wear and tear on your vocal instrument when you learn to properly implement those techniques.  Getting started in KTVA you find yourself reaching out and touching notes that you may have never reached before.  Take it easy with all of that to the best of your ability.

    You don't need to accomplish it all today.  Watch out for the early signs of vocal fatigue or hoarseness and learn to stop just shy of that.  Usually by the time the idea occurs to you that you might be just about to overdo it is when you already have gone a little too far, so learn to sing just under that threshold of sensation.  Stretch when you're feeling good, but don't have TOO good of a time until you learn to use the brakes.

    Getting to C5 is a major hurdle for most of us, and it's easy to get impatient and try too much.  Be kind to yourself and know that you will make it when it's time.  Overdoing on that will cause setbacks.  Just know that that is a hump to get over and the next few notes after that won't be THAT hard.


  • thecavethecave Volume 1 Posts: 18
    @highmtn @cgreen

    Hey Guys,

    Today I recorded myself singing the Lah, La, and E vowels. I attempted to stretch chest to a C5 on the Lah, and La, and to a B4 on the E vowel. Today was not a good singing day for me, but I posted this any way because I want you guys to hear the cracking and splitting I am having up high and down low. Again, I found KTVA as a means to hopefully rehabilitate my voice from nodules. I apologize in advance for some of the pitchi-ness, and I look forward to hearing all suggestions and feedback.  Thanks in advance to Bob and Cinema for taking the time to check this out!

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353


    LAH: Mostly needs more support.  Secondly needs to probably begin modifying a little earlier.  The waver at 1:18 is uncertain breath.  At the high C you break momentarily between head and upper chest.

    LAA: You have a little trouble getting through your primo passagio at B3-Middle C. Similar to the Lah, you have wobbles in the same notes/places on the scales.  You need plenty of support as you go through the passagios, both primo and secondo.  You need to keep your throat open.  The modifications help you to get up there.  You sound a little unconfident of the mods.

    EE:  Same area, A4 to C5 you haven't got enough strength or confidence built into these notes yet.  Support is vital here.  I think if you had gone to the "A-EE" modification of the EE, that you would have been a lot more stable, possibly switching back to EE at C5, but probably just the A-EE will get you there.

    I'm not hearing much pitchiness, just notes that are not yet developed within your vocal instrument. 

    These upper notes that are breaking up: Don't force them.  Yes, stretching up to them is hard, and the notes just may not be ready to "hatch" yet.  That's pretty much what I sounded like on them before they started getting easier, and it wasn't a fast transformation, either.

    I had to accept that I just couldn't do those notes yet for the longest time.  Just getting past G4 was a BEAR for me.  I could belt a G4 and then everything above that sounded like when your notes are breaking up.  But I didn't give up.  I just quit pushing so hard and knew that I would have to wait, and gently keep bringing up the suggestion to my vocal cords that we were going to do this, sooner or later, but we WERE going to do this eventually.

    It takes a lot of patience and a lot of perseverance.  You can't simply force your way through.  The more patient you are, the less likely you are to overdo the stretching.  These notes that are beyond your previous capabilities have a gestation period.  Premature notes are not going to do you much good, and are best left in the oven for a while longer.

    It's a very steep curve for some between G4 and C5.  Give it time, and don't dwell there a lot when it's breaking up.  Find a way to ease that note into existence.  Support it into existence.  It's fragile.  Give it time to form.  You are growing these notes.

    Yes, you have some carbuncles in there.  Support and strength will help to minimize those, but mostly time and careful TLC with your voice will allow growth without setbacks.  It's a balance between careful forward motion, and care to not move too fast.  Moving too fast gives setbacks, but no movement will stop progress or cause atrophy in the upper registers.


  • thecavethecave Volume 1 Posts: 18

    Hey Bob,

    Thanks for the super fast and detailed reply!!

    I agree with everything you are saying. I know I need to spend more time on vowel mod development, but I am not quite sure what you mean by support? Are we talking diaphragm support? Just want to make sure...... Am I doing okay with the amount of air?

    So, is it safe to say, that I need to stop stretching so far? Maybe focus on A4 and then stretch further once that is sounding confident?

    Thanks again for all your help
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353


    Yes, Andrew.


    I am talking about diaphragmatic support, which I just spent the last hour or so typing about.  You should read some of the recent postings in that section of the forums.

    When you are doing "support" properly, it bolsters the sound of your voice, your tone, and stabilizes the notes you are singing.  It helps you to be more accurate with your pitch.  You need more massive support the higher you sing.  Pressure regulation of the air when singing notes near the top of your range is incredibly important and exacting.  Improper pressure can cause you to undershoot or overshoot notes, to put them into distortion or splatting... The mods are also crucial to keep notes from splatting.

    So no, I don't want you to stop stretching.  I just want you to back up your stretching reach so far and get a better grasp on these notes that are currently not within your grasp. 

    So, since you are having troubles with, let's say A4 to C5, let's forget about Bb, B4, and C5 for now and make sure G# is OK before we even consider A4.  Let's take our time on A4.  Until it starts to stabilize and blossom into a real note instead of a splatted note, let's just gently work towards getting a nice, controlled sound out of an A4... and so forth.  One note at a time, no hurry, no worry.  We don't want to work on a whole group of bruised and battered notes.  We want each note to be wanted and loved, treated with dignity and respect.  Give each one time to develop and grow.  Stretching our voice can be a lengthy process.  It's worth it in the end, but it's not worth it to try to crush our way through it.

    Yes.  Like you said...  Focus on A4, then, when appropriate, move another notch up the scale. 


    All the Best.



  • thecavethecave Volume 1 Posts: 18
    Hey Bob,

    Thanks so much. I will do some serious reading in the breath support forum, and focus on all that you mentioned. I am in no hurry here :) I want to develop and correct everything the right way, so that I sound my best AND never get nodes again.

    Many thanks to you and everyone at KTVA!

  • thecavethecave Volume 1 Posts: 18


    I am very happy to report that most of my nodules have gone away. I have been working KTVA Vol 1 for 7 months, and I can see great improvements. I still have a long, long way to go, but I am really starting to see results. I can stretch to a C#4 in warm ups, and I am singing Bb4's in songs.

    Here is my Sound Cloud page: https://soundcloud.com/ahooker

    I have posted 3 songs I have written for everyone to check out. In these songs I am singing up to an A4 and Bb4. 7 months ago I could barley reach an F#4, and G3- C4 would crack from nodules.

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