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Always sounding sick and unwanted raspiness

tatjanatatjana Pro Posts: 12
edited May 2017 in Vocal Health and Wellness
I always seem to sound sick, even when I speak.
The raspiness usually happens in the bridge area. If I sing clean (using the same technique which I sing the scales with), the notes become really weak and soft and that's not really what I'm aiming for. Is it possible that I have nodules?
Sometimes I have to push just to get any sound out of the cords and when I'm singing there's always a kind of breathy sound.


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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    It's possible that you have nodules, but most people who are afraid that might be the case find out that they don't. For sure, get checked by a doctor if you feel that you might have them.

    You'll get a rattle, especially near the passaggio, if your throat is not kept really open wide as you go through the passaggio. The sides of the throat and back of the tongue rattle together unless you keep everything open wide enough so that they don't come together and create rattling sounds.

    We would listen to a demonstration of your raspiness if you would provide it.
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    tatjanatatjana Pro Posts: 12
    Sorry to keep you waiting, here's a little demonstration. I'm sorry in advance for a really bad voice... Here I'm really trying to not have rasp and I sound like my nose is stuffed but its actually completely clear. I'm sitting and playing at the same time so I guess I'm not completely focused on my singing.
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    What I hear sounds to me mostly like you are not maintaining an open throat, so you have a little bit of overtone that is essentially parts of your vocal tract touching and resonating. If you open up more, that contact can be undone. I kind of think of it as "lazy throat". I've experienced the same thing, and found that by essentially going for more of a "yawn" sensation, I can open up the throat enough to eliminate the buzzes and rattles from that kind of sound.

    Yours is most prominent at the G4 which is probably right at your passaggio, as you are singing in full head voice up at the A and Bb.

    It's not so much that you sound "sick," it's that you need to maintain a good vocal posture and setup within your vocal tract/apparatus. If you let things be "slack" as you sing, then you open the door for looseness to create rattles. Your voice is basically a living tube, and if there are folds or junctures at imperfections in the tube that come close together, they can acoustically resonate in ways that don't promote the best sound.

    It's kind of like the guy who goes to the doctor and says "doc, when I go like this, It hurts". The doc says "Don't go like that".

    Try singing with more open-ness and with more of a "yawn" sensation, and see what does and what does not help to minimize these "distortions". I think you'll be able to get a handle on what is happening and make adjustments that will greatly reduce them. They are unique to each of us, and we need to work a bit with our own instruments to see what can get the best sound, especially on these transitional notes. We have a tendency to "gag" a bit at the passaggio. Ken tells us to keep that throat open and resist the urge to have that reflex of gagging. It can take a while to overcome.
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