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Phlegm-- Does this plague everyone??

DocsexyDocsexy Enrolled Posts: 14
edited January 2014 in Vocal Health and Wellness
     I seem to have the worst problem with phlegm when I'm singing....  I'm constantly having to clear my throat and spit even after I do Ken's warmup..  It's so frustrating because my voice can feel so good but I lose a lot control and range due to this crap that builds up in my throat...  There will sometimes be a few minutes of clarity and singing becomes so much easier but it usually doesn't last long...  I'm not allergic to anything that I know of and I don't smoke, nor will I be around anyone who does...   I can start a song with my voice clear and may still have to clear my throat a dozen times while singing the same song...  
     I've also been getting brief periods of "froggy voice" lately...  It will clear up after a few minutes, but may plague me before the song is over, as well...   I'm not sure if these are two separate issues or what, but does anyone else have problems with this?   If so what are some ways to remedy it?  
Thanks for your help in advance.. :)
Lucas Tanner


  • KokonuhtKokonuht Member, Enrolled Posts: 658
    I used to have some phlegm forming up when I sing. Even after the exercises. But just not as much as you have described. maybe just twice or thrice in a song needed to clear my throat. XD

    As for that, I still have no idea on why it happens. I've seen an ENT and he says that my nasal passage is pretty congested as I am allergic to something or so he says. Hence why I got the phlegm. Though it has always been like this though. Just that lately the phlegm hardly comes.

    Could you post a demo of your "froggy voice"? Just record it when you got it. I used to have it too but then again froggy voice from each person could mean a different thing so I'd like to clarify :).

    Oh and I went to a local doctor and he prescribed me something called "Mucolator". It did help but it really did made me produce less mucus everywhere else as well XD. I suppose you could try that out. ;o

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357


    I think most of those problems may be caused by sinus infections that cause a post-nasal drip. That drip plays havoc on our vocal cords, because it goes right down our throats and coats our cords, making our range become muffled.

    It has been suggested that clearing our throats in the traditional manner <ahem> is very distressing on the vocal cords and can cause more production due to the abrasive nature of clearing the throat.  It's hard to resist the tickle, but many say to just sing your way past the goobers, because it's less abusive on the cords.

    You might get checked by a physician for sinus problems, as they can lurk for months on end and are often very difficult to recover from.  Otherwise, an ENT might be able to suggest why the overproduction and diagnose the cause. 

    It's definitely a nuisance!


  • DocsexyDocsexy Enrolled Posts: 14
    Thanks for the advice guys! :)   I don't really even notice the phlegm until I start singing...  I don't see me singing through it because it totally butchers my tone and control, but I'll try... 
         The "froggy voice" I'm talking about feels like there's sandpaper in the back of my throat and it gives my voice a scratchy sound that also affects my control and pitch...  Sometimes, if I rest it a few minutes it will kinda go away, but other times it has more of a grainy feel and I know it's gonna be there all night.. You can actually hear it on the demo I posted on my introduction blog.. Then when I start getting angry at it, I know it's just best to quit singing that night because it goes downhill from there..  I think sometimes it may be due to warming up too hard or with too much volume?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,357


    That was going to be my next question... are you warming up before you start singing?  That would be the time to start trying to sing your way through the sludge.  And yes, you should start your warmup gently with some lip trills and tongue exercises before even getting to the Lah an LAA, etc... 

    If the answer to all the above is Yes, then I would fall back to investigating whether you have a long-term, low-grade sinus infection living in your head.  If you in fact do have a sinus infection going on, getting that taken care of will only help your singing voice and your health in general.


  • sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278

    Also, remember to stay hydrated.  That helps cut down phlegm, and keep production of the proper type of phlegm up.  Also, take a look at your diet, citrus fruit can contribute, as well as alcohol.  Acid reflux can cause it as well.  I've had the same problem at different times.  It can be annoying, start by drinking more water, and see if that helps.

  • DocsexyDocsexy Enrolled Posts: 14
    I always do Ken's warmup before I sing...  I think sometimes by the end I may be singing too hard and tiring my voice out before I actually start singing songs though...  Because I'll do the warm up and think my voice feels good, but when I start singing songs I can tell my pitch is slightly off and I'm having trouble with control...  And my voice will have a scratchiness to it...   

  • KokonuhtKokonuht Member, Enrolled Posts: 658
    Hmm remember to stay hydrated as patrick said. Though, @highmtn , I don't have sinus infections nor post nasal drip. It's just my mucus membranes producing mucus. Hence it's not really phlegm but more like mucus on the throat. 

    Try asking your doctor / ENT about Mucolator and try it out to see if it works XD!
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