Q. When I sing it sounds like I am making sounds with my throat and I feel that I'm straining to hit the notes. I'm not sure if I'm doing it right or if I'm actually hurting my voice?
A. Thank you for your question. The vocal folds are located in the larynx or "voice box" which is in the throat so in this sense you are singing from your throat. If you are straining to hit notes you are likely pulling up on the larynx by engaging the swallowing muscles that need to be kept relaxed to hit those notes without strain. This is an area I specifically address in the lessons. There are also some videos which address this issue on my video page. See "Hitting high notes without straining."
If you keep your thumb lightly behind your chin when singing and feel muscle movement when straining to hit a note that is what is happening. These muscles need to stay relaxed. You are pushing for that note and over time this can cause damage.
It is doubtful you have hurt your voice unless you are making a regular habit of pushing this way. If you are feeling pain then consult an ENT who has specialization in the larynx (laryngologist) in order to put your mind at ease.
Q. I've been singing professionally for over 10 years in a popular touring pop band and find my voice getting tired and cracking and unable to hit the high notes 3/4 through the set. I'm 40 years old and used to have no problem in my 20's and 30's. I've been singing for about 20 years. Is this a sign or age or is there something I can do about it? I don't really party other then an occasional beer and I'm in good shape. I have seen an ENT and he says there isn't anything wrong with my vocal cords.
A. Thank you for your question. The problems you're having with your voice wearing out and cracking are not a result of age. In fact, singers voices should continue to improve way past their 40's. The problem is that you have almost certainly been singing with bad vocal habits for quite some time. And it is those habits that place strain on the vocal cords and over time one can experience a diminishment in performance along with vocal fatigue. You cannot continue to get away with singing with improper technique anymore. The good news is with the right training and practicing of proper vocal technique you will be able to hit those high notes again and likely extend your range beyond what you thought it was capable of. It is imperative you start learning these techniques as soon as possible before you do some damage. I offer instruction online and this will work well through a laptop while you’re out on the road. Give me a call and I would be happy to discuss this further.
Submit your question
If you have any singing questions you can send them to me here. I will generally respond by email within 48 hours. By submitting a question in this form you are granting permission that I may post the content of your question and my answer as an anonymous inquiry without using your name or contact info on the website.