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Vocal Health. Instrumentalists can replace their instrument when damaged. We only get one instrument so we must take care of it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Wdf-RwLcs&feature=related. The Voice. Your vocal folds are muscles Men’s voices vibrate 100x/second

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We only get one instrument so we must take care of it
We only get one instrument so we must take care of it.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9Wdf-RwLcs&feature=related

The voice
The Voice

  • Your vocal folds are muscles

  • Men’s voices vibrate 100x/second

  • Women’s voices vibrate 200x/second

  • Singing voices can vibrate anywhere from 50x/second to 10,000x/second

  • The folds would only make a buzzing sound if your head wasn’t attached on top of them

  • YouTube - Beth's First Laryngoscopy - Vocal Cords in Action


  • Your vocal folds need moisture to vibrate just like a car needs oil to run

  • Wet mucous should be clear thin and watery

  • Thick yellow mucous is a sign of trouble

  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day

If your voice is worse at the end of the day
If your voice is worse at the end of the day

You could have a technique problem

Technique problems
Technique Problems

  • Yelling – This can really damage your chords.

Poor speaking technique
Poor Speaking Technique

  • You must balance the air from your diaphragm and the usage of the vocal fold muscle

  • Use air to power the voice, not muscle, you will wear out your voice if you use all muscle

Clearing the throat too much
Clearing the throat too much

  • You can get a Granuloma from constantly clearing your throat

  • Nodules or cysts can be caused from hitting the chords together too hard too often in the same way

If your voice is worse at the beginning of the day
If your voice is worse at the beginning of the day

You could have a medical problem


  • Tumors are white patches all over the vocal folds usually caused from smoking

  • You will not sing again if you get a tumor

Acid reflux
Acid Reflux

  • This is brought on by soda, acidic foods, caffeine, chocolate, tomato, spicy foods and sleeping right after you eat

  • Can irritate the chords and strip them of the healthy mucous they need to vibrate properly


  • Chords can swell up with blood when you are sick and if you hurt or abuse the folds they can bruise and bleed

  • If you continuously burst the blood vessels when you are sick they can scar

  • Scar tissue never really goes away

  • http://www.entusa.com/larynx_photo.htm

Should i sing if i am sick
Should I sing if I am Sick?

  • If your speaking voice is clear then it is fine to sing

  • However you might not want to sing in the extremes (highest, lowest, loudest, softest)

  • If you are hoarse you should not sing or talk

What can happen if i sing sick
What can happen if I sing sick

  • You risk injury because the blood vessels are swollen

  • It can lead to vocal fold hemorrhages or scarring

  • It can also lead to nodules, polyps or cysts

What to do if you are sick
What to do if you are sick

  • Increase rest and hydration

  • Use mucous thinning medicine (Mucinex)

  • Avoid Antihistamines

  • Be careful with decongestants

  • Do a nasal saline rinse (neti pot)

  • Limit vocal use: Talking, yelling, phone use

  • Don’t sing if you are hoarse

What if i have injured myself
What if I have injured myself

  • Ear Nose Throat (ENT’s) Doctors can use a stroboscope to view your throat and folds

  • Complete vocal rest may be prescribed, steroids or surgery may be necessary

  • 412-232-SING UPMC Voice Center

  • Voiceproblem.org

  • Voicehelp.org

  • Entnet.org

What else can i do to take care of myself
What else can I do to take care of myself

  • Use good technique to sing and talk

  • Don’t yell

  • Get lots of rest

  • Eat a balanced diet

  • Drink lots of non caffeine beverages (8 glasses of water a day)

  • The voice is very resilient don’t stress about a small illness but do take care of it