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Breathy Singing Is Not Healthy Singing

I think this is one of the most common technique flaws in the average singer today: overuse of breathy tones. Breathy tones can destroy the vocal cords if not used properly and sparingly. Why are breathy tones so dangerous to your vocal cords?

Breathy tones are dangerous to your vocal cords because they employ the augmented use of breath support to create tone. Because breathy tones lack the vocal cord closure and vocal compression needed to “climb” the range ladder, the singer has no other option but to push out more air to try and sing higher notes. When more air than necessary interacts with the vocal cords, the cords become inflamed and begin to swell. It is no wonder, then, that so many singers experience hoarseness after a performance. It is the body’s way of saying, “Please stop! Your are killing your precious vocal cords!”

Breathy tones can be extremely hard to overcome because they are reinforced by other bad singing habits, such as:

1) the use of outer throat muscles to attempt at compressing the vocal cords;
2) a raised larynx to try and “reach” for the high notes; or
3) a forward jaw position to try and “give the feeling” that more space is available for the tone to resonate.
(there are other bad habits, but I find these are common to the average singer)

To overcome these bad habits, correct technique must be learned and exercised. Neutralization of the larynx, cord closure and vocal compression are key elements in relieving excess throat tension and pressure on the voice. When each of these techniques are employed correctly, the breathy tone in the voice will disappear, giving way to a more powerful, clear and consistent tone. Only when you can employ these techniques should you attempt to use breathy tones for stylistic purposes, and even so, you should still use them sparingly. Add breathy tones in for style, but be sure to always return to correct and healthy technique to avoid potential vocal cord damage!

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Related posts:

  1. Vocal Health: Eating Healthy Foods
  2. Don’t Push Your Voice!
  3. How To Breathe Properly
  4. The Vocal Warm Up Is Absolutely Necessary
  5. How To Sing High Notes
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Comments

  1. Breitling says:

    I agree with told all above. Let’s discuss this question. Here or in PM.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] your foundation for singing high notes. Without vocal cord closure, you have no other choice but to blast out air in order to sing the high notes, which in turn hurts your vocal cords. Trust me on this one – [...]

  2. [...] you the ability to “flip” a switch in your voice. You can start a song with a gentle, breathy tone and then bam! Vocal compression takes over and you have just gripped your audience. I would [...]

  3. [...] you the ability to “flip” a switch in your voice. You can start a song with a gentle, breathy tone and then bam! Vocal compression takes over and you have just gripped your audience. I would [...]

  4. [...] your foundation for singing high notes. Without vocal cord closure, you have no other choice but to blast out air in order to sing the high notes, which in turn hurts your vocal cords. Trust me on this one – [...]

  5. [...] breath support but lack vocal cord closure, your singing voice will find itself sounding, well, breathy while being pushed and devoid of tone, causing excess strain on your vocal cords (and your [...]

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