Q&A: Why does low pitch singing make my throat hurt?

Question: “Why does low pitch singing make my throat hurt?”

Answer:

Ha. This happens even to me at some point, if I have back to back male students, and demonstrate a lot. Much easier on me and my cords to have soprano after soprano.

But now to you:

There are several reasons your voice may hurt when you sing low:

  1. If you sing in chest voice (head voice hardly ever hurts in low pitch—unless you let a ton of air through and sound breathy), which is the speaking voice for most of us, you may not use proper support. I know famous opera singers who make the same mistake. Low pitch singing is akin to speaking and for speaking, why would we use our full support and whole body, right? Aaaak. Of course we ideally should! So look at that. If your voice hurts when you sing a lot of low chest voice notes you may need to “put your body underneath it” just like you would for high notes.
  2. Continuing where number 1) left off: Make sure, a) your posture is aligned and you’re upright. Otherwise there could be a kink in your neck resulting in your throat collapsing. And b) Make sure your motor—abdominals and intercostals—works, so your throat can relax and stay open. If your motor doesn’t work, your throat won’t feel secure, will stay tight, and feels it has to do all the heavy lifting, aka strain and push. Bad move.
  3. Train your whole body to function as one, so whether you sing high or low there is a seamless flow throughout your range: Your “power chakra” (motor) is working, your throat is open, your vocal folds meet effortlessly, rather than being pressed together, and your posture is aligned and upright.

Hope this helps. So glad you’re singing! Your voice has healing properties unique to you! So, as long as there’s ease, great. If there’s strain of any kind, read above, re-examine, and maybe get professional help. No, not that kind, haha, the healing voice expert kind. 🙂

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