Your vocal cords are protected by three layers of mucous. If you’re singing a lot, especially if you’re singing with a high larynx and with too much chest voice, your vocal cords will get a lot of pressure in a specific place, and that place will tend to swell up. You might not notice the inflammation until the next day, at which time you might experience an inability to sing high, or notice that your voice feels scratchy and rough.
Once this happens, the only thing to do is rest until the swelling goes down. It might take an afternoon, a day, or a month depending on the extent of the injury to the vocal cord. If you’ve gone three days after a vocal injury and you still feel a gap in your range, you probably should see a voice specialist to determine the proper course of action.
How to Avoid a Vocal Injury
• Keep your vocal cords hydrated. Drink lots of water
• Warm your voice up with scales for at least ten minutes before any heavy singing
• Avoid clearing your throat: Sniff and swallow instead
• If you feel a tingling sensation or the need to cough, stop singing
• If your voice suffers a loss of range from being tired, rest until it feels better
• The main reason for a vocal cord injury is singing too loud and high in your chest voice on a high larynx. Work on blending chest voice and head voice.
• Sing at the Balance Point, and Avoid a Glottal Attack.
Practice Time : 7 days, 15 – 30 minutes
Practice Scale 8 with these sounds, working engaging your vocal cords without a glottal attack:
• Ah (father)
• Eh (let)
• Ee (feet)
• Oh (no)
• Oo (boot)
Try to maximize the buzz of the vocal cords, and sing all the vowels on one breath with short pauses in between. Keep these principles in mind:
• Find a natural vibrato
• Make the sound as buzzy and engaged as possible
• Don’t breathe in between notes
• Keep your mouth open and relaxed
• Breathe in Stomach Out
• Avoid a contraction of the stomach as you sing the notes.
Practice Scale 6 with these sounds:
• Oo (book)
• A (Cat)
• Aye Aye
• Wow Wow
Work on keeping your jaw relaxed as you sing these intervals. Keep your jaw moving for both breathing and singing.