Welcome to The Voice Connection Sound Off; a forum for users of books like Raise Your Voice, Melody to Madness, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and Unleash Your Creative Mindset, as well as a place for Vendera Vocal Academy members to interact.

This message board was created so that singers could come together and "sound off" to help support each other during vocal development and the creative process of unleashing the creative spark that occurs when writing and producing music. Currently, myself and vocal coaches Ben Valen, Ray West, and Ryan Wall are here to respond periodicially to your questions, with new vocal coaches coming soon. But, feel free to help each other too:)

This board is here for you to ask questions about my and my fellow coach's books, videos, and MP3 programs, as well as offer others help with our vocal techniques. You may also post videos of yourself and your band to share your music and ask for critiques.

Please refrain from negative comments, profanities, spamming, and inappropriate criticisms of vocal methodologies, vocal coaches, and singers. All negative posts will be deleted and subject to banning without question. I will not respond to negative posts, because, as Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” With that said, positive criticism is welcome because that is how you'll grow as a singer during the training process.

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falsetto issue- dysphagia and shortness of breath

Hi folks,

I'm not sure what to make of this, but it's been getting worse over the last few years and is just bizarre and frustrating:

When I was singing too breathy on high notes, I started feeling out of breath when I talked in my natural speaking range- like I wasn't taking in enough air between sentences, and even sometimes stopping in the middle of a phrase to breathe. This is similar to when a little kid is excited about something and doesn't seem to know when to take a breath as they're speaking, so they take it every 3 or four words- like when you are talking to a friend right after running really fast, or trying to talk while hyperventilating.

In addition to the breathing issue, I've been having issues with swallowing liquids- unless they're really thick, like a milkshake or protein drink (my doctor thought I wasn't getting enough protein). So, even if I'm not talking, I go to take a sip from water or juice, and it goes down the wrong pipe and then I cough and cough. In 2010, this actually led to aspiration of cranberry juice and I ended up in the hospital. The "normal" medical condition for me is Ulcerative Colitis, which got diagnosed in 2006. Not sure how that relates to swallowing and feeling out of breath, but it definitely does a number on the immune system. One thing I am theorizing is that singing too often in too breathy of a falsetto can actually train your vocal folds not to close all the way on lower (speaking) pitches.

Either that, or something is wrong with the part responsible for twang- the eppiglottis- for some reason, it seems to not want to close all the way, which could account for both the breathing and swallowing issues because a stuck eppiglottis both causes you to leak air as well as keeping the airway open when drinking something- its entire purpose is to close to seal it off, and if it's not doing that, that's kind of scary! It seems to be worse right after practicing pharyngeal exercises, especially if they're gritty.

Has anyone else had these problems when they sang almost exclusively in breathy falsetto in their mid-to-high range? If so, how did you get the eppiglottis or vocal folds to start closing all the way and stop getting stuck partially open?

Re: falsetto issue- dysphagia and shortness of breath

Hi Pram,

When you do a breathy falsetto it does not allow the vocal chords to close together correctly when vibrating. When the chords can't close correctly or they are violently manipulated with incorrect distortion problems occur such vocal nodules. There is a difference in the vibration of the chords when singing in a supported manner and when overusing breath as is the case with an unsupported breathy falsetto. Perhaps you should get the VocalRX book by Jaime? It is holistic program to overcome vocal chord damage. I am not sure it would help with dysphagia as it focuses on the vocal chords. If you have a pre-existing throat condition singing in a breathy tone is not the way to go. It is like whispering when you have lost your voice, the overuse of air and not allowing the vocal chords to vibrate closed properly will lead to further trouble.

Re: falsetto issue- dysphagia and shortness of breath

Thank you, Andrew!

Went and got scoped shortly after this post and no vocal damage was found. Also worked on vocal adduction and no longer have the issue of breathiness. However, I was also diagnosed with acid reflux and allergies, which explains the dysphagia. Another problem lately has been extreme allergies to pollen. I sneeze and cough for months, which increases the chance of pneumonia. As far as singing goes, though, I'm no longer breathy on high notes. Now I'm just a little more more hooty than I would like. Should the nasal port be closed or open when belting?

Re: falsetto issue- dysphagia and shortness of breath

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