This is a question I’ve gotten asked so often… Should my throat hurt when I sing? And if it does, what should I do?
The answer is NO, your throat should not hurt when you sing. If your throat is hurting when you sing, it means that the muscles in your throat are pushing in and pushing your larynx up. These muscles are not designed to do this, so it doesn’t take much for them to be overworking. If you’re not singing supported from your core what happens is these throat muscles start squeezing and they start to get really, really sore. When we feel pain or more like tightness, that’s really more of these muscles. It’s not our vocal folds themselves.
Believe it or not, our vocal folds actually don’t have nerves on them. And that’s a good thing because if they did, every time we spoke or made any kind of noise, we would feel it as a really intense sensation. But the muscles around your larynx do have nerve endings in them and they get fatigued easily because they’re really not meant to be squeezing our throat. So when we sing, we want these throat muscles to be as relaxed as possible.
Here’s a little exercise you can do:
- Put their hand on your throat gently, and one hand on your stomach.
- Exhale and imagine your throat just opening up while you inhale. Now, exhale. Keep them open. Now, inhale. Keep it open.
- Now, take your hand away. And if you have a mirror nearby, look in your mirror. If you have your phone nearby, look at your camera on your phone, then look at your neck. When you look at your neck, I want your neck to look super relaxed. If you see it looking tight, try to release it.
We want our throat muscles to stay totally relaxed and we want our shoulders to relax too. Try to relax your shoulders and breathe low. Your goal is to try to keep your throat nice and relaxed.
Follow this simple video exercise below:
I hope this quick little easy tutorial is something you can work on and definitely practice in front of mirrors – it’s so helpful. I always practice it in front of a mirror, and tell my students to do the same because you get that instant feedback from your eyes on what your body is doing while you’re singing.