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Will Pop Singing Hurt My Voice?

There’s no shortage of myths when it comes to things that could injure the voice.

I’ve heard them all: Spicy food will hurt your voice, speaking with glottal onsets will hurt your voice, drinking iced beverages, and the list goes on and on.

But one area where fact and fiction overlap a bit is in the area of pop singing. Pop styles of singing don’t injure your voice. However, if done improperly, any style of singing presents some form of risk to the voice.

What’s even more disturbing is that for pop singing, the “proper technique” and position of the muscles and structures of the larynx can be the very thing that leads to vocal trauma. Yes, I went there and said it: singing pop music using the same position that you might use for Western Opera or European Chorale style of singing can lead to vocal trauma and injure your voice.

So, what’s the solution?

You need to study with someone who understands the position of the larynx and work within the healthful movement of the voice in the position(s) that you need for pop music.

That’s not to say that singing opera hurts your voice (I sing opera too). It’s just that opera has a unique physiology, and it very different than the vocal gymnastics that we expect of the voice in singing pop music.

Bottom line: Get to know the unique physiology of the sounds that you want to create! Work with a teacher or coach who knows the physical demands of that style inside and out so that they can healthfully guide you to the sound you want to create!

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