Why You Get Hoarse When Singing & Screaming… And How to Recover (Fix)!

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After singing for a while do you ever get hoarse or feel pain?

Or you love singing metal but when you try to scream, you get hoarse very quickly?

If this is you, it’s OKAY. This is fixable. I’m going to tell you exactly how you can fix this and I’m also going to explain what you can do to prevent getting hoarse or feeling pain in the future.

So let’s get right to it.

Why does singing feel painful?

To understand how to fix the pain, you need to understand what is actually happening when you feel pain or hoarseness.

Contrary to what you might think, your vocal chords do not have any pain receptors on them.

Whenever you’re experiencing any pain, it’s actually from the tissues surrounding the vocal cords.

These tissues can become overworked and strained if they are being engaged when they shouldn’t be.

For example, have you ever seen someone lifting weights and as they lift the weights, they’re tightening and cringing their face? But in reality, their face has nothing to do with the muscles actually required to lift the weight.

And if you’ve ever done this yourself, I’m sure you can agree that your face feels tired and maybe even sore after a workout.

The same goes with straining those muscles in your throat. They do nothing to contribute to your singing and so when they are engaged, they become tired, sore, and painful.

Why you get hoarse

What about getting hoarse? This is a result of vocal cord swelling. And you want to know the number one cause of vocal swelling? Singing with too much air.

This is why developing air control is very important. Plus being able to moderate your air allows you to sing both soft and powerful notes.

So what can you do to develop breath control? The key is to find the balance between support and compression.

If you want to see how this is done, check out the video here and you can skip to 4:00 into the video where I begin showing you how to do this.


In that video you will see me do what I call the “nasally old man” sound. And this compressed, nasally “old man” sound teaches us the other extreme of not using ENOUGH air.

So the goal here will be to find the balance between the two: Not pushing too much air yet singing with enough air.

And that’s why I like to start on the opposite extreme and work towards finding the middle ground.

The Remedy

So I encourage you to do this: Pick a few words and sing a melody with them while using a very nasally and compressed “old man” sound.

If you break up, that’s completely fine! Just discover what it sounds and feels like while singing with that sort of over-compression.

And then just as I mentioned above, start introducing a little more air so that you sound closer and closer to your singing tone.

Eventually you will find that sweet spot. When you do, you will be able to sing longer, sing with greater Dynamics (both soft and powerfully), and sing with ZERO pain or hoarseness.

And if you sing concerts, you’ll be able to pull off those long nights without developing vocal nodules.

Now if you feel like you can’t seem to grasp this technique and you still experience pain or hoarseness, sign up right here for my free vocal course:


It will help you build those crucial pillars to being able to sing the way you want to with the right technique.

Anyways, I hope you found this article helpful. It’s my hope that you can take these tips and apply them so you can improve and protect your own voice.
Wishing you the best in your singing journey,
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