Every time I sing, my throat ends up hurting and I can't figure out why. My vocal teacher doesn't know why either so that doesn't help me at all. She said she thought that maybe I was trying to be too loud when I start singing and she's right.

I try to be louder than I can be, but I tried singing softer and it still hurts, but I don't think I know how to sing softly because then I end up being breathy and I think that's why it hurts.

It's hard to explain where it hurts too. It's kind of in the back of my throat where my soft pallet is but I have no idea how to fix it. I think I'm using my diaphragm and I do lift my soft pallet (but maybe I lift it too much?). I would say that maybe I'm just tensing up a lot and straining but I don't know what it is that I need to relax.

  • 3
    Go and see a doctor. You may have a medical condition that requires treatment. And while you are at it, if your vocal teacher cannot sympathize and cannot offer any help, then perhaps you need a different vocal teacher.
    – user1044
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 0:43
  • Yes. A doctor is a very good idea. We can't diagnose you here, we can give you tips for recovering from an ailment. Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 1:47

3 Answers 3


You may already know about this, but it may help: when singing, you ought to use abdominal breathing instead of thoracic breathing. When singing, practice exclusively abdominal breathing, and your voice shouldn't hurt. Moreover, it should allow you to sing far louder without effort.

Abdominal breathing is how we breathe naturally when we sleep: only the belly moves, in a repetitive up and down fashion; you can feel it with your hand to be sure you are doing it right.

When singing, you must feel that the actual power of your voice comes from your belly, not from your throat. Your throat must not “push”, not produce the power, but let it flow.


If a medical problem is ruled out, I suggest making sure to drink enough water throughout the day - 8 cups at least. I can tell you from personal experience, once I became aware of how little water I was drinking and started drinking more, it had a major positive impact not only on my singing voice, but also on my speaking voice.

The other thing I would tell you is make sure to use 'cover' on your high notes - not doing so leads to strain and pain (of course this needs to be developed under the guidance of a teacher).

Here is a demonstration by Pavarotti -


See a speech pathologist: get scoped (a local university with a vocal program should be able to recommend one in your area). Plus it's fun to see your vocal cords!

  • 1
    The pathologist may recommend seeing an otolaryngologist
    – BryanE
    Commented Mar 15, 2017 at 18:18

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