When I wake up after several hours of rest, my voice is clear and bright lyrical tenor. Speaking and singing is easier. I do have bad singing technique, but I am addressing that with my vocal coach.

The problem is, during the day my voice gets worse and worse, it loses its clarity and drops down from somewhere around f to c. I have to use more air to make myself heard the same as in the morning, otherwise I sound breathy.

I do not speak much during the day. The same thing happens when I don't speak the whole day at all.

In the evening when I get to my vocal coach, it takes me half an hour to make my voice sound better (this interval is shrinking with more lessons though). After I sing for a while my voice is back to the morning self, maybe a little better. Ringing and in my proper range.

(note: I noticed this since the last time I was with the coach, haven't had time to discuss it with him yet. I am quite worried, so I seek info wherever)

Can I be straining my vocal chords somehow? I tried making my neck area relaxed during the whole day, it took quite a bit of effort, but couldn't see much improvement.

  • 1
    This is something your vocal coach should be addressing. With personal hands on, he is in a great position to sort it for you. Try an early morning lesson, it will give the other side of the coin.
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 7:43
  • I have a kind of similar thing - don't speak much through the day, but 'lose' the ability to sing the way I would like. I do vocal sirens (tried having a look on YT to find an example to link but didn't see anything that I felt was 'perfect' (some tense jaws from supposed 'vocal coaches')). Perhaps starting practice with sirens, or doing a few throughout the day where possible, as I do, might help. Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 10:43
  • If the reason is indeed tension, a bit of experimenting with metitation, especially that type when you, progressively, fully relax every single tiny part of your body, may worth some experimenting.
    – Neinstein
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 16:41

3 Answers 3


It could be acid reflux. This is something I've had, and I have had almost identical symptoms as you. I would recommend seeing an ENT doctor and/or a speech pathologist about it. I'm no medical professional and can't offer medical advice, but here are some of the things I've been told to do based on my particular condition:

  • take small sips of water regularly throughout the day
  • avoid foods that trigger reflux (especially sugar & caffeine)
  • stop eating at least 2 hours before going to bed for the night
  • don't lie down right after eating
  • don't drink a lot of water with meals
  • eat smaller meals and don't eat meals quickly
  • 1
    Yes, completely forgot about my question here. It was acid reflux, I went to the doctor few days after I asked this. My symptoms have disappeared since beginning treatment. Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 12:06
  • @Meltea, glad to hear it! I had a positive experience initially with proton pump inhibitors (Prevacid) and a negative experience in the long run. Some studies have linked proton pump inhibitors with Alzheimer's. Other studies contest this. I got off them because I heard about other negative long-term effects like reduced bone mass. When I stopped taking the PPIs, I had terrible "rebound" reflux which was worse than anything I had experienced before starting medication. I haven't researched any of this very thoroughly though and am no doctor.
    – jdjazz
    Commented Jan 4, 2018 at 13:21

I'm not an expert, but it sounds a lot like something I know a bit about. When you're sleeping, your body relaxes all throughout. This relaxing mode is more relax than you would normally achieve when you just lie down and relax (without sleeping). There are some people who can achieve ultimate relaxation of their entire body, but it takes a lot of practise.

When you're awake, you always have tension on your muscles. Even when you try to relax them all, there are still a few groups of muscles that are tense, which is natural.

Your vocal cords act the same way; there's always tension on them, except when you sleep. This gives them time to recover before you wake up to a brand new day.

Because they've relaxed all night, they are strong and ready to be used through your day when you wake up in the morning. This is why you have a better range and strength at this time.

Using vocal exercises to warm-up and stretch your vocal cords might help you during the day, but yes, they take time. The vocal cords are not perfect, like the strings of a guitar or piano, which are always ready to be used without needing a warm-up. Take your time and don't fret yourself too much. If you do, you'll tense up too much and the exercises won't be as effective.


This is one that hits a bit closer to me though not all the way. A suggestion I have for you is to have an ENT doctor review your sinusoidal cavity and the area around where it deposits towards your throat. It could be that you have a post-nasal drip pooling somewhere that is creating pressure onto your throat or else inflaming something, and the pressure is relieved when you're no longer right-side up (such as when you lay down at night for sleep). This might explain why you're able to have a clear voice in the morning and not in the evening.

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