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Table of contents
Below is a very incomplete list of just some of the vocal training methods that are either extremely questionable or downright dangerous. Each is ranked and information about how to avoid the risks if possible is included.
This is an evolving document like most of the site, so we’re always looking for more info.
Risky, dangerous or ineffective exercises
Swallow and hold
- often used to raise the larynx
- risks extreme constriction of muscles not associated with phonation including FVF
- strain, loss of vocal control, loss of closure, pain can result
- recommended by some very old resources and occasionally SLPs
To avoid risks:
- don’t do it at all
- swallowing is fine, holding is not. Learning what a larynx is with swallowing is fine, but it is absolutely paramount that you don’t hold it and do not base your understanding of how the larynx can be moved on the sensations being felt or muscles used when swallowing.
Glottal stop slide or any slide toward full closure
- can encourage a conflation between FVF closure and true fold closure
- very, very hard to untrain if habitualised
To avoid risks:
- only do it under supervision of someone who knows what FVF closure glottal stops and strikes sound like
- don’t add more pressure
- use extremely light glottal taps to gain understanding of unconstricted true fold closure
- don’t do it