** These Q&As from Mark Baxter originally appeared on our sister site, Getsigned.com. They are reprinted here by permission. Copyright 2000-2019 Getsigned.com, Inc.
Question: Hi Mark, after being sick for about a month (nasal congestion and a little throat irritation), I have now come back to my singing. I kept humming while I was sick, but could not sing. Now that I am back to my regular singing regimen, I have a hint of airy-ness to my voice...what can I practice to get a more solid voice again?? Thank you, Courtney
Answer: Good job humming through the illness. You must still have residual swelling which is causing your airy-ness. A good way to coax the folds to close properly without forcing them is a vocal frye. The frye is an extremely under-energized crackly sound, often used at the beginning of sexy R&B phrases (Think Britney singing, "Oh baby, baby," where she kind of drags the voice into pitch at the beginning). The value of making this "creaky door" sound is that your air pressure must reduce down to a trickle. See how slow you can make the "ticks." The slower the better. Notice how little air is coming out by putting your hand up in front of your mouth. Obviously, if you hear extra air or feel like you are forcing things it is not the sound you are looking for.
Question: Is there any secret to getting phlegm out of the way? Thanks much, Tom
Answer: Please see my other articles about this subject. But in a nutshell, the 'secret' is to not produce phlegm in the first place. Because so many things can trigger this reaction, you may have to dig deep to discover the problem. The diet is the first place to look. After that the bedroom can host many molds and irritants. Osha root can do a good job clearing the throat but most times I gargle with a warm salt water solution. The salt brings up the phlegm, so you can expel it without forceful clearing and hacking.