Ear, Nose and Throat Blog

Which is worse for the voice: Beat-boxing vs singing

Beat-boxing is something that many have been recently become enthralled in with the popularity of college a capella and shows like “The Sing-Off”. Have you ever wondered what kind of damage it may be causing the vocal cords? In a recent study, researchers at the University Of Illinois Hospital wondered the same thing and put it to the test. It turns out that singing actually causes more trauma to the vocal cords than beat-boxing does. The variety of sounds a beat-boxer creates actually is protective because it doesn’t just put stress on one area of the vocal cords like singing does. Performers also tend to have strength in their pharyngeal muscles which eliminates some of the stress to the vocal cords. If you have experienced hoarseness for any reason (beat-boxing or not), you may want to consider an office visit to further evaluate these symptoms. – Alysa Blum, PA-C

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