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Goforit

Vocal stamina and unconfortable environment for your voice..

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Hey there,

 

before asking my questions I want to point out few things:

 

- I eat very well. I have very good "singers diet" (I guess it can be called like that). I don't eat almost any sugar, fast food, fat etc... don't smoke... don't drink alcohol pretty often... no coke or similar drinks... I eat pretty much healthy food, lots of vegetables, fruits etc... lots of water... So I guess my nutrition for vocal health is the best possible that it can be.

- I avoid losing my voice through singing. Whenever it hurts of it feels uncomfortable I stop.

- I exercise (fitness)

- I do everything possible to keep my voice in best shape!

 

Now, after saying that... all this helped me get some stamina or singing endurance, call it what you like :)

 

But still, I have this big problem that I lose my voice very fast in unhealthy environment...

 

For example, I was practicing few new songs last month, they were pretty demanding to sing, but I learned them pretty good... For last few weeks I sang them great! And yesterday, there was some acoustic show of my friends where I was to sing a couple of songs and play on guitar in between their two sets as a guest. I was so happy that I will sing my new learned songs.

But then, when I arrived to the gig, the environment was so uncomfortable to my voice... It was full of cigarette smoke, the music was pretty loud so when I had to talk with some friends I had to talk a bit louder then normally, and I just drank one beer (with a lot of water after it) but I guess it also had effect on my vocals.

So basically I was there only 1 hour before I was to sing but my voice was pretty wasted by then, and I chose to sing some easier songs because my throat was not the healthiest at the time. I still sang those songs pretty good and was very well accepted by audience, they all told me I stole the show (I'm not so full of my self every day, it's only sometimes hehe) but I am now pretty unhappy that I trashed my voice in only one hour through passive smoking, drinking one beer, talking over loud music... but usually those are things you can't skip if you go to friend's gig...

 

So basically question is: anyone has any tips on how to do it? protecting your voice from "passive" (or should I say un-intentional) abuse... How do you do it when you go to a loud party where you are about to sing a bit later on? What can we do to prevent ourselves from loosing our voice there...

 

;)

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Hey there,

But then, when I arrived to the gig, the environment was so uncomfortable to my voice... It was full of cigarette smoke, the music was pretty loud so when I had to talk with some friends I had to talk a bit louder then normally, and I just drank one beer (with a lot of water after it) but I guess it also had effect on my vocals.

So basically I was there only 1 hour before I was to sing but my voice was pretty wasted by then, and I chose to sing some easier songs because my throat was not the healthiest at the time. I still sang those songs pretty good and was very well accepted by audience, they all told me I stole the show (I'm not so full of my self every day, it's only sometimes hehe) but I am now pretty unhappy that I trashed my voice in only one hour through passive smoking, drinking one beer, talking over loud music... but usually those are things you can't skip if you go to friend's gig...


So basically question is: anyone has any tips on how to do it? protecting your voice from "passive" (or should I say un-intentional) abuse... How do you do it when you go to a loud party where you are about to sing a bit later on? What can we do to prevent ourselves from loosing our voice there...


;)

Disclaimer: I am not an expert so I am only going by personal experience, common sense and what I have read from others - primarily vocal coach Mark Baxter's (very fine) Rock n Roll Singer's Survival Guide

 

To address your three issues:

 

1) Beer/Alcohol: If you have one beer, chased with water, the surface contact should have negligible effect on your vocal cords, and it will take a while before any internal dehydrating effect to show in your voice. In all honesty, one beer should not really be a problem... I find this factor is generally over-emphasized.

2) Cig smoke: This can be a killer. We have a no-smoking bylaw here which makes this mostly a non-issue for me now, but before that I had to make sure I drank lots of water, and go outside on breaks for some fresh air.

3) Loud environments: This is always the one that I find vexing. I try to minimize talking between sets if I can (sometimes its unavoidable), but if the environment is also smoky, and/or if you are already feeling vocal strain... IMO you *need* to avoid speaking as much as possible, especially if you have to raise your voice. Go outside for some air, hide in the washroom, whatever... you may be perceived as being aloof, but you can mingle after the show...

 

Additionally, make sure you are well-hydrated in general, starting well before you need to start as it takes some time for your body to process what you are putting into it. Eat healthy and keep fit (obviously). Also, try to get lots of rest the night before the gig.

 

I have found only 3 factors to be an issue for me:

1) Illness

2) Dehydration

3) Fatigue

 

I have also found through experience that if I was suffering from one, but was covered in the other two areas, I could make it through a 30 song night without too much issue.

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But then, when I arrived to the gig, the environment was so uncomfortable to my voice... It was full of cigarette smoke, the music was pretty loud so when I had to talk with some friends I had to talk a bit louder then normally,

 

Welcome to the world of Rock & Roll!

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We can't smoke inside bars or clubs now either. Or anywhere in fact. Or within 50m or something of entrances. Or in some areas outside either. Smokers are like lepers here (Australia)!!

 

Anyway, I think some people are just more sensitive to smoke and other such negative conditions to singing. I myself am not. Yay me! lol But I don't know what to suggest if you are one of those people.

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Lots of things can make me sound worse: smoke, cold, heat, tiredness, and very high humidity. I think it helps to sing scales every day. I've been working on stability by singing a note and sustaining it for as long as I can, trying to keep the sound constant. I might be improving.

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