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Help! Losing my lower register!

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Genie 31 Oct 04 - 12:53 AM
open mike 31 Oct 04 - 08:00 AM
breezy 31 Oct 04 - 08:41 AM
Genie 31 Oct 04 - 09:01 AM
GUEST,Anne Croucher 31 Oct 04 - 01:53 PM
Genie 04 Nov 04 - 12:46 AM
JedMarum 04 Nov 04 - 10:43 PM
Genie 04 Nov 04 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Blayne Smith 20 Sep 06 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,guest. pris. 12 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM
Scrump 12 Oct 06 - 10:36 AM
GUEST 12 Oct 06 - 11:32 AM
Genie 12 Oct 06 - 12:17 PM
GUEST,Maureen 02 Apr 07 - 08:21 AM
The Fooles Troupe 02 Apr 07 - 09:43 PM
GUEST,ALF 02 Apr 07 - 09:59 PM
Genie 03 Apr 07 - 03:50 AM
Genie 03 Apr 07 - 04:23 AM
The Fooles Troupe 03 Apr 07 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Genie (without cookie) 04 Apr 07 - 12:18 AM
GUEST,MW 06 Apr 07 - 09:39 AM
Genie 05 Aug 07 - 01:12 AM
GUEST,Doc Martin 05 Aug 07 - 06:46 AM
Genie 05 Aug 07 - 03:45 PM
The Sandman 05 Aug 07 - 03:49 PM
growler 05 Aug 07 - 05:06 PM
Genie 30 Oct 10 - 03:59 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 31 Oct 10 - 03:37 AM
Joe Offer 17 Nov 16 - 06:54 PM
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Subject: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 12:53 AM

I don't know whether to laugh or cry. I've always thought as I got older I'd lose my high soprano range, but in the last year or so it's my LOWER REGISTER I've been losing!

I did have a bout of laryngitis a couple of years ago that lingered for over a month. It finally seemed to go away, but ever since then I've found my voice easily susceptible to strain. With the proper warm-up, I seem to get most of my higher register back, but I seem to have lost 2 or 3 whole notes (steps) in my lower register, even with warm-up.

Does this sound like nodules or the like?

Anyone have comparable experience?

Anyone have any ideas about exerises (or the opposite) that might help remedy this situation without resorting to surgery or the like?


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: open mike
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 08:00 AM

there are 14 related threads--that show up when yo open this thread..
check them and you will fiind some info and answers....
maybe even a a link to a video of the vocal chords at work
provided by mark cohen...


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: breezy
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 08:41 AM

me Dad said that for every note you go up, then you lose two down below.

Dont know if its true but if I sing too often or strain or shout, then I lose the notes from my bottom....register


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 09:01 AM

open mike, I know there are lots of threads about the voice, but I was kind of hoping someone might direct me more specifically to info on this specific problem. :-) Thanks for mentioning Mark's link to the vocal cord video.

breezy, my theory is that the lower register overlaps more with my speaking voice, so that straining my voice by talking or yelling affects those low notes more than my high notes.   As for losing 2 notes below for every 1 above, I've never heard that. Generally, when I warm up, loosening my throat, my range expands on both ends. It's just that right now I have a couple of low notes where pretty much nothing comes out.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,Anne Croucher
Date: 31 Oct 04 - 01:53 PM

It might be an idea to tell your doctor that you are a singer and have noticed a change in your voice.

I know a man about my age who did just that and is still here today as he was sent off to hospital for an investigation and biopsy, and told to come back the next day for an operation.

No amount of exercises would have saved his life.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 12:46 AM

Thanks, Anne.   :)

It's probably not a cancer, but I do think it's worth having an ENT doc check for nodules in any event.   And yes, sometimes they do find something much more serious.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: JedMarum
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 10:43 PM

You may be as surprised as I was to discover that acid reflux (even if you think you never or rarely have heart burn) WILL cause loss of your lwer register ... it will actually "soften" your voice ... make your voice tire more easily ...

I went to the voice Doc with your very same complaint. He examined me, spent some time with me ... and when he told me to take a prescription medicine for acid reflux, I thought he was crazy. But he was right! He also made some other adjustments; no late night meals or snacks and he had me place a four inch block under each bed post at the head of the bed - raising up my head.

They all worked. My voice is as strong as it was 20 years ago.

By the way - I never noticed I had heart burn ...


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 04 Nov 04 - 11:02 PM

Wow! 'Fraid you've got me on several counts, Jud!

Yes, I do suffer from acid reflux disease (experienced episodically both as gerd [sp?] and as, not really "heartburn," but a burning or discomfort in the esophagus). I do have some prescription meds for it, but I take them only PRN, not as maintenance meds. I knew this condition could ruin my esophagus and even lead to cancer if not treated, but I didn't know about the "softening" of the voice.

I have also noticed both the "softening" -- loss of volume at lower register -- and that my voice is very easily strained now, e.g., when I participate in sing-alongs, song circles, etc. Didn't connect this with the acid reflux thing, either.

You got me on the late night snacks and/or beer or wine. That's gonna be hard to give up!   

And, yes, it does help avoid acid reflux if I don't try to rest or sleep fully horizontal.

Thanks for pointing out the connection.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,Blayne Smith
Date: 20 Sep 06 - 05:18 PM

As soon as I start singing within probably 3 minutes I have a bunch of notes in my mid range or register that have some sort of blockage or so it feels like it and it is very hard to hit those notes perfectly and I really have to push it to make them even come out! and even longer than that I pretty much just loose that register and still be able to sing above that and below...........anybody hear of that?? could it be a cold, or mucus build up?


Blayne


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,guest. pris.
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM

i think u are very likely to need more warm-ups then. The middle range are the ones that are usually the point of transition in our voice i suppose. so i guess warm-ups could do the job.
but recently, i've suffered from a bad cough, flu and fever. but ever since then, my ever high-pitched voice seem to have dropped to a slightly low-pitched one. PLus. i can't seem to sing my soprano keys as high as i could anymore... any idea whyy? it has been going on for many months alreadyy.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 10:36 AM

breezy wrote: me Dad said that for every note you go up, then you lose two down below.

Dont know if its true but if I sing too often or strain or shout, then I lose the notes from my bottom....register


Ooerr, is that how you got your name, breezy? ;-)


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 11:32 AM

My range has increased with age.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 12 Oct 06 - 12:17 PM

FWIW, I've been doing a lot less singing than usual over the past year or so.   The bad news is it's because my usual clients' budgets are shrinking and I've been making a lot less money.   The good news is that my lower register is beginning to come back.

In fact, I'm finding that when I take the time to warm up properly and I don't sing for more than an hour or two in any given day, my voice seems to sound better than it did a few years ago when I was singing about 3+ hours a day on average.    While my ENT/voice docs say I don't have any nodes, I did seem to be experiencing some strain and inflammation of my throat and vocal folds.   They actually said that it's the speaking that may cause more strain than the singing.   And since my work requires me to talk on the phone a lot, that's potentially a huge problem.

The speech therapist half of my "Voice Clinic" Kaiser docs suggested working on a more forward placement of my voice when I talk.   I guess I was tending to talk from back in my throat instead of supporting my speaking voice with deeper breathing and then speaking with a slightly higher-pitched voice projected toward the front of my mouth.   (I did my best Julia Child impersonation and he said I don't need to take it that far but that's kind of the idea. LOL)   

Anyway, right now it seems like my higher range isn't quite what it was a year or two ago, but I am beginning to recover my lower range. And that's fine with me.   Other things being equal, it seems the alto range is more pleasing to most people than the high soprano range.   Especially for people who wear hearing aids.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,Maureen
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 08:21 AM

You need to get help from a qualified singing teacher.

Unless of course your voice starts cracking and squeaking.

You say your a soprano your singing voice should start somewhere around Bb below middle C and stretch to Top C and a few beyond maybe an E. Is that right?

Don't believe any voice guru who tells you that you can have an extra two octaves and have a range of five octaves, this is a con it will smash up your voice altogether. Apologies about graphic language.

Excessive development of what some singers call chest voice range can cause a serious default in your first passagio. I refer here to notes below the Bb which would involve the wrongful placement of sound and the complete lowering of your pharynx. This would be you effectively puting on a voice. Your first passagio is a register change point which for a soprano is E or F above middle C. Modern day vocal coaches and voice gurus fail to accept that voices have register qualities Alto, Mezzo Soprano Soprano, Bass, Baritone, Tenor. It is annoying as many voices are being ruined via this route that you can have 5 octaves like Maria Carey or some other two bit pop singer. Believe these people and your voice will suffer from a break with missing notes which don't sound when you need them.

You need to do Cuperto exercises to retrain you in the use of your soft edge in singing.

www.voiceteacher.com/cuperto.html
www.voiceteacher.com/passagio.html
www.webspawner.com/users/musicaldesires/index.html

For the time being Avoid all forms of speech level singing and theatrical belting broadway sounds. This is not conducive to your recovery.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:43 PM

"this route that you can have 5 octaves like Maria Carey or some other two bit pop singer"

Sadly these techniques mean that you can usually only sing 'into a mike' - a real human voice should be able to be heard adequately 'unplugged'.... :-)

One 'can' do short occassional bursts of 'tricks' with the voice, but try too much and they will have consequences, as Maureen says...


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,ALF
Date: 02 Apr 07 - 09:59 PM

You may want to look for "Change your Voice, Change your Life" or one of Morton Cooper's other books at the library.
If you are really interested in the physiology of the voice look for "Discover Your Voice" by Oren L. Brown, Voice Faculty Emeritus, The Juilliard School.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 03:50 AM

Thanks for the info and suggestions, Maureen.

FWIW, I have no aspirations towards a 5-octave range or even a 3-octave one. I'd be ecstatic if I could regain the 2/5 octaves I once had, or even could still pull off a really strong, solid two octaves.

I've actually recovered some of my former lower range (time, rest, recovering from the 'injuries') but not all of it.   I've also lost some of my upper range, but that doesn't bother me as much, because I find that as a general rule my audiences prefer listening to voices in the baritone-to-second-soprano range than to really high-pitched voices.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 04:23 AM

BTW, Maureen

My voice doesn't crack or squeak in my lower register. But sometimes no sound comes out below a certain point.   (The squeaking is more likely to happen above a high E.)

I was 'diagnosed' a second soprano by the vocal coach who works with my church choir, but that was over a decade ago. Back then, my range was about the C below middle C (though that note was hittable only when well warmed up and not very audible w/o a mic) to the high A (which I could also sing only when warmed up and would do only as part of a choir, not as a soloist). My 'comfort range' was about low E or F to the E or F two octaves higher, and my really, really comfortable range was about the G below middle C to the E above the E above middle C (not quite two octaves where comfortable solo, unamplified singing was concerned).   When I began to lose my lower range, it was the notes below that low A or G that seemed to 'evaporate'. It seemed like I couldn't get my vocal folds to make any sound below that A just below middle C.   (Can you tell I don't know the standard terminology to designate specific notes other than "middle C?") ;-)

Oh, and if it's at all helpful in 'diagnosing' the problem, I'm one of those choir singers who usually could sing soprano but usually ended up singing alto or even tenor because the choir was soprano-heavy and alto- and tenor-deprived?

The thing is, my favorite part of my vocal range is my lower range.   I personally like the tonal quality of my alto range better than I do my soprano voice, even though it has less volume.    That's why I want so much to recover it.

You said:
"Excessive development of what some singers call chest voice range can cause a serious default in your first passagio. I refer here to notes below the Bb which would involve the wrongful placement of sound and the complete lowering of your pharynx. This would be you effectively puting on a voice.'
Well, recently it does seem I have to work hard to hit those low notes, but I didn't used to have to.   It was quite natural and easy, until I had that long bout with laryngitis and bronchitis.

This part of your post is interesting. (I love it when you talk Italiano!):
"Your first passagio is a register change point which for a soprano is E or F above middle C.      Modern day vocal coaches and voice gurus fail to accept that voices have register qualities Alto, Mezzo Soprano Soprano, Bass, Baritone, Tenor.    It is annoying as many voices are being ruined via this route that you can have 5 octaves like Maria Carey or some other two bit pop singer.    Believe these people and your voice will suffer from a break with missing notes which don't sound when you need them."

Gotta admit, I've never before heard the term "two-bit" applied to a voice like Mariah Carey's. LOL    I'm not a fan of her show-off, OTT stylings (on most songs), but I am in awe of her pipes.   But, yeah, most of us would do well not to try to emulate her.   (Just watch the auditions for American Idol if you want example after example of why not.)

Re the "passagios," is that the same thing as the "break in your voice?"   FWIW, when I want to 'yodel' during a song, I usually need to sing it in the key of B flat.   Is that sort of thing a clue as to your natural range and "passagio?"


I really appreciate the links to the Cuperto exercises for retraining in the use of your soft edge in singing:

www.voiceteacher.com/cuperto.html
www.voiceteacher.com/passagio.html
www.webspawner.com/users/musicaldesires/index.html

However, the first two links aren't working for me at the moment.

Finally, maybe it's because I CAN'T, but I seldom do anything even vaguely resembling "theatrical belting." LOL    In fact, I often get flack from 'purists' (and people with louder voices) for preferring to perform amplified.    I don't like to have to sing 'at the top of my lungs' to be heard over ambient noise, over the instruments, or in the back rows, even if the setting is a folk music camp.

But you also advised: For the time being Avoid all forms of speech level singing...    . This is not conducive to your recovery.'
May I ask what "speech level singing" is?


Thanks,

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 03 Apr 07 - 06:19 AM

Speech Level Singing


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,Genie (without cookie)
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 12:18 AM

Thanks for the link, Foolestroupe.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,MW
Date: 06 Apr 07 - 09:39 AM

JedMarum is absolutely right. I went to an ENT & he told me my difficulty was caused by Acid Reflux. I took steroids for 4 days to reduce the inflammation & Nexium for a month. That solved most of the problem. I stopped having a tickle & irritated feeling.

However, I have noticed I'm losing my lower register. When I sing, I try to pick my sets with lower notes in the early set; leaving the higher songs for later.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 01:12 AM

I do think acid reflux is a likely culprit, and my docs tell me it can still be happening even when you don't ever get an obvious 'vurp'.*   So I try to take my Protonix (or that sort of thing) regularly.

Whatever the reasons, my lower range finally did begin to come back in the last 6 months. It's almost fully recovered, at least when I warm up thoroughly.

But I'm noticing if I don't sing or warm up daily, I'm getting to the age where that 'elderly' sounding voice can easily creep in. Gotta rest between gigs, but also gotta warm up, even more than I used to have to do.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,Doc Martin
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 06:46 AM

Take up Smoking that'll make you sing lower....


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Genie
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 03:45 PM

LOL

Seriously, I stopped smoking 31 years ago and up didn't begin to lose my lower register till the marathon laryngitis episode about 4 1/2 years ago.   The main thing that smoking did to my singing was inhibit my lung capacity -- which I'm sure sometimes caused pitch problems as I was running out of breath at the end of a long phrase.   Of course, if I hadn't quit in my 30s, I might well sound like a frog by now.

Genie §;-D


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: The Sandman
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 03:49 PM

smoking is a disaster for a singer.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: growler
Date: 05 Aug 07 - 05:06 PM

You can borrow mine


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower range!
From: Genie
Date: 30 Oct 10 - 03:59 PM

Borrow your what, growler? Your lower range, your cigarettes, or your frog? ; D


Seriously, I've gotten most of my lower range -- and I should have said "range," not "register," in the beginning -- back, after all this time. Plus, with some vocal coaching I've been able to access my "lower register" ("chest voice") better and through a wider pitch range than I could even a decade ago. Still working on getting more lower register and power into my soprano range though.


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 31 Oct 10 - 03:37 AM

Take up smoking and binge drinking the hard stuff...it'll come back!


Might lose your higher one, though.....
GfS

This thread has been a spam magnet for years. If you want to reopen it to add material to the discussion, ask Joe or another moderator to open it. --mudelf


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Subject: RE: Help! Losing my lower register!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Nov 16 - 06:54 PM

Previous thread closed due to Spam. I've transferred those messages over to this thread. Moderators, please check with me before closing this thread, even if it gets a Spam message or two.
-Joe-


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