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Help: Singers and laryngitis

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ciarili 09 Apr 02 - 03:28 AM
Jingle 09 Apr 02 - 01:28 PM
Genie 09 Apr 02 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,Jessica 16 May 02 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 16 May 02 - 04:43 PM
Genie 17 May 02 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,Joakim 05 Aug 06 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,Frank Hamilton 06 Aug 06 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Joakim 06 Aug 06 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,miriam 24 May 07 - 03:19 AM
GUEST,James H 24 May 07 - 11:34 AM
GUEST,Guest 24 May 07 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Doping 05 Jul 11 - 08:21 AM
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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: ciarili
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 03:28 AM

Ah! Position is almost undoubtedly the root of your problem. Instrumentalists who don't have to breathe to play tend to hunch over their instruments. There is no way on earth to get good breath support that way.

First ya gotta know here's how the breathing process works. Now, most folks think that the diaphragm is responsible for pushing air out of you. In fact, it has nothing to do with that! It is responsible for pulling air in. Your lungs, by the way, are actually sloped on the bottom and tilt upward toward the front, like this if you were facing to your right: / The diaphragm pulled your lungs down and forward as you breathe in. When you are hunched, it doesn't have room to go very far, see?

So, you hafta find a way to sit at the front of your chair with your feet in such a way that your thighs are sloping down toward your knees. This'll give you some breathing room. I know it's hard with a guitar, I play a bit myself, but it's worth it to sort your position out and get used to it as soon as possible.

Now that you are sitting like that, breathe in and visualise what's happening. Don't let your chest come up and out, that's a shallow breath and the chest rise/fall is not an indication that your lungs are filling up that much! You must breath such that you feel you're sucking air down toward your navel, and let your stomach expand. You can actually work on increasing your lung capacity this way, and eventually your stomach will bulge all the way up to the beginning of your sternum, out from under your ribs. My voice teacher looks like he's just swallowed a third-grader when he's all filled up!

Anyway, now you can just try singing. I don't know if you're tightening up your throat and tongue and fatiguing quickly therefore, but once you have the breathing down enough to turn your consciousness to something else a bit, start to focus on relaxing from your face right on down to the top of your chest. Don't be afraid if the sound you get is very different than what you've been producing and not what your looking for, just get the fundamental breath support down before monkeying with the rest of it! Noone can give you much advice without your physical presence from here on out, and even just a few lessons with a really good person can help more than you'd be willing to believe at first, so I'd think about it. Be picky though - a bad teacher can really screw you up, I speak from experience.

Let us know how it goes!


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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: Jingle
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 01:28 PM

Try Dr Sanderson's Throat Specific. It's a good old fashioned remedy that tastes awful but it's very good. Not as drastic or as quick acting as Chloraseptic but it doesn't do your voice any harm long term. Not as much fun as port and brandy though, I must try that one.

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: Genie
Date: 09 Apr 02 - 01:35 PM

Having rested both my voice and my bod for quite a while now, my speaking voice is sounding almost normal, and I can hum the lower 60 to 70% of my normal range again. I'm wondering what the best strategy would be for regaining my voice.

With other muscles, I would just start with short exercise sessions, warm up thoroughly before and after, and gradually increase the frequency, duration and intensity of the workouts. I can do this with the throat to some extent without vibrating my vocal folds a lot --doing breathing exercises, throat opening exercises [like the grimace exercise that Lynn described], yawning, etc.--, but there's no way to do a real choir-type warm up without vibrating the vocal folds, and I wonder if that should be avoided.

What I'm pondering is the balance between rest and exercise. Rest is good to combat inflammation, but it weakens the support you need for proper singing.

Any of you well-trained singers out there have a nutshell guide to getting your voice back after recovering from a bug-induced laryingitis?

Specifically, I'm wondering when I should start trying to regain my higher range. [If you can make noise up to a point and then not much comes out, should you just not try to sing above that point until it comes naturally [i.e. without discomfort] again? [With other muscles, I avoid forcing a stretch to the point of discomfort; I prefer to hold the stretches that are reachable, then relax and stretch again, usually going farther with each rep. Same thing for going up the scale with the voice?]


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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Jessica
Date: 16 May 02 - 01:44 PM

Thank you, thank you, one million thank yous' to all of the advice on this page. I am a vocalist and have a concert tonight.... with a severe case of bronchitis. I am not going to push myself horribly but also can't miss out on my final concert. I hope I am not wrong by drinking hot lemon tea with honey... (I think I am all right in doing so). Again, thank you so much on the educated information!

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 16 May 02 - 04:43 PM

I tried to read this whole thread but there is so much BAD information here!

Owlkat and Alice had some good ideas (but anchovies!). Anyone who uses any alcohol while they are singing is an idiot. Alcohol deadens the nerve endings starting with the tongue (so no enunciation) then the lips (mumbling) then the ears (can't hear how off you are).

Genie, there is a bronchitis virus going around. It is a virus and cannot be cured with antibiotics. Unfortunately, you just have to ride it out and it may take many weeks.

Anti-hystamines dry out your vocal chords. Do not use them.

You may be getting laryngitis for several reasons: Allergies, dryness, infection, or strain. Find out which one it is before you fix it.

I suggest to my voice students that they gargle with hydrogen peroxide if they are prone to infections (warm salt water is nearly as effective). Also, if you are a vocalist, you must be practicing vocal exercises AT LEAST one hour per day, just like you practice your instrument. Warm (not hot) light tea (steep not over 3 minutes) can be an excellent warm up before a gig. Of course, always tune your voice when you tune your instrument before performing.

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: Genie
Date: 17 May 02 - 01:49 AM

guest Amy, thanks so much for your input!

BTW, HALLELUJAH! After almost TWO MONTHS of bronchitis and very tenacious laryingitis, I FINALLY seem to have gotten my full vocal range and vocal stamina back! Yesterday I did a program in which I sang a song where I went up at least to high F or G. Haven't been able to do that for a LONG time!

Interestingly, the serendipitious result of the laryngitis has been improved vocal technique. Out of necessity, due to the lingering laryngitis, as I began singing again, I had to make extra effort to support my voice with a lot of breath, so I worked extra hard on expanding my rib cage and taking in a lot of breath before each musical phrase. I HAD to improve my singing technique during the laryingitis, because otherwise I couldn't sing! Now that the laryngitis is finally gone, those habits continue--to the betterment of my voice.

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions and infornmation.


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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Joakim
Date: 05 Aug 06 - 03:09 PM


I'm from Sweden, so please be patient with my English. I was wondering if anyone could help me solve this life shattering mystery of mine. About 4 months ago I was working a lot on making my both registers (light baritone and sopranista) blend (now that's a lot of work!). It was done for the musical production RENT in the rôle of Angel, a transsexual. A lot of rehearsals eventually got me tired and I experienced pain for the first time in my life, specifically located to my vocal folds. I tried singing with less pressure but my condition worsened. I tried singing only in my falsetto register, since that has always been healthy to me, but that only made it worse since I'm not too comfortable in the lower (alto) parts of my falsetto voice. I quit the production, thinking "nothing is more important than my voice". I gave up singing and speaking for a week and a half from a doctor's advice (big mistake, huh?). I communicated through notes. When I started speaking again it was still there. I tried using my vocal knowledge (doing light excercises such as m, "vui", "hui" and others). And only that. I also did some light work in my baritone register, but I felt that was what had caused the problem in the first place - so I didn't do that a lot. Now I've had my folds checked (everything ok!!). I'm currently doing some speech therapy to regain my "big voice", but I don't feel my singing voice has recovered and that bothers me enormously. I try to take care of myself with remedies but I'm getting really tired when nothing happens. I have lost a huge part of my upper (flute) register and I now sound more like a mezzo ( which is not bad in itself ;-) ). Is my voice doomed to deteriorate? Any advice will be taken with great thankfulness.

This is really bad ( and I'm an optimist :-) ).


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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 10:31 AM

i believe that being a singer is like being a certain kind of athlete. It requires a kind of training.

1. Excercise moderately, particularly aerobic (swimming..walking..treadmill...stairsteps)
2. Avoid dairy, alcohol, tobacco and any lozenges or medication that dries up your throat
3. Coax your voice and don't force it.
4. Alexander Technique for relaxation and flexibility
5. Yoga if you don't strain or force.
6. A good night's sleep
7. Find the proper balance for your voice...don't overdo
8. Find that special vocal instructor
The one that helps with vowel placement, relaxed breathing, facial relaxation, and avoid pushing or straining
9. Drink enough water to keep folds moist
10. Avoid negative people
11. and stay awy from side stream smoke)

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Joakim
Date: 06 Aug 06 - 10:59 AM

Sorry for double questions... Check out "Losing my voice" if you want to read the rest.


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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,miriam
Date: 24 May 07 - 03:19 AM

been having sour throats ever since i was little. i don't get them often now but lately i seem to have a permanent lose of my voice. Do the two connect and what can i do? Don't have money for all those voice spray stuff.

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,James H
Date: 24 May 07 - 11:34 AM

get thee to a doctor, and get it all checked out. If they say there is nothing physically the problem, you may be straining your voice - drink lots of water and check out some of the links further up in this thread for vocal warm ups etc.

James H

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 May 07 - 02:13 PM

I agree with the Fisherman's friends solution if desperate but be careful keeping them in the side of your mouth. They can rot that tooth very quickly. Sugar free cherry ones are good

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Subject: RE: Help: Singers and laryngitis
From: GUEST,Doping
Date: 05 Jul 11 - 08:21 AM

Take care of your voice Nicky, or you'll have to resort to singing rock songs with a trashed voice.

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