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Help! My singing voice is dying!

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31 Mar 98 - 09:44 PM
Alice 31 Mar 98 - 10:28 PM
Alice 01 Apr 98 - 02:14 AM
Joe Offer 01 Apr 98 - 03:03 AM
Bill D 01 Apr 98 - 01:58 PM
steve t 01 Apr 98 - 02:27 PM
Alice 01 Apr 98 - 07:00 PM
JimBunch 02 Apr 98 - 09:05 PM
steve t 03 Apr 98 - 01:54 AM
Bert 03 Apr 98 - 08:54 AM
Alice 03 Apr 98 - 09:52 AM
Moira Cameron 03 Apr 98 - 05:09 PM
Barry Finn 03 Apr 98 - 06:59 PM
Musicman 03 Apr 98 - 07:33 PM
Paul Stamler 05 Apr 98 - 02:28 PM
mm 05 Apr 98 - 05:20 PM
Alice 22 Aug 98 - 12:06 AM
Ian HP 22 Aug 98 - 07:38 AM
Tinwhistler 22 Aug 98 - 11:33 AM
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Subject: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From:
Date: 31 Mar 98 - 09:44 PM

This is really a continuation of can anyone learn to sing, but it was getting long and this is a related topic but not quite the same.

Help! Singing is my passion. I love to sing! and have been known to sing in the halls at work, in the bathroom, on the street, in the shower (the best), in the car, etc.

I sang in high school many years ago, and recently have been singing every night to my kids. The kids got me interested in folk music again, and I started to learn guitar, and autoharp. In the last six months it has become a passion. I practice to and from work, at home at night, walking the dog... everywhere. I have also started going to a pub shantey sing-a-round once a month. Well, I've noticed that lately my voice is sounding courser and courser and I have started to croak on the high notes. Last week, after helping lead a song at a Cub Scout pack I couldn't raise my voice at all without it squeaking.

What have I done? Is this what happens when you "blow your voice out"? It it permanent?

I can't seem to stop singing a little each day even though I have cut back about 90%. Even with cutting back it doesn't seem to be getting better.

How can I get my voice back? I am desparate!

Jim Bunch Silver Spring Md.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 31 Mar 98 - 10:28 PM

Jim, there is a website called 'The Singing Voice', which has history of singing, other interesting topics about singing, and under the heading "Pedagogy" is a page called 'Vocal Health' that has tips on how to take care of your voice.
http://www.geocities.com/Vienna/Strasse/2200/

Knowing techniques for warming up, placement of the muscles, how to relax, etc. really helps, no matter what style of singing you do.
If it seems like you have really changed your voice, you may want to see an ENT who can examine your vocal chords.

alice, mt


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 02:14 AM

Jim, here are addresses for more information on the singing voice from the website "Center For Voice Disorders of Wake Forest University",

http://www.bgsm.edu/voice/warming_up.html

http://www.bgsm.edu/voice/singing_voice.html

alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 03:03 AM

Be careful, Jim, but don't get too worried. I've found myself in the same situation many times recently, and it can be scary. Most of us recover naturally with a little time and rest.
I've always been proud of the power of my voice, and I did a lot of singing and storytelling for the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in years past. Lately, I've been doing church music and singing in song circles, so volume isn't quite as important; but it took me a while to learn that I didn't have to sing quite so loud. Now I sing soft and close to the microphone in church if I'm doing a solo. When I sing with groups, I listen to the other singers, and strive for an even blend of voices instead of trying to lead the others. I've also found that when I'm leading songs, the audience often sings louder if I sing softer.
The best thing I did for my voice was to quit smoking four years ago. 25 years of smoking didn't help me much. I assume you don't smoke. Next thing to do is to learn to sing more softly, and don't ever try to sing with a voice that has already been badly strained. Good luck.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Bill D
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 01:58 PM

Jim...not to put MORE strain on you, but are you an FSGW member? and do you know about the many singing events right in your area? There will be an 'open sing' in Takoma Park this Friday night...look here for details

(I have been meaning to get to those pub sings for awhile now..those shanteys WILL put the strain on your voice!!)


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: steve t
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 02:27 PM

For now:
Sing softly.
Sing songs with limited ranges -- Dylan tunes, for example.
Sing unaccompanied when possible -- you're more likely to choose easy keys for your voice.
Transpose instrumentals into keys you find easier to sing to.
Grit your teeth and keep quiet if singing along with a particular song is difficult.
As soon as possible:
Read the facts at the sites Alice mentioned. Check out the singing teachers in your area. Try one out. Keep trying out singing teachers until you find one who can help you -- keep in mind that not every singing teacher is any good or will be able to help you. If the problem continues to worsen, you may have a medical problem. A cousin of mine had serious problems with her vocal chords as a child. At about age five, she sounded like Marlene Dietrich. Now she is in demand as a church solist, (though she sings into a microphone). So if it *is* anything medical, don't panick.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 01 Apr 98 - 07:00 PM

To follow up on steve and Joe's good advice, when you interview teachers, ask how much they have studied the larynx and the way it is used in singing. Today happened to be my day for a voice lesson, so I related the problem you described. My teacher told me that one of her best voice teachers was not a singer at all... he was an accompianist who was a Medical Doctor! Specialist in the larynx and how it functions!! She told me that she learned from him things about singing that she had never heard from any other teacher or conductor. I think that's why I feel fortunate to have found her, and 'brag' about her so much when I discuss singing. Good luck, Jim.
alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: JimBunch
Date: 02 Apr 98 - 09:05 PM

Thanks everyone for responding to my plea!

Alice: You seem to be a wealth of information on singing. I too am starting over past 40. Linn (my wife) thinks its my mid-life crisis and I agree but what the heck its cheaper than buying a sports car!

Bill D: Yes I am a member of FSGW and have been wanting to go to one of the First Friday Sing A Longs for a long time. It is also cubscout night, however, and I am assistant den leader. There are always tradeoffs!. Someday I will make it.

Everyone else: Thanks again! I think I am on the road to recovery!

Jim Bunch Silver Spring Md.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: steve t
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 01:54 AM

I finally read Alice's suggested reading: it's very interesting. I'm curious as to how different people warm up. Is starting with easy songs good enough?


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Bert
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 08:54 AM

If your dying voice is accompanied by a recurring sore throat you might have a problem with reflux.

My quack says don't eat your evening meal later than six o'clock and don't eat spicy food.

It works pretty well in controlling the problem but many nights it's almost impossible.

Bert.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 09:52 AM

For those who are not squeamish, you can see photos of vocal chord nodules, cysts, etc. at the University of Pittsburgh Voice Center website. They also discuss reflux and other causes of hoarseness. Photo page is
http://www.upmc.edu/upmcvoice/Photos.htm

The U.of Pittsburgh Voice Center also has a page of Dos and Don'ts for Singers.
http://www.upmc.edu/upmcvoice/Dos.htm

If you explore all the links I gave earlier, I think there are descriptions of warm-up techniques. If you have never sung in front of a full length mirror or watched yourself sing on video, then it would be helpful to look in a mirror and check your posture. Since your whole body is your instrument, there are lots of muscles involved in producing and supporting and affecting the sound. Your posture should be balanced and relaxed, not rigid and tense or slumped over. Relax your face and neck muscles. Massage them if you have to. Drop your jaw and let it go slack, roll your head around to relax your neck. Loosen the tension in your lips. When you take in a breath, your shoulders should stay down and relaxed. If you are holding down the muscles of the floor of your abdomen, more air can expand down there, and you will see your belly expand out, and your ribs and chest expand as the air comes in. Training those muscles to support your air flow will help alot in keeping the vocal chords healthy. The air going through the vocal chords is what makes the sound, so if you can control the airflow, then you won't be straining and blasting air when trying for more volume or a longer note.
Start in the speaking range (the note you make when saying a hummm of surprise) and begin singing by humming or singing 'oooh' or 'aaaah' in short scales. Your face muscles, forehead, jaw, etc. should remain relaxed, not tense.
Start an easy song, not loud, and then build to songs with more range and volume. You can do this in the car on your way to your sing-along or choir practice.
Alot of information is on the links I provided above, but there is no substitute for a GOOD teacher.
alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 05:09 PM

Someone once told me that extended use of Ventolin Inhalers for asthma can adversely affect one's voice. This is a concern for me since I have asthma and singing is my heart's delight.

I've also been told that dringing coffee or having milk products before singing isn't good for one's voice. I've never noticed these things affecting my voice, but I guess it's something to keep in mind.

My thoughts are with you!

Moira, Yellowknife, NT., Canada


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Barry Finn
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 06:59 PM

Moria, I've been on Ventolin inhalers, for asthma, probaly 15 yrs, never noticed an effect on my voice, only on my driving. Barry


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Musicman
Date: 03 Apr 98 - 07:33 PM

vocal strain usually stems from improper vocal technique. You need to look at the production of the sound you are creating, and the tension that you carry in your vocal chords while you sing. I sing 4-5 hours/day 5 days/week in my job and have so far avoided any vocal problems. You may find it beneficial to seek out a GOOD voice teacher who will help you understand the mechanics of singing. This involves tongue placement, air flow and a myrid of other things. BE SURE TO FIND A TEACHER WHO UNDERSTANDS THESE THINGS, AND DOES NOT JUST TEACH SCALES AND MUSIC. The wrong teacher can destroy your voice. (I know people who have had this problem, even from university teachers. I'd offer my wife's services, but we live in Vancouver, BC. Good luck, and take care of your voice, it's the only one you've got. You can't go and buy a new one when this one breaks.

Paul Evenden


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Paul Stamler
Date: 05 Apr 98 - 02:28 PM

Several years ago, Jane Grosby (now Jane Vidrine) gave me a list of what drinkables are good and bad for the throat. As my memory serves me (forgive me if I'm mis-remembering), all beverages with caffeine (coffee, Coke, regular tea) close the throat (bad); citrus beverages (lemonade, Lemon Zinger tea) open the throat (good). Don't know what happens from Mountain Dew (citrus vs. caffeine -- would they have a war?). Regular tea is doubly bad because of its tannins. Beer is neutral; Scotch closes the throat, bourbon opens it. White wine opens, red wine closes (tannins). I use Lemon Zinger tea myself, with lots of honey or sugar, and sing more quietly than I useta. I've also found that plain hot water is very soothing.

One other thing that makes a difference: remember all those pictures you saw of Pete Seeger with his head thrown back, singing his heart out? Very inspiring. Very bad. Sing a note softly and tilt your head back; feel the tightening in your vocal cords? You have to push a lot harder to get the sound through. I suspect this is one of the reasons Pete's voice is now almost gone. Sing with your head at a level. And don't let your voicebox get cold on the way to the gig -- wrap it in a scarf if the weather is even mildly chilly.

Peace. Paul


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: mm
Date: 05 Apr 98 - 05:20 PM

Don't drink spirits - they wreck the vocal cords - do the exercises listed above, and don't worry about Ventolin, it won't hurt the voice. Cortisone inhalers make your voice husky, but what harm?


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 12:06 AM

refreshing this information...

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Ian HP
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 07:38 AM

The health of your voice has a lot to do with where you sing FROM. A lot of people have problems after extended singing because they produce their sound from the shallow part of their breathing apparatus. Always produce sound from the depths of your diaphram. This will give you a more powerful voice AND it will last much longer. Also, over-tiredness is a killer. No matter how many gigs, how much travelling you do, make sure you get enough sleep - if you can!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Tinwhistler
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 11:33 AM

I am following this thread with interest. Is it possible that Jim just overdid it? He mentions being "obsessed;" I get an impression of him suddenly belting out songs where ever he goes, without the warmups and techniques you mentioned.

If I put away my guitar for a few days and then play it for hours, my hands and arms let me know in no uncertain terms that they are unhappy. Can't a similar thing happen to the voice?

Sometimes when I sing I love my voice. I can hit the notes, have great range, mellow tone, expression etc. And then other times I sound awful--can't hit a note, waver etc. What gives?

A voice teacher I know recommends gargling with warm water and a teaspoon of baking soda if your voice is irritated or if you have that "clogged" feeling. Anyone else ever hear of that?

Thanks for all the info. I will have to cut back on caffeine now that I have a good excuse!

Sue


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Tinwhistler
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 11:37 AM

Sorry Jim, the word was "passion" not "obsession"!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 22 Aug 98 - 05:06 PM

Hi, Sue, This particular thread started back in March, and Jim did say he recovered. There is another thread starting on the subject of singing technique, which is why I brought this one back to the top, rather than re-type all the advice and links provided last spring.

Because a singer's vocal chords, sinus passages, breathing, etc. are affected by so many different factors, the voice is very changeable, as you describe. The more techniques you use in protecting your voice and your health in general, and in training it in the correct way on a regular basis (just like doing other physical exercises on a regular basis) the more reliable your voice will be.

alice in montana


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 12:00 PM

yikes, I just saw how many times I typed vocal "chords" instead of vocal "cords". Anyway, just refreshing this to point out that Kat has a voice instruction book on the Mudcat auction page. Check out the auction going on right now (Nov, 2000)!

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: kendall
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 12:44 PM

actually, neither is correct..they are vocal folds.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 02:12 PM

Trick question, Kendall. Are they ugly? Too ugly????
I had bronchitis and the flu over a month ago and can't sing without coughing. My doctor says this flu hangs on forever so deal with it. Bourbon sounds like a likely cure. Will Jack Daniels work as well?
Mary


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 02:28 PM

You are right, Kendall, they are now referred to as vocal folds, but they USED to be called vocal cords.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Eric the Viking
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 02:44 PM

I got a terrible cold and cough just before Llanstock and my voice hasn't recovered since, it dies away to a whisper and sounds like a slight echo. Saw the quack who said that the strain had put my sets of vocal folds out of synch with each other. told me to rest it. Not much chance in a special school!! But as I am off school from tonight for a carpel tunnel syndrome op I hope to do so. Take care and rest your voice. Imagine me- can't sing and can't play guitar. (though there are those who would say I can't do either anyway!!!!!!

Take care.

Eric


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: SINSULL
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 03:27 PM

Eric,
I have this hilarious picture in my mind of Leif Ericson with carpal tunnel syndrome and laryngitis. Suck it up man! Think of your heritage. Me? I come from a line of consumptive horse thieves. Laryngitis is a status symbol.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 03:56 PM

WoW! It's strange to see a thread I started over 2 1/2 years ago suddenly appear again. I have morphed into JAB, started playing banjo, and yes SINGING IS STILL MY OBSESSION. I can attest to the fact that Alice's suggestions do work. I no longer lose my voice as much (except after my kid's soccer games).

I have finally bit the bullet and decided to get more serious about my music. I have just completed 6 weeks of voice lessons through our local community college with Alison Ledbetter-Hines a local jazz singer. You know the first three weeks we just learned about our instruments, practiced breathing excersizes and did not sing a note! But boy did it start making a difference! Also, at the FSGW Getaway I attended a fantastic workshop put on by Lisa Null. I hope to take lessons with her later in the year.

My point is that I have noticed a major difference in volume, tone, and most important of all stamina. And this is just from a few excersizes and practice sessions. I have to learn to sit up!

So follow all of the above links and do what they say. It does make a difference.

JAB


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Jeri
Date: 07 Nov 00 - 05:09 PM

I have had colds, flus, chicken pox, mumps, measles, strep throats, etc and never lost my voice. My parents commented when I had my tonsils out that at least I'd be quiet for a while. Not a chance - I woke up talking. Oh well - I only mention it because I'm coming down with a cold (maybe - I could just be allergic to cold weather) and NOMAD is this coming weekend, and I AM planning on singing.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Brandy
Date: 18 May 02 - 11:49 PM

To the person that wanted to know about the teaspoon of baking soda and warm water. If you have followed the life of Celine Dion, she almost lost her voice for good, but thru proper doctors and voice teachers she has regained control over her voice. One of the things that she does is gargles with baking soda; salt and warm water before she sings among vocal exercises.

I can sympathize with all of you. I was a powerful singer and I mean powerful. I lost my diaphragm and am trying to regain it. I have back injuries in the same vertebrae that control the diaphragm, I believe C-3 and C-4. Started snoring at night. And last year was repeatedly exposed to Toxic Fumes and now have RADS/Asthma. I use Foradil; Pulmicort; MaxAir; Atrovent; and Accolade. The depression I feel from my problem is sometimes more than I can bear.

Singing is my passion as well and believe me my prayers go out to each and every one of you for your total return of your voice and if you are blessed enough to have Him touch you, may you never forget to be thankful and testify to your healing when you can.

One more thing, I just was in a wonderful site that had info I have never read before:

http://www.billford.supanet.com

It is more than well worth the reading.

Link repaired by Joe Clone


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST
Date: 19 May 02 - 02:28 AM

Drink Whiskey


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Brandy-Answers!
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 12:16 AM

I have posted to this site before and I thought I would keep all updated on some of my finds that affect the vocal chords.

As we all know RADS, asthma and allergies are very closely related so I decided to take notice of any and all changes to my throat, paying attention to any pain in my ear, lowering of my throat, etc.

Here are some finds that might interest some of you that have affected my vocals:

1) Kitty Litter (keep far away and away from cold air registers)

2) Furnace Filters (DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT buy the fancy, schmancy ones. I paid $20 for one thinking I would clear the air and within 3 days was talking like a frog. My husband changed back to just a plain old cheap one and my throat was back in a few days. The expensive ones are FILLED and I mean FILLED with chemicals!

3) Colognes (keep away from any colognes, they saturate the vocal cords. Do not use any, stay away from anyone who wears it. Some colognes do not bother me, but there is a site that explains of the lethal substances that are in colognes.)

4) Stay away from cleaning chemicals, carpet cleaners, tar, asphalt, fertilizers, talcum powder, baby powder, hair spray, watch the mouthwashes, plants harbor mold and mildew, etc.

If anyone would care to hear more of my discoveries, I would be more than happy to keep everyone updated.

Let's face it, we live with ourselves 24 hours a day, and we as vocalists must pay attention to why things happen to our throats. Aretha Franklin will not even sing in an air conditioned building because it dries her throat. So pay attention to yourself!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,nobby
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 08:50 AM

breathing gives you cancer.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 10:40 AM

Thanks Brandy-answers. Its all very useful info to file away.
More discoveries would be most welcome as you come across them....


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 11:41 AM

Here's a question for you one and all...

I am about to begin a 9 week run of performing 5 times a day every weekend in one of the most acoustically unfriendly environments known to man. That, however, is not really the problem. I can support my voice well enough, and rarely really have any issues.

Unless...

There has been a drought, and there is *so* much dust that you can get your RDA of minerals in one breath.

*This* irritates like no ones business, and I have had many moments where I came very close to losing my voice, as well as moments when I became ill (upper respiratory issues).

Any advice? (Beyond "wear a mask", that is)


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 01:19 PM

Many vocal problems are cause by dehydration. Dehydration can be treated with the world's best beverage: water.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: kendall
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 05:22 PM

Interesting thread. Just today my ENT says there is still some irritation caused by the radiation, but, if I cut back on using the voice, I should be ok by the Getaway.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 05:37 PM

Alice, it might be a good idea to get checked out by the doctor just in case it's a physical cause, and one that you should be worried about. No doubt you've thought of this - and even the worry might be tightening your throat and making your voice tighter and coarser.

It's not a good idea to drink spirits; drink beer or wine, but spirits are hell on the vocals.

And for all ye asthmatics, if you want to use the ventolin less, try some buteyko breathing; it helps to lessen the need for inhalers. If you also use a becotide inhaler you'll get a sexy croak to your voice.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 08:46 PM

I'm not the one who started the thread. The first name is blank (before Guest). I responded to the problem with advice. Check out the "threads on the singing voice" links that I compiled.
Can a Joeclone add "Guest" to the first message on this thread?

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: kendall
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 09:36 PM

Acid reflux is painful and it damages the esophagus. However, there are ways to fight it; put a thick book under the legs of the bed at the head. There is also Pepsid ac or Previcid. They both work.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 20 Aug 02 - 11:15 PM

Wow! It's been a long time!

I am the one who started this thread! It was one of my first posts back in 1998. Since then I really took to heart some of the advice that Alice posted (Thanks Alice!), took voice lessons from Alison Ledbetter-Hines through the Montgomery County Red Department, started breathing correctly, doing warm up excersizes, keeping my tounge down and the other thing on top up, and singing! I dont' lose my voice anymore !hurrah!, However, now the local folks have to listen to me every month at the FSGW sing-a-long. ;-)

JAB (aka Gutbucketeer)


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 12:35 AM

JAB, that's great! Thanks for posting the rest of the story. It was a flash back for me, too, to see this thread come back after four years. Glad to hear you took action and found a good teacher. It's great to know how to make singing even better, isn't it?

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 21 Aug 02 - 09:38 PM

Well some may think that I sound best AFTER I have lost my voice. But, since I don't lose it anymore... YES...

It also feels better when you sing with a fully supported voice. You can feel your throat open up, the air, and the sound flow out. It use to feel all choked up and tight, especially on the high notes.

JAB


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Brandy & Answers!
Date: 22 Aug 02 - 12:15 AM

Thanks for the kind reply. But I see so many things in this thread that I have experienced and after 8 years of doctors I have taken things into my own hands.

To the individual with acid reflux....PLEASE be sure that is what you have. I went to a specialist and that was her deduction. I went back to my regular doctor and asked if there was any way to prove it and she said yes. I had an endoscopy and some type of 24 hours tube inserted thru my nose with a meter.

Guess what? The specialist was WRONG!! I knew there was something wrong when the meds didn't work including the fact medication is TOO freely given for everything!

So please, everyone, question...question...question and requestion your doctors. It has been proven so many times they have been wrong like cutting off the wrong leg, operating for the wrong thing, etc., etc.

YOU ARE WORTH IT! You are paying them and YOU are in control not them. If they will not work with you just get some references on other doctors.

Have a blessed day!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Brandy-Question?
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 12:48 AM

Has anyone out there tried using a drug called Intal and Lomundal? According to some research I have been doing, this inhaler is for people that exercise, etc.

Would appreciate any feedback, I have an MD appointment on Monday and need to know if it is as effective as Atrovent.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Kaleea
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 02:01 AM

Celtic Soul, it sounds as though you are allergic to dustmites. This can be difficult to live with, especially if you live in an area where there is lots of dust like, for example, a desert region such as Phoenix, or out in a rural area with unpaved roads & the wind whips the dust everywhere. You might try to keep the dust around the house to a minimum by the usual means, keeping dust off the household furnishings--floors, draperies, upholstery, bed linens, keep doors & windows closed(in the car, too) & use air conditioner, etc. If you live in a large metropolitan area, the dust combined with pollution is some killer stuff for those with allergies &/or asthma & other respiratory difficulties. Water can help to keep your throat & vocal folds moist to an extent, but the body normally does this, and should not need more than the average amount of water. Guest,Jtt is right on about no alcohol--it is actually damaging to the vocal folds! **Some research has found that allergy sufferers may be taking too much over the counter/prescription decongestant & thus causing the mouth, throat, vocal folds to be not as moist as normal. Finding the right balance of allergy meds is important, too. **One suggestion I might give to those who feel as though their mouth, throat, (& vocal folds) are too dry is to keep peppermints & allow one to completely dissolve in one's mouth--before singing. This helps to aid the body's natural process of salivation to keep the mouth & throat area moist, & also helps to open up the sinus cavities. One must have some moisture in one's mouth & throat to sing! For many years, I have kept peppermints in my purse, and in a small dish in the choir room for my church choirs--this can help folks who feel they have just a "tickle" in their throats, and sometimes a little bit of a cough, to sing well. Then there's also getting plenty of rest, and all the usual healthy habits! I agree that you should go to a competent Dr., and the "specialists" are not always the answer. When I was in college, there was a small clinic which we cold visit for being a student there. Those of us who were voice majors would would get up EARLY in the AM (a serious sacrifice!) to be at the clinic at 7:30-8 AM when the old, retired country Dr. was there, and blow off seeing the high priced Ear, Nose, Throat/allergy specialist. Why? The old retired country Dr. had seen many more cases in his career, and knew the basics, and did not get kickbacks from pharmeceutical companies to push all the new allergy/respiratory medicines. He would correctly diagnose the problem, and give us what would REALLY help! ***He also told me to use salt water for gargling, and for snorting. Yes, that's right! Snorting! He told me to mix salt with warm (NOT HOT) water (perhaps a 1-2 teaspoons in an 8-oz glass)& pour it into a shallow bowl or saucer. Then snort it into your nasal passages (nose). This does the same thing to the nasal passages as gargling warm salt water does to a sore throat, & we all know that the warm salt water will help with the throat pain. I found this extremely difficult, and painful! Most think it dusgusting, at the least. Nevertheless, it DOES WORK! There are many performers who swear by this & do it every morning in the shower! I can't do it, myself, unless everything has sorely failed & there is nothing else to try, & I have an important singing performance coming right up. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: SussexCarole
Date: 24 Aug 02 - 05:40 AM

A while ago I was having problems with a constant dry throat which got worse as I sang. This cleared up when I cut out all artificial sweeteners from my diet. Beware they are put in so many of our 'healthy eating' style of food. I have yet to find a can of cider these days which does not have sweetners added. Hope this could help Carole


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Linda Goodman
Date: 26 Aug 02 - 05:50 PM

A fantastic set of warm-up tapes, one for each voice part, was made by Roland Wyatt, vocal coach to the Manhattan Transfer (Vocal Jazz quartet) If you practice 20 minutes a week with this tape it will reinforce everything a good vocal coach or voice therapist will show you, and makes good, healthy singing and speaking automatic. I used to lose my singing/speaking voice often, and for extended periods, and now I never do. I get the tapes(they wear out, eventually) from my former choir director at leespear@music-works.com. I'll bring some info on them to the next FSGW Open Sing. Also, if you are older, your thyroid may need a little help - your doctor can test you for this. It does affect your singing, and is easily and inexpensively treated. Your medical insurance may pay for some sessions with a voice therapist, especially if you lose your voice often, and it affects your work.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Nicole
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 02:02 PM

Howdo doctors remove vocal chord nodules? And is there ever full recovery?


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Ebbie
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 02:35 PM

Guest/Nicole, my brother some years back had vocal fold nodules removed. He had to go three weeks post op without speaking but his singing voice returned in due time.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Joybell
Date: 25 Oct 03 - 11:22 PM

As a singer living with asthma triggered by passive smoking, I wondered - Has anybody mentioned cigarette smoke yet? Couldn't see it but maybe they have. Anyway it's a major factor in causing problems for singers. Also Ventolin does affect the vocal chords, at least for a time. It's better than the alternative of course - suffering a fatal asthma attack. I can't agree more that a throat specialist is the person to ask about voice problems.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Mac Hammac
Date: 26 Feb 04 - 05:17 PM

Hey, i'm only 17 , and i've been singing for just a little over a year. mostly simple things, but then the band i was in started getting me into screaming and now i know why i should never do that lol i can't hit the high notes or hold mid notes steady anymore, it always feels like its slipping just a little bit out of tune when i'm singing... (i quit the band) , and so now i play and sing lots of my own acoustic stuff agian my dad made me a webpage www.hammac.com/mac listen to my voice and you'll probably hear what i'm talking about! i just want to know what i can do to make my voice more powerfull and how to hit the right notes more often, i dont know how good i'm doing for how long i've been singing or anything of that sort so anyone that listens to it leave me a message on my email if you have any advice.... thanks -Mac


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Sooz(at work)
Date: 27 Feb 04 - 08:11 AM

In my 30th year since qualifying as a teacher, my voice "went" last term.I've had an endoscopy to check the state of my chords and both the consultant and the speech therapist have said that my voice is just fatigued. (I did have a few weeks of cure whilst off work recovering from a slipped disc!) However the both think its worth treating possible acid reflux which is not necessarily associated with indigestion pain. It can be silent. So now I'm taking a double dose of proton inhibitors and gritting my teeth every time I feel the need to raise my voice in school. I've managed fairly well this week and I think I will be able to sing tonight!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: JulieF
Date: 27 Feb 04 - 11:20 AM

Its really interesting to hear how people think inhalers affect the vocal cords. I stopped singing at the end of my teens when I developed athsma. I thought that I began to sing out of key. In recent years the athsma has all but disappeared and I have begun singing again.   I am not convinced that the inhalers affected my vocal cords - but perhaps it affected my confidence and I heard myself differently.

I am currently just recovering from losing my voice for about 3 days which I think was a caused by a mixture of hanging around cold marquees, the stress of using a microphone properly for the first time and a two hour Bulgarian Choral workshop. Will have to pay more attention to what I'm doing in future.

Julie


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Com Seangan
Date: 27 Feb 04 - 02:40 PM

My own voice has been losing volume for about five years. I try an old Irish remedy - a few pints of Guinness each evening follwed by a glass of Jameson. There has as yet been no remarkable improvement but the medicine is nice.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,kristin
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 07:19 PM

I have a major audition on Thursday (its Saturday) and I have a cold and allergies at the same time! I bought lemons that I'm eating right now and fresh pineapple. I'm also drinking room temperature water, which is what one of my friends who has a recording studio told me to do. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO????? I'M TOTALLY DESPERATE! GET BACK TO ME ASAP!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Cats
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 05:10 AM

If all else fails you need to coat your throat with something sweet and sticky. Many opera singers use sweet sherry, sipped sparingly, and I know loads of people in the South West who swear by Rum and Shrub. It's an alcoholic cordial you put in with rum and even the strict methodists down there use it for medicinal purposes. Rum and shrub for the throat, Brandy and lovage for the stomach. Try it.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Com Seangan
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:18 AM

I'm telling you - again. Guiness is your man - followed by a small Jameson.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Amos
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:47 AM

ALcohol doesn't help the vocal cords for singing purposes -- it just makes you care less.

See up thread. Good advice going all the way back to 1998.

A


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,G. Goguelet
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 06:26 PM

Just to add my two cents. I have been singing all my life (amateur, not professional). I began taking voice lessons last summer, then returned to choral singing as well a few months later.

Started having pain in my throat, low down. My teacher and I explored multiple techniques, thinking I was doing something wrong. She finally recommended I see a specialist. That specialist ordered a thyroid test, and it turns out my thyroid was nearly double the usual size. It was pressing on my trachea and singing aggravated it to the point that it would ache for two days after an hour's practicce.

Be sure to check our vocal problems that persists or don't seem to have a specific reason. It is better to know what is wrong and deal with it. But be sure also to see a throat specialist for it.

Good luck to everyone!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 03:26 AM

I was amazed to find that many people share my allergic problems
I have suffered from very bad hayfever for many years and taken an inhaler which has helped greatly to virtually irradicate the symptoms

I feel that too much alcohol at festivals can lead to voice loss, as well as smoky atmospheres, pub singing with back ground noise puts up the pitch leading to strain

Water take up is vital as alcohol tightens the vocal chords

general health, walking running and even weight training can help with the power aspect ~ chest exercises such as bench press and pull and push downs on the lat machine give good chest and lung workout, and no alcohol in sight


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: vectis
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 02:56 PM

A friend swears that sucking a soluble Disprin (we're in the UK) will enable you to get through a gig.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,sirhooter
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 04:40 PM

when i sing i sound sinusy and also phleghm appears in my throat/ anyone have any ideas thanks


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Amos
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 04:47 PM

A reorganization of the UPC Website has broken some links from up thread but there is a new Voice Specialty Page in their place at http://voicecenter.upmc.com/Default.htm.

Regards,

Amos


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: shepherdlass
Date: 08 Feb 05 - 07:20 PM

Moira - re Ventolin inhalers. I know many people who don't have problems with them, however, I'm not one of them. As a classically trained soprano, I have had very few vocal problems over the years (despite allergies and permanently blocked sinuses), despite several years' worth of 4 hour gigs 6 nights a week. But as soon as I started using inhalers I had weird, unpredictable and sporadic "drop-outs" of sound from the middle of my range. This happened within a month of me using the inhalers, so, if it hasn't affected you yet, you may well have no worries.

As for Kristin - try Vocalzone tablets (they're available over the counter and are like standard throat sweets but very strong) - you may not have anyone who wants to be in the vicinity of your fragrant breath for a day or two, but they do short-term wonders for clearing the old sinuses. Sweet sherry, Madeira or rum - they've also been known to sort things out. All in moderation of course. Or the soluble Disprin trick works for really sore throats (I always found gargling them far better than chewing, though, euch!) - but I'd only use it for drastic mega-important gigs because it can really mask pain that you shouldn't be ignoring - ie the kind that tells you to stop singing till your vocal cords have a chance to recover.

The other thing is, starving yourself to ward off potential allergens is only going to make you less able to deal with the nerves. No good having crystal clear sinuses if you pass out as soon as you breathe deeply enough to sing!

Wow - I wasn't going to say much here, because all the other advice above looked so good, but it's just one of those issues that make you want to share all your own problems and solutions.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,PoppaGator
Date: 09 Feb 05 - 02:17 PM

I'v scanned through the above, but not read every word. I did not see anyone mentioning SLIPPERY ELM, an old-fashioned herbal remedy that works very nicely as a throat lubricant. Available in tablet/lozenge form at health food stores, under the brand name "Thayer's" (and perhaps other brands as well).

Won't cure an infection, of course, but alleviates the symptoms and allows you to speak and sing comfortably.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Joybell
Date: 10 Feb 05 - 12:47 AM

As for ventolin by inhalation. I was taught to use a "spacer" - a plastic bottle type of cannister that the inhaler fits into at one end. You breathe at the other end. (You can actually just use a large plasitic drink bottle with a gap at the bottom that exactly fits the inhaler mouth-piece)
This method means that the ventolin doesn't hit directly on the vocal cords. It solved my problem of missing notes after using ventolin directly from an inhaler. It is a more efficient method anyway. Cheers, Joy


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Anymonous
Date: 27 Dec 05 - 09:41 PM

I heard that if you use this spray called "Entertainers Secret" it looses up mucus and othet things (GOOD!) and helps your voice A LOT!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 28 Dec 05 - 12:11 PM

A report in my Monday newsrag refers to a "new" voice problem. (New as in few seem to have known about it.) I don't see anything in previous posts here to suggest that anyone has this particular problem, but it might be of interest as something to rule out if one has a persistent problem with voice quality.

The name given to it is "spasmodic dysphonia."
The headline says about 50,000 in the US have been diagnosed.
It's neurological, caused by muscle spasms affecting vocal cords.
Onset is variable but often appears around age 40-50.
Slightly more common in women than in men.
Frequently misdiagnosed.

Info at NSDA (National Spasmodic Disphonia Association) http://www.dysphonia.org/. The front page is "generic" but if you click any of the "buttons" on the top bar, the pages should have a sidebar with choices. I found the FAQ most informative.

There are links to support groups at the site, so it's been known long enough for some organizing to have come about.

The article doesn't appear to be posted by my local paper, and appears to have been the result of a contact by a local writer with a local person diagnosed with this problem; but the NSDA site has all that was in the article except the picture of the local "victim."

This thing appears to affect mainly the speaking voice, and in fact singing is suggested as a possible aid to controlling the symptoms.

Something to bring to the attention of your medical provider if/when you have a difficulty that isn't caused by something readily identified, perhaps.

John


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Elise
Date: 12 Jan 06 - 12:51 PM

I'm a voice major, and have recently been told by my ENT that I need to get my tonsils out. My professors, as well as my voice teacher, are encouraging me to get a second opinion. Does removing the tonsils alter or effect your voice??


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 10:42 AM

Elise, any surgery on your thoat could affect your voice. I'd follow your professor's advice if I were you.

Alice


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Subject: Is there any chance of being a good singer again?
From: GUEST,Craig
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 05:39 AM

Hello Everyone,

I have just managed to stumble across this site and glad that I found it because the info is really good.

My problem is this.For years I have had a horrible problem with phlem on the back of my throat and because of this I have constantly for years had to clear my throat,disgusting I know.I used to have a great voice and loved to sing all the time but years of throat clearing have effected my voice and I can not hit the same notes any more.
I am gutted,because I would love to make a career from singing and I know if my voice was the way it used to be I would be in with a good chance.I am quite sure that I have damaged my vocal folds and would like to know if there is anything that I could do to get my voice back to the way it used to be.I am so upset about this situation.

Craig


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: s&r
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 06:10 AM

Silly question, but do you smoke?

Stu


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 01:31 PM

Just on the subject of smoking (and I realise that this may not apply to the person who started this thread) 2 well-known traditional singers have lately developed throat cancer: Ronnie Drew of the Dubliners and Tommy Makem of the Clancy Brothers. I don't know about the former, but Tommy Makem was apparently a heavy smoker though has given it up some years ago. I suppose both however would have spent many hours over the years in smoke-filled venues, which I suppose has a cumulative effect. British people will have heard of the entertainer Roy Castle, who died of cancer apparently due to many years of passive smoking although he never smoked himself.

I have to say that in my limited experience, folk musicians tend to be among the last bastions of heavy smoking (with only a little exaggeration it sometimes seemed that people could be divided into "Smokers" and "Heavy Smokers", and I for one will be glad when smoking in public places is banned next April in Northern Ireland. I usually attend 2 informal music sessions in local pubs each month, and as well as the unpleasant smell, etc, I notice that my harmonica smells of smoke for several days afterwards.

At 1 of these sessions, one man who was quite a heavy smoker died about 2 Christmasses ago from lung problems, which I suspect were contributed to by smoking, sadly, and although of course one misses his playing, one of the sessions is now usually smoke free. Things at the other session have improved from the smoke point of view as one of the heaviest smokers has gone back to Austria and another has given it up (permanently I hope) possibly in anticipation of the fact that he will not be able legally to do it from next April. This leaves only one, and even if he does not follow suit, if we can get him to only use the tin whistle rather than mandolin, etc, he will not be able to smoke at the same time!

I suppose I sound like a non-smoking fanatic rather than a music lover - my own view is that smoke as much as you want but don't make me smoke as well. Smoking is different from drinking as there is no such thing as "passive drinking."

As a lifeling non-smoker my main problem regarding voices has been phlegm and coughing as the after effects of colds lasting many months, and to which I have found no permanent solution; cough sweets can give a temporary respite. Anyway I hope the original posters voice has recovered.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 02:01 PM

ginger is very useful to help expecrtoration of phlegm.,gargling with salt water is useful for the throat.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Frank Hamilton
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 07:00 PM

Jim,

Singing is an athletic activity as well as a musical one. Good health will help retain your voice. Also good vocal health (learning to use it in such a way that you don't abuse it).

Diet and judicious exercise is an important component. Getting enough rest has a restorative affect.

Get a good vocal teacher who has a good singing voice and can help you keep what you have.

Pubs are not the best place to keep a voice in good condition. Smoke hurts you.

Shouting or yelling or excessive belting can damage your cords as well.

Take it easy on yourself by not pushing too hard and get some vocal help. You will have to scout around to find a good teacher but it's really worth it if you want to keep your voice.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 08:32 PM

Dutch/Holland Double Salt Black Licorish

Poor for the blood pressure but grand for the throat/voice.

Also, Dutch, POTTERS Licorish - metal case, tiny pellets, like old American "SinSin."

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: bobad
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 09:11 PM

Did you mean Sen Sen garg?


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 11 Dec 06 - 09:33 PM

You might Sen in your part of the world....but most Sin in mine.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

(Mea Capolitia Megos - my second in ten years) Yes, BOBAD, it is SEN - SEN - very soapy in flavor...probably NOT good for the throat - only bad breath.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Sandy Andina
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 05:30 AM

From my voice teacher, ENT and gastroenterologist, I learned:
Acid reflux can definitely irritate the folds and make them feel phlegmy.
Alcohol (regardless of whether beer, spirits, any color wine) not only is an irritant but is drying....AND relaxes the espophageal sphincter, which allows acid to back up into the throat when sleeping, causing or worsening acid reflux. Citrus iby itself is acidic, and if you have GERD it will make your voice worse, not better. Caffeine does not tighten the throat--it dries it out, and can irritate it just like alcohol--both are diuretics. You want to be well hydrated, and it can take 24 hrs for water you drink to reach your folds.
Dairy is a crapshoot. Some people get incredible phlegm from the slightest amount. Others are totally unaffected--my voice teacher can knock back an ice-cold milkshake and sound terrific. Listen to your own body,
If you are asthmatic, ask your pulmo or allergist about Singulair--since I started taking it I haven't had to use an inhaler for months at a stretch. Yes, inhalers, antihistamines, and decongestants are all very drying, but your total health (and ability to breathe) trumps your voice. For everything you do that might be drying, try harder to hydrate and lubricate--water, slippery elm, hard sucking candies ("boiled sweets") w/o menthol (mint is an irritant, especially to the esophagus and can make GERD worse).

Oh, and nobody produces sound from the diaphragm itself--that's what moves the air. Your folds produce the sound and your resonators (in your head and mouth) shape the tone. Make sure you aren't pushing too much air--that can actually blow the folds apart and inhibit vibration!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Dec 06 - 06:54 AM

"ginger is useful to help expectoration of phlegm..."

Where did you get that one from Dick??..... Fred Astaire?


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 04:24 AM

Hello, I know this thread is getting quite old but its really looking like the only place I can turn to. I'm 17 and I don't sing but I do impressions with my voice and I use my high pitch alot. Recently I got laryngitis and after that my voice was pretty dead.   
       After taking some anti biotics my speaking voice came back but my high pitch is still non exisitant. I can get a pitch but it sounds like more of a lengthend squeak. The high pitch that I'd normally get from deep down has nothing there. Its there but hardly and it sounds pretty non-existant.
       I'm pretty sure it isn't puberty because I went through that when I was 15. I am very desperate for assistnce here. If there is any way for me to get my high pitch back please tell me. Thanks for your time.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: KT
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 07:19 AM

Don't push it, guest, guest. Give your voice LOTS of time to heal and restore itself. If you continue to strain it before it's healed, you run the risk of permanent damage. Rest it.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Cats
Date: 14 Jan 07 - 07:56 AM

Get and see a doctor immediatley and get them to get you to a consultatant if it doesmn't heal in the next couple of weeks.   I am being put off work this week with voice dysphonia and haven't been able to sing since August. For someone who is a teacher, singer and storyteller, voice dysphonia can be serious as it can lead to corruption of the vocal chords. The therapist I am working with said anyone who is a 'professional voice user' should be in to see her within 3 weeks if their voice is still bad, so.. take it from the horses mouth. Good luck, let us know how it's going.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,GUEST
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:49 AM

KT when you say rest do mean the pitch or the voice in general. Plus does anyone know any ways to soothe it?


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Bellowbelle
Date: 15 Jan 07 - 09:46 PM

There's a spray called 'Clear Voice' that's very helpful. I'm always getting a hoarse voice or whatever, so I bought a batch of it a while ago. (Quite a while ago, and it seems to still be good and strong, in fact.)

I just found it sold online at Musician's Friend --
Clear Voice at Musician's Friend

But, it may be sold at a music store near you, or a health store. There are other sources online, too.

It's great stuff!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: KT
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 02:25 AM

Guest, guest, I guess it depends on how far along in the healing process you are.

Sometimes when people who use their voice a lot, (singers, teachers, public speakers), get laryngitis, there is a temptation to resume using their voice before it is fully healed. I don't know if your impressions are your livelihood or not, but if you are attempting to hit those high pitches before it's healed and are finding it's not there, that's telling you something. You'll hinder the healing if you force it. Bottom line....don't strain your voice that way if you don't have to. And if you are needing soothing remedies after a round of antibiotics, I suggest you see your MD again.   There's a lot of good information in this thread. Read through it if you haven't already. Take care ~


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: oggie
Date: 16 Jan 07 - 02:02 PM

I've recently taken up yoga for a back problem. The breathing took some getting used, a long inhale through the nose filling up your chest, diaphram and stomach (push that belly out) followed by a long exhale emptying everything (pull that belly in), again through the nose. I do this now on a regular basis even when not practising yoga, 5 breaths only, and have found two spin-offs; my singing range is widening and becoming firmer at the edges and also my blood pressure is down and I'm more relaxed when singing.

oggie

BTW - my back is also a lot better!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Matt O.
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 05:08 PM

The body is the vocalists instrument. Knowing how your digestive system works will help you decide what meals are easier to digest so your body can focus on repairing stressed vocal folds. Blended salads (Google it) are a GREAT safety net! Two of these a day will keep your body buzzing and your sleep deep! For the morning try any nuts: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds (contains elastacin), and pepitas blended with acidic fruits (ie. oranges, lemon, frozen strawberries, cranberries and raspberries) and some spinach for ultimate nutrients.   The combination is designed for the most effective digestion possible. This is all proven research so all you have to do is swallow the whole damn thing. Ha hah! You'll know why that's funny when you try your first blended salad. My body hates eating in the morning, but craves the glow a blended salad provides. Later in the day try a vegetable smoothie: romaine lettuce, tomato, avacado, carrots, maybe half a beet, green pepper, cucumber, and celery. Try throwing some fresh herbs in because they contain special phytonutrients and compounds. Eating these things alone is a chore, but blended (eliminates endless chewing) together they are tasty, easy going down, and SUPER healthy. These recipes are designed for ease of digestion. Blend'em up and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. All I do is wash the lettuce and spinach -storing seperateley- and prepare components all at once and store in tupperware for up to 5 days. You'll figure out more tricks as you get going. Let me know what you think about it.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Stringsinger
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 05:31 PM

Paul Stamler posted an important warning for folk singers.

"One other thing that makes a difference: remember all those pictures you saw of Pete Seeger with his head thrown back, singing his heart out? Very inspiring. Very bad. Sing a note softly and tilt your head back; feel the tightening in your vocal cords? You have to push a lot harder to get the sound through. I suspect this is one of the reasons Pete's voice is now almost gone. Sing with your head at a level. And don't let your voicebox get cold on the way to the gig -- wrap it in a scarf if the weather is even mildly chilly."

There is another reason Pete's voice has been worn out. A lot of times folk singers get into a habit of belting and yelling and attempting high pitches with this voice quality. Pete always referred to himself in the Weavers as a split tenor. That means that the voice
was forced out of its natural range. There are a lot of bad vocal habits out there and longevity in singing can be met by caring for the voice by not abusing it. Finding a good
balance for your voice and not trying to overextend it by volume, straining or yelling/belting or shouting will keep it from going hoarse and eventually losing it. With good vocal balance, not too soft or loud but well-supported by intercostal breathing can help you keep your voice. A good vocal teacher can help with proper vowel placement which
protects your voice from strain.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Dec 07 - 07:01 PM

Excellent advice, Frank!

As I get older, my voice has tended to deepen some. High notes I used to reach fairly easily, I now find are not very comfortable. By way of compensation, I've added a few low notes. The ultimate result of this is that I find I'm having to change the keys I do a lot of songs in. Which involves working out new guitar accompaniments. A bit of a drag since I do use classic guitar elements in some songs, so if I want to keep the accompaniment pretty much the same, it's a bit more involved than just changing chords. But it gives me a chance to revisit my arrangements for a lot of songs, which is not a bad idea.

I had some voice lessons early on, so I've managed to keep my voice in pretty good shape. And I want to keep it that way for as long as possible. A model for vocal longevity that I keep in mind is Russian operatic basso Mark Reizen. At the age of ninety, he was still sounding great (CLICKY). A worth goal!

As I keep telling folks here, taking some voice lessons isn't going to make them sound like an opera singer. Many young aspiring singers who want to sing opera wish it was just a matter of taking lessons. It ain't that easy!   You have to be born with that kind of voice and not everyone is. All a voice teacher can do is help you bring out the best in the voice you have—and teach you how to preserve it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: LotusBlume
Date: 23 Dec 07 - 03:26 AM

Since everyone else has had their input, I will, too. Voice lessons aren't just good for singers; if you're in a profession where you must talk a lot, such as teaching or some other kind of orating, a vocal coach can help you learn how to use your voice healthfully. This is especially important if you plan on using your voice for special effects or other things such as stage screams - talk about ripping your vocal folds to shreds.

Another thing I, personally, have had problems with is drying out at night. This was really bad in college where we had steam heat radiators (I know, sounds like we should have been living in saunas for dorm rooms, but seriously, the things sucked so much moisture out of the air, we didn't even get snow) so I keep a humidifier right next to my bed...well, close enough breathe get moist air, not so close so my sheets get wet. Don't get as many random nose bleeds, either.

Yet another point of interest is that of clearing one's throat. This act, although it seems natural, especially if you are loosing your voice, have a cold, etc., is one of the WORST things you can do. It rubs your vocal cords together and erodes the mucus lining that keeps them healthy. It is much better to cough than to clear your throat. Also, yelling and talking overly loudly slam the vocal folds together; that is why it is necessary to avoid these activities when possible.

The last thing I have to say about vocal health is on how long it may take the voice to heal itself. Obviously, it depends on the damage, but if you've had an average 3-5 day cold, I believe one of my choir directors said it takes about 2 weeks after you've recovered from the cold for your voice to fully repair. So it will take much, MUCH longer than you probably think to heal.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Pistachio
Date: 03 Jan 08 - 06:10 PM

This is (unfortunately for me) just what I need to read right now.
I'm an amateur singer and I teach children cycling proficiency - and over the years I have got louder and louder - mistakenly believing I needed to project my voice for the children. my voice has become deeper,and though I do sing low harmonies I have noticed some discomfort. While reading through this ten year epic thread I have tried out a few breathing suggestions and must put them into practise. I have also noticed more discomfort as I swallow. I had an uncomfortable time having an endoscopy last January (not an investigation of my throat )and ended up needing sedation for the procedure. With my current problem I've had my thyroid level checked and it is fine. Now I am due to have and ENT appointment this month so I'll revise the above info and go 'armed' with questions!

Many thanks for all the advice. The food and drink comments are most interesting. Let me grab the blender.
Wish me luck
Hazel.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Kara
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 05:31 AM

I suggest a trip to Andalusie for a relaxation and voice workshop
Here's a link


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Alice
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 02:10 PM

Hazel, pushing or "belting" the voice for volume will
eventually result in damage.
Learn to control volume by controlling the
air you float the sound on. Breath support and
NOT PUSHING the voice is the way to go.
Send me a PM if you have more questions.

Alice


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 08:55 PM

Jim, there is a one-to-one relationship between physical health, diet, rest, excercise
and a functioning voice. Aerobic excercise or swimming is best. Avoid weight training or ballet. These use interfering muscles.

A lot has to do with relaxed deep breathing and not tightening the facial muscles. Keep them relaxed. In breathing you don't need as much breath as you think but the softer you sing the more breath support you need.
Keep your jaw loose and flexible without being too floppy.

You have to coax your voice back. Don't force it. You will have to find the right balance
for your voice. Not too weak and breathy or too strident. (Avoid belting).

Don't shout. Don't speak too much before singing at a performance.

Don't throw your head back because that causes constriction in the neck muscles and
the vocal cords.

Don't try to project your voice but don't sing too softly because that can also cause
tension.

Alexander Technique really helps. Research it.

Yoga is good if it isn't too straining. Take walks for breathing.

Try to keep a good posture and by this I mean not a rigid military style but
relaxed shoulders back to allow the intercostal muscles to flow freely. Lift the
rib cage but gently without tension. There should be space between the ribs
and the pelvic bone.

Above all, if there is strain.....stop!   Coax back your voice gently.

Avoid milk products, alcohol and tobacco.

When you sing, tell the story on pitch. But don't over-enunciate because that also
produces facial and body tension.

Long relaxed sustained tones are good but find the right volume, not too loud or too soft.

Listen to good voices and when you hear one that sounds relaxed and musical, find out
where they are studying (if they are) and with whom.

Check out NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing). Get them to recommend
a teacher in your area.

Study voice, because you learn by mirroring a teacher that knows how to sing properly.

You can reverse the problems.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Clee Belleville East
Date: 04 Oct 08 - 06:51 PM

Hi everybody...

I've been singing all my life but I started singing publicly at the age of 14...I'm 17 now and my birthday's on the 21st of this month. I just joined choir at the beggining of 2008 and my teacher was impressed by my voice but the thing is I haven't been singing the same since November of last year... She's put me in almost every choir at the school and my voice seems to be getting lower and weaker...and I don't do weak. Tenor lines seem too high and Bass lines too low...I want to rest my voice but right now I really can't because we have IMEA auditions at SUIC and I have to practice a lot to get into the Illinois state choir. Should I wait on the state choir? And how should I work on getting my voice back...I'm too young to strain my voice completely out aren't I?...They think i sound good now...I want them to hear me BLOW like I use to!


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: keberoxu
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 07:11 PM

I do hope that Jim Bunch got what he needed from starting this thread. It's a good one.

I was reading it when the SPAM post got deleted -- that was FAST. An ill wind, though, that blows nobody any good. If that SPAM post had not refreshed the thread, I would not have seen it in the forum.

Lots of good advice here. My old specialty, as a piano student, was accompanying the students of classical music singing teachers in their lessons/studios. What is on this thread sounds very familiar indeed. Suffice to say, any panicked person who identifies with the anxieties and troubles described in these posts, you have got plenty of company, and there are ways through the crisis.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Acme
Date: 21 Jan 16 - 08:25 PM

A spammer from the Ukraine swept through, and is gone, but yes, they do sometimes bring up gems from the past.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 22 Jan 16 - 08:30 AM

I gave up singing for over 20 yrs and when I returned to it found I could barely be heard. So I had to practise a LOT and 6 years on it's just about peaking. But I'm wondering if you've been over singing and maybe not doing vocal exercises. It's very importand to do regular warm up exercises if one is singing regularly. I think others below have already posted links to lots of free exercise videos now on lin, so take your pick, However if you have been dong the right things, taking a rest may help or consult a throat specialist. Good luck


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: keberoxu
Date: 22 Jan 16 - 01:46 PM

for readers, like me, who are too impatient to look carefully through a long thread the first time.

Re-reading the thread more slowly, I found the OP. Wasn't easy. If you look carefully at the list of posts, the original post has a date but NO poster: no "Guest," no letters, no characters, no nothing. You have to read the original post to see who it was, as he put his name at the end.

About halfway down the present thread, a new member identifies himself as the OP. He goes by the member title GutBucketeer and his post is dated 7 November 2000. And yes, his story has a happy ending.


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: r.padgett
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 04:03 AM

Interesting:

The voice is a muscle ~ singing is a phsyical thing ~

temporary loss may be a matter of rest needing rest and treatment with medicine


Physical health is a way of life and personally food is a matter of choice ~ if something disagrees you will know!

Weight training, walking, voice training ?? weights I have used for over 40 years ~ I sing little as practice, prefer to sing out at sessions

Use of ones own speaking voice and an extension of to singing; knowing the words go through "in your minds eye" instead, when singing is not an option

Rest relation and physical activity take your time and recover steadily

Ray


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 04:49 AM

I stopped singing regularly to take up collecting.
Over the last few years I have taken it up again.
I found I got hoarse very quickly, my range had decreased (I had lost a few rangey songs), and I ran out of breath in long lines.
I returned to the exercises we had been given in The Critics group, basically, relaxation, 4 vowel (sort of) sounds to help me find my natural voice and singing exercises designed to handle pitch, tone, breathing and projection, and finally work of tone and efforts in order that my shanties didn't sound like my lyrical love songs.
Can't claim that I'm singing as well as I was in the early seventies but, thanks to the additional 'Critics' work we did on interpretation and relating the songs to your own experiences, I'm certainly enjoying it a damn sight more
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 23 Jan 16 - 06:57 AM

Meant to say - now singing Flying Could again like a good-un
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,padgett
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 06:33 AM

Flying Cloud is certainly a long 'un heard Dave Brady sing it once tok about 10 minutes (well seemed like!!)

Ray


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jan 16 - 06:37 PM

"Flying Cloud is certainly a long 'un heard Dave Brady sing it once took about 10 minutes"
Too long, IMO - should take less than half that.
The longest song I ever heard in a public session was 'The True Lover's Discussion" - 15 minutes, by an 75 year old in a local bar.
He sang it the following year, decided to cut it short because he wasn't sure of the audience that night - they demanded he sing the rest of it, which he did.
The whole process on that occasion took 16 minutes .
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Help! My singing voice is dying!
From: GUEST,Musket
Date: 25 Jan 16 - 11:37 AM

It can take as long as you like Jim.

After all, a soft beat intro, bring in the drums and bass after the first verse, bang a few verses out full pelt, then a lead guitar middle eight, a few more verses then a drum solo with electric mandolin coming in on the second go round, them finish off the song..

🎸🎸🎵🎵🎶🎼🎤🎤🎙🎛🎛

If you want to connect with those of a high waistband in the audience, end with a few electric jigs and reels tagged onto the end.

Mind you, folk music has been delivered like that for almost fifty years so about time it transmogrified yet again eh?
👹


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