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Heavy Singing Health

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GUEST,Larry 27 Mar 04 - 12:29 PM
breezy 27 Mar 04 - 01:07 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Mar 04 - 01:15 PM
Dreadnought 27 Mar 04 - 01:17 PM
open mike 27 Mar 04 - 04:54 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 27 Mar 04 - 06:03 PM
breezy 27 Mar 04 - 08:45 PM
paddymac 28 Mar 04 - 08:45 PM
Kaleea 29 Mar 04 - 01:29 AM
GUEST,Escape 23 Apr 04 - 03:28 AM
erinmaidin 23 Apr 04 - 04:13 AM
Dave Hanson 23 Apr 04 - 07:20 AM
GUEST 23 Apr 04 - 10:03 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 23 Apr 04 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Chris Roda 08 May 07 - 02:24 PM
Richard Bridge 08 May 07 - 04:38 PM
Cats 09 May 07 - 01:47 PM
Dave Hanson 10 May 07 - 05:13 AM
Stringsinger 10 May 07 - 04:02 PM
PoppaGator 10 May 07 - 04:30 PM
GUEST,ok 16 Jan 08 - 09:34 PM
Skivee 16 Jan 08 - 10:21 PM
Don Firth 16 Jan 08 - 10:41 PM
Don Firth 16 Jan 08 - 11:30 PM
Don Firth 17 Jan 08 - 03:28 PM
GUEST 19 Jan 08 - 12:37 AM
Don Firth 19 Jan 08 - 01:34 AM
LeTenebreux 19 Jan 08 - 01:53 AM
GUEST,vvvvv 01 Feb 08 - 03:02 PM
GUEST,vvvv 01 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM
GUEST,vvvv 01 Feb 08 - 03:08 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM
Don Firth 01 Feb 08 - 03:45 PM
Gene Burton 01 Feb 08 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,vvvv 06 Feb 08 - 01:49 PM
GUEST,MIKE 08 Feb 08 - 08:10 AM
Don Firth 08 Feb 08 - 07:01 PM
GUEST,vvvv 11 Feb 08 - 03:14 PM
Stringsinger 11 Feb 08 - 03:41 PM
GUEST,Volgadon 11 Feb 08 - 03:52 PM
Don Firth 11 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM
GUEST,vvvv 12 Feb 08 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,leeneia 13 Feb 08 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,vvvv 13 Feb 08 - 01:54 PM
Don Firth 13 Feb 08 - 03:09 PM
PoppaGator 13 Feb 08 - 03:33 PM
Don Firth 13 Feb 08 - 06:26 PM
Richard Bridge 13 Feb 08 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,leeneia 14 Feb 08 - 06:35 PM
Don Firth 14 Feb 08 - 07:17 PM
GUEST,Monster 17 Jan 09 - 05:25 PM
Suegorgeous 17 Jan 09 - 06:18 PM
Suegorgeous 18 Jan 09 - 05:40 PM
Don Firth 18 Jan 09 - 06:00 PM
Stringsinger 19 Jan 09 - 02:51 PM
Ebbie 19 Jan 09 - 05:04 PM
GUEST,Travis 07 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM
GUEST,common sense coloratura 30 Jan 10 - 07:31 PM
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Subject: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,Larry
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 12:29 PM

I am a singer in a pretty hard rock band. This involves a lot of screaming, growling, etc. We do music like Godsmack, System of a Down and some really hard Nickelback and Creed. Now I am convinced there is no way to sing this stuff and not destroy your voice. We usually play two nights in a row on a weekend and the second night my voice is squeaking pretty bad. I need some really good home remedies for that second day. Someone please help!


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: breezy
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 01:07 PM

your knackering it yourself.

this is a clear case of self infliction , abuse.

You're not singing you aint now ainger you're a noise.

You will damage your voice beyond repair.

remedy -- dont do it


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 01:15 PM

Breezy's right.

There are a number of good threads on this topic, which you should be able to access by typing "voice" or "singing" in the Forum search box at the top of the main page. However, for some curious reason I can't get it to yield anything, though I KNOW they are in there. Anyway, below is a link to an old thread I had in my personal tracer, which should start you off. The Mudcat member "Alice" is an expert in voice matters, and there is a lot of good advice on offer which can be of great help.

But what it can't do is work miracles - I think you pretty well summed up the situation when you wrote that there is no way to sing in that style (i.e. screaming and growling) and not destroy your voice. It strains and abrades the vocal cords, causing damage that will eventually become permanent, and I'm really afraid that home remedies - or even professional medical ones (who will all tell you to stop singing until you're healed) - will not solve the problem, which is being caused anew every time you do a gig. I'm sorry this answer is such a bummer, but offering false optimism will do you no favours. You really need to make some serious decisions about what you want to do with your vocal future while you still have one. Anyway, try the search-the-forum feature and take a look at THESE links. And - best of luck.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Dreadnought
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 01:17 PM

Cast an eye over "The Rock-N-Roll Singer's Survival Manual" by Mark Baxter - Here is is at Amazon

Loads of good advice including how to scream without doing yourself a mischief - could be just what you're looking for.

Contradicts what Breezy says so there's a good recommendation for a start.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: open mike
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 04:54 PM

cure: convert to folkmusic!
also get Thayers slippery elm throat lozenges,
Traditional Medicinal's throat coat tea
lemons and other soothing throat things...

you are also probably damaging your ears..
so get some ear plugs...


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 06:03 PM

Good point about the hearing thing...


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: breezy
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 08:45 PM

mime

it wont contradict what I say, if it does its not worth a jot.









This week at St Albans folk club Friday 2nd April at the Duke of marlborough - Tommy Sands


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: paddymac
Date: 28 Mar 04 - 08:45 PM

I've had this conversation a time or two with my eldest, who used to play and scream in a heavy metal band, but now does folk in my band. He would never listen until he started doing folk and realized people were actually listening to his singing. Two things to keep in mind: 1) your vocal chords are very specialized muscles, and can be ripped and torn like any other muscle; and 2) things you put down your throat will not directly affect the vocal chords because they are not in the throat. However, the irritation you sense may truly be in the throat and they may help in that case. My sense of most rock vocal styles is that they are "all in the throat" and generally lack good diaphragmatic support. The fellah who used to sing with us swore by whiskey or whisky (they are two different things)and would be sipping the stuff in medicinal quantities throughout a gig. We're not talking about getting sloshed here, but enough to be psychologically and. perhaps, physiologically relaxed. It worked alright for him, but he also had good breath support. Guinness works as well for me. The bottom line is that you will most likely screw up your voice for good if you stay in that genre. The best advise has already been given - get out NOW!


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Kaleea
Date: 29 Mar 04 - 01:29 AM

I have studied & taught voice/singing/coaching for many years. Screaming & yelling are quite damaging to the vocal folds(not at all cords-they are folds of tissue which slam together repeatedly many times per second when one vocalizes, therefore if one screams, they slam too much causing damage.), as is alcohol. Home remedies will not repair or fix this. As mentioned above, there is no way to repair this when the damage is inflicted over & over, except for possible surgery to remove scar tissure or growths which often occur due to overuse/damage to the vocal folds. Seek a professional to coach you as to how to vocalize correctly & warm up your voice before performances. Now, you might consider why you think you must scream in order to create what you & your friends think of as "music."


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,Escape
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 03:28 AM

Fuck folk music, growling is the way to go. I've been growling for a while now; at first it can hurt a bit, but over time it stops hurting as your voice gets used to it. My advice would be to practice... sing along to Cannibal Corpse and don't listen to these idiots telling you otherwise... because you don't sing like you have no balls it doesn't mean that it isn't music.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: erinmaidin
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 04:13 AM

If one's vocal chords were located in one's balls that would make sense.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 07:20 AM

Typical example of ruined crap voice, Van Morrison.
eric


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 10:03 PM

The original question isn't about what does or doesn't constitute "music", it's about the voice itself. And if you physically abuse it you will wreck it. Permanently. That's a fact, not a matter of opinion.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 23 Apr 04 - 11:18 PM

Suck - lemon wedges before the performance.

Swig - Bourbon Whisky during the performance.

Suck - Dutch-Double-Salt-Liquorish - after the performance.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,Chris Roda
Date: 08 May 07 - 02:24 PM

Any thoughts on the use of Hydrogine Peroxide as a treatment for the throat ( vocal chords )to reduce the frequency of mucosa on them ? I am a Tenor who started just recently with a bout of thick mucosa and a tight restricted feeling to the voval chords. I am resting the voice for days now with no improvement or loosening of this feeling. Normally I have a well supported clear and resonant singing voice.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 08 May 07 - 04:38 PM

Hydrogen Peroxide can be dangerous.

Some people can metal without damage. Some can't. There was one singer with Iron Maiden who had to leave after a short time because his voice could not stand a tour.

Try not pushing so hard. Use the mic for your dynamics (or train your soundman). Use an octave pedal on the mic for the really low growls. Use a Vocalist Performer for harmonies on the screams (trust me, try it, if it doesn't work for you, abandon it). Get the gutarist to put pinch harmonics behind the screams, just for a tryout.

Even try a distortion pedal, and instead of screaming, sing a quiet falsetto and leave the rest to the distortion pedal.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Cats
Date: 09 May 07 - 01:47 PM

Having jsut gone through months of voice therapy with a specialist, I did say I sometimes did belting blues. Her answer was yes you can sing it without harming your voice but you must know how to do it properly or you will damage your voice irrevocably. I suggest you contact the Voice Care Network [look on their website] who will put you in touch with a Speech and Language Therapist near you who will be able to help. Don't go on harming your voice learn how to do it properly.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 10 May 07 - 05:13 AM

Hydrogen peroxide is a BLEACH, never take it internally.

eric


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Stringsinger
Date: 10 May 07 - 04:02 PM

Here's the problem as I see it. You might get away with abusing your voice for a while but ultimately it will leave you. But there are the Louis Armstrongs and Tom Waits who do it all wrong but survive somehow.

There are in the meantime stop-gaps to keep from going hoarse but they must be short lived. A singing voice when used correctly should last a long time. Unfortunately, white rock singers who emulate a "black" singing style don't have the equipment necessary to withstand the battering. Interesting is that African-American singing styles seem to be free of the belting rock tradition and somehow because of the facial mask and throat, their voices last.

Many vocal teachers won't be able to help you much because if you "fry" your voice, they consider this an aberation.

Consider the longevity of your average rock band.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 May 07 - 04:30 PM

I'm not absolutley sure about this, but I have serious doubts that part-African DNA grants ones a completely different physical structure of the throat and vocal chords than does an all-European genetic heritage.

It's much more likely to be a question of technique and practice. People who have grown up attending and participating in the African-American Church are likely to have learned, unconsciously or semi-consciously, how to sing in a loud and "soulful" manner without abusing their vocal equipment. Listen a bit more carefully to Louis Armstrong and Tom Waits ~ they're not doing the same thing as each other, although both seem to have a natural "rasp" that is OK for them, but probably wrong for others to imitate. A more telling comparison might be between Otis Redding, who wasn't hurting himself at all in the process of producing a very urgent and emotive sound, versus someone like, say, Robert Plant, who seems to be literally screaming.

A very good example of a white guy who has been singing in a very rough-sounding blues-shouting style for many years with absolutely undimininshed results is Greg Allman. It is well-documented that he abused his overall health for many years with alcohol and drugs, etc., but his vocal technique must have been extremely refined all along, because he hasn't hurt his ability to sing in the slightest, even after nearly 40 years on the public stage and another decade or so before that, working his way up through obscurity with his brother Duane and the rest of their original band.

I caught his act live with the latest edition of the Allman Brothers Band last weekend at Jazzfest and was astounded; he's still able to sound just like he did "Live at the Fillmore East" in 1969 or so.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,ok
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 09:34 PM

..i was just reading this stuff for fun until i read some comments...
you dumbasses that think you're so high and mighty because your little scarf wearing teacher says you are..shut up...
screaming has nothing to do with what's in and what's hip...it expresses the hell out of what you're going through and what you've gone through...
i'm so sorry that all you people think that your vocal cords will live on when you're dead...
yeah i know it's damaging...but so is listening to music? and looking at lights...and eating fastfood and drinking cokes...
i'm so sorry other people have different musical tastes than you...don't try and talk down to everything...
music with screaming and yelling is not noise....is passion..remember that at all times


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Skivee
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 10:21 PM

Well, Guest,ok...thanks for expressing you disdain for folk music performers, folk music and all music that you don't like.
Your rebeleous spirit proves that you are a real artist and a talent that deserves to be exalted, etc.
Pardon me for pointing out that the person who started the thread identified himself as a singer in a hard rock band. He then ASKED for helpful advice on how he could limit damage to his vocal chords. The damage he was doing was affecting his ability to perform in the manor that he wanted to.
There are ways to sing with balls that don't trash your voice, but it takes study and careful practice. Of course, listening to other singers is stupid, so you won't go that route. That is your perogative.
Your opinion that he shouldn't worry about it is an interesting theory. By extension, real drivers don't need a brake pedal, and skydivers who use a parachute don't understand the essence of their sport. His asking for advice shows that he is unworthy anyway.
I wish you success with your expressive, node filled, and short singing carreer.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 10:41 PM

Pain is Nature's way of telling you to quit what you're doing.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Jan 08 - 11:30 PM

I would suggest that GUEST,ok go right on singing (?) the way he, she, or it recommends. Soon, he, she, or it will loose his, her, or it's voice entirely and I'm sure that will be a boon and a blessing to those around him, her, or it.

Then, any utterance he, she, or it tries to make will sound like an asthmatic cat trying to cough up a hair-ball.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 17 Jan 08 - 03:28 PM

". . . music with screaming and yelling is not noise....[it] is passion."

I might had that if you can't sing with passion and intensity without sreaming and yelling, you're not much of a singer.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 12:37 AM

no no no..don't think i'm attacking folk and all of your favorite kinds of music...
i'm attacking the people who are attacking this dude who started the topic...
i know it's no good..
i'm not saying that everyone here are being dumbasses...
i'm just saying the the people that sit here and talk down to people who are influenced by different things other than their own should be put in their place...
you have no right to talk down to someone


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 01:34 AM

GUEST, you're obviously new to this forum, and I'm afraid you don't have a clue as to what's going on here. If you'll read the posts a bit more carefully, you may notice that there is a lot of good advice here on helping a person preserve his or her singing voice. This topic has been discussed many times here, and there are many threads on the subject.

And also, nobody is putting down anybody else's preferences in music. You might read a few more threads and see what people who frequent this web forum have to say before calling anybody a "dumbass."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: LeTenebreux
Date: 19 Jan 08 - 01:53 AM

I dunno, talk to:

1. Other singers, find out how they look after their voices
2. A voice coach of some sort.
3. A doctor. A lot of medical problems can hurt your voice, e.g. LPRD (when stomach acid comes up into your larynx--I have this)

I once heard an archived interview with Pavarotti on how he cares for his voice. He said he treats it like a "lady" and said, for instance, that he avoids eating spicy food.

Here's another example. Training regimens for marathons generally don't involve running a full 26.2 miles before the marathon. Maybe there's a way you could save your voice for performances?

Water, water, water....


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvvv
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:02 PM

Don Firth your are an idit


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvv
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:03 PM

Don Firth You are An Idit!!!


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvv
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:08 PM

I Have been a singer for a while now, and have just started the whole heavy singing thing. it can be done properly. look up bands like Fair to Midland or soil. The singer for fair to midland is very experimental, and the original singer for soil is to me one of the best singers i have ever heard. and i listen to a wide range of music, from clasicle to metal.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:11 PM

Yes there are some holy joes here. And we have some wonderful arguments about "what is folk". But almost no-one says that one style of music or performance rather than another is inferior.

There are some who get a bit pompous about their impossible allegories "sing from the stomach" (oh really, where's it's mouth and nose?) "sing down to sing up" (anyone got a see-saw?) and all the things about the pompous music teacher at school you hated - but MOSTLY they are trying to help you do what you want to do, not tell you that nice children don't do that.

It does make you want to turn Gutworm up to about 130db at times - but remember, even Iron Maiden (or was it Judas Priest, I forget: or maybe it was one of the later replacements with Uriah Heep) for a while had a singer who could not tour for longer than a week because the way he used his voice prevented it. He had to leave the band eventually.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 03:45 PM

GUEST with the indefinite number of "V's," I may be an "Idit," but at least I can spell.

And I've probably been singing and entertaining people night after night (with no ill effects to my voice), and making a living at it, longer than you've been alive.

(". . . Asthmatic cat trying to cough up a hairball." That's bloody brilliant! Hell, I'm not an "Idit," I'm a genius!)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Gene Burton
Date: 01 Feb 08 - 04:13 PM

"GUEST with the indefinite number of "V's," I may be an "Idit," but at least I can spell.

And I've probably been singing and entertaining people night after night (with no ill effects to my voice), and making a living at it, longer than you've been alive."

"MIOUWWW!!! How DARE you question my '50s revivalist credentials!!!"

Christ, Don, I may be a fraction of your age, but even I know better than to take the bait...


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvv
Date: 06 Feb 08 - 01:49 PM

don you are not a genius. evryone has their own style of singing. i'm am also trying to get into the buisness of singing and have good chances. you don't know how old i am, so how can you say you have been singing longer than me. you don't konw me at all or what i do.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,MIKE
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 08:10 AM

HONEY.....LEMON......GLYCERINE....and RUM{ TO TASTE}.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Feb 08 - 07:01 PM

GUEST,vvvv, just for your enlightenment and edification, I had my first paying gig in 1955. Were your parents even born yet?

Just curious.

By the way, I'm still singing--and getting paid for it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvv
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 03:14 PM

still don who are you. you think really highly of yourself. not very humble. what kind of music do you sing anyway, it would probrably explain a lot about you. and besides you first gig was probrably at a strip club.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Stringsinger
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 03:41 PM

Taking a different look at this it seems practical to suggest that there are vocal modifications that can take place when belting out a song or growling. One has to do
with breathing patterns relying on the development of intercostal support. Others would have to do with releasing the tension in the face and allowing the facial muscles to be resiliant and relaxed but with a kind of energy that doesn't clamp them up.

Also to refrain from pushing the voice. Free it up.   There's some psychology in this.
The freer the vocal mechanism(s) the less chance of damage. It may be that the way in which you stand while you sing may have some bearing also. Avoid being hunched over and suppressing the breath. I would think that some Yoga would help in this if it emphasized relaxation and resiliancy and the elimination of undue tension. Do not under any circumstances raise your chin and tilt your head back. This creates the wrong kind of vocal inhibition.

Stay away from booze or tobacco and get a good night's rest when you can.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 03:52 PM

Definitely go get some professional advice on how to care for your voice. It's a lot more precious than the music, as heretical as that may sound. To all who equate screaming with fire and passion, remember what that Jimmi Hendrix said (and I paraphrase). It's what is behind the notes that counts.
I believe it was Tonny Di'anno who had to leave Maiden because he nearly lost his voice.
As for singing techniques, Middle-Eastern music is worth investigating, into how the singers project their voices.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 11 Feb 08 - 05:05 PM

GUEST,vvvv, Frank Hamilton (Stringsinger) is one of the best folk singers and musicians in the country and he knows whereof he speaks. CLICKY. I would (and do) listen to what he says.

Now, since you asked me who I am:   

I began studying singing when I was in high school. I have taken lessons from three different voice teachers, but the first one was a retired opera singer. I don't sing opera, and I don't sing like an opera singer, but she taught me correct vocal technique, breathing, and voice placement, so I can sing any kind of songs I want, as loud as I want (loud enough to fill a good-sized auditorium without amplification), without harming my voice. I am a bass, the deepest male voice (like Samuel Ramey in opera, Gordon Bok in folk, or Johnny Cash in country).

I became interested in folk music when I was in college (you will note that folk music is what this web site is all about). I took some folk guitar lessons from Walt Robertson (he had a television show singing folk songs at the time, and he also has a two records out on Folkways), then I began studying classical guitar with Emilio Bonsilau and Edward Hern, and flamenco guitar with Antonio Zori. I have attended guitar workshops given by Aaron Shearer, Pepe Romero, Doc Watson, and Bess Hawes. I studied both Music and English Literature in college.

My first paid engagement. I was asked to sing at the annual banquet of the Overlake Friends of the Library in Bellevue, Washington (definitely not a strip club). And—my mistake—it was in 1957, not 1955, and they paid me $75.00 (that would be a couple of hundred dollars in today's money), along with a very nice dinner. There were many other such engagements; and then in 1959 I was asked to do a series of half-hour television shows, called "Ballads and Books," funded by the Seattle Public Library, over the University of Washington's educational channel (now, the local PBS affiliate). Following this, I began singing regularly three nights a week at the first coffeehouse in Seattle (a paid engagement), which was more like a non-alcoholic night club, and catered to both students and the "after-show" crowd. Since then, I have sung regularly in clubs and coffeehouses. During the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, I participated the Sunday afternoon folk concerts at the United Nations Pavilion, then in 1963, I took part in the Seattle Center Hootenannies and was a member of the SCH tour group. In addition to these performances, I have sung many concerts, frequently singing at colleges and universities, at many folk festivals over the years, and I have done more television.

For your information, I am now 76 years old, and I don't perform quite as often as I used to. Because I have taken care of my singing voice and not abused it, my voice still feels strong, and I am told that I sound as good as I ever did, if not even a bit better. One learns through experience. I am currently putting together several programs of songs in preparation to record a series of CDs.

I am not nationally famous, but I believe I am reasonably well-known in folk music circles in the Pacific Northwest. Just last October, a friend and I sang a concert together, and this led to our being asked to sing more such concerts. I am scheduled to participate in a workshop at the 2008 Northwest Folklife Festival over Memorial Day weekend.

Do I think highly of myself? Not overly so, I don't believe. I think I have a pretty fair assessment of both my abilities and my deficiencies, and a history of accomplishment that tends to support my assessment. If I am not sufficiently humble for you, I would say that humility is for those who have something to be humble about.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvv
Date: 12 Feb 08 - 09:55 PM

Nice Don, i did not expect you to be as old as you are. I addmit i am not really into folk music myself but i respect all types of music. i should'nt have called you a idit. i was just messing with you anyway. but on the subject of heavy singing, what is your thoughts. i understand folk is your thing but i am into really heavy music. don't get me wrong i listen to just about anything, and i'm not that bad of a vocalist myself. i'm asking your thoughts on a band called shinedown. i saw them live and their vocallist is to me one of the best. he can have pretty heavey voice when he wants and still hit every pitch very well.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 10:35 AM

Let me quote from the first post to this thread:

"I am a singer in a pretty hard rock band. This involves a lot of screaming, growling, etc...Now I am convinced there is no way to sing this stuff and not destroy your voice."

I am convinced that person is right. I used to have a book by a voice teacher who wrote that she was willing to teach 'Broadway belted,' but she refused to teach 'rock belted,' because rock belted destroys the voice.

Have you ever been really angry and roared at somebody with a growl in your throat? Have you felt the soreness afterwards? Can you imagine doing that as a career? Pfui!

vvvv, you mentioned a singer who can still hit every pitch very well. Trouble is, pitch is only one part of singing. A singer also wants range, tone, and variety. And longevity - a singer wants to sing his whole life long. That is, if he's really a singer and not just somebody who wants to make a buck in the music biz.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,vvvv
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 01:54 PM

The singer i was refering to Brent smith, also has a lot of beauty in his voice and a range form high Cs to low Gs. I know tone and beauty in a voice when i hear it. He has a very well deveoped voice and can sing anything from southern rock to great metal to beautiful ballads. i believe he will sing for many years to come. Anyone who wants to sing rock should first learn how to sing. there is no way to sing like that if you know nothing about the voice. As for me i'm taking lessons and have taken lessons before and have not lost my voice yet. also if anyone is looking for a good voice guide for singing heavy they shoul look up the DVD ZEN For SCHREEMING!! The teacher on the viedo is a good voice teacher and will explain how the voice works first and give good methods to sing correctly.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 03:09 PM

YouTube and listened to them.

The vocalist is Brent Smith. Of a lot of rockers I've heard, his voice sounds to me like one of the better ones. Solidly on pitch and he can back off and sing softly when he wants to (which a lot of rock singers can't), and when he belts, most of the time it looks and sounds to me that he's using good breath support. That saves a lot of wear and tear on the vocal mechanism. But—a lot of the time when he belts, he puts a rasp in his voice—a gravelly sound—and that's darned hard on the vocal cords. Could lead to irritation, laryngitis, and eventually nodes (lumps) on the vocal cords, and finally, loss of voice entirely.

One really good thing about his singing is that, unlike a whole lot of rock singers, he enunciates clearly. You can hear the words.

It's good that you're taking voice lessons, but I hope it's with a live teacher, not just picking it up off a DVD. You need someone who knows what to listen for to listen to you to make sure you're on track. It's hard to judge this by yourself.

But I'd be really careful about trying to emulate Brent Smith, particularly the rasp, for two reasons:   first, sooner or later, that "gravel" will ruin your voice;   and second, if you try to imitate someone's style of singing, you may miss what real potential your own voice has.

Good luck!!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: PoppaGator
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 03:33 PM

This thread has been around for so long, I'm going to repeat something I wrote a year or two ago:

You can sing in a loud, rough, "raspy" style and NOT damage your throat, vocal chords, etc. Vocal self-preservation does NOT require that you sing exclusively with a soft and pretty approach. Assuming that you pay attention to breathing, posture, and other such basics, you should be able to find a way to perform in any vocal style without damaging yourself.

There have been plenty of great blues/R&B singers with long careers despite constantly performing in a "rough" vocal style. John Lee Hooker, Howling Wolf, the over-300-nights-a-year wonder B.B. King, and others too numerous to mention. And, as noted above, Gregg Allman.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:26 PM

When I posted at 3:09 p.m. above, somehow I goofed and cut off the first part of my first paragraph, which should have read:
"GUEST,vvvv, I hadn't heard of Shinedown until I read your post, but then I don't usually travel in those musical circles. So I pulled up a batch of videos of them on YouTube and listened to them."
Well ye-e-e-e-e-ah, PoppaGator, but I sure wouldn't advise someone to do it unless they have a pretty good grounding in basic vocal technique (breathing, placement, and such). That raspy, gravelly sound is hard on the vocal cords no matter how you slice it.

The guys you mention do it and seem to get away with it, but that's very much like walking a tight-rope. Some folks manage it without mishap because, even without voice lessons, they've learned (sometimes the hard way!) how to handle it. But lots of others topple off and land with a sickening splat.

Heck, I don't sing "soft and pretty" (!??) all the time (hard to sing a sea chantey "soft and pretty!").   But I don't make constant belting and snarling a regular part of my singing style.

I've been told I sound like Gordon Bok. I wish that was true (!), but maybe people say this because my voice is deep like his.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Feb 08 - 06:34 PM

I don't really think we need to get holier than thou about enunciation. Plenty of folkies pretty hard to understand.

However I would like to continue to condemn the noise that Lilly Allen makes!


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 06:35 PM

I agree that various singing styles are okay, but I also agree with Don. Beware of a raspy, gravelly, growl.

Heck, for all we know, the rock stars sing normally and some sound engineer pushes a button to put the growl in. Then neophytes imitate the recordings and damage their voices.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 14 Feb 08 - 07:17 PM

Interesting thought, leeneia. That's one way to cut down on potentianl comptetition!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,Monster
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 05:25 PM

If any of you are still there.I have been singing for thirty years in guitar bands. I can sing like Greg Allman, and currently sing some modern rock too, like the Chilly Peppers. I discovered by accident that drinking pepsi cola gives me staying power to be able to sing all night, and I don't know why. Hard physical exercise, and lifting wieghts regularly helps too. I have never been able to sing for instance, AC/DC but whatever you want to sing, and that my friends is your choice, the things I have noted may help you. No, I do not work for pepsi-cola.   

Billy the Monster


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 17 Jan 09 - 06:18 PM

ok, I think it's time for a bit of light relief on this thread :)

Joe Cocker rips it up

(watch the captions as well as Joe!)


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 05:40 PM

While on the subject - is Joe Cocker still performing? he's always done the gravelly thing...


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Jan 09 - 06:00 PM

Apparently Joe Cocker is still at it.

Oddly enough perhaps, one singer I liked a lot was Dave Van Ronk. Gravelly voice, sometimes sounded like a rusty hinge. Hearing him sing always made me feel like I needed to clear my throat. But, boy, could he put a song across!

Singing raspy and gravelly is sort if like Russian roulette. Some people seem to get away with it, but. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Stringsinger
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 02:51 PM

I think there is a way that involves electronic manipulation of the voice without destroying it. There are special effects that can simulate these sounds in the way a rock guitarist gets distortion.

This is an area that could be explored further.

Signal processing of the voice is being done all the time in recording studios.

With the newest technology, effects can be applied.

Rock music today is all about techno/musical manipulation anyhow.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Jan 09 - 05:04 PM

lololololol Joe Cocker -

I just gave up music.


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,Travis
Date: 07 Mar 09 - 05:08 PM

Yeah Mike,
I've heard of the honey/lemon juice/glycerin thing, but with "rum?" What does that do beside numb your brain?? Anything scientific, besides "it works!" Thanks


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Subject: RE: Heavy Singing Health
From: GUEST,common sense coloratura
Date: 30 Jan 10 - 07:31 PM

You're not only blowing out your vocal chords you're blowing out your mind and your ears.You can't sing songs from a group like godsmack and expect anything good out of it.No I won't capatilze god because puny man can't smack almighty God and he'll die trying.Puny man going against Almighty God what a joke!!! What a deception! Garbage, that's what it is. It will ruin your life and your voice.Your band would have to use ampliflication if they were playing in a phone booth. Guess what???? You're not cool, just stupid!!!!!Forgive me, just trying to help you. Why sing about morbidity and perversion? What good can come out of it? God loves you.If you don't know that your blind.


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