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r00dris

Voice "cracking" all the time... has the smoking habit destroyed my voice?

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Think of the sound of the male teenagers' voice when they're in puberty, getting lower, and sometimes they crack. I bet some of you know that sound.

It's what happens  to me, all the time, in my middle range and my lower range.

It gets better after 10-15 minutes of warmups, but I'm still not confident that it won't crack. I can't imagine myself singing live, for example. Hell... On the verge of hitting THAT important note, and then... CRACK!

I've been smoking for more than 4 years now (which was also when I started singing). My voice also changed quite a bit since then (from a mid/lighter baritone to a mid/lower baritone) and I've learned everything I know, but, as you see, not all gains were positive...

Any help on how to deal with this... Anything... is welcome.

(about quitting smoking... I'm trying as hard as I can)

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yeah, pretty sure smoking and singing dont mix too well. Thats being said, a lot of famous singers smoked and they were still singing well after way more than 4 years smoking. Unfortunately some, like Robert Plant, had like 2 insane good vocal albums and then started going downhill quickly, due to smoking and not warming up and touring blah blah.

that being said, u need to quit lol. Hell with singing, smoking destroys your health period. I dont think its so much about "trying" to quit as it is about really "deciding" to quit. After being too overweight for many many years, I have lost 43 lbs in the last 7 months and Lord willing will lose about 30 more. Once I got started it was easy.....but that was after years and years of wanting to and thinking about it blah blah

At some point u just say "f45ck it, im done smoking" and 'Im a non smoker' etc. Ween down to 5 or 10 a day or whatever and then cold turkey I guess. Drink water and stay busy doing other stuff

 

Voice cracking. Cant rule out actual vocal damage but it would probably take a trip to an ENT doc to be sure. In a way its not a bad idea anyway if u really wanted to get serious with singing.

Early in the year my voice was sounding great and I was getting all cocky and enthusiastic singing all the E5s on the big Whitesnake album while I was at work lol. Then I noticed it was sometimes getting harder to connect thru the passagios. My voice started to be a little less automatic. I was to the point where I was going to go see an ENT and get him to check for nodules etc.

Then I started checking online for vocal health ideas etc and I ran across some of Mark Baxters vids and I checked his FAQ on his website. Long story short, (IIRC) he was saying that if u had nodules that you would probably have issues in your whole range and it would be all the time etc. Well I didnt always have problems and it wasnt the whole range etc. Finally what I realized was that my throat was probably just drying out since I do all of my training while riding around on a forklift at work lol. So all day I have wind hitting me in the nose and mouth. In the summer its AirConditioned wind and at other times its just cold air. With me, id sound great in the car on the way to work and sound great FOR A WHILE at work but then it would start to get iffy

One thing u can get pretty easily is vocal cord swelling. Ever go to a ball game or concert and holler your voice out? lol So if u do a lot of training and even a lot of talking, you can easily get your cords swollen etc and u start to have all kinds of bad singing symptoms going on.

Like I said, I was on the verge of an ENT visit and I saw the Mark Baxter vids and he advocates a lot of soothing humming and also the typical straw exercises to balance off the pressure across the cords. He was commenting about guys like Steven Tyler, who go onstage and scream their heads off and who also do other things that arent healthy lol. He was saying that those guys also have to do a ton of more soothing, recovery type things like humming and straw exercises and other types of therapies to try to counteract whatever unhealthy stuff they do.

So basically I have started doing a ton of humming, nice gradual warmups, tons of lip trills all day long etc and I havent had any more issues. I STILL want to go to an ENT just to doublecheck and maybe get a baseline idea of what my cords etc look like and ideally get checked every year or so to make sure im not overdoing anything

 

Id also advise drinking a ton of water. Like I said earlier, get addicted to water and quit the cigs. Maybe go out in the fresh air everyday and do some deep breathing exercises. Long story short, our voices need a "fitness lifestyle" just like the rest of our bodies do

 

Peace, JJ

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