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Etchy
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Hello, I'm having a bit of a really bad problem! A lot of times my voice doesn't feel that good...maybe after I wake up or when I haven't been talking much or just at any random time...so I say "Ok then I need to warm up" so I start doing the normal warm-ups i know like lip rolls and humming in scales and stuff like that....but I NEVER get to the point where I feel loose and flexible, It just opens up my range but I can't get to the point where I can sing easy doing these warm-ups...is there something I'm missing? or maybe something I'm doing wrong?

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I mean at sometimes I'm in a pretty good shape I feel like i can sing easy and get higher ranges and all, but when I'm not in the state all the time...sometimes before a rehearsal or a gig I need to get to that state, But the warm-up exercises I do are absolutely no help...I need to know what I'm doing wrong

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I mean at sometimes I'm in a pretty good shape I feel like i can sing easy and get higher ranges and all, but when I'm not in the state all the time...sometimes before a rehearsal or a gig I need to get to that state, But the warm-up exercises I do are absolutely no help...I need to know what I'm doing wrong

okay, what are you doing exactly to warmup, and how long are you taking to warmup?

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I've been trying different things...lip rolls and humming scales, gradually and softly going through my range and connecting my bridges ...but all of these get me to the same point...i could get higher notes but i still don't feel loose ! It's like I'm having difficulty maintaining really easy notes

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I've been trying different things...lip rolls and humming scales, gradually and softly going through my range and connecting my bridges ...but all of these get me to the same point...i could get higher notes but i still don't feel loose ! It's like I'm having difficulty maintaining really easy notes

i'm trying...... but i don't know that warmed up you have to feel "loose"...what's your definition of loose?

when i'm warmed up i describe it as smooth......for example a vocal fry is harder to do when i'm warmed up...sirens have no breaks (hopefully..lol!!) the lip bubbles are placed better, and the cords feel massaged, for lack of a better word, not brittle feeling (even though technically you can't "feel" them....

does this help?

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well lip rolls and warm up exercises in general feel easy to do normally coz they're warm-ups...but I usually sing rock so when I try after that to sing something that needs a little power it just doesn't happen! I can get the note after these warm-ups but when i try songs that are usually easy for me to do i have a really hard time trying to just barely get the note!

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well lip rolls and warm up exercises in general feel easy to do normally coz they're warm-ups...but I usually sing rock so when I try after that to sing something that needs a little power it just doesn't happen! I can get the note after these warm-ups but when i try songs that are usually easy for me to do i have a really hard time trying to just barely get the note!

ah!

this may help.....depending on variables too numerous to mention, it could take you an hour or even two hours to thoroughly warm up a voice..you may just need to really warm up longer and slower.

oh, yes! it can take time..

and difficulty getting what you perceive as easy notes can also be related to support as support is not just for power notes.

what is meant when you say "get the note?" reach the note, hold the note, hit the notes dead on?

can you send a file of your not getting the note? what note?....what notes preceed the note?

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I totally agree with you on "support" ..but why exactly does it come easy at sometimes and is really tough in other times? do i really need to warm up past an hour?

when i say "get the note" i just mean holding the note but it sounds shaky and weak.

I seriously appreciate your help i'm gonna try warming up more but this is really annoying that i thought maybe i'm doing it wrong

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when i say "get the note" i just mean holding the note but it sounds shaky and weak.

depends, if you have no issue hitting the note (folds adduct and hold the note together) but you can't sing it for the length of time you'd like along with consistency, you likely have a support issue..or a tension issue, or both.

either you are supporting too little or (like i used to) too much.

there has to be a balance between metering the requisite amount of air, per that particular vocal, and adducting the folds.

only way to know if we can be there to watch you.

for example, some demanding high notes require an above normal metered consistency of pressure to sustain the note. and you need the folds to be able to resist this pressure and keep the folds adducted.

if that balance isn't achieved, you'll either go flat or sharp or blow the folds apart. what is a song and note you are having trouble with?

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i find what I eat is the biggest factor when it comes to how loose my voice feels at any given time. Now that ive ironed all that out, my voice is always loose when i want it to be.

There are tons of things i had to learn to avoid eating, or eating too much of, in the days leading up to Recording Day, or Performing Day, etc.

Here is a list of the main offenders: too much BLACK PEPPER, too much HOT SAUCE in general, too much BEEF, too much CHOCOLATE, too many ONIONS. What they have in common is probably the acidity...but in any case...when I eat only CHICKEN leading up to a performance, my voice feels great.

Now try adding these to your diet:

FRESH GINGER

SOY SAUCE

SOYBEAN OIL

CINNAMON

The first 3 can be eaten in a Ginger Chicken dish that you can make with Skinless Boneless Chicken breasts. Don't go to the Chinese Restaurant as the MSG will mess with your voice.

SOYBEAN oil IMHO just blows away Olive Oil for vocals...but take it very easy on the oil...just a tiny amount in the chicken is all you need. Eat that second list of foods like 1 day before singing too.

Seriously...my addiction to Black Pepper really caused me a lot of vocal troubles until I figured it out!

Hope this helps in some way

Peace,

Randy

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I've been singing a really long time. Which doesn't make me good or astounding. But what I have noticed is that the voice can change from day to day. It happens. And yes, rest, hydration, food, environmental contaminents can have something to do with it. Imagine how you might sound after a day of breathing dust, diesel fumes, paint, PVC glue, cigarette smoke, drywall dust, all in one day. That's been my working environment for decades. Nowadays, I manage an office for an electrical company and such things are not found in the office. I stay hydrated, from years of working in the heat and cold. Either a soda, plain water, or special water with electrolytes (Propel, for example.) Coffee in the mornings. Sorry guys, I know coffee is supposed to be a no-no but getting up at 4 am every day requires a sheer act of will and half a pot of coffee.

Second, what you do for warm-ups and exercises is usually open or semi-occluded vowels. As opposed to singing an actual song with consonants, phrasing, timing, etc.

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Are we just talking about warming up prior to performance? I'm wondering if your troubles could have anything to do with nerves? Nerves can make an easy note shaky, they mess with your range, with support, posture, everything really. No matter how good we are at home, getting on stage and sounding good is another thing. I may be way off base here, but some of what you describe can be immediately attributed to nerves (and a whole host of other possible causes).

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i find what I eat is the biggest factor when it comes to how loose my voice feels at any given time. Now that ive ironed all that out, my voice is always loose when i want it to be.

There are tons of things i had to learn to avoid eating, or eating too much of, in the days leading up to Recording Day, or Performing Day, etc.

Here is a list of the main offenders: too much BLACK PEPPER, too much HOT SAUCE in general, too much BEEF, too much CHOCOLATE, too many ONIONS.

Black pepper - check. Hot sauce - check. Beef - check. Chocolate - check. Onions - check. Mmmm, sounds like my yesterday's dinner. Thanks!

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I've been singing a really long time. Which doesn't make me good or astounding. But what I have noticed is that the voice can change from day to day. It happens. And yes, rest, hydration, food, environmental contaminents can have something to do with it.

Yes i agree but I hate the fact that if i get 6 hours of sleep instead of 8 then i can't sing all day! which is precisely what happens to me, and no matter what I do i can't overcome that!

Second, what you do for warm-ups and exercises is usually open or semi-occluded vowels. As opposed to singing an actual song with consonants, phrasing, timing, etc.

well i've heard from a LOT of people that vocal warm ups should not include actual singing and it should be the last step after i've done every other thing

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@ videohere.. My biggest concern is that this happens only on certain days. It might be tension like you mentioned but i thought the warm-ups are supposed to help me with that...is there something else i should be doing?

@gypsydeltablues... I'm not sure if the food is the issue here, coz I've tried different things and it only affects me at a really small rate

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so if i only sleep for 6 hours then i shouldn't sing at all that day?!

you mean on a non-gig night?

no, you can sing, but i can't begin to tell you the difference i feel when i sing on a day where i feel up and rested (as in slept well) vs. a day where i didn't.

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actually no...when this happens it just happens even if i'm trying to sing at home

Hey Etchy, ok, that eliminated, I'm going with general wear and tear on your body, and particulary tension / stress.

I agree so much on the sleep thing. And water. LOTS of water, all the time. Rest and water, rest and water.

But, life isn't always like that, is it? Other stuff that has helped me, a sleep deprived mother of three, include:

Therapeutic Massage, Yoga Breathing, Stretching in the morning (the long muscles in the body in particular) and getting a realy decent pillow. There are things that you can do before going to bed that maximise the benefit of the rest you do get. like make a list of things to do tomorrow, not watch TV in the last hour before bed, eat early, have a regular bed time wind down routine. Also, meditation / relaxation techniques can help. Lastly, excersise. Swimming is the best for me.

Warm ups are simply that - helping to relax and ready the vocal system for singing. Sometimes, other parts of the body are affecting the vocal tract, and that is why sometimes a vocal warm up won't free up your singing voice. There may be another issues which needs addressing. A physical warm up of the body can help, and can help to identify any problems.

Also, have you tried the loose lip rolls? That was a revelation for me, and helped enourmously.

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Etchy - have you been to an ENT? You've got to rule out LPR, which is reflux that affects the larynx. Before being diagnosed with it I would go through times which would last weeks and sometimes months where my voice was just not working right. No matter what I did. I finally went to an ENT and the muscles around my folds were slightly imflammed. He gave me prilosec and after a couple weeks I was better than ever. You need to rule this out, because no amount of correct singing and correct support is going to make it better. The ENT will take one look at your larynx and be able to tell right away.

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Etchy,

All of these answers are clues for you to follow to find your answers.

Everything said about rest, hydration, tension, doing warmups, all of it makes sense and is good practical advice. And seeing an ENT if nothing works is good advice too. If there is something wrong, he may be able to solve it as easily as guitartrek mentioned. If there is nothing wrong, then you have ruled out at least one particular worry.

I only wish to add a little different take on these things by saying that the amount of vocal warmup time we do as singers is not nearly as important as the quality of the warmup.

Please allow me to explain.

If the warm up you are doing is not effectively getting to the places in your voice (including your physical, mental and emotional energies) that it needs to, don't keep doing it at that particular moment.

Stop everything, slow it all down, allow patience with yourself to flood you so that you can release the tension of any frustrations you have about your voice or yourself, or other people, relationships, job situations, money, criticisms, family issues, in short, EVERYTHING that distracts you from being completely engaged with the process of warming up.

5 minutes of identifying, facing and letting go of these distractions before you try to warm up your voice can do wonders.

One of my favorite voice teachers used to say that if my voice didn't feel right in the first 30 seconds of the beginning note I should stop, re-shape my thinking about the note and try again. If it didn't feel right, repeat the process until the first note was free. He said that if you don't set the first one free, all the rest would be the same.

One world-famous singer that when this happened to him (and it happens to all of us) he would simply walk away from his keyboard for as long as he needed to (sometimes several hours), adjust his thinking process (sometimes doing something completely unrelated to singing) and come back to the keyboard. If his voice still wasn't what I call "in the pocket" -- meaning feeling free -- he would leave the keyboard again. He would not allow himself to sing another note unless it felt right because he knew that he would waste his energy and possibly do damage to his voice by trying to force it.

In other words, one note done well is better for your voice than doing a thousand knowing something just isn't quite right.

Let the first note coax you or woo you into the warmup instead of doing tons of warmups just for the sake of warming up.

Trust me, discovering how to allow this to happen with your voice will save you years of frustration and grief.

I hope this helps.

Kindly,

Joy

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Thanks SH that was really helpful! because i always have to get up early for college and there's nothing i can do about it so i needed some kind of solution! anyways i'm gonna try what you said and i hope it works! :)

edit: btw i know lip rolls , but what do u mean by loose lip rolls?

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