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Live vocal teqnique?

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Keith
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So, Saturday night my band played at a local bar (which was packed - and we headlined) We played our normal hour set. At the end, the crowd kept asking for more songs.. So we pulled a half hour worth of covers out of our collective a*ses. These covers included Heading Out To the Highway (Priest) and The Trooper (Maiden).

We tune a half step down (Eb) as I could never sing those songs in normal tuning - and they sound heavier.

Which leads me to my question.

I can sing for hours at home. Why, when I sing a show, do I end up killing my voice? I drank lots of water - a gallon before the show, and 2 pitchers while singing. I can't for the life of me figure out why I get destroyed during a show - but not when I'm home practicing. Any thoughts?

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It's probably just because you are singing louder, pushing more air through the folds, and causing them to dry up. Singing with a band requires so much more power than singing at home does. I think that regardless of how good your technique is, it's going to be draining to sing at show level for long periods of time.

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How's your monitor situation Keith? I've always invested in the best monitoring amps, EQs, and speakers - and the placement of the speakers, so I can hear myself crystal clear. If I do minimum warm ups before performance I end up with a super strong voice at the end of the show. But it wasn't always that way. I beleive this to be a purely psychological phenomenon, and it is linked to our voice-ear-voice feedback loop. If you have to push to hear yourself - in any way - you'll develop excessive tension, and that can be detrimental. If you already have great monitoring, then it could be that when you practice at home you are not duplicating the energy you are hearing on stage, and then the stage energy is playing with your mind a bit, and causing some unnecessary tension.

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I have the same problem but Geno is right the better your monitor the easier it is. I still find with all the energy I still sing harder live. When the monitors are right though you can tell when to pull it back a little to save your voice. My problem is I still get nervous and throat tension kills my top end and I'm all chest all night unless it's a scream. This has been a very tough obstacle for me to overcome.

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I've been having the same thing, even though I was doing 5 shows a week for almost 2 years I still tend to sing too heavy live. Did a lot of dancing in the shows, so it may be that being out of breath also makes it easier to pull more chest. But when recording/practicing I'm more leaning towards curbing and I tend to end up more towards overdrive when doing live shows. It did get a bit better after doing the same shows for a while, you kinda learn how to preserve your vocal energy. But I feel it's easy to revert back to old bad habits when you're in the stage lights if you don't watch yourself.

Good monitor sound can definately be a good help, and if you can practice with microphone and monitors at home with some backing tracks I guess that could help you get used to not push too hard when singing live. Nerves about the high notes can offcourse cause some unwanted tension, just try to focus on relaxing and singing it like you've practiced it.

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the demands on singing live can make it very easy to lose your support and relaxation in the throat.

there's the emotion, the stress, hearing yourself, and all of it cummulatively adds up.

negotiate with the band to allow a less demanding song or ballad to creep in here and there to give yourself a break and allow yourself to rebalance.

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I have the opposite problem, I find it harder to sing at home than I do singing live. I think it's because I over think it when I'm just by myself, where as when I'm singing live I'm not thinking about it at all, just doing it. Having said that, if you can't really hear yourself then it gets very hard and I've had that happen live a few times, you end up destroying yourself because you can't hear your voice.

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hey keith give me a ring we will talk about whats happening. As you know i have made my living singing 4 nights a week 3-4 hrs a night. And i have played guitar behind alot of great singers that do the same thing Jeff soto.joe retta etc. Everybody has their own set of problems. This is my world i can help ya just call me i will message ya my number

daniel

www.danielformicavocalstudio.com

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Two pointers when singing with a mic with a band:

1. Don't pull back on high notes because it usually makes you sing the high notes MUCH louder than the low ones. Sure, the high notes will probably be a BIT louder, but this little tip has helped me a LOT with my band.

2. Regularly check yourself that you're always taking a relaxed breath between lines. If you don't do this, it will be GRADUALLY harder to sing the set list.

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