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Etchy
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Hi, I was wondering is there anything you can do in particular to increase your stamina? Meaning the time you can sing without feeling your voice getting weak or tired? because usually with my band we do 2 hour rehearsals and I can only sing for between 50 minutes to 90 minutes or so and I was wondering does that mean I should practice more or am I straining myself in some way?

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Improve your technique and breath support. Then you'll be able to sing longer. Try to strain less in your throat, maybe sing with slightly less volume, breath deep and relaxed and put effort into setting up your monitor system so you can hear yourself well.

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hmmm...I haven't been doing enough breathing exercises so this might be a problem. But when I feel tired I feel like I'm unable to give enough power to my voice..is this because of breathing?

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Etchy, make sure you can hear yourself the way you need to to not oversing, yell, etc.

Also, take a break part way through your rehearsals, like every 45 minutes or so, take a ten minute break. Make sure you have plenty of water.

Stand away from the drums. Decent sleep (which is difficult for me to come by) also plays a part.

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hmm....ok...I'll try this and see where it goes thanks :)

stay hydrated, plenty of sleep (so important, i cannot tell you) minimize breathy phonation, like jonpall said support the breath this way you divert the energy to the breathing and away from the vocal folds. relaxed, open throat. design your set list to give you some time to recoup. maybe 2 or 3 demanding songs, followed by some easier ballads...you know

also, (helped me) monitor your fold tension so they don't swell up so fast and weaken ...bob

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hmm ok but can you explain what you mean by "breathy phonation" and btw I don't know a lot of breathing exercises...mostly just taking a deep breath and letting it out as slow as i can to increase my breath capacity..but I don't know anything else

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hmm ok but can you explain what you mean by "breathy phonation" and btw I don't know a lot of breathing exercises...mostly just taking a deep breath and letting it out as slow as i can to increase my breath capacity..but I don't know anything else

breathy phonation is simply singing with a partially opened or opened glottis (space between the vocal folds)...when air is allowed to pass by it has a drying effect on the folds.

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I would highly recommend Jamie Vendera's "Ultimate Breathing Workout". Complete guide to mastering breath control with several exercises that can be followed daily in order to achieve your goals.

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Hey, Etchy. A few things.

First, breath management, a term I prefer instead of breath support. Management presents a different mental image than the weight-lifting image of support. Anyway, Geoff Tate attributes his endurance to proper breath management. Push too hard and you will wear out.

While general physical fitness helps, remember that Anne Wilson is not a petite woman and she can still wail like she did 30-something years ago.

Second, check the amplification of your mic at rehearsals. The drums are the loudest thing and every thing else has to adjust volume to mix with that. You see what I am saying? A drummer, with legs capable of exerting a few hundred pounds of force are kicking a 24 inch bass drum. As opposed to you releasing a small stream of air on folds that are aprroximately the size of your thumb. Therefore, you need a mic and amplification. And this is where you will struggle with the guitar player.

Third, as others have said, take a break, now and then. The average music set lasts no more than an hour at the longest, with an intermission (for potty breaks, etc.) And in a big concert, the show lasts 90 minutes to 2 hours. With extended instrumentals and sometimes another member of the band singing while the lead singer plays tambourine or drinks some water or plays some back-up rhythm guitar.

Point being, you might be overworking yourself.

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I'll just add that for most of us on here that are schlepping through an existence as top 40/cover artists, 99% of the gigs end up being a total of 3 HOURS. Whether that is 3 x 1 hour sets or 4 x 45 minute sets, almost always ends up being 3 hours total playing time.

Etchy...not sure what type of music you'll be playing(original vs cover,) but I can tell you that 3 hours is doable if you follow the advice already given.

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Roger Love has also said that the voice is capable of extended activity. But that is dependent on proper technique, including breath management. Again, without metering the air, you will push too much air on the folds and they will get tired. But anything can get tired. I guarantee that if you walk for two or three hours, your legs will get tired, no matter how good your walking technique and shoes are. It's a matter of physics and metabolism and biology. And leg muscles are some of the biggest muscles in the body. In the meantime, your vocal chords are enduring 15 to 16 pounds per square inch of force. Generally, at sea level, the pressure of air is 14.7 lbs/in^2. You have to exceed that slightly in order to speak or sing.

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Ok so I noticed that everyone is actually talking about breath management..Which is a point that I know I haven't been practicing enough so I'm pretty sure that's a real issue I have and I'm gonna start doing some breathing exercises starting tomorrow!

Anyways in the last couple of rehearsals I've been trying different stuff do hear myself clearer and while it helped a little, it didn't help as much as I'd hoped. But sometimes there weren't any breaks so maybe that's a reason as well.

@ analog: we play covers mostly Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica songs

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Ok so I noticed that everyone is actually talking about breath management..Which is a point that I know I haven't been practicing enough so I'm pretty sure that's a real issue I have and I'm gonna start doing some breathing exercises starting tomorrow!

Anyways in the last couple of rehearsals I've been trying different stuff do hear myself clearer and while it helped a little, it didn't help as much as I'd hoped. But sometimes there weren't any breaks so maybe that's a reason as well.

@ analog: we play covers mostly Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica songs

if you improve your breath support/management i guarantee you will feel a difference on so many fronts.

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That was something I knew a while ago...but then I started listening to Brett Manning's stuff ...and while it helped me a lot in some stuff I noticed that he did not care about breathing ...the problem is I noticed really late! And I was even more certain when I found a lot of people saying that in the forum...So that's why I'm so behind on breathing exercises...Seriously thank you all for your help! :)

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Etchy - using good technique is one critical aspect. The other very critical thing is your monitoring situation. Are you in control of your monitor mix? How's the quality of the power amp and speakers for your monitor? No matter how good your technique is, if your monitor is not delivering adequately you can push your voice leading to fatigue - especially in a loud metal / rock setting. It may also come down to the EQ of the guitar parts. Hopefully your guitarists have a handle on a good quality EQ on their high gain guitar tones. You could try in ear monitors, which most pro's use which will give you more control.

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Well is there anything specific to do with the mixer? I try my best to be able to hear myself well but I don't always succeed....and I also found out that if I use ear plugs I'm able to hear myself better and hear the guitars lower so this helps sometimes. But whenever I ask someone what I should do with the EQ they just answer me with "Every song has its setting" or something like that but isn't there any guidelines to follow?

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Well is there anything specific to do with the mixer? I try my best to be able to hear myself well but I don't always succeed....and I also found out that if I use ear plugs I'm able to hear myself better and hear the guitars lower so this helps sometimes. But whenever I ask someone what I should do with the EQ they just answer me with "Every song has its setting" or something like that but isn't there any guidelines to follow?

IN EAR MONITORS. Best investment I ever made. No more relying on DUMBASS monitor guys.

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Here's the ancient chinese secret. High notes require less air than lower notes. So, any muscle action should actually be in the belly, keeping the air from rushing out. This allows more full fold adduction and concentration on resonance. Believe me, using this technique, I am overloading my mic and yet I am relaxed and not straining at all.

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Here's the ancient chinese secret. High notes require less air than lower notes. So, any muscle action should actually be in the belly, keeping the air from rushing out. This allows more full fold adduction and concentration on resonance. Believe me, using this technique, I am overloading my mic and yet I am relaxed and not straining at all.

Thx for the tip! I'm pretty sure practicing breath management is gonna do great things for me!:)

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IN EAR MONITORS. Best investment I ever made. No more relying on DUMBASS monitor guys.

The problem is that I live in egypt and these things are really rare here...and pretty expensive too! so anyways I'm gonna look for them and I'll see what I can do

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Plus, I totally agree on the stage mix/monitoring issue. It sounds like you aren't able to hear yourself and push too much air to sing "louder." I was doing the same thing while playing my own guitar. I would play louder on choruses and wear myself out. I learned to keep the guitar back a little bit, so that I don't have to get shouty to hear myself over it. You also might try the in-ear monitor in just one ear. Another more economical version that prevents uncontrolled in-ear volume from wreaking havoc on you is to wear an ear-plug in one hear. Like the safety ear plugs for construction. They will knock down 30 dB and you will be able to hear yourself better yet still hear and feel the rest of the band for the right cues for vocals, and so on.

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