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The Rise and Fall of KillerKu's Short Lived Voice

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I have read alot of your posts KillerKu, from your initial one about you losing your voice. What has struck me is that even though you have endured such a tremendous loss which for me, would cause irreparable damage to my mind, you still have the gift of giving. You listen, you comment and you really give to the community. You have such a wonderful perspective on things even though it must be hard (I can only speak for myself, knowing I tend to make everything about me, me, me) you really appreciate other people..

Now this thread seems like something you need to dig through with time and both ears focused. I'm at work right now but I will get to this tonight when I get home...

I can only say that I really wish for your voice to come back to you, even if it's slowly, over a decade - the gift of singing, while free, is something all of us take for granted... Never give up hope! :)

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I listened to all your posted songs... really enjoyed them man!

I wish i had some advice to give, but can't think of anything specific right now. I do think you need to explore all possible avenues and not feel intimidated by prick doctors or such. If they aren't being helpful or acting inappropriate, tell them to shove off... or pull out a ready made sign... I can think of some great pictures and such that could fit on that placard, but don't let that kind of stuff slow you down seeking out real help. I can't imagine there aren't resources out there somewhere. I'm sure you have checked it out, but don't get discouraged... veracity is a great quality to enhance for something like this.

Honestly I couldn't hear the constrictions in your final clips that I would have expected considering the pain your are describing. Your cords sound fine to me in those songs.

Anyway your symptoms sound extremely unique and it is hard to believe there aren't some very interested professionals that would be very intrigued to work with such a case.

The main thing is not to give up; there has got to be a solution to something as bizarre as this. But it will be up to you to take a very proactive attack finding the answer.

I'm in your corner to support you... like everyone on this forum is.

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Snejk, I have to admit I do go nuts with this. I've got my dark side like everyone else, but I suppose I'm more of the lovable loon type than the screaming homeless guy type. I've got a lot of problems which I battle every day, but I care about people and singing was probably my favorite thing I ever discovered. Once I started getting the hang of it and getting comfortable with it, it felt like this was what I was meant to do. It gave me direction and hope. It often feels like singing is the best way to express feelings you can't freely express otherwise.

Seeing everyone else with their voices intact, you'd think it would make things worse, maybe it does sometimes, but in a way it actually thrills me, and I want to help protect you all if I can. Especially some of the beginners and self teachers starting from ground zero like I did, I'm worried about you a bit. You can go far with this, but the route I took is the riskiest route. I've been considering it might be important to kind of divide singing topics into more 'beginner' and advanced sections, as a lot of people really need the basics, you know, and they don't know which are the basics? I've learned you kind of need to build from foundations and do one thing at a time, and the newbie singers can be at risk with so much info without someone telling them that there are way more important things than high notes, right?

Quincy, the fact that my vocal cords are fine is my greatest blessing and my curse. It's been one of the biggest problems in getting doctors to take it seriously or diagnose it. On my absolute best days, I can power through the pain and clamping with 'proper enough technique' to produce a decent sound. I'm not the world's greatest singer but I'm good enough to know how to do it. On my worst days, when the pain, spasms, and clamping of muscles is going full bore, a lot of times I can't even speak at all (trying is extremely painful) and no amount of technique has been able to help so far. So doctors keep wanting to send me to speech therapists, but since speaking and singing is torturous for me that's very scary. Neither have helped at all either in improving the situation.

I'm going to contact Joanna Cazden like people have suggested, but seriously, I really really hate talking and singing now especially when people are pressuring me to. I never know what to expect. Is it going to be merely painful or is it going to trigger a five hour spasm that I have to sit through? My motto at the moment is to not risk it anymore so its getting increasingly hard to get out there and keep trying to look for help when that process can be so painful. It's like volunteering for torture. I know there is supposed to be an end goal, but the process is terrible.

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Hey Killer, I would have responded to this yesterday evening but between work emails, even after I get home, and some personal emails to attend to, and my wife was home from work and spending time with her beats everything else in the world, I ran out of time.

You did great on everything but you totally owned "Heros." Not from any particular David Bowie - like tone but because it had the passion in it. Not that the others didn't have passion and emotional delivery, either. But this one, you were totally in your skin, so to speak.And it has nothing to do with range. The lyrics and melody were directly given to us from your heart.

As for your malady, I think you have yet to find the right doctor. And that is a hard part to accept. We assume just about every doctor knows the same thing. But such is not the case. What you need is the "Dr. House" of ENT. So many doctors assume that because they can't find something , it is not there. What is the redeeming character quality of the fictional Dr House is that he does not assume that he knows everything and that is subtle thing, indeed, lost in the grandstanding he normally shows. But, at some point, Hugh Laurie shows the "magic" look as he stumbles upon an insight that had escaped everyone, including himself, until that moment.

I think you have a real problem that is yet to be properly diagnosed and treated. It's not all in your head. It might be neurological, or even pathological (physically based.) A trauma-based injury, such as pulling a ligament (from pulling on the tongue) usually either resolves itself over time or the body learns to compensate. Rarely would it result in an everlasting impediment. That's why I, Ron, the electrician, don't think that your disability is from pulling on the tongue. And the doctors you have been to are looking in the wrong direction (likely to happen in a country with socialized medicine. And I know that may tick some people off but I can't stop myself from saying it. Absolutely powerless, I tell you.)

Good things are around the corner for you and thank you for sharing your fine singing with us.

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Thanks Ronsw. Yes you're right on Heroes that was pure emotion driving everything I'd ever learned about to do with my voice. I've been a musician a long time (well over a decade), and I've always had kind of funny relationship with techniques. I've found at first there is always an intellectual and habituation phase which is inconvenient and can make expression a lot harder.

What I've found is that the ultimate goal of any musical technique (voice or otherwise) is to give you a tool you can access instinctively when the right emotion is there. You really demonstrated that to me on your Darkness Cover. I could totally feel that. We definitely have different styles, but I was learning to get totally in the zone and use what I had more and more myself near the end there.

About the ligament theory, I had the same thoughts about injury too, and it's part of why I was chasing the reflux stuff which dead ended. I figured any injury would have healed by this point, until I read more specifically about how the body works. Apparently of all kinds of muscular skeletal injuries, ligaments are the one that sometimes never heal properly and can give you constant pain and instability in your joint for the rest of your life without medical intervention. Apparently they don't get enough blood flow and are incapable of the same level of healing as muscles or even tendons. Tendons heal much worse than muscles, which heal much worse than regular tissue. I agree, this is not necessarily what's going on, but I've got to follow any lead I can and I have a constant feeling of injury and constant muscle instability. It could be neurological or physical, but it definitely feels very physical, I can definitely feel the spasms.

Anyway, thanks for the comment. I agree I probably need a new doctor here. It's just very hard to get one when I can't reliably talk... And socialized health care or not, I'm getting quite poor now so this could be limit my options a lot. If I wasn't living with family (also poor) I might go homeless. I have to be thankful that anyone will see me or try to help me.

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Totally understand the doctor situation. Socialized medicine, you get whatever doctor is appointed to you or nearby and the government decides when you've had enough. Capitalized medicine, you get what you can afford.

What we need is a modern-day Dr Thomas Fillebrown. I highly suggest you read his book "Resonance in speaking and singing." Free on Kindle, 10 dollars USD in paperback. He was a doctor and surgeon and amateur singer (meaning he didn't get paid for his singing performances) who repaired maladies and deformities such as cleft palates and rehabbed patients, teaching them to speak and sing, all over again, something a bit like what our own Snax went through, though his surgery was not as extensive, the same principle applies. How do you speak or sing with new resonators (essentially.) In your case, I think, to myself, if they can give a woman a face transplant, why can't there be a surgeon capable of micro-surgery repair of ligaments? It can be done, I think. We just need a doctor with some chutzpah to get into it.

And thank you for noticing that my performance of the mentioned song, while it does involve some technique, it is technique that serves the song and, I think, most importantly, is a performance in the scope of what my voice can do. So many people are willing to wreck themselves or sell their souls to Satan to sound like this or that singer. We should each sound like ourselves, whatever that may be.

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Well, I'll tell you how it goes Dante cause this might be helpful to other singers. I believe I'm a light baritone (that used the lighter side of my voice, which got a pop sound), when I wake up in the morning I could nail a low G reliably. Throughout the rest of the day I'd get a low A flat, maybe A. But anything past a high G, I'd often yell or strain to hit (hit and miss) and anything above a high B I could nail with a pretty cool piercing, breathless falsetto. Which in retrospect, I should have kept working on that, cause that's what a lot of my favorite singers are doing.

I had read claims from SLS oriented books/sites that if I just did their magical BS (glug, fry, whatever), I would get very comfortable notes in that passaggio because 'shouting was wrong.' They were saying I shouldn't get louder on my high notes like I did.

I had also read a bunch of stuff online of users claiming they were getting great range expansions from some other exercises (tongue stretch). So I tried quite a few things I shouldn't have when I probably should have listened to my voice and kept practicing it in ways that felt comfortable and seemed to work.

So lesson to everyone, I've said it time and time again, if it ain't broke you don't gotta fix it. If you're a little shouty like Mick Jagger up there on your top chest notes, a lot of shouty guys still have their voices and they sell records! If it got me some way into comfortable tenor range, it worked, sounded good, didn't exhaust me or anything then that's pretty damned good. So be careful what you guys mess with and if you really wanna mess with the crazy technical freaky deakie stuff, get some lessons.

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It is very Sad what you wrote. Reminded me of my beginnings with singing and trying to exercise sls.

I had a CD with Brett Manning's Singing Success. I remember I was amazed with his 6-octave voice. I listened to the introduction on the technique and its natural origins(?not so as it turned out). Rules: "stabilized larynx, do not shout," I etched so deeply that practicing, I kept my Adam's apple in the place by force and holding my volume no metter what!.

Of course it's my fault more. But however, if the SS had more of a scientific theory in itself than merely its principles and If in the book was written that these rules stake out a particular sound (ideal SS or SLS), I'd probably avoid falling into this my stupidity. Do not get me wrong. I do not want to attack sls. This technique certainly works well with the teacher.

Anyway, I lost more than a year without gaining real skills - then next year let go completely, frustrated by the sound that I have reached and the amount of phlegm in my throat.

Then I met a different technique (going to avoid the name, I do not want to sound like advertising) - I wondered that this technique allows the things that the SS would never have permitted, and at the same time its guiding principles says: "if you feel that something is wrong, it is! ". In addition puts your feelings above the teacher's instructions - "technique must work immediately - if it does not: it is not correctly done!"

(if I only read something like this in the SS two years before ....)

I taught by myself - I have not had any contact with any teacher. In pursuing these two principles and treating the book as a guide, not as an oracle - finally beat the bad habits of poorly understood SS and have made significant progress.So KillerKu -it is not foreign to me what you have wrote here.

Feel sorry for you that you did not avoid these health problems. I wish you a speedy recovery!

But what you have written must be marked as:

When learning to sing, nothing is more important than the inner feelings of your body! No course, no book, no teacher, absolutely no one feels what you feel!

Regards!

Wish you all the best!

*sorry for bad english in written. Hope You can understand what I wrote.

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I appreciate the post, Daug. Don't worry about your English there and I completely agree. I really wish I would have never tried SLS related stuff. While I can't blame it flat out, it was unnecessary and potentially risked my voice.

I know you're not advertising and I've heard the progress you made. I truly wish I had access to CVT instead too. I can't believe how much more clarity there is between curbing, and 'mix' voice as an example. How many things are they 'mixing' in there anyway? Come to think of it, I never quite understood 'twang' or formant until I came here even after reading some SLS books, and trying exercises. I think I got some of it by imitating other singers but it was hard to put into action. I suppose when SLS was saying that 'shouting is wrong,' they were demonizing overdrive, which was probably one of my main intuitive ways of singing, right? I'd be willing to bet.

Looking back on everything I did, I can kind of categorize it more so into CVT terms where as I was always clueless what I was doing and was pretty much flying blind. It's funny that going blind is better than going SLS for me. 'The artist knows best, and if it hurts it's wrong' attitude like you said is exactly what I wanted. Basically, I think all any singer needs is a nice toolbox of sounds they can access to express an artistic vision. For me it's like a painter would want a nice palette. It makes total sense.

I guess for now since my palette got broken, I gotta focus on repairing that first if possible. But to be here years after losing my reliable voice, having read quite a few singing books and voice science, and I can read educated discussion on voice and it's like a lightbulb went off. 'That's' how you do it, even though I can't do it now. It's just ridiculous.

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Anthony Frisell states that there must necessarily be more volume in the higher notes because of the mechanics required for such notes. And he hasn't broken or ruined a singer, yet. And his method does not use physical tongue pulling. In fact, the exercises start in "detached" falsetto and gradually, you bring in an intensified air stream, which brings back the ring and volume of "chest" voice. Because, essentially, the only thing that actually creates the tone in the folds is the vibration of the outer layers of the folds, not just how closely you "adduct." That is, you adduct just enough to bring those layers into undulation and the volume is created by resonance.

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Hey Killer, you sound great on the before and after. Honestly, if you just posted the post-injury ones I probably wouldn't know your voice was injured. When I was injured I thought my speaking voice sounded wrecked and weak, but every time I asked people they said I sounded exactly the same, so I think a lot of how we think we sound is actually more related to how we feel. It's good to see you are still making these clips even through the pain and hope you continue to do so.

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I appreciate the post, Daug. Don't worry about your English there and I completely agree. I really wish I would have never tried SLS related stuff. While I can't blame it flat out, it was unnecessary and potentially risked my voice.

I know you're not advertising and I've heard the progress you made. I truly wish I had access to CVT instead too. I can't believe how much more clarity there is between curbing, and 'mix' voice as an example. How many things are they 'mixing' in there anyway? Come to think of it, I never quite understood 'twang' or formant until I came here even after reading some SLS books, and trying exercises. I think I got some of it by imitating other singers but it was hard to put into action. I suppose when SLS was saying that 'shouting is wrong,' they were demonizing overdrive, which was probably one of my main intuitive ways of singing, right? I'd be willing to bet.

Looking back on everything I did, I can kind of categorize it more so into CVT terms where as I was always clueless what I was doing and was pretty much flying blind. It's funny that going blind is better than going SLS for me. 'The artist knows best, and if it hurts it's wrong' attitude like you said is exactly what I wanted. Basically, I think all any singer needs is a nice toolbox of sounds they can access to express an artistic vision. For me it's like a painter would want a nice palette. It makes total sense.

I guess for now since my palette got broken, I gotta focus on repairing that first if possible. But to be here years after losing my reliable voice, having read quite a few singing books and voice science, and I can read educated discussion on voice and it's like a lightbulb went off. 'That's' how you do it, even though I can't do it now. It's just ridiculous.

Yes. Sls insists that the shouting is bad and actually rejects in such way Overdrive and Edge at higher part of the voice. In fact, today I know that if you do a scale in their way (so you go between overdrive, curbing, and MLN-neutral in the specific locations of scale) this shout can actually be unhealthy, because the curbing and MLN are not naturally shouty and rely on their very own principles. Furthermore, If I do this scale in their way (with today's knowledge) stabilized larynx position can also be a quite natural - but only for those circumstances.

Seth Riggs actualy indicated that SLS is not about keeping the volume of the speech level - and indeed mentioned that the volume increases with scale. Yet he did not accept that what we call Overdive and Edge above passagio.

Indeed, what should be done for you, if your overdrive came easily and feel as natural, is to consider every possible actual need (and not what you really don't need);what parchance is difficult for you and what sound you are looking for. Because, first you must remove the harassing problems, and then look for the sound that interests you. And when you find the right sound, and above all the most appropriate, comfortable feeling - then go train to consolidate muscle memory.

This should be the way! - And not the approach: "I ​​have those problems with this or that sooo - I have to do more momomoms, neyneyneys, gugugus and it will be solved by itself".

And about voice range; There are no specific exersices to expand it. Properly treated voice can release it with very simple ones.

(for example - in overdrive find the right vowels "Eh" and "Oh", twang , and good support can take male vocalist up to C5 with practising simple sirens on this vowels)

Regards!

Wish You all best again!

Marek

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Thanks, Chavie. Yes, for whatever reason Bowie's vocal style worked best as a 'how to sing' tutorial. Apparently he first learned to sing by copying Anthony Newley, so we are both 'imitation' learners.

Truth1ness, yeah, if I could get the same tones and notes I can get now without the pain and problems, I'd probably be ok with that in singer-songwriter pop way. I'm not a metal god, or an operatic superstar. I just wanted to write and sing songs like my heroes.

Ronsw, yes I absolutely believe the higher notes should be louder. Doesn't matter what tricks you should use, even my 'power falsetto' is more likely to overload a mic than an extremely well supported low note.

And not the approach: "I ​​have those problems with this or that sooo - I have to do more momomoms, neyneyneys, gugugus and it will be solved by itself".

Yes Daug, I absolutely agree. Making a bunch of sound effects by yourself (possibly improperly) and hoping they somehow magically combine into an intuitive, comfortable, and healthy singing voice is a bunch of crap. It has the student messing with their voice blindly, possibly picking up bad habits, in the dark, it's garbage.

Now it's going it's going to be all about trying to see if it's even possible for me to ever have a comfortable sound again, and work from there. I'll try speech therapy with someone qualified and educated. I've tried ridiculously hard to get a comfortable sound, and the speech therapists who have looked at me thus far haven't been able to help, but maybe with further expertise it will be possible.

Anyway, I'm ready to get moving. No more fear of the pain controlling me. I have to do everything in my power to get better.

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Anyway, I'm ready to get moving. No more fear of the pain controlling me. I have to do everything in my power to get better.

Hooraw! I grew around people in the military and have had friends in the military. The only easy day was yesterday. Accomplish the objective regardless of obstacles. Whether that obstacle be oneself, another person, weather, circumstances. "Can't" is not in the vocabulary.

I'm not saying do something that hurts yourself. But, to quote Kwai Chang Caine, "there is always another way."

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Anyway, I'm ready to get moving. No more fear of the pain controlling me. I have to do everything in my power to get better.

You have already won, then ! You're in the exact right mindset you need to bring this to an end.

And while I don't like Bowie, you absolutely rocked heroes.

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