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How Many Gig Nights in a Row?

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A question I'm curious about--

How many gigs are you guys doing in a row?

I hear so many people say "if you're singing correctly, you should be able to go night after night after night without an issue". And yet, I SELDOM see those kind of schedules from acts with great singers.

Take Journey for example. They do a TON of shows. But they've been dropping their keys a half step and not doing a lot of consecutive nights. Arnel Pineda's a great singer, but even he has trouble with night after night after night. So Journey has finally learned to space out their shows. Other singers from the past couldn't do it. Guys like Freddie Mercury couldn't without ducking a lot of his high notes. Steve Perry could for a few years and then he couldn't. Same with a lot of others. I'm doing 4 hour shows and singing 90% of the songs. The 3rd show in a row is always a gamble for me. I can do it, but it's much more difficult. Requires much more "babying" of the voice the the two prior nights and then a lot of work on the third day to get the voice limber.

Not a smoker. Not a screamer. Not a drinker.

It makes me think that guys that say that you can do it night after night haven't really had to do it. The other thing, the bigger bands out there are maybe doing 2 hour shows. Guys in clubs are doing twice that singing.

So what about you guys?

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Billy, I think the ability to sing 4 hour shows consecutively has to do with your warm up before each show, your hydration every day, and getting really good rest. Not only is performing night after night a vocal workout, it is tough on your body. Standing on stage for 3+ hours, maybe with a 14 lb guitar strapped on your shoulder, or playing drums with the wear and tear to your fingers, hands and legs and then load all the gear, I tell you, I have some serious respect for folks that can do it. I’m sure it helps if a vocalist can share some singing duties, creating a set list in a way that gives him a little break between certain songs and dropping a ½ step on a song when they think they need it will also help.

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here's my two cents:

the pros have it worse than local show singers because of the climate changes, travel schedule, interview time and all that extra stress.

it's one the biggest reasons for voice training...stamina

redesign the set list to give you vocal breaks with some easier songs. place demanding songs later in the night.


really watch how much you talk both before and after the gig....talk as little as possible...if possible, not at all.

warmup and warm down the voice

get plenty of rest

watch what you eat

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One thing on diet- You are SO RIGHT!

I've had reflux forever. Been on Nexium forever. After having doctors tell me that I'd need the surgery to close the tube, I completely changed my diet. Removed any kind of acidic food from my diet. This has helped my voice IMMENSELY. My recovery time has been cut in half and my upper notes are more clean and I've gained a few. Food REALLY plays a part in vocal health. Silent Reflux (I had no digestive symptoms) kills yer voice.

There's a book called Dropping Acid about it, and it's a great book.

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i may like to read that book

dropping acid?

YES. It's actually a cookbook, but it has a TON of info about silent reflux which has been a huge problem of mine. It's a great book. There's also a blog out there. Do a google search. Seriously helping me in a big way.

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thanks bill..i've got it too....reflux...

just went off the prilosec and switched to zantac to give my body a break from the prilosec.

but prilosec works a lot better than the zantac...

I THINK if you can change your diet and you lifestyle (raising the bed, don't eat 3 hours before bed, etc.) that you can really help yourself. When I was first diagnosed (years ago), I was put on I think Prilosec, then my insurance woudn't pay for it, so I went to Nexium. Anyway, I thin I took the pill and thought "Oh, that's fixed" and didn't really change any of my habits. The Nexium helped my voice, but it was still consistently inconsistent. Meaning, there was one issue that'd come in and out all the time. I couldn't figure it out and since I was on the Nexium and didn't have symptoms like heartburn or indigestion, I ignored that possibility... and kept eating the same crap (and that's what so much food is- GARBAGE). Since I've changed things (2 months ago) things are better for sure. Though I still am not a guy that can sing day in and day out, though my recovery time has been greatly reduced and my voice is doing great at my gigs. So, it's a constant search for what works and tossing out what doesn't. What got me to change was just pure frustration.

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