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Weird workout issue

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Keith
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So, I've been able to do workouts for the last week or so, and something weird is going on. In the morning, I wake up, grab coffee, check my school work, then take a shower. I usually sing in the shower - usually to queensryche or Kamelot. While in the shower singing (no warm up) I can sing in mixed voice pretty easilly and pretty high. I don't belt, rather I sing quietly. After I'm done , I'll do homework and go to my internship. About six hours past the shower, I'll do the first 6 exercises in the pillars program. After that , mixing becomes very difficult. Shouldn't it be easier after warming up and working out?

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Keith, when you wake up that is when your voice is the most relaxed. To add to that, not only do most people sound better in the shower (acoustics), the steam is very relaxing to the throat. Try taking things slower, if you feel more successful during the first vocalize of the day... hold back a little - memorize that FEELING till you can do it anytime anywhere.

I recently read a private message between a famous countertenor who has a nearly flawless blending of his voice... when asked how he could sing so high so consistently his answer was simple. "I exercise the upper register everyday." Lets say you sing for 20 minutes in the morning, sing for 5-10.... but make that time extremely focused and relaxed. Then try and repeat it later. Clearly you have some success with your voice, don't forget that! ;)

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The shower is a humid atmosphere, with plenty of warm mist to aid the vocal folds.

Is where you are doing the legit exercises drier or less humid?

A number of singers I have read, such as Geoff Tate, who is from the north, find air conditioning to be rather drying. Whereas, I live in Texas. Down here, a/c is literally a necessity and people will go into debt to keep the a/c working. Point being, I have grown used to a/c and find it soothing, all over. However, heater on in the car during our winter, when it can get down to frigid (for us) 40 F, dries out the air dramatically and my voice does not appreciate that.

Also, maybe, first thing in the morning is your optimum time and later, not so much, IDK.

Or, it's a matter of conditioning. During her opera training, Pat Benetar practiced 6 hours a day for 5 days a week under an extremely demanding instructor. But I am sure that her teacher ensured that the air was right, during practice, lessons, repertoire, etcetera. She was being groomed to audition at Julliard.

Anyway, just some thoughts.

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I am not referring to the sounds I make in the shower vs in my room - it's the feeling of no strain coupled with effortlessness in singing before and after a workout. Takes me a lot more effort to blend registers after a workout .

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Owen, I think you made a great point, one I had not thought of before. Match the warm-up to the task at hand. Warming up to do some specific exercises? That might be the 8-tone chromatic. Warming up to sing melodically? Personally, I would choose the "Journey" style vocalise of medium mass. It keeps you in the right onset and puts melody in. It's like singing a song for a warm-up. And yeah, do a few exercises or warm-ups just to get limber.

Man, if I tried to get through the gargantuan amounts of vocalises in 4 Pillars, there would be no time for anything else. I like to think of it as a salad bar. If I want a hard rock or grunge vibe, do the "Layne Staley' so that interval gets in your head, for example.

Choose a couple to match your mood.

Or, if working on high range, definitely stay with the light to medium mass onsets.

How did you get so smart, Owen? Is it ginko biloba? :lol:

Actaully, I take those to improve my memory function. I have to remember if I told the crew or crews a year ago to put 4 screws in for a fan-rated box. Insane.

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i can't say i agree...

one of the best things you can do is to carry that top down placement positioning all the way down as far you can go as long as you counterbalance with chest voice musculature building exercises.

when you do this you train the voice to maintain that lifted, open throated posture throughout your range rather than digging up from below.

low notes are tricky..if you overpower them, they'll blow apart because the folds are typically thick and somewhat slack compared to a high note where the folds have to be taut and thin.

again, the top placement helps guard against overblowing.

this is how i feel about it. i'm a former big time "digger"...now i'm more of a dive bomber....lol!!!

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Keith it's normal, I got the same.

About six hours past the shower, I'll do the first 6 exercises in the pillars program. After that , mixing becomes very difficult.

It is harder to sing but sounds much better than "easy" morning stuff. Trust me.

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And typically a singer warms up to a top-down placement since singing is generally high pitches and we want that part to come easier. We often forget that this compromises your lower range. If you're going to sing or record a lot of low vocals it's wise not to warm up to that top-down approach because it is counterproductive in lower ranges.

Anthony Frisell, in 'The Tenor Voice," said that in tenor training, at least at the beginning, it is not uncommon to lose one's absolutely lowest notes. And if that bothers a singer, it's to time fish or cut bait, in so many words. Are you a tenor? Then train like a tenor.

He does advocate head voice training, and from what understand, he advocates that, as well, in his book for baritones.

Later, bring back the big boom of "chest" will happen. But you have to start out making the noises you think you don't like. And it takes time. One of his pet peeves is that many today are going for the polished approach from the start when, really, you need to train the basics of the voice and go for polish, later on.

Then, again, I'm a head voice kind of guy. So my opinions may be affected by that. It's a gift, and a curse.

:)

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