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Things We Should All Be Doing

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What are some things that are generally safe and almost therapeutic to do that you would recommend to almost anybody? I'm sure we all have some crazy secrets lol. I'll start.

Timed consumption of water

Titze's straw exercise

Humming and z or v or l semi-occluded

20minutes of exercise (needs improvement)

Sleeping

Eating

Listening to previous recordings

Learning from failure

Standing against walls or singing to mirrors

Practice resisting the air/expanding diaphragm

Controlled Hissing

Occasionally sing to a random person

If anyone has any new or good suggestions lets hear them! Has singing really progressed from 100 years ago? None of these things directly attack the passaggio but can all directly improve it's production.

- JayMC

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For more ambitious singers, the list is at least twice as long.

Bah. You've made me all curious now. You tease. Thanks also for making me feel guilty about my nefarious habits.

Its so obvious that drinking & smoking are dirty little voice goblins but from where I'm from they're a part of everyday family life. Was kinda shocked to head out with some clean livin folk and I was made to feel like Keith Richards on a bad night. Heh. Was a real eye opener to say the least. Socialized norms eh ? scary stuff.

Time for a detox methinks. Imagine how dumb I'll feel if my voice gets better in a few weeks just cos of that. I'll laugh and cry simultaneously for at least a week. :rolleyes:

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here's mine:

confidence

water

healthy lifestyle

support

exceed your limits

push past boundaries

develop rich, tone/overtones

build the voice one day at a time

patience

attitude

persistence

and strain like hell....lol!!!

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I've mentioned it several times before, so, I will mention it again.

Bill Martin had a book of interviews with the heavy rock singers that most of us know and admire. And I have also read interviews with some of the opera singers of the 20th century.

As well as bios and memoirs of singers from Steven Tyler to Pat Benetar to Renee Fleming.

And their wisdom can be condensed to 3 lines, easy enough for a redneck to understand. :lol:

Hydration.

Rest.

Do what it is your voice can do, don't do what it cannot do.

Hydration, self-explanatory and of the liquids to be consumed, water metabolizes the fastest and as far as I know, I have never met someone who is allergic to clean water.

Rest. Self-explanatory, to some extent. Not just hours in the sack. Rest between gigs, a reasonable schedule of performance, not always possible in the world of popular singing. I still have questions in my mind about the vocal troubles of popular singers and just how much is due to improper technique and how much is due to too much, all the time. In the 19th century and most of the first half of the 20th century, most travel was by train or ship. It could easily be a few days to a week between engagements. A singer had to time to recuperate, fix problems, etc.

Nowadays, it's 300 shows a year in places not suited or designed for the human voice.

Do what it is that your voice can do, don't do what it cannot do. This probably gets the most questions or doubt or debate. I am not saying that you can't experiment and see what it is your voice can do. Experimentation can lead to a unique sound that sets you apart from the rest. In popular music, individuality is more important than being the technically greatest singer. Can anyone hear honestly say, and not just for the sake of disagreement, or being a smart aleck, or just because I, ronws said it, say that they do NOT recognize Mick Jagger's voice when a song comes on the radio? He is not the best technical singer. But he does what his voice can do, to the limits of what it can do. But he is not ever going to sound like either Bruce Dickinson or Steve Perry and he is not going to try, either. He's made more money than he can spend in a lifetime just sounding like Mick Jagger.

Granted, you may not know at first what your voice can do. Once you find out what that is, respect your voice, you only have one.

A few other nuts and bolts item to being a singer.

If you smoke, refrain about 30 minutes to an hour before a gig.

If you drink, stick with something with small alcoholic content. For example, beer in Texas averages 5.5 to 6 percent, In Oklahoma, 3 percent. In fact, people in southern Oklahoma drive across the border to Texas to get 6.0 beer. And people in Texas drive across the border to buy cigarettes on the reservations. Ah, interstate commerce .....

But, if you can help it, don't drink or smoke just before the gig, or recording session, or whatever. Save it for after.

Each person reacts differently to food. If a certain food gives you phlegm, either avoid that food all together or avoid it the day you expect to perform.

Learn to breath with your belly. Holding gut in is fine for a photo shoot for GQ magazine. Not so much for singing.

Rejoice in the unique sound that you can make. Your voice is just as important and worthy of hearing as any "famous" singer that you admire. It's okay to admire a singer for his intensity, emotional expression and to absorb that.

Like Bob said, work at it every day. Don't get in a hurry. I bet I have been singing longer than some of you young guys have been alive. And I am still learning and progressing. I've got patience you've only heard about in legends. So, here, let me give you some of the patience (vulcan mind meld ensues, briefly.)

Bob is ten years older than I am, going through the same thing.

As a singer, or any musician, for that matter, you are never finished. Singing is really about the journey, not just a destination.

And when you sing, it' not all about you. It's about the song. Remember that and you will conquer stagefright.

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Also, although I've said it again: take it easy. You know, when I started to sing I thought I was good cause I could sing up an F5 in a scale without strain Nowadays I tend to be more aware of my average day limits (comfort, power) when it comes to higer notes, which is around the A4. Remember that your favourite singers most likely have years of singing experience already. Better start off slowly not up singing boring stuff than singing harder things that you should while failing half of the time.

Ocassionally trying a bit more than you can could be fine...I guess, (I have my better moments) but you know, stay realistic and honest to yourself.

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yeah brother ron, as 60 approaches, i still am making gains ......my fear is my age will impede my progress.

but not yet, thank god. now if i just figure out the phlegm issue....

Amen, brother Bob. My voice is new to me, every day. The fact that I have been singing a long time and still learn something new every day should help prove the case that it's not just how many scales you sing or for how long you have been singing, or how long a practice session, it's how you sing that counts.

To paraphrase our venerable Steven Fraser, 30 minutes of the right thing is better than a couple of hours of mistakes or wrong things.

So, technique #1, pay attention to what you are doing. And that is mental (couldn't help sneaking that in. I'm a bad man. :D )

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and strive to go past what you're voice can currently do..

right ron?...lol!!!

I know that's a loaded question. So, what is the limit of a particular voice? But yeah, especially for a beginner, one needs to find out the real limits, not the ones you imagine that you have.

A person limits himself with preconceptions. Of all kinds.

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