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Starting to get a bit worried...

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gilad
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Hey Guys.

In the last few days, I noticed that when i get in my mid range to high, my voice stops, and all that comes out is air. I thought it was rest, so I made sure of getting at least 8 hours of sleep. DIdnt help. The next day the same. Did a day of vocal rest, and today still the same. Now when this happened a few days ago, it was after not singing/vocalizing for 4 days due to work. I have had this issue before, but way lighter. But now it sounds really bad. Anyone every experience the same?

Here is a sound clip of me doing an upscale siren using "Me"

http://soundcloud.com/user206400908/siren/s-ZHFaQ

Thanks guys.

:/

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Hey gilad. What were you doing before those 4 days off? Anything really strenuous that caused you discomfort? It just appeared out of nowhere?

1 day of vocal rest isn't really alot. The cords can take quite a while to go back to normal if they are in a swollen state. I would play it safe, schedule an ENT appointment for late in the week so they can put the scope down your throat (it's fun if you've never done it!). Until then, I'd go on complete vocal rest.

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Hey Simon,

I recorded a sketch for a song. Didnt feel anything serious though afterwords. I cant tell i have a problem until i vocalize in the mid-high range. I mean, I a dont have a sore throat, or any bad sensation in my throat...

ENT would be a good idea, except i am abroad for two weeks...

Vocal rest - I can do that.

Thanks

Gilad

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Skipping training for a few days can really weaken your voice IME. This is not necessarily a fact just my own experience and not the experience of others such as Placido Domingo who purposely takes days off from vocalizing and has one of the strongest voices ever. Anyways, just work through it patiently and things will clear up in a few days

I say don't go on vocal rest. Do a lot of gentle vocalizing and gradually go more aggressive. The problems are likely due to skipping training and you need to slowly get your voice back in shape. Sort of like if you skip running for a few days it gets much harder again and you can't run as far but if you dont start running again you only make the problem worse if you start again and just be cautious after a few days you're back to normal.

I'm not a professional this is just what I'd do in your situation, knowing my own voice. But my voice is not yours.

If you haven't already, send Rob an email...he knows what he's doing way more than us forum members

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Owen makes some good points. We're not voice doctors and we don't have all the information to tell you what's going on. That's why I recommend seeing an ENT if you are getting worried. I'm a "better safe than sorry" type of person, so I'm just telling you what I would do. If anything, finding out your cords are in good shape will give you some confidence (and it's always cool to see them w/ the scope).

It is curious that the notes would suddenly disappear without explanation. I'm not familiar with how far along you are in your training. Do those notes usually come easy to you? Do you usually have access to head voice? If not it might just be a muscle coordination thing. What makes me slightly concerned is that notes blanking out like that is one symptom of nodules. It may be the recording (or your style) but I also thought I heard a slight fuzziness to the notes that were there. It would be unusual for that to creep up without any kind of indication prior, however. From what I know, nodules come through repeated wear and tear over a period of time and any other type of injury would have had an "oh s*** type of moment" haha. You mentioned that you were abroad...how's your hydration?

Either way, don't be too anxious about it. Either vocal rest or light vocalizations ("eees" "zzzzz"s etc) are good advice, imo. If the problem persists by the end of this week, I'd see a doctor. That's why I would schedule an appointment now for when you get back, and if the problem disappears you can always cancel.

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I only have my own experience, which may or may not be applicable. I offer it as suggestions in addition to seeing a doctor.

A few years ago, a number of people here were trying to sound like Brian Johnson. I never had much distortion or rattle in my voice, never much cared to. But then, I thought, maybe I am missing out on something. Maybe I should try this. So, without a teacher or coach in the same room as I was in, I tried what I thought was "false vocal fold" distortion.

And what I accomplished was this; strained muscles in the throat and swollen folds. I have a high tolerance for pain, so I don't remember much discomfort, if any. What I do remember is having no mid-range. A kind of flat low end. And a high note would sound like a tuneless whistle.

Twice.

Why? Because I am an idiot and thought that I did it wrong the first time and tried it again. And injured myself again.

And re-habbed myself with light, descending slides.

I am most specifically not saying you are doing anything like I did, Gilad. What I am saying is that either you have some non-painful strain in the muscles or you may have swollen folds, to an extent. And this could come from a number of reasons, from allergies and sinus drainage to acid reflux to some physical action totally unrelated to singing, to some systemic thing brought on by family medical history.

Let's hope it's just allergies.

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This was my range about 6 months ago..

It does sound a bit strained up in the top. maybe continuous exercising with wrong coordination caused this situation.

But as you can tell in the sound clip. I dont have this issue.

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I just listened to "I can't believe" and I must say: it's beautiful! Your voice has an ethereal, crooner quality to it - very relaxed and pleasant to listen to.

It's possible that you might actually be too relaxed in your vocalization. In that clip from 6 months ago, it sounds like some notes have a breathy quality to them. I had the same issue when I was attempting to speed up my vibrato. I relaxed so much that my cords weren't coming together and air was leaking out between them. This caused me to go out of pitch. Air leaking out through the vocal cords causes some degree of irritation that can cause problems over time (and you wouldn't necessarily feel this). This is why speech therapists tell you not to whisper when you're recovering from a vocal injury. I also noticed that you begin some notes on an "H" sound. This is letting air escape through the vocal folds.

You can feel the vocal folds come together when you say "uh oh" like if something bad has happened. You don't want to take that feeling too far, though, because then it becomes a glottal shock. But very gently using that feeling as the "attack" on the onset of a pitch, you can get the cords to come together more. After making sure that your voice is in good shape, I would focus on that and support. Breathiness is something that you want to be able to use for effect to color your voice, but it shouldn't be the foundation of your vocal technique. Vocal exercises and warming up should have the cords firmly coming together (except falsetto exercises).

Hope this helps! I'm sure you'll bounce back and be pumping out more wonderful originals once you get to the bottom of this.

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Thank you very much Simon :)

I emailed Mark Baxter who from my understanding is a professional vocal therapist, as well as a vocal coach. He heard my voice clip that I uploaded here, and says I should rest a few days, and then do very very light excercises. He says that this whole situation is because I push to much probably in my singing and its something that i have to un-train and train the right way. So, at the moment, still on rest although I can't really stop talking for days as I have to talk on the phone here and there for work.. But I rest alot.

Thanks again Simon.

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Np, gilad. Please keep us updated as to your recovery!

I have taken 2 lessons with Mark Baxter, have emailed him several times, have his book, and have basically exhausted his website for every morsel of info I can find. haha. He is good at getting back to you, and is generally a nice guy. I do think that he might be a bit quick to diagnose at times (I don't know how he can say for sure what a problem is without seeing/hearing some of the people in his FAQs). In general, getting singers to ease up on their voices and relieve tension seems to be his M.O., and it's definitely a good one to have when it comes to most singers. Blowing too much air pressure is probably the most common cause of vocal problems out there. Just watch that air leakage once you start to lightly vocalize again - I'm sure Mark would tell you the same thing!

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I finally listened to both clips you showed in here, Gilad. Definitely listen to Mark Baxter. Do the light and soft stuff. It's what I did to recuperate from my own stupidity.

You will re-gain your fine control. In the first clip, your voice is sounding like mine did after I injured myself.

For at least two weeks after each injury, I would not sing. I would only do light, falsetto, if you will, descending slides. And only for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. Then, after a few weeks, when rehabbing into songs, I would choose clean songs that were easy for me.

Here's a recording of my voice in recovery and using the song for recovery.

"I Don't Believe in Love" by Queensryche

http://www.box.com/s/f01abfff3963930ddb4d

So, if we rule out physical maladies like allergies and sinus drainage, and genetically inherited problems, such as loss of fine control at a certain age (which I doubt,) and if it is not acid reflux, or muscle strain in the throat from some non-singing activity, then you may have tried some "style" of singing that your voice was simply not meant to do. And I know others may give me heat about that. Oh well, I'm a grown man and I can take it.

Whatever you were doing that led to this, stop it. If it is, indeed, some "new thing" you were trying. Treasure the beautiful voice that you do have.

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Maybe its me trying to discover my whistle register that did this. It didnt hurt though, didnt feel strained. I put that aside obviously. I am going to try light exercises now and see how it goes.

Your voice sounds good in that song Ronws. Not sure how it is now though, so dont have anything to compare it to :)

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Maybe its me trying to discover my whistle register that did this. It didnt hurt though, didnt feel strained. I put that aside obviously. I am going to try light exercises now and see how it goes.

Your voice sounds good in that song Ronws. Not sure how it is now though, so dont have anything to compare it to :)

I recorded this about a month ago, or so.

SL - 2 by Queensryche

https://www.box.com/s/wm9mdujcbk50vbkbrd0q

As opposed to the previous song, which I recorded in 2011,but I moved to Box in 2012.

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Alright, after trying Mark's exercises with no luck, I think I need to see an ENT when I get back home from this long trip. It seems that singing is easier for me than doing any exercise. Feels lightly choked singing... I hope I find a way to cope with this issue and get back to normal soon. This is more than frustrating.

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Sorry to hear that, gilad. If vocalizing relaxed and at low volume (as I'm assuming Mark instructed you to do) is difficult to do, then yes, I think you should get it checked out.

I know how it feels to be out of commission for a while. Before I knew that I was suffering from a chronic muscle spasm (probably unrelated to singing), I was unable to sing, as the ENT speculated I might have torn one of the "strap muscles." In one way, it was good to know my cords were unscathed, but those strap muscles are important too! Anyway, a little vocal vacation isn't necessarily a bad thing, and I found returning to singing like riding a bike. Yeah, you might lose a little stamina, but it will return quickly.

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Thanks Ronws!

I don't want to speak to early, but while I was sitting in a jaccuzzi today, I started vocalizing an Mm, and managed to do it all as if nothing happend. I then tried with an Eee which was a huge issue in the recent weeks, and then again, no problem. I thought maybe i am vocalizing too low in my range, but then realised it was not, it was my usual low to high. Sooo... hopefully this is the start of the end of my issue. Knock on wood. Going to try Baxster's excercises again. Ill keep you updated. Thank you all for your amazing support guys!! You all deserve a Reputation point ;) LOL.

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Hey Guys!

What a great way to start the morning.

Just came back from the ENT. She was amazing. Very professional and I am so glad I had the opportunity to meet with her. Here is what went on, and her diagnoses.

1) She had me put on this weird head thing with a mic on its end, and made me sing Ah, and Ehs, and Ih, and Ohh., and then a siren. That gave her a map of my range and ETC. (Ill upload a copy of the output once I am done.)

2) She did a scope check through the mouth. (She thinks its better then the nose one) and made me do the same.

She said that I have alot of mucus on the cords (shows cords not hydrated enough) She didnt see any bumps or anything. She did see that they seem a bit over used which is what I suspected.

Then comes the best part. I told her, for some reason, unlike almost every singer I know, I can't do vocal fry. Only early in the morning or when I am tired or sick. She then stood behind me and asked me if she can do a manual manipulation. I said sure. So she pushed gently on my voice box in a few specific areas for about 20 seconds. Then she said, ok. now try it, and all of a sudden, VOCAL FRY! She said that it means that my voice box needs to be more relaxed, and that could also be the cause of my airyness up high.

Here is a translation of her diagnosis:

While feeling the neck, there is a strain mostly in the CT space. After manipulating it slightly, he was able to do the VOCAL FRY with no problems. Stroboscope showed vocal cords vibration normal. No issues in sound waves, and no issues with vocal cord closure. (Hmm.) Extra mucus on cords.

Quality of voice normal during talking and when doing glassando there is a break in the high part of his range. Seems there is an issue with undeveloped resonance. (Now this one was a surprise)....

So, anyone any inputs?

How do I develop my resonance?

How do I relax my voice box? :)

:cool: Still... Very happy camper!

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