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Can You Describe Your Vocal Condition After Gigs?

JoshuaJoshua Posts: 84Member, Enrolled
Hey Guys,

I was curious if you could describe your vocal condition after gigs.

Comments

  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 84Member, Enrolled
    We're a dance party band. So like, I dance and sing...and interact with the crowd.

    I never lose my voice. I just can't vocalize certain parts of my range lightly; I'd have to force it, and I refuse to do that. So Basically just wait till I've had something to eat and some liquids and then I start trilling. When she's ready, she comes back and I can do the whole range scale lightly; by the time the gig starts up, I've got my radio announcer voice back and it's full throttle. day after day two, is usually better, because I think that I'm tired so I pace myself a little more. But like yesterday for instance I didnt' want to make any noises that weren't necessary. No pain mind you...just tired and feeling uneasy about the sounds of my voice when above a speaking voice. 

    But, then like today, though I can sense that I should not start wailing, I feel like I could warm up and vocalize some songs for practice. Anyways, just trying to get some feedback from other singers. I'm a cover band we play 4 hours a night and this past weekend we played a two nighter.
  • yewhanyewhan Posts: 9Pro
    My problem is trying not to get carried away.... I've now started to incorporate the vocal training into my routine and my chest range has definitely improved. Last night I was belting top Eflats comfortably. It has been my aim to sing Bohemian Rhapsody all in chest with ease and last night managed 95% of it. The best I have ever done. Once I can manage that, then Sweet Child of Mine would be nice all in chest!  But I got excited that I had all these extra notes in my chest range and oversang! Today the voice is a bit tired, but went through the vocal exercises carefully.
    Got another gig tomorrow - gonna try be more conscious :-)
  • sspatricksspatrick Posts: 1,278Moderator, Enrolled
    My voice seems to get more free and I can lighten up by the end of a night. I've really worked at conserving and pacing myself during a show. It may sound fatigued depending on the gig circumstances. Late nights loud rooms talking to fans wears me out more than the actual singing.
  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 84Member, Enrolled
    sspatrick said:
    My voice seems to get more free and I can lighten up by the end of a night. I've really worked at conserving and pacing myself during a show. It may sound fatigued depending on the gig circumstances. Late nights loud rooms talking to fans wears me out more than the actual singing.
    SAME WITH ME!!!
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,665Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited August 2013

    The better your vocal monitoring system can rise above the din of the rest of the band, the more opportunity you have to sing more lightly and let your voice soar rather than crash.

    By the time you realize that your voice is going into distortion, it is usually too late, and your cords will suffer from abrasion.  Just a little too much and they are going to swell.  When they swell, you lose your upper midrange, the money notes.  Gone, for however long before you get it back.  Your mileage may vary.

    When you can hear the monitors clearly without stressing your cords to get loud enough to be heard, the quality part of your voice will be much more resilient.  You know, the part of your voice that really gets you excited and causes you to go for more and more high notes....  that part...  goes first... when you push too hard... when you're excited... and having too much fun.... for just a few seconds too long....

    That's why, like Scott said, PACE YOURSELF.  Like Ken says.  Pace Yourself. 

    Don't go all stops out, all night long.  Mix it up, start out moderately, do a more challenging tune, ease off for a tune or two, then ratchet up a notch or two...  Be fully warmed up and firing on all twelve cylinders before you get to your really hot stuff!!!

    You are not a Marshall Amplifier.  You can't Wail on Eleven All night long without blowing a gasket!!! Sing a ballad or two.  THEN wail like a banshee!

    Bob

     

  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 84Member, Enrolled
    I think I've learned tonight that I'm wailing all night long. I need to pull way back on my hard rock songs and see if I can maintain a good sound without pushing so hard.
  • JoshuaJoshua Posts: 84Member, Enrolled
    So I sang Friday night and I used my in-ears. I messed up my words a bunch...but, I didn't sing quite as hard. And to be honest, I liked it alot better. I've not listened to the recording for pitch, but my voice was fine the next day. No froggy whatsoever.
  • yewhanyewhan Posts: 9Pro
    Yes monitoring is always an issue, especially here in KL, however many times I ask for 1 monitor each and the time we go through soundcheck, 9 out of 10 engineers here do not know what they are doing... When the vocals in the monitors are too quiet, it definitely requires more conscious attention to not singing too loud to compensate, so over the years I've tried to get used to how my voice should FEEL inside when I'm singing correctly. Having said that, I'd rather be spending my mental capacity on performance rather than trying to hear myself. And yes, the singing too hard can be tempting - once I started pulling back a bit and really enjoying the voice I got more compliments for the singing, and not just my idiotic onstage performance hehe.
    You guys should check out my videos :-)
    http://www.madsally.com
  • billthebaldguybillthebaldguy Posts: 50Pro, 2.0 PRO
    Great topic...

    Until recently, I too was losing my top/upper mid range during a gig because I was singing too hard and we are a blues/funk/rock band and get carried away. As soon as I switched to in-ear monitors, I no longer strain my voice.

    Usually after gigs, the next day my voice sounds froggy/deeper than normal. I always try to do a vocal workout the very next day after a gig and every single time, my voice is like a howitzer (unless I strained it the night before, which doesn't happen much now.) I don't know why the voice is so strong the day after the gig, but it is.

    Now where I am getting into trouble is during rehearsals. During shows, we use a powered speaker/passive amp system and mic all our instruments and run it through the board. This way we get a great sound and I can get a nice mix in my ear monitors. At rehearsals, the guy who owns the PA system doesn't want to schlep it, so we use a different system with powered board and passive speakers, we don't mic the instruments and I use a floor wedge monitor. And - you guessed it - between loudness, feedback etc...I usually find myself starting to strain my voice and like Bob says, it only takes a few seconds and your high range is gone for the evening.

    Hope this helps.

    Bill


  • JoyceJoyce Posts: 128Pro
    @billthebaldguy
    Yes it does help. I am finding myself today in that situation, my upper range has gone due to intensive rehearsal yesterday, I could not hear myself, the band was playing too loud.

    I am furious, the concert is in two days, I have to perform 3 songs including one very high ranged. What can I do to get my voice back quickly?

    Many thanks for help.
  • streeterstreeter Posts: 670Moderator, Pro
    @joyce

    Light tongue exercise and lip rolls. you may need to do them for an extended period of time. dedicate 20+ minutes and see how it feels.
  • Jewel142Jewel142 Posts: 13Member
    My voice is usually fine after gigs (3 full sets of an hour). I refuse to shout over the band (been there done that) and will tell them to turn down. I refuse to hurt my voice.

    @Joyce I had the same thing happen to me with another band. I've tried chewing baby asprin to help with the swelling in my cords because I heard that worked. I also used Fisherman's friend cough drops. I find that tea with honey in it works wonders or throat coat tea. The only thing that really seemed to help was time and unfortunately not singing or talking.
  • xTbsxTbs Posts: 34Pro
    Before I picked up the course, My voice would start to break up by about the 3rd set, part of it was from poor planning of songs, the other part was me belting all the time to hear myself, so by the end of the night, I was close to losing my voice. now, not so much, I still have my moments, but a lot of that has to do with my monitor.
  • DallasDallas Posts: 6Member
    In-ear monitoring is invaluable - it does wonders for your voice, especially on small stages with bad acoustics. Although I sing in a style similar to Marilyn Manson, I've never lost my voice due to good technique. Even if you are screaming, it shouldn't be a strain. If it is, you need to check your technique - and do Ken's course!
  • Scott.CScott.C Posts: 10Pro, 2.0 PRO
    great thread... does anyone have any recommendations for in-ear monitors.. all the ones I've looked into are over $700... is this about right?
  • bentkbentk Posts: 479Pro
    @Scott.C

    It depends what you want and what you expect. I should think that custom molds to your own ears will be the best, as this will provide the best seal. The seal is one of the most important factors to get a good and clear sound.

    If cheaper ones provide a good seal and are good enough for you, why would that not be OK? It's all about being effective, and ending in a great stage performance where you are confident and able to clearly hear yourself.

    Don't forget you will also need a wireless or wired device to transmit the signal. Wired devices come relatively cheap and are very reliable. But you are bound to the cable and the P.A. system to which it is connected. This will immobilise you to some degree.
    Good wired systems can get pretty expensive. So see what you need, and try to test some if you can.

    I rehearse as an acoustic duo now and then, with the aim to perform in the near future. For this i am thinking to get some decent in-ears and a wired system. It doesn't cost much, it's very easy for the practicing facilities and i don't move around much.
    It's more or less having to deal with the guitar cable, but then it is bound to the device on your jeans/belt.

    All the best,

    Ben
  • highmtnhighmtn Posts: 11,665Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro
    edited September 2
    Just to put this out there, the first time I ever tried "in-ear-monitors" I just used a standard set of Apple iPhone ear buds. I was astonished at how much better I could hear my own voice, than with my normal set of monitor speakers. I still had the monitor speakers going, but in my ears I could hear my voice about 4 dB louder, because there was no feedback from the earbuds. It was a little tinny, but clear, as well. The apple earbuds kept falling out, because they really aren't designed for drummers or musicians. The next day I went out and bought a $120 set of Bose earbuds. Those stay in my ears better and aren't as tinny as the iPhone buds. I haven't sprung for Pro earbuds yet, but they're on my list.

    I do the first few songs without the earbuds to make sure we sound good in the room. Then I put my earbuds in and hear myself better the rest of the night. If we're having sound issues, I leave the earbuds off until the issues are resolved. I'm running the mixer, so I have to come out of my sound bubble to get the room sounding right, then I can jump back into better sound when all is well.

    So just try a set of plain-jane earbuds. I think you'll immediately decide that you like hearing your own voice without feedback and without being drowned out by the other sound in the room. Make sure you have your own volume control.
  • billthebaldguybillthebaldguy Posts: 50Pro, 2.0 PRO
    My two favorite sites for finding gear without paying retail are Craigslist and ebay. I picked up my Shure In Ear Monitors on ebay for a great price and they work very well for me.

    My mics are all Sennheiser, and there hasn't been one product of theirs I have bought that I didn't love. When I upgrade my IEM, I am going Sennheiser.

    Another tip - and I don't know if this is good form/right thing, but many times, I will sing with just one earbud in, so I can hear myself and the room/band. Ideally you have the entire band mixed through the board, but that will depend on your band setup, board, do you have a soundguy, etc...
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