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How come I sound better after getting drunk and straining my vocal chords?

Let's say I spend an evening getting drunk and try singing along to Soundgarden tunes waaaay outside my vocal range, really straining and not hitting Cornell's high notes. The next day my speaking voice suddenly becomes baritone, acquires a more powerful timbre, and I can do a convincing Johnny Cash impression or sing some Stan Rogers tunes when I couldn't before. My upper range remains the same except it's now way easier to do vocal fry when it didn't come naturally before. After a couple of days my voice "resets" and I go back to speaking normally and my range gets less deep with a less powerful timbre.

If I'm damaging my vocal chords after straining to reach high notes, how come I get this badass baritone sound aftewards? :o


  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 5,039
    Whats likely happening is that your cords are getting swollen so with thicker cords you are able to produce a better lower range. This happens naturally every morning regardless of what you have done the night before, you will always have a lower set voice in the morning, maybe just not to the more extreme extent you are talking about.

    Its also possible to achieve the same effect by singing properly the night before. Instead of getting the deep voice from swollen cords, you can achieve it through good resonance and the natural morning effect. When I do my exercises or sing alot the night before I also get a good Johnny cash voice. The difference is that my singing longevity will last way longer than trashing my voice every night to get that deep voice in the morning.

    Is this on the right track @highmtn ?
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,346
    edited October 2021
    Without hearing a demo of the Drunk and the non-drunk, I would only be speculating. Alcohol strips the protective mucosa layer off the cords. It also dries the cords into less elasticity, and makes them more like leather. It also makes drunk people think they sound better than non-drunk people might think. A drunken audience may really like the sound of a drunken singer more than they might if they were sober.

    Regardless of alcohol intake or the lack thereof, it's not a good idea to try to sing notes that are too high for you, which is what the post says. Unable to hit the high notes, but the next day, able to hit great low notes.

    People who train to sing low don't have to get drunk and risk blowing out their voices to have good low notes. They can just train in lower ranges and maintain a lowered larynx. The more you train it, the more you can "set" your voice to a lower range.
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