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After Mild Layryngitis - Performance - Pacing and Warmup Questions

Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,404
hi, i just had a mild case of laryngitis, at least i think that's what it was, my voice was raspy and a bit metallic, and i had cold symptoms (light throat pain, runny nose, maybe a little fever, didn't measure)... i was maybe feeling ill for 3-4 days and the voice was raspy for maybe 5 days. the last 2-3 days i am fine. there was never a loss of the voice, i also tried some light sliders to look for breaks in the voice (i found that online as a means of looking for swollen cords), no breaks. so here is the thing: i have a show coming up with my band on saturday, and a practice the evening before. it is a big show, bigger than i thought we would be booked for any time soon, so canceling is not really an option, and i have researched enough to think the risk of permanent damage is low enough for me to try to do the show (because there is no swelling in the cords as far as i can tell). i started doing some lip rolls and tongue exercises today and a light AH vowel, it was ok.

my question is now, how to pace the practice and performance, also regarding the warmups.

the main goal would be to "deliver" as much as possible on the show, ideally. i am resting my voice now as much as possible (still 72hrs till showtime), but maybe light exercise would be better? and, how long should i warm up before the practice (i intuitively think i should only give about 50% for the practice set, especially distortion/volume wise), and before the show (where i would like to give about 80%-100%). canceling the practice or doing it instrumentally would be another option if necessary...

i guess i am worried that a too intense warmup could take away from the "stamina" or "load on the cords allowance" i have left for the show (while not being warmed properly can't be good either), and the same with the practice itself, i only have 24 hrs to recover if i overdo it on the practice. for the songs i use quite a bit of distortion (it's punk rock), which i can normally do safely thanks to the course. the dilemma is, i would like to test how i do right now on the heavy stuff but then i can't rest at the same time.

so this is kind of my dilemma now, i feel it is undermining my confidence going on stage, because i just don't know how it will be (voice breaking etc), and would like to prepare as good as i can to avoid any "hickups", but have a very limited margin for experiments

any thoughts or ideas would be great, also in regards of what to do in the next 48 hrs (rest vs light lip drills vs normal or reduced exercises, etc). please consider that canceling the show is not really an option at this point, if i feel like i am damaging my voice on saturday i will pull the breaks. i am not willing to risk my health for that show, it is important but not that important. my question really is, what can i do leading up to it to make the best of the show if it does actually go through, if you catch my drift

i was hoping for @highmtn or someone else who does lots of shows to maybe share some of your thoughts... thanks in advance! :)

ps i do aloe juice, salt gargles, steam inhale, zinc lozenges and apple cider vinegar shots along with loads of tea, honey etc so i think i exploited that alley


  • TerenceTerence 3.0 Streaming Posts: 339
    @Klaus_T In case you don't hear from Bob in time, perhaps these thoughts on your situation may be of some use.

    Test the waters tonight (see below) to set your mind at ease and get a better sense of how best to warm-up for the actual gig. If all goes well you'll be more at ease to approach the gig with your usual prep. If it doesn't go well you can still rest tommorrow with more indications of what you're really up against.

    Test the waters tonight: 1/2 vol 3 ending after EE's. Substitute the intense chest stretching part of vol 3's with parts of your setlist that are most demanding. Just do short hard sections farly light without going to 100%.

    How you might handle rehearsal and pre-gig warmup will be greatly informed by what you discover tonight.

    Err on the side of drinking more water than you think you need all the way from now until the gig.

    IIRC, Ken recommends a light partial vol 3 as a pre-gig warmup while saying he's also done the whole workout, pre-gig, and performed well.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    edited January 2023
    It's a gamble. I have had periods where, for whatever reason, the "cold or virus" gets "seated" into the voice. If that happens, you just have to wait it out. Your voice might not work well, but it sounds like you are in "OK" vocal condition, according to the lack of a break on sliders.

    If it were me, I would soft-pedal, doing light exercises up until the day of the performance, and including warming up before the show... keeping shy of risking any blowouts. Maybe a few test belts of upper mid chest voice.

    There have been times when I went ahead and spent my voice on Volume 3 workouts, when that vocal energy would have been better spent on the actual performance, instead of a warmup or instead of the first songs of the show. Better to start out good and leave them shouting for more than to start out impressively, and have them shouting for me to get off stage at the end of the set. :)

    Then, during the show, I would probably remain cautious. Definitely not singing the hardest material in the first 4 or 5 songs, depending on how long the set is. Towards the end, if all goes well, I would just go for it (while remaining aware that I might have to adapt if I get any surprises).

    My experience is that the years of KTVA training I have done has made my "bad" or "Vocally compromised" days (due to flu, colds, or throat viruses) usually better than most people's regular, or even best singing days... just because I have built my voice up, and know how to protect and guard it. Normally I let my voice just do what it has been trained to do, but when I have to, I can be more mindful, and keep myself in a safe zone. That safe zone is usually such that my bandmates can't detect any difference in my vocals at all.

    Remember that massive support is your safety net. As I often say, it is the brakes that keeps you alive when you are driving down the mountain. Use the brakes to protect your voice. Stay within the guardrails. Stay alive through the last song, and to sing again another day. Push down on that diaphragm instead of crushing your cords.

    And yes, stay hydrated, starting now.

    Good luck with your show, Klaus!

    Knock 'em dead!


  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,404
    @Terence @highmtn thanks so much for your answers!

    Bob, what you are saying about the voice being strong thanks to the training is what I was also grasping at, i had a few experiences in the practice room where it felt i blew my voice but i could make up for it with supporting hard and avoiding anything more than it being an off phrase. the set is short (35 mins). i can pace the setlist like you said (i.e. play the two slightly softer songs first LOL).

    will definitely let you know how it went :)
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    Most of my gigs are 4 hours long. One set you should be able to warm up before the gig and then just pace yourself enough to make it through the 35 minutes. You should be able to finish with strength and survive an encore if it happens.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,404
    ok wow 4 hrs is a bit different, really. that makes me feel much better about my little set :) do you have any footage of your shows online?
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,404
    as promised, i update you on how it went: i did loads of lip rolls and tongue exercises today, and i drank an insane amount of turmeric tea with honey, and the show was really a success (with pogo and all you'd expect in a punk rock show). people who haven't heard me in a few years even complimented me on how far i got vocally, on a day where saying it was a bad day for my voice would be a blatant understatement. i am so grateful for this course and this forum and once again @highmtn for your input, not only was the information you gave me spot-on and helpful but it also gave me the confidence that was much needed and helped me pull through. curious to see (and hear) what tomorrow brings in terms of aftermath, but for now, mission accomplished :)

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    Klaus, I'm stoked that your show was so awesome for you! There is nothing like an exciting show to get the adrenaline going!

    I had two very enjoyable gigs this weekend. Friday and Saturday. The band was in a magic place. I enjoyed singing and playing. Three and a half hours each night this time.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,404
    @highmtn thanks yeah it is like a drug :) do you have footage of your band, would love to hear it/see it
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    edited January 2023
    Sorry, Klaus, but I don't have any links or footage of the band I'm in now. Here I am at an outdoor concert we did back in July, but no audio recording.
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