Home Vocal Health and Wellness

Does your voice ever "blow out" a little bit if you haven't practiced in a while?

matt53matt53 Pro Posts: 189
edited October 2014 in Vocal Health and Wellness
Yesterday I was jamming with my band and felt an unusual sensation in my voice. Usually I save the hardest songs for last but since we were trying out a new backing vocalist, we decided to jump and do Baba O'Riley as our second song, which we usually do after 14 songs when we practice. As I was belting out the A4s in the beginning of the song, my voice kind of "blew out a bit." I kind of faltered on the notes, kind of like I was losing support, and I struggled on the next few verses and the next few songs we did my voice was kind of raspy and "wobbled" alot.
I have NEVER had this sensation before, and 99 days out of a 100 I can get through these songs with a clean connection  and no tightness, discomfort at all.
HOWEVER, here's where it became a bit unusual: I rested my voice for about an hour, drank lots of water, then I went to my friend's house to jam and had the BEST SINGING OF MY LIFE.
I was able to sing for several hours really high with a lot of glottal compression/distortion without hurting my voice or stressing the cords from what I could tell. For the first time, I felt myself getting that gritty kind of open throated tone that Ken gets without hurting my voice.
What was odd was that the wobbly sensation was gone.

Some background info: this week, I barely sang at all, compared to previous weeks when I practiced our 16-song setlist all the way through with no problem.On my warmup beforehand, I did Tracks 1-12 of Volume 3. On these, I did feel an unusually solid connection through all the warmup but also strangely tired too.
My theory is that I pushed too hard on the warmup and I am also a bit "out of shape" vocally, as I have really skimped on practice this week. Also, I jumped into a very difficult song that I save for later in our practice and setlist, so maybe I wasn't warmed up enough too.

After singing yesterday, I warmed down before bed with some lip roll slides and today, I just did a light warmup and a little bit of light singing as per Ken's instructions for days after singing really heavy.
My voice feels totally normal now and I plan to rest a bit this weekend and then warmup lightly with Ken's warmup tracks to get my stamina back during the week.

Comments

  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro Posts: 15,078

    I've said frequently that singers should be careful to not have "too much fun" on those days, especially after a break in singing, when you feel invincible, and when you're loving hitting incredible high notes.

    The reason for being really extra-careful, is that right about when you think "oops.  I wonder if I'm about to blow my voice out?" it's usually already happening.  That thought doesn't occur to us while we're being superman (or superwoman) the singer.  It's right after one of our supernotes tickles just a little bit, and maybe we're just a touch flat and give it just a little more air pressure boost, and then OOPS!!! 

    You can wreck your voice and give yourself a setback if you're not REALLY careful. You have to learn to fly just under the radar of the limitations of your voice, and sometimes when we're feeling really feisty, we misjudge.  If we irritate our cords by overblowing, the cords will swell, and we'll lose our upper mid register until the swelling goes away.

    I've been pretty lucky recently, as I've gotten close to this limit frequently at various gigs, but by seeing it coming in advance, have reminded myself to cut back the air, triple my support, and open the throat rather than allow it to close down.  If I lose a note or two in the middle of a gig, within a few songs, I will get back on the horse and get all of the moving targets realigned, and fully recover my balance.  Gunk in my throat will clear and even on the way home from the gig I'm singing the exercises as clearly as I did on the way TO the gig.  So even when I have an "uh-oh" moment, I clear my mind and clear my throat and keep the tract open and renew my support.  Cut back the air and follow the resonance.  Keep the monitors loud and with an upper midrange boost, so I don't have to strain to hear that part of the register.

    When you feel your voice faltering, clear your mind, clear your throat, and sing through the problem, lightly and clearly.  Let your voice find the calm in the storm to get you through a rough spot.

     

    Bob 

  • matt53matt53 Pro Posts: 189
    edited October 2014
    Thanks for the great post, Bob. I will exercise more prudence in the future with regards to recognizing the limitations of my voice. I have been blessed with amazing progress and good vocal health thanks to my KTVA training, but I feel the temptation for me is to think that just because I'm doing my exercises and technique so well that I can do whatever I want.
    Of course, being human, that is not true, and I am just as prone to losing my voice as the next guy if I'm not careful.
    My vocal stamina is usually very good. In a typical week, I work out about 5-6 times throughout the week and on Fridays, I do a 3-hour band rehearsal, take a break and then a 1-hour choir practice. After that, I will go to my friend's house, break for an hour and do 4+ hours more of singing with my other band doing really insane Led Zeppelin and hard rock songs.
    If anything, if I am warmed up correctly, by the time I have been singing for 7 hours or so, my voice will be at its strongest and highest, much like the way Ken says his voice is.
    It's no joke when you can sing metal and hard rock the way Ken does for 9+ hours and then rattle off Nessun Dorma xD
Sign In or Register to comment.