Some notes on approximately 6 weeks of downtime | Halestorm - I Am The Fire

blondiewalesblondiewales Pro Posts: 483
You may or may not find this interesting, but I thought it was pertinent information. This is a lot of text with relatively little sound so there's your disclaimer.

So for a while now, I have been swamped with almost 24/7 work. While 6 weeks doesn't sound like that long of a time (relative to some people stopping for years), I've noticed there is a LONG way to fall if you practiced as much as I did and suddenly stopped. 6 weeks was a turning point when I could no longer cram any significant time for singing into my day, but my exercise routine had been getting weaker for a while up to that point. For the two years since I started the program, I never had to stop for so long before (I think the longest before this was a week).

I'm starting to get back into it now. I've been working up a new song in addition to exercises. Since I record almost all my practice anyway, I thought I'd give some notes and examples on what I've noticed has happened to my voice when it was in a light state of atrophy.
  • I kept almost all my range. If anything is missing, it's perhaps a note or two near the B6, which I rarely ever use. However, my tone is significantly thinner.
  • That said, I feel like parts of the range are now "unsafe" as I can't get a round, whole tone from them like I used to. This is annoying because I want to jump right back in to my old routine but I'm being very ginger with my voice right now. What happens is that I try to keep the bright sound as I go higher, but instead of the throat staying open, it closes up and my natural instinct is to use pharyngeal voice to keep it bright. Overuse of this hurts my voice.
  • The most noticeable thing is the bridge. I can't carry chest nearly as high now without distorting. I'm trying to keep pretty clean on my sound in the clip (for now) but some parts were still distorted. For whatever reason, chest voice is the first to go. While everything after the first line is in mix, I feel like the A4s and G4s were heady compared to the D5 and C5, which were somewhat chestier. Then at the E5 it goes back to head-dominant again.
  • More issues with pitch, as you'd imagine.
  • Less stamina.

After you hear the vocals end the music plays a little while longer. There are no more lines so you don't have to keep listening. The clip is very short because, well, mostly because the vocals on it are questionable and I don't like uploading mistakes (when I already know they are mistakes). I also didn't feel like it was safe drilling the high parts over and over. The pitch is a bit sloppy.

edit: Oh, and this is really, really quiet, by the way. Not necessarily a good thing. I might have had to cut back a lot of air because my parts of my voice were weakened and I'd rip out my vocal cords otherwise. Here's parts of the clip, it includes the lower softer part at first and then the rest for comparison:

Any input or similar stories from experience?


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353

    Usually in situations like this, there will be a brief time of setback, after which you will regain your previous range. Sometimes there is even a little "resetting" where you find that the layoff actually allows you to re-enter your previous range a little wiser and a little more adept at handling some of your higher reaches.

    We're all different, and the way you approach getting re-integrated into your more steady routine will cause your own re-entry into your routine to take on its own characteristics.

    In short, don't worry. Just look for the good that you will find from your new run at resuming your vocal journey. Your setbacks should soon be behind you.

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