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Alcohol improves my singing by leaps and bounds

I can't speak for other people, but only for myself. I have found, and I have countless people I've worked with who can vouch for me, that when I drink, my singing becomes 100% better.

Before drinking, I am stiff, tight, and nervous. My throat is constricted and not fully opened. After drinking, miraculously, my entire body opens up and becomes relaxed. My range becomes broader. My throat opens up wider. My chest and lungs become fuller. My tone becomes clearer. My vocal control improves drastically. Lastly and most importantly, my spirit comes alive, and I sing with passion.

In the videos I posted of me singing and playing piano, the ones at home were made under complete sobriety. The live video was a performance after I had consumed a couple of beers. HighMTN said I sounded like a completely different performer during the live performance, and that my breath support and pitch were much more accurate.

Many people only THINK they sound better after drinking alcohol, but in my case, I actually DO sound better. Would I recommend it? 100% YES.


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    vmalheirosvmalheiros Pro Posts: 105
    I don't like to sing having consumed alcoholic beverages, because I feel that I have to blow more air cause the cords are kinda dry.
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    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    There may be a connection between the tension you have when you are sober, vs a freeing of your inhibitions when you have consumed alcohol. Unfortunately, alcohol does dry your cords out, which can be harmful to them physically over a period of time.

    You are correct that I did hear a great difference in your voice in the live performance vs the living-room recordings. Tension vs ease was a noticeable part of that difference.

    A lot of the vocal issues you are dealing with are directly or indirectly related to tension. Alcohol can become a tool that some use to find relaxation. There are other ways to remove tension, including using proper techniques properly and finding relaxation in proper singing. Relaxing into the sound, so to speak.

    In some singers, there is a description of "Cigarette - Whiskey" voice that many people aspire to. It's a rough/smooth distortion/freedom kind of sound. It's quite similar to the "Smoky/Woodsy" sound that Ken teaches, that also has a lot of ease in it and has the distortion as well. Ken's sound does not require alcohol consumption, and does not stress your voice or cost you the loss of your voice in the long run (as well as other consequences of relying on alcohol to accomplish singing and other tasks).

    If I have a drink when performing (which rarely happens if someone buys me a drink and I'm just being polite), it feels like a solvent just washed all of the lubricant off of my cords. I also begin to feel a little bit like Superman. If everyone else is drinking, they seem to think I've become a little more like Superman, too. I'm much more likely to push my unlubricated voice further than is in its best interest, and I might not sound as good by the end of the gig or the next morning.

    I don't recommend to singers out there that they drink alcohol to improve their vocal skills. It could cost them their voice, and more. A small glass of wine is probably fine, but beyond amounts like that you are going to introduce dehydration, removal of natural vocal cord lubrications, and impaired judgement.

    All the Best!

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    streeterstreeter Pro Posts: 679
    edited September 2016
    Haha. All that tension just washed away!
    Sammy Hager says the same thing!
    Within reason, it's fine. Just don't go to Jim Morrison levels!

    I still can't drink during gig. Two beers literally drys me out and I feel it in my throat the next day. At parties and casual events I'm fine, just can't risk it when I'm getting paid!
    Maybe it's because I'm late to the vocal party.
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    KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
    edited September 2016
    I should point out however, that the positive effects I get from alcohol are only short-term. It does make my throat feel drier the day after.

    And of course, I'm not saying I get DRUNK before a performance, that would just be irresponsible. But, a few drinks just to loosen up and get into the mood can help.

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    JenniferCampionJenniferCampion Member Posts: 28
    As a Scot who does indeed appreciate a pint and a wee half (JD or Johnnie Walker please!) I had to smile at your comments. You know, I like singing sober and well, less than sober also. I can't honestly say I feel my throat drying up with booze but I do drink a phenomenal amount of spring water, even when alcohol is involved, so maybe that's how I don't seem to get that.

    Streeter's comment is spot on to what I've experienced.

    A wee tipple is great for tension relief during those awkward moments I find.

    But what you have to remember is that in the end, anything that super-you can do, sober you can do it too. It's the same person after all right?

    It's not the booze that makes you sound great, it's the being yourself that does it.

    Booze is just quick and easy way to open up yourself to things you can already do.
    All you have to do is build up the confidence so you can drop your limitations and happily open up with and without it being there.

    So, whether you're on the water, the soft drinks or something a little harder, party on, be yourself and sing!

    Kind regards, Jenny.
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    KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
    I agree Jennifer. My long-term goal is to be able to sing freely and openly at any given time without needing a substance. It's just that booze makes it so much easier, haha!

    Thanks for the comment!
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    KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
    So my views on this issue have altered slightly.

    I'm finding less and less that alcohol is required to get all the benefits of great singing.

    However it still helps me creatively and gives me motivation. I don't plan on stopping just yet. It's still a lot of fun, and I don't use it in excess, so all is good.
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    Furious_PhilFurious_Phil Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,421
    I simply can't partake as I am playing rhythm and lead guitar while I am the singing frontman.
    I need my full faculties to process all that information and stay synced to the bassist and drummer.
    In my 20's I always played buzzed, these days I prefer 100% clarity. I always warm up my voice and my hands for at least 20 minutes before I play live, or even before rehearsals... I also guzzle water the day-of to pre-saturate myself, and of course all during a performance.

    We rehearse allot, so I try to never leave anything to chance. The only variances are my banter, which contains maybe 10-20% rehearsed material (in case I can't initially read a crowd or whatever) and 80% ad lib :smiley:
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    KevinGremKevinGrem Pro Posts: 217
    edited November 2017
    As a drummer I never drank any alcohol. I needed all of my motor functions to be precise.

    But as a singer it's different. You need to sing with freedom. You don't want to feel tight, shy, or reserved. That's the main benefit alcohol will give you.

    Or I guess you could consult Per Bristow. Whichever you prefer, haha.
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    Back in my early days of jamming I used alcohol the same way. Just a couple of beers/drinks to loosen up. After time I started needing more to get loose. A couple wasn't doing it anymore, and it got to the point where I either had to quit or end up in really bad shape. So at 25 years old I quit drinking, and haven't touched it since.
    It can sneak up on you without you knowing so be careful, and mindful of that. A lot of people lose great potential careers over it. (I'm living proof of that)

    Anyway, if you can keep a handle on it, cool! enjoy it.

    Peace, Tony

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