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Trained for 1 year, then got sick and lost my voice. How long will it take to get it back?

AymanZAymanZ 2.0 INTERMEDIATE Posts: 3
Hi everyone, I'm completely new to the KTVA forum and was looking for some advice. I found Ken's program about 2 years ago, and started training with his program for over 1 year, until unfortunately last year I got sick and had to take a break from singing. It has now been about 1 year since I've been doing the Volume 3 exercises regularly, and all the distortion and raspiness that I got in my voice while training has now been lost, and I lost a substantial amount of range. I can't belt out the same notes I used to be able to. And the same songs I used to be able to sing without discomfort now are difficult for me to perform.

This is a before and after video of me singing "Rehab" by Rihanna 2 years ago, and what I sounded like last winter when I tried to sing the song again:

"Rehab" - Rihanna

And this is me a few days ago after training again regularly for about 2-3 weeks, singing "Chandelier" by Sia:

"Chandelier" - Sia

Even though I haven't really noticed much progress in the quality of my voice over the past few weeks, I'm still doing Ken's daily Volume 3 exercises religiously because I know that they absolutely work. I know that just like any other muscle, the vocal cords take time to develop. But at this point, I'd really like some words of encouragement. I do have pretty lofty aspirations for my music career, and really really want to develop a killer voice that I can actually use to record good songs in the future. But please, if you have any constructive criticism, I'd like to hear that too; I am also looking for some feedback on my tone, pitch, control, breath support, or any other comments you might have for my improvement.

I greatly appreciate the feedback,

-Ayman Z

Comments

  • WigsWigs Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 3,925
    Since you have the course, would you mind getting your student access first?

    https://forum.kentamplinvocalacademy.com/discussion/6859/how-to-get-access-to-the-ktva-how-to-sing-better-than-anyone-else-student-areas-of-the-forums#latest

    We can answer your question better relating it to course material in the student area then.

    Welcome to the forum 🙂
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 1,602
    sorry to hear you lost your voice, but glad you are working to get it back on track now! you should get student's access to the forum if you bought the course, there is much more going on in the student's part.

    anyway, i am on vol 2, but what i hear, vol 3 is a huge step up from vol 2, and apparently quite exhausting. i suggest you go back to either 1 or 2, and take it slowly, to give your voice a chance to regain its former strength. after all, the muscles will have become weaker without practice, so you want to build them up slowly, as opposed to overdoing it and stalling your progress.

    if you need feedback on your voice, the best way to do so is to record the LAH triads, in both bridge and chest stretch mode, it is the easiest to notice any problems you might have if we can hear those.

    i still think you sound good in the "after" version, if that makes you feel any better :)
  • jaclynserjaclynser Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 262
    Hi @AymanZ

    I'm sorry to hear about getting sick and losing your voice. Could you please provide more detail on what happened when you were sick? Just so I have a better idea of what might be going on.

    I also definitely recommend going back to volume 2, even volume 1. Go back and review the basics. Since it's been about a year since training, there are probably things you have forgotten which are no longer in your muscle memory. Volume 3 is a beast, and really works in stretching our range and stamina, but if you are coming back after a year, you need to make sure you are really focussing on getting proper technique back into your muscle memory. Make sure you are getting a proper breath and support and make sure you are getting good cord closure. Do not worry about rasp or distortion yet, I'm guessing it will be a long time before you should approach that again. I can hear that you've lost some of your cord closure and resonance. There is now tension and too much air escaping. Take it slow, be very patient :) Hope you are feeling better and get your mojo back asap!

    Jackie
  • AymanZAymanZ 2.0 INTERMEDIATE Posts: 3
    edited October 2020
    @jaclynser

    Thank you for your feedback. I'll definitely consider reviewing Volume 1 and 2.

    As far as my sickness goes, I stopped singing altogether after I was diagnosed with bipolar in September 2019. I lost the ability to 'feel' music in general. I lost the satisfaction I used to have while singing or listening to music. Doing the things I used to enjoy stopped bringing me any pleasure or satisfaction.

    Before I got sick, for 1 1/2 years, I was doing Ken's exercises regularly. Every morning, on my 1 hour commute to work, I would go through Ken's Volume 3 exercises in the car, and really found significant improvements in my voice as the months progressed. However, all of that stopped, and for the past year, I have been lying in bed most of the day, not exercising anymore, and since last year, I gained over 10 lbs. I was looking and feeling horrible.

    More recently (actually over the past month or so), I started getting my life back together and decided to start doing the normal things I used to do--going to the gym, studying, reading, practicing my vocals, etc. I even lost 5 pounds so far.

    I know that it's only been a few weeks since I started my vocal training once again, but I was hoping that I might be able to see more progress than I've been experiencing so far. I know that it takes time to develop the voice, but I'm just frustrated that I can't enjoy singing nearly as much as I used to, when I worked up my voice and my range to the point where I could sing a large repertoire of songs. I know at this point I just have to be consistent and patient, and hopefully as I progress, I will get my voice back in shape once again.
  • jaclynserjaclynser Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 262
    Hi @AymanZ,

    I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I can empathize as I was diagnosed with MDD and anxiety a little while back. I can totally understand the feeling of losing interest in things you love. I'm really happy to hear that you are on the road to recovery and are taking steps necessary for your overall health. Your mental and physical health are more important than ANYTHING. Congratulations on getting back to the gym and your studying, reading and vocals!! That is so so huge!

    I have good days and bad days, and the bad days, sometimes I cannot get out of bed either. The best thing I have found is to allow yourself to take that day as a day off, stay in bed, have a cup of tea, maybe enjoy some candy, watch your favourite shows and just chill in your PJ's. Acknowledge that this is your bipolar disorder, and that this is not "you being lazy" and "can't snap out of it and just get to work". Mental health disorders are very real.

    Like you said, it's only been a few weeks. It will take time to get your vocals back to where you were when you trained regularly. Be patient with yourself, and be kind to yourself. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself in terms of your "regiment" with it. Do what you can, and be proud of the days where you get lots done. Be understanding of yourself when you just can't do anything.

    To help get that "spark" back during my depression, I started forcing myself to listen to music I loved growing up with. Even when I didn't actually feel like listening to music, I just put it on, and I found it helped me, even if it was just a little bit.

    I hope this helps, please remember to be kind to yourself and patient with your vocals. You should be so proud of yourself for all of the steps you've already taken to get your mental health back. :)

    Happy singing!
    Jackie
  • AymanZAymanZ 2.0 INTERMEDIATE Posts: 3
    @jaclynser,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. Although I am aware just how common depression is in this country, I didn't realize that you also suffer from the disorder as well. It helps to know that I am not alone in my battle with depression.

    I took your advice and backtracked to Volume 2, where the exercises themselves are much slower and not as hard to do, and I'm so glad I did. I was having the worst difficulty re-bridging my chest to my head after all this time of not singing. But for the past two days, that muscle memory I had worked up over the years of me practicing seemed to come back naturally when I opened up Ken's Volume 2 exercises. And after I was done with the warmups, I noticed some substantial changes in my voice as well. My voice became much more effortless and I wasn't straining nearly as much as I was for the past month. I think the age-old saying "Light and right is better than strong and wrong" really resonated for me here. I was really trying to just 'jump back into things' and 'pick it back up where I left off' without first taking it slow and working my way back up.

    As part of my battle through depression, I actually picked up this book called "The Depression Cure" by Stephen Iliardi, a psychologist. The reason I share this is because his tips and ultimate strategy for combating depression have been really helpful to me so far, and they've helped so much more than any medication ever did. I thought it might benefit you to at least hear what things he suggests for any person struggling with depression to do to keep their depression from relapsing.

    His program, called Therapeutic Lifestyle Change, describes just that. Lifestyle Change IS the therapy, not medications. I believe he mentioned in his book that according to the current research, medication is largely ineffective. Only 30% of people who take medication for their depression actually see a complete remission of their symptoms over the long term. That, and they have a long list of unwanted side effects. He compares that to his Lifestyle Change approach, which actually is SO much more effective. And he's done research on this approach, and it has shown to be much more effective than the much more common approach of prescribing medications.

    Now, I don't want to re-write his entire book here, but if you are interested in knowing more about the program or his book, please feel free to reply me here or we could exchange contact information somehow.

    Again, I thank you for taking the time to critique me and for your advice on how to get me back up and running again :blush:
  • jaclynserjaclynser Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 262
    I'm so glad to hear that you had a great vocal week going back to Volume 2!! Great that your muscle memory kicked in!! Thanks so much for the recommendation, I'll check it out!
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