Useful Tips

How not to break your voice while singing

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In the concept of "stadium" we included football, concerts and a appointment with the dentist. In a word, everything is where an abnormal person like you cannot but yell.

Natalia Olenchik, Ph.D., professor, Phoniatrist of the Academy of Choral Art, took up the advice. Unlike most phoniatrists, she did not call on us to restrain our emotions, but, on the contrary, allowed us to yell about what urine is. And she even explained why.

“Shouting in an undertone is a special skill that needs to be learned for a long time. Therefore, if you undertook to yell, yell properly. It is much safer, ”said Natalya. The fact is that only with a full cry can the pressure on the vocal cords be normalized as much as possible, which means minimizing the risk of breaking the voice.

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Singing in a muffled room, where there is a lot of upholstered furniture absorbing sound, singing at a rehearsal in a small room, especially with live drums, working at a concert without a monitor sound. 80% voice breakdowns account for such situations.

The singer starts screaming, forcing a sound. As a result, the vocal folds overexert, and the voice ceases to obey the vocalist, breaks down. In the best case, you have to be silent for several days, in the worst - a young man, factories are waiting for you.

When you connect the upper resonators, the voice will not only sound louder, but also the sensations arising from its operation will create additional sources of control over the voice.

Boost

Sound boosting most often occurs when you try to transfer the concern for volume from resonators to breathing.

Remember that in order to make the sound louder, do not push harder. You just need to connect more resonators. As a rule, connect the top. This kind of forcing often happens at low notes. Sing them relaxed, do not forget to relieve tension in the direction of movement down, add a mid-range sound.

The second type of forcing occurs when a person who has recently engaged in singing takes on unbearably large loads. For example, trying to sing a high note or singing for too long.

Until the vocal apparatus becomes stronger, do not force events, sing below and in the middle of your range and no more than 30-40 minutes a day, preferably with breaks for rest. If after your classes the voice has sat down, it is difficult for you to speak, or your conversational voice has become higher, then you have overdone it. Next time, reduce the activity by 10 minutes. If this does not help, continue to shorten your workouts to find the optimal time.

Voice recovery

At the beginning of learning to sing, the need to do exercises, as a rule, is not called into question. Indeed, in exercises you can safely master the basic techniques of singing. They are usually selected so that, causing the least difficulty in performing, to develop the right singing skills. Exercises gradually lead us from simple to complex, serving as steps to the pinnacle of excellence. When the first successes appear, the aspiring singer often stops paying enough attention to the exercises. Soon, unpleasant discoveries await him - not only new, more complex songs do not come out, but the old, knurled repertoire falls apart. The singer gets tired more, his voice is poorly subordinate. The singer is angry, begins to force, and as a result is thrown back several months, and sometimes years.

The fragile vocal apparatus quickly parted with the correct singing skills as soon as the singer loses his vigilance.

If, having realized the problem too late, the singer behaves incorrectly: he acts from a position of strength instead of returning to performing simple and familiar exercises for him. Most likely, the correct coordination would return to him if he were able to “sit on a vocal diet” - not to sing for a while nothing but exercises. Then slowly, but surely, add the learned old repertoire to the exercises and only then, carefully, begin to climb again to the treasured peak. Unfortunately, too often they have to pull the singers out of the vocal “other world” where they landed as a result of false pathos and complacency.

Voice hygiene in hard work

Even if everything is in order with your voice, you regularly practice equipment and successfully master a new repertoire; you need to remember about voice hygiene. Even the world champion in running never goes to the start without warming up, not a single boxer, weightlifter, gymnast does not compete without massage and preliminary warm-up. Singing is, if you like, a “jewelry sport” that requires precise coordination of a large number of tiny muscles in your body, their mobility and endurance. There is an opinion that a glass of cognac can replace a chant. Now imagine an athlete who had a drink before a performance. Alcohol speeds up the pulse, increases blood flow, including to the vocal cords. As a result, they swell, but do not stretch. Warming up, as such, does not occur. The fact that you have become knee-deep in the sea does not mean that the vocal apparatus is ready to fulfill your Napoleonic tasks. You are like a creature with muscular flies and conceit of an elephant. Therefore a lot voice breakdowns accounts for such “workouts”.

Quality chanting lasts for several hours. Therefore, if before a concert or listening you will have nowhere to sing, do it at home, in a relaxed atmosphere. The shorter the performance and the more time left before it, the longer it takes to sing in order to be at the peak of the form for the performance itself (usually 30-40 minutes). If you warm up just before a three-hour concert, then do not overdo it so that your voice is not tired (10-15 minutes are enough). You must also chant before each rehearsal: it is dark in the larynx and the ligaments cannot be seen where you are.

Voice offload

Finally, here is the last, but no less important, application of chants. As a marathon runner continues to run, smoothly switching to walking after the finish line, so a professional vocalist after a long concert or rehearsal does not immediately stop singing. The load must be reduced gradually. This is very important for the vocal cords to return to their normal resting state.

At the end of your singing spoken voice should sound normal (no higher or lower), and you should be able to sing the lowest note in your range.

This is an indication that the ligaments have relaxed, and all the accumulated tension is gone. If during the concert nothing unexpected happened with the voice, then for such relaxation it is enough to sing the chromatic scale “I” several times or a closed sound from a comfortable note from the middle of the range to your lowest note, and then be silent for a while. If the voice is somehow affected, it is necessary to do this procedure several times until the effect is achieved. A hot shower and warm milk or weak, or better, herbal tea will also help. If voice fatigue persists in the morning, it’s better not to sing for several days, and then start with exercises, gradually bringing the voice into working form. In this case, it is very important to analyze the situation and understand what caused the failure of the vocal apparatus. In fact, the cause of ill health may not be the concert itself, but the party after.

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Originally posted 2011-01-20 03:23:03.

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