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Old 02-13-2007, 12:33 PM   #1
Fool
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Default Advice from singers please...

Hello

I've had several coughs/colds since before Christmas now, one after the other, and now my voice/throat seem to be knackered. I can hit very few high notes, and certainly can't touch anything in my head voice, even when talking, which is annoying 'cos I can't mimic the annoying girls at college when they say stupid things.

But yeah, I'm just looking for advice, is this normal? I do smoke and drink a lot which I know won't help, but it's obviously the coughing and sore throats which have caused this. Will it all come back naturally if I try and stay healthy and drink lots of water? Any other advice for it?

Thanks in advance Eskimooos
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Old 02-13-2007, 02:15 PM   #2
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I won't pretend to be an expert vocalist but it doesn't usually take over a week for my voice to recover fully from having a cold. In fact this would be the max for me (and this of course includes the days where I'm still actually sick!).

I have noticed that its a lot harder to sing when I get tired though.
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Old 02-13-2007, 06:02 PM   #3
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HAVE IT LOOKED AT by a throat specialist! It's not normal to be hoarse more than a week or so at the time. It's VERY important that you have it looked at, or it can develop into something chronical. Believe me - I've been there; I needed surgury when I was a teen.

Oh, and stopping smoking helps too - it made my voice SO much healthier way back when I had huge vocal problems.
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Old 02-13-2007, 08:47 PM   #4
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Ahhha hhha hah AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

CILLE, YOU'VE SCARED ME NOW!!!

May I ask for more details of what problems you had?

And when you say a specialist, do you mean more than your average doctor?

agh I'm worried now.

EDIT: I just re-re-read my first post, did I make it sound like I haven't had my voice since before Christmas? 'Cos that's not the case. I've been ill repeatedly since before Christmas ('cos I live a stupid, student lifestyle and have a poor immune system), and obviously because of these illnesses, coughing and sore throat, blocked nose etc, I've not been able to sing in my normal voice. The head voice dissapeared approx. 2 weeks ago now, so I'm unsure about that....

Last edited by Fool; 02-13-2007 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:14 PM   #5
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Maybe you should take a course of vitamins between now and spring, it'll be about twenty quid, but you won't get a cold again. I used to lose my voice every week or two a few years back, I went to a doctor and she didn't really have much to say on the matter by way of helpful advice. But then the practicing started kicking in and the 'auld lungs got a lot stronger... I haven't lost my voice in about two years now.

There are a few pretty obvious things;

- Don't smoke plain old cigarettes, cigars are the new style.
- No beer, just whiskey.
- Concentrate on your voice when you're playing, not your instrument.
- Walk places.
- Sing at an unreasonably loud volume for a few weeks, it'll change your understanding of sound, and how it works in space.
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Old 02-13-2007, 11:39 PM   #6
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i'd say stop singing until the thing with your voice chords is getting better or even sorted out. when you've been sick for a longer period of time you wouldn't run a marathon as well if you're not back to health.

really, let someone check it out. better safe than sorry...
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fool
Ahhha hhha hah AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

CILLE, YOU'VE SCARED ME NOW!!!

May I ask for more details of what problems you had?

And when you say a specialist, do you mean more than your average doctor?

agh I'm worried now.

EDIT: I just re-re-read my first post, did I make it sound like I haven't had my voice since before Christmas? 'Cos that's not the case. I've been ill repeatedly since before Christmas ('cos I live a stupid, student lifestyle and have a poor immune system), and obviously because of these illnesses, coughing and sore throat, blocked nose etc, I've not been able to sing in my normal voice. The head voice dissapeared approx. 2 weeks ago now, so I'm unsure about that....
Ok, if it's only been a couple of weeks don't worry too much about it, but if it continues, you should defo have it looked at ok? In cases such as this the best advice is probably to keep TOTALLY quiet for 3-4 days - and I mean TOTALLY; whispering just makes it worse - walk around with a pad and write what you need to say. You voice is probably just strained from all the coughing and inflammation, it's pretty normal to have some hoarseness after something like that. But if it doesn't go away, please do go to a specialist!

I'd been hoping you wouldn't ask for details cause me english is so poor when it comes to something like this, but.. it was a doctor, but one who specializes in ear-nose-and throat problems. Some of them even have cameras they can film your vocal chords with, it's kind of fun, apart from the gagging reflexes of course...

My problem was (and again, I'm not sure what it's called in english) that i'd developed 'rough skin' on my vocal chords, which caused them less flexible, that's why I was hoarse. It's hard to tell why I got that problem, several factors were probably at stake. I was a smoker back then (or: had recently quit but still had a cig now and again) and my mother smoked at home, and smoke is NEVER good for the voice; it dries out and irritates the voice and inhibits your lungs so that you may not 'support' the tone as well as you could have. I was in my teens, so possibly hormonal and physical changes can have played a part in it, as well as psychological changes
- I have always been a rather shy person, singing has always been my 'valve'; maybe I let just a little too much steam out, so to speak, or tried to change my voice to make it sound more sophisticated, or what have you. Also, I probably sort of 'swallowed' my voice when speaking, cause I had really low self esteem and didn't really believe that people wanted to hear what I had to say.
Anyhow, I had the 'knots' of rough skin removed surgically and went to a speeching coach and other things to re-build my voice. I later learned that I could probably have avoided the surgical procedure (grr) and just trained the rough skin away, but no-one told me at the time. I actually developed some scar tissue from the operation that I had to train away later on, and it scared me away from singing at all for a while.
But I'm good now, and sorry if I scared you, just take it easy but if the hoarseness continues, go have it looked at, that's all!
Get better soon!
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Old 02-14-2007, 09:39 AM   #8
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the head voice disappeared? can't have that looked at. thats dangerous

get well soon though like Cille said i hope you recover.
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Old 02-27-2007, 02:58 AM   #9
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Definately cut out the smoking. Best advice for your voice is the same I would give you for your health: stay in good shape, get lots of fresh air. Go for walks. I'm not kidding. I got that advice from an opera singer.

In the short term, if you need to sing and your throat is horse, a little Southern Comfort or Crown Royal usually does the trick.

And yes, I realize that these two pieces of advice contradict each other.

Chris
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Old 02-27-2007, 03:47 AM   #10
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Hey there,

If it persists, get it checked out. About 3 years ago I noticed a loss of my falsetto and I would lose my voice on about a weekly basis. I was a smoker and I had some reflux problems. I since quit smoking and got the reflux under control, but I needed surgery to repair my voice a little over a year ago. I had a vocal cyst/pollyp on one of my vocal cords. They said it was caused by a tramatic event, but the smoking and reflux probably contributed.

Anyway, long story short, I got surgery, going on not smoking 2 years now, and I'm doing great. It was a tough few months, but my voice is as healthy as it has ever been.

Stop smoking and get it checked out.

Here is a website I used to stop smoking: www.whyquit.com
When you decide to quit, use it as a resource.
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