Voice cracking like a teenager
Hey like all of you I'm a bass player and like the most I also do quite a bit of backing vocals. I would never say I'm 'vocalist' but it does behoove me to have a functioning singing voice.
That being said, the past month or so I've been experiencing vocal issues. My voice cracks like that middle Brady kid while singing. It's particularly bad around my mid-range. I've never been a great singer but what limited ability I have is being seriously diminished.
This is only in full voice when I'm really trying to sing. Lower register stuff or falsetto is unaffected.
In answer to the obvious question.... I am not a pubescent teenager. I'm 29. Ha.
Anyways, here are some things that have changed recently that may be to blame but I dont know:
1) I've been learning the trumpet the past year. Not sure that has any affect but it does work the throat a bit.
2) My current band requires I do a lot of falsetto harmonies.
3) Like I said, I'm 29. Not OLD but I'm getting older. Is it possible I need to warm-up and take better care of my voice, even as a backing vocalist?
Anyone have any similar experiences and/or solutions?
I'd hate to demote myself to a non-singing musician!
Some things to consider:
1) Stop playing trumpet,for awhile.
2) Get some vocal lessons.
3) See an Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) to make sure your vocal cords have not sustained damage.
Maybe singing falsettos has strained your vocal cords.
You could do Mr. Haney impressions between songs.
Warm ups are ALWAYS important! Vocalise with a few scales and arpeggios for about 20 mins before singing. Start at a comfortable middle range and gradually move up and down to extend range. Find a good vocal coach to learn proper breathing technique to support your vocals. Most (at least a lot of) tuning problems aren't with your ear if you can really discern pitch, but rather, a lack of breath support, especially on long phrases. Once you learn proper positioning, learn what it feels like with your instrument on your shoulder. Keep that position regardless what else you do. To find proper position, stand in front of a full length mirror and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Take note of your shoulder position. Slowly raise your hands over your head to the sides (like you're spreading your wings) until your fingertips touch over your head. Slowly raise your heels off the floor until you're standing on the balls of your feet. Slowly lower yourself back onto your heels and continue the motion by slowly lowering your hands to your sides,. Your shoulders should be relaxed, but your rib cage should be a little higher than before. Your back should not slouch anymore. You should now be able to take in a considerably larger breath. This is proper singing position for your upper body. When you breathe properly, your shoulders shouldn't move up toward your ears. You should feel your diaphragm expand fully. Your belly will pooch out and your rib cage will fill more, but the shoulders shouldn't rise. If you do, you're cheating yourself out of air to support your voice. It takes a little practice, but once you figure it out, it's a HUGE step in the right direction. Practice this until it becomes second nature. You'll eventually get to where it won't be comfortable singing any other way than with this proper position. Hope this helps.
Coffin Nails ?
I did not read your post in detail, but was wondering if cigarettes and smoke filled surroundings might be playing a part, in your inability to perform as usual. Cigs' killed my voice at 35.
Smoking will affect you to some extent, but if you're smoking THAT much, you have bigger problems than your voice cracking when you sing.
Take a deeper breath before sounding a note. Push from the diaphragm. Sing with purpose.
I find that if we don't push a note with purpose, using too much head voice, the note is weak and prone to cracking, going flat, and a variety of other bad stuff.
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