1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

cig smoking making better vocals?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Mandobass, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. Mandobass


    Nov 12, 2002
    Raleigh, NC
    ok, dont laugh, but some of my friends think smoking cigs can enhance the timbre of a voice to have a more Morrisonish timbre....what do yall think?
  2. fastplant


    Sep 26, 2002
    I don't know about smoking (don't smoke) but if I have a beer or two, it really loosens up my throat and I can sing way better. However, any more than a few beers, I get tipsy and sing much worse.
  3. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK

    It'll wreak your voice!

    Not to mention your lungs etc.

    For that matter, I think both drinking and smoking have long term effects on your voice (negative ones that is). That is one of the many reasons that I neither drink nor smoke.

    Smoking is probably a significant part of the reason McCartney's voice is so tired. And, have you heard Jay K (from Jamiroquai) sing lately? He can still sing, but his high notes are suffering. And he's having a tendency to be even flatter on the high notes (he tends to sing a little flat anyway).

    Don't try and sound like someone you're not, and certainly don't smoke to do it.
  4. Smoking and drinking definitely add graininess to one's voice, but will destroy it very quickly. I would strongly advise you not to start.
  5. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    This reminds me of how people use to stick their heads out the windows of moving trains, trying to catch colds so they could sound more like Louis Armstrong.

    I don't know, I rather have a range than try to copy Jim Morrison (as much as I love the guy). Plus you are just wrecking your health. I remember Glen Campbell saying how he quit smoking and afterwards, he had the range to cover all the Roy Orbison songs he wanted to.
  6. I don't know? But like Peter said, it is worth risking cancer to get it? Not saying you would try it but just make sure they don't try it, eh?

  7. Or people getting addicted to heroin so they could play like Bird.

    Smoking will ruin your voice and your lungs. Don't try it, it's definately not worth the price of being addicted and the medical costs later down the road.

    The only thing whiskey and alcohol do is make your voice grainier, you won't be able to hit high notes etc.

    Water is where it's at, and avoid creamy things like milk before going onstage to sing because milk will really mess your vocals up.
  8. If I plan to do backups I better start smoking/drinking then..real soon :D
  9. BTBbassist

    BTBbassist join us for mankala hour!

    Apr 20, 2002
    Westlake Village, CA
    Smoking has really destoyed Joni Mitchells' voice.

    Listen to her earlier material and compare it with her new stuff...It get progressively grainier and the wonderful youthfulness that we love is fading.
  10. BassAxe


    Jul 22, 2002
    Culpeper, VA
    I think you need to be smarter than your friends.
  11. Hategear

    Hategear Workin' hard at hardly workin'.

    Apr 6, 2001
    Appleton, Swissconsin
    They say that losing one of your senses usually makes the others more acute, but have you ever heard of anyone poking out their eyes so they can hear better?

    Do you see what I'm getting at, Mandobass?
  12. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I dont have a good voice usually, but when Im sick with a sore throat it works alot better.

    Its grainier and its easier for me to control as long as I dont over exert it. I try to really push my voice sometimes when I know we have a big gig comming up so I know Ill sound on when it counts. I dont usually smoke, (maye had 1/2 a cig total in my life) but I might take a drag or two before going on.

    I do agree with the rest of them, its not a good idea, thats why I really limit myself with the smoke. Even what Im doing is pretty stupid though.

  13. Killdar


    Dec 16, 2002
    Portland Maine
    any drug other than cannabis is stupid and not worth killing yerself over in my and many others' opinion. nobody has solid proof that marijuana is bad for ya yet, so as far as I know it only makes playing instruments interesting to a point ;).....especially in a band :D

    ...don't smoke cigs....and drink responsibly.

    my 2 copper coins of justice
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Cancer talk often goes over the head of younger guys. They can't see that far ahead. So lets bring it a bit closer to home.

    If you were about to run a 100m sprint, you wouldn't ask a mate to kick you in the shins first, would you?

    That's what smoking before singing does. You're starting with a disadvantage. And it's self induced which kinda makes it seem sillier.
  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I agree, but Id like to point out that for some of us, singing where a voice is at or nearing its limits is what we want. Thats why it makes sense to try to get kicked in the shins.

    My case at least.

  16. You'll destroy your voice in a few years if you're always pushing it to its limits.
  17. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I can see, and hear, where you're comming from. But I've worked with a lot of singers who can't get through a gig without losing their voice. That's where you're headed.

    I'd be looking into ways of getting that sound you're after without damaging your throat. It's not a car part you can replace when it's worn out.
  18. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Please stop deliberately doing "tricks" to make your voice more grainy. Here's why and take it from me, because I am experienced in this very topic. I ruined my voice trying for a throaty sound and what happened? I developed nodes on my vocal chords. So I had to give up singing. It took months for my voice to return to some semblance of normal, but I still can't sing beyond a rasp.

    My point, short and sweet, you can permanently damage your voice by abusing your vocal chords with behavior deliberately designed to make it unnaturally gravely. Or you might be able to have surgery, such as laser surgery to remove the nodes, but they'll grow back right quick if you return to the same behavior.

    Oh, by the way. If you do develop hoarsness that lasts more than a couple weeks, you must head to the ears, nose and throat doctor. This is what he'll do, so you know ahead of time. He puts a fiberoptic cable up both nostrils and feeds them down into your vocal chord area so he can see your vocal chords. Hey! Great fun. (Just kidding. You don't want to try it.)

    In short. Don't sing with a sore throat. Quit smoking if you do smoke. Sing within your comfortabale range. Always stretching for uncomfortably low or high notes for your natural range can cause those vocal chord nodes to grow.
  19. i agree. however...pot, cigs, and mass amounts of whiskey together did wonders for phil anselmo:p
  20. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I understand what your all saying, thats why I dont smoke much.

    As I mentioned Ive probably had a total of less than half a cig in my lifetime. I really just try to take advantage of my voices condition when I feel its sounding good.

    I dont take my voice past or even to its limits I bring it close though. I just like how it sounds for what I do when its nearing that point.

    I apreciate the advice, but hohnestly I barely do any thing to my voice anyways.


Share This Page