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Old 06-12-2022, 08:34 AM
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guitargabor guitargabor is offline
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Default Lost my vocal range-please advise

I am a singer/songwriter type guitarist
Two weeks ago I played at one of my regular gigs .Everything was fine then...My voice is the strongest part of my musicianship.

Yesterday, I was unable to sing half of my usual repertoire.I have lost about 2 whole tones (about 4-5 semi-tones)of my higher range singing notes!

During the intervening two weeks I went on a fishing trip and had to travel across country.

Has any else had such a dramatic and sudden change of vocal range?

I would appreciate any insight or advise!

Thanks,

Gabe
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  #2  
Old 06-12-2022, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargabor View Post
I am a singer/songwriter type guitarist
Two weeks ago I played at one of my regular gigs .Everything was fine then...My voice is the strongest part of my musicianship.

Yesterday, I was unable to sing half of my usual repertoire.I have lost about 2 whole tones (about 4-5 semi-tones)of my higher range singing notes!

During the intervening two weeks I went on a fishing trip and had to travel across country.

Has any else had such a dramatic and sudden change of vocal range?

I would appreciate any insight or advise!

Thanks,

Gabe
Hi Gabe…
Throats/voice cords are subject to stress just like other muscles in our bodies.

I used to lose my voice regularly in my 20s and was having problems with throat infections. After some months of consultation, it was decided that the doctors would start by removing my tonsils, and it totally cleared it up.

If I get throat infections (rare these days even in my 70s), I may lose my voice for 3-4 days, but it has always returned strong. I hope the same for you.

Tiredness from over using my voice or attending an exciting sporting event where I wore my voice out from shouting caused temporary loss of range as well. I finally figured that one out and stopped shouting at exciting sports events.

Hope you get a handle on it.



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Old 06-12-2022, 11:25 AM
Andyrondack Andyrondack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargabor View Post
I am a singer/songwriter type guitarist
Two weeks ago I played at one of my regular gigs .Everything was fine then...My voice is the strongest part of my musicianship.

Yesterday, I was unable to sing half of my usual repertoire.I have lost about 2 whole tones (about 4-5 semi-tones)of my higher range singing notes!

During the intervening two weeks I went on a fishing trip and had to travel across country.

Has any else had such a dramatic and sudden change of vocal range?

I would appreciate any insight or advise!

Thanks,

Gabe
Sure I've had that and with me it's allways been the first symptom of some kind of cold, viral infection which followed.
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Old 06-12-2022, 02:16 PM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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After years of bar gigs, singing in keys that were a bit outside of my comfort zone, I figured out that this probably didn't help my range any.

I've since shifted a lot in what I sing, and particularly the key. I experimented a bunch by singing what I wanted to be able to sing comfortably, and THEN picking up my guitar to see what my "natural" key was. That's helped a bunch.

The often ignored advice to go get some vocal lessons from a good coach would have probably helped me extend my range when younger, but we do tend to lose some of that ability as we get older.

Luckily, the folks I play with have no problem with doing stuff in odd keys, as they understand that my voice has a very limited range now.
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  #5  
Old 06-13-2022, 07:27 AM
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guitargabor guitargabor is offline
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Thanks everyone.

Hope my range will get back to "almost' normal as you guys have experienced.

like ij I too am pushing on to 70.

During the past 3 years I've lost part of my hearing and developed visual issues.

Losing my voice would be the biggest blow, as it is the only true "natural" talent I possess.
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:35 AM
jseth jseth is offline
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Here's a few things that can help... these are all from my most wonderful vocal coach, Ms. Judy Davis! I took a weekly class from her in the early 90's, and still do both the vocal exercises and breathing exercises she gave us...

Gargle with mild salt water! Judy always said to boil the water, so it would dissolve the salt completely - and then buff out the temperature with cold water... not hot, either, more lukewarm or warm; you are not trying to cook your vocal cords!

Honey is the closest thing to the natural lubricant of the throat/vocal cords...

Good old Lipton tea with honey is wonderful for your throat! Doesn't have to be hot; Judy told us that what you saw Dean Martin drinking in that glass was actually tea with honey, at room temperature - NOT bourbon or scotch. He wasn't drunk, just his schtick...

Extremely cold drinks or those with ice, not a good idea for your pipes... neither is anything "citrus-y". Some folks can't do dairy when they sing, but it's never bothered me.

Really important to have enough AIR behind your singing... even for a short passage, get a full lungful of air. I do these breathing exercises that Judy taught us, and they're wonderful! Don't take much time, but very effective. I believe there's a video on YouTube of her teaching those, as well as other videos of the classes she gave...

Relaxing your vocal cords is key... hard to do when you're worried about whether you can even sing or not, but you have to make the conscious effort to relax. I've noticed that when I KNOW a very high note is coming, I tend to tense up, which makes hitting that note harder! When I get into the song and what I'm wanting to bring to those who hear it, I can sing higher notes much more easily.

After playing guitar and singing, writing songs and performing, for 60 years or so (!), I had a major setback in Fall/Winter of '20/'21... lost my playing ability, regressing to about my "age 12" level, and my voice was scratchy and very spotty, coughing and gagging all the time... had a surgery where they had to intubate with the double-tube, and it severely impacted my singing/speaking voice... the Cushing's disease I had, coupled with 2 1/2 months of inactivity and bed rest, had my musculature extremely atrophied.

But I've been playing some, every day now since the operation (March '21), and my guitar playing has come nearly all the way back... my voice still sounds weak and thin, by comparison to "what was", but it's coming back, as well. I'm beginning to entertain the notion of getting some gigs and playing for folks again! Always a goal, but seemingly more do-able than it's been for a couple years...

So, hang in there, take care of yourself and feel good... you'll get it back if you work at it a bit...

Oh? I'm 71... so I know what it's like to get a bit longer in the tooth!
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Old 06-13-2022, 11:50 AM
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I'm in the North East US dealing with the worse spring pollen reaction I've had in many years. it's been brutal, and that's knocked the wind out of my sails vocally for a few weeks now.

Maybe something along those lines effecting you?
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2022, 06:17 PM
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guitargabor guitargabor is offline
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I have been working on simple scales vocally.Just as I remembered from high school chorus.

After about 2 sessions I have regained 2 semitones......

I'll keep at it...

Other option is to lower my guitar down to D.That would require the purchase of an F and B harmonica ....

Thanks for the support!

Gabe
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Old 06-19-2022, 08:06 PM
Marshall Marshall is offline
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Smoke cigars and drink more whisky.

Voice is a tricky thing. Last winter I didn't play or sing for over a month. I had been sick with a cold. When I tried again I was appalled at the loss of range and clarity and strength. I was panicked.

But I started playing again and wen to regular open mics, and the range and clarity mostly returned with exercise. And I gained some "maturity."

Voice is more like a muscle. You've got to work it and stretch it and care for it.
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Old 06-19-2022, 08:09 PM
rmp rmp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitargabor View Post
I have been working on simple scales vocally.Just as I remembered from high school chorus.

After about 2 sessions I have regained 2 semitones......

I'll keep at it...

Other option is to lower my guitar down to D.That would require the purchase of an F and B harmonica ....

Thanks for the support!

Gabe
dont change the pitch yet

keep working

voice is one of the hardest things,,,
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Taylor Grand Symphony
Taylor 514CE-NY
Taylor 814CE Deluxe V-Class
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  #11  
Old 06-26-2022, 10:03 PM
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mcmars mcmars is offline
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I lost my top 5 semitones of my vocal range last year after I got my first covid booster shot. It started about 2-3 days after and it lasted about 8 weeks before I got my normal range back. After about week 6 I went to see an ENT and they took a peek and everything looked "normal". He said it was likely an inflammatory reaction to the vaccine and it would probably go away and maybe I might need some vocal coaching help to regain my range.

But for whatever reason it did go away and I was able to sing same songs in the key I had learned them without getting any outside help.

But it was very upsetting to wonder if that was it for my singing range. I tried to make it work and got pretty good at faking it when singing with or for others, but I was totally aware it was not right for me and was very frustrating.

The good: I spent a lot of time just working on instrumental pieces and got some nice new tunes

But so glad I got my range back. I am 67 and have lost 5 semitones now from my range when I was in my 20-40's. I do wonder if there is a chance I could get those back if I got some help?? Or is it to be expected with age and illness issues??

So let us know how it is going and if you got your range back?
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  #12  
Old 06-28-2022, 09:17 AM
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guitargabor guitargabor is offline
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Originally Posted by mcmars View Post
I lost my top 5 semitones of my vocal range last year after I got my first covid booster shot. It started about 2-3 days after and it lasted about 8 weeks before I got my normal range back. After about week 6 I went to see an ENT and they took a peek and everything looked "normal". He said it was likely an inflammatory reaction to the vaccine and it would probably go away and maybe I might need some vocal coaching help to regain my range.

But for whatever reason it did go away and I was able to sing same songs in the key I had learned them without getting any outside help.

But it was very upsetting to wonder if that was it for my singing range. I tried to make it work and got pretty good at faking it when singing with or for others, but I was totally aware it was not right for me and was very frustrating.

The good: I spent a lot of time just working on instrumental pieces and got some nice new tunes

But so glad I got my range back. I am 67 and have lost 5 semitones now from my range when I was in my 20-40's. I do wonder if there is a chance I could get those back if I got some help?? Or is it to be expected with age and illness issues??

So let us know how it is going and if you got your range back?
Thanks,

I have concentrated on singing exercises that I learned from high school chorus.Yikes! that was over 52 years ago.

So far I have regained almost 3 semitones

I have modified many of my songs that I sang in D to the key of C.

Gabe
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