I want you to think about the fact that unlike someone that plays a regular instrument, you canít just get a new pair of vocal cords if the ones you have get messed up. Your voice is your instrument, and no matter what some guitar players might say (believe), you are the only one whose instrument is a physical part of your body.
When you are feeling bad your vocal cords feel bad too, it doesnít matter if you just have a sore foot. Every time the pain seeps its way into your mind, your voice will react to it. If you had a crappy day, and are feeling low, that will affect how you sing as well. Women have a monthly visitor they can do nothing about, that can severely affect how they sing. The problem is that many donít ever stop to consider it when they are singing.
The most obvious solution is to avoid singing when things are happening that can cause the stress to show on your cords. Unfortunately since the life of the charmed who could walk through a mine field blindfolded and reach the other side is not the life most of us live, we often have to make compromises. IE, sing even when we really shouldnít.
The first thing to consider is that forewarned is forearmed. Not knowing why you are singing worse than usual can add even more stress and make things even worse. Realizing that every thing that happens to you does affect your singing to some degree, will help you avoid that particular freak out. Avoiding that extra stress is a nice step in the right direction.
So that brings us to the question of what to do about having stressed out vocal cords when you need to perform, or have a canít miss practice session.
The first thing is to not push yourself. That will only make things worse. If there are songs you know you wont be able to do, work in some line up changes. Thatís where having a nice selection of cover songs, and extra original material can come in handy. If one of those songs happens to be your big song, donít throw it out, and do the best you can. Sound singing skills help a lot in those situations.
Also, I have heard some people say never tell the audience if something is wrong, and I have heard some say you can tell the audience. If itís a training session you should definitely tell your people if there is something up. As for audiences, I think you should do your best to put on a good show, and keep it to yourself, unless something drastic happens that forces you to fess up. Like having a coughing fit mid-song. Chances are most of the audience will understand, and appreciate you didnít just cancel.
Just remember you are there to put on a show, and give the audience a good time. If you lose your voice during the show, the rest of the band should do their best to fill in. Having at least one of them able to cover for you once in a while is a good idea. They can always play everything sans vocals if they have to.
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Article Added on Tuesday, July 26, 2011
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