Hi,I’ve been singing rock/metal for 2 years now.I can shout very good thanks to my diaphragm,but recently I’ve noticed a change.I can’t sing unless I am shouting.I’ve been a somewhat heavy smoker for 3 years,I drink from time to time and I’m fat.How would fixing these problems effect my voice and especially would it make my voice range expand ? I have a deep voice but I find it difficult to hit the high notes like so many.Would quitting smoking and drinking,slimming down make me able to reach them ? Also I’m only 18 now,will there be a change in my voice,for better or worse ? Thanks.
It definitely couldn’t hurt to drop those habits from a vocal perspective, especially if you’re having issues singing higher. Between the drinking and the smoking, on top of the “shouting,” you’ve been beating up on your vocal cords pretty good and they’re likely very swollen and therefore less agile than they would be otherwise. This makes thinning the cords out very difficult, and would prevent you from singing higher without yelling or singing heavier.
One of the things I would try and focus on if I were you is to sing from above as opposed to pushing sound out from below. This will help take some of the unneeded pressure off of your voice. Melissa Cross talks about this in her “Zen of Screaming” dvd, just she has her clients put a pencil in their mouth and has them sing “above the pencil.”
If you’re looking for guidance on how to continually sing more aggressively without keeping as much pressure on your voice, you might check out that dvd. I think you can get it for around $20 on amazon.
Any who, I hope this helps.
Vocal Coach Ken Taylor