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How do pro singers clear their throat inbetween takes?

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Anonymous
May 24, 2005 5:14:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

One of the things I heard is that you shouldn't present very hot or
cold drinks to the singer as this will affect his/her vocal chords and
ability to sing in tune. Makes sense I guess.

Drinks/snacks holding sugar are also supposed to have a negative effect
on the purity of the vocal sound. Might be true I guess, some of the
vocalists I record refuse everything but water.

Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that
is sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing
violently but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that
really clears the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?

Oh.. and no sexy jokes please.
Anonymous
May 24, 2005 9:58:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <1116965658.598581.100500@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
ignacedhont@wanadoo.nl says...
> Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that
> is sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing
> violently but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that
> really clears the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?

Coughing violently is really bad for the folds, as well; it just
irritates them, which of course produces more mucus. My voice teacher
tells me the best way to clear that is just to sing through it. If you
really want to add some force, you can (SOFTLY!) sing a "fry" note -
difficult to describe, but basically somewhere between a growl and a
motor/purring sound. Sing "Uh" on a ridiculously low note, and keep
going lower till it's more of a repeated popping than a musical note.

--
Jay Levitt |
Wellesley, MA | I feel calm. I feel ready. I can only
Faster: jay at jay dot fm | conclude that's because I don't have a
http://www.jay.fm | full grasp of the situation. - Mark Adler
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:52:05 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Diluted lemon juice.


On 24 May 2005 13:14:18 -0700, ignacedhont@wanadoo.nl wrote:

>One of the things I heard is that you shouldn't present very hot or
>cold drinks to the singer as this will affect his/her vocal chords and
>ability to sing in tune. Makes sense I guess.
>
>Drinks/snacks holding sugar are also supposed to have a negative effect
>on the purity of the vocal sound. Might be true I guess, some of the
>vocalists I record refuse everything but water.
>
>Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that
>is sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing
>violently but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that
>really clears the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?
>
>Oh.. and no sexy jokes please.
>
Related resources
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 1:52:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Willie K. Yee, MD" wrote ...
>
> Diluted lemon juice.

Yes, I concur. We always prepare a large container of lemon-water
for our choruses to drink back-stage. (Room temperature) Ratio is
one sliced lemon for 3-5 gallons of water. Nothing chilled or with
sugar in it.
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 5:51:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<ignacedhont@wanadoo.nl> wrote in message
news:1116965658.598581.100500@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> One of the things I heard is that you shouldn't present very hot or
> cold drinks to the singer as this will affect his/her vocal chords and
> ability to sing in tune. Makes sense I guess.
>
> Drinks/snacks holding sugar are also supposed to have a negative effect
> on the purity of the vocal sound. Might be true I guess, some of the
> vocalists I record refuse everything but water.
>
Most (more than 90%) of the singers I record here are 'professionals', in
the sense that they make a living in the studio as session singers. And
their drink choices are as varied as they are. Some drink ice cold bottled
water, some drink coffee (with and without cream and sugar). Some come in
with one of those 64 ounce sodas from the convenience store, and some drink
the juices that I keep in the fridge. I don't think that it's really an
issue for those who do it every day - at least, not from my perspective.

As an aside, the Kenyan who won the Music City Marathon last year spent
about half an hour immediately after the race alternating swigs of black
coffee and sips from a bottle of champagne. That would have killed me, but
he had no problems with it.
--
Dave Martin
DMA, Inc
Nashville, TN
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 6:15:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Tue, 24 May 2005 13:14:18 -0700, ignacedhont wrote:

> Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that is
> sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing violently
> but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that really clears
> the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?

Whiskey. Sometimes grainy is good.
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 7:59:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Willie K. Yee, MD" <wkyee@bestweb.net> wrote in message
news:4293a1f6.80045671@nntp.bestweb.net...
>
>
> Diluted lemon juice.

Really ? on dry vocal chords . .ouch. . . Most (classical) singers I know
stay away from lemon anything while singing. . .
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 12:50:22 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"They try to get rid of it by coughing violently"...haha. Talk about the
exact opposite of what you should do! The only thing worse than coughing for
your vocal cords is clearing your throat.

Lemon water and all of that are OK but remember that this does not reach
your vocal chords. It can help clean out junk in the mouth and throat but if
there is junk on the cords themselves it isn't going to help. This really
comes down to the singer's technique, environmental conditions, etc.

If the singer has poor technique or the environment is in some way causing
problems (smoke, late at night, singing too much) and the vocal cords are
getting sloppy then it is because they are trying to protect themselves from
the irritant(s). This is a warning sign that should not be ignored, and
there isn't a magical solution to fix it except resolving the cause.
Sometimes drinking caffeine or taking some medicine to dry up the sinuses
can help cause it will reduce that stuff as well (although too much and you
will get a tickle in your throat cause they are too dry). The absolute best
thing to do is not something at the time...it is having the vocalist start
to drink lots of water about a day before.

That said, I was doing a master class with Jerry Hadley a few years back
(the famous American tenor) and he was smoking at the restaurant later that
night. What can you say.

-Ben

<ignacedhont@wanadoo.nl> wrote in message
news:1116965658.598581.100500@g47g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> One of the things I heard is that you shouldn't present very hot or
> cold drinks to the singer as this will affect his/her vocal chords and
> ability to sing in tune. Makes sense I guess.
>
> Drinks/snacks holding sugar are also supposed to have a negative effect
> on the purity of the vocal sound. Might be true I guess, some of the
> vocalists I record refuse everything but water.
>
> Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that
> is sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing
> violently but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that
> really clears the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?
>
> Oh.. and no sexy jokes please.
>
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 3:50:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

ignacedhont@wanadoo.nl wrote:
> One of the things I heard is that you shouldn't present very hot or
> cold drinks to the singer as this will affect his/her vocal chords and
> ability to sing in tune. Makes sense I guess.
>
> Drinks/snacks holding sugar are also supposed to have a negative effect
> on the purity of the vocal sound. Might be true I guess, some of the
> vocalists I record refuse everything but water.
>
> Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that
> is sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing
> violently but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that
> really clears the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?
>
> Oh.. and no sexy jokes please.

I recommend AGAINST water and watery lemon juice mix. IMO, water washes
away the mucus which the throat is trying to produce. The mucus is
there for a reason - to keep the throat coated. Water pre-hydration is
fine - up to maybe 15 min before performance. I'd also stay away from
anything carbonated, tho I still maintain that the difference between a
pro singer and an amateur singer is the pro's ability to hide a burp in
the middle of a note... :) 

I'd think coughing is the one of the most dangerous things a singer can
do to their voice. Maybe rest, and proper warm-up is the answer.

Amy Grant used to eat potato chips while recording - she liked the
coating the oils gave her throat. Worked for her - she had/has timbre
to die for!

Mikey Wozniak
Nova Music Productions
this sig is haiku
Anonymous
May 25, 2005 7:14:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Edward Bridge wrote:

> "Willie K. Yee, MD" wrote...

> > Diluted lemon juice.

> Really ? on dry vocal chords . .ouch. . . Most (classical) singers I know
> stay away from lemon anything while singing. . .

It must be extremely dilute, water with just a suggestion of lemoney
goodness, not anything at all like lemonade, nevermind the sweeteners in
that.

--
ha
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 2:23:33 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Agent 86 wrote:

> Whiskey. Sometimes grainy is good.

A singer I've worked with several times recently
would always show up with a handfull of the
little "airplane bottles" of Southern Comfort.
I cautioned her against using it (or anything
alcoholic) and that it was certainly doing
more harm than good, but she was convinced
otherwise.

rd
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 3:25:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hey, my post delivered more answers than I expected. Thanks for your
contributions!

There seems to be no "secret" ingridient then, just common sense.
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 4:17:35 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Willie K. Yee, MD" <wkyee@bestweb.net> wrote in message
news:4293a1f6.80045671@nntp.bestweb.net...
>
>
> Diluted lemon juice.

Or starchy foods.

Greasy french fries?

Carbonated drinks?

Milk?


Actually the second best thing I've seen work is a really low hum. Start
mid range and slide down until it's just flicking the cords.

The best is to get plenty of water the day before.

Tom P.

BTW I'm kidding with the above suggestions. Tey are some of the worst
things you can do to your throat.
Anonymous
May 26, 2005 9:12:38 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"novamusic" <novamusic@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>
> I recommend AGAINST water and watery lemon juice mix. IMO, water washes
> away the mucus which the throat is trying to produce. The mucus is
> there for a reason - to keep the throat coated.

A nice cup of mucus it is then !

>Water pre-hydration is
> fine - up to maybe 15 min before performance. I'd also stay away from
> anything carbonated, tho I still maintain that the difference between a
> pro singer and an amateur singer is the pro's ability to hide a burp in
> the middle of a note... :) 
>
> I'd think coughing is the one of the most dangerous things a singer can
> do to their voice. Maybe rest, and proper warm-up is the answer.

Certainly - inflames things beautifully.

> Amy Grant used to eat potato chips while recording - she liked the
> coating the oils gave her throat. Worked for her - she had/has timbre
> to die for!

But you get fat ! I'd like to re-iterate a big NO for any drinks with sugar
in them. Almost like drinking superglue when it comes to singning.


geoff
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 4:57:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Henry Padilla wrote:
> "Willie K. Yee, MD" <wkyee@bestweb.net> wrote in message
> news:4293a1f6.80045671@nntp.bestweb.net...
>
>>
>>Diluted lemon juice.
>
>
> Or starchy foods.
>
> Greasy french fries?
>
> Carbonated drinks?
>
> Milk?
>
>
> Actually the second best thing I've seen work is a really low hum. Start
> mid range and slide down until it's just flicking the cords.
>
> The best is to get plenty of water the day before.
>
> Tom P.
>
> BTW I'm kidding with the above suggestions. Tey are some of the worst
> things you can do to your throat.
>
>

Definately not milk....it causes too much phlegm (sp?)

Jonny Durango
Anonymous
May 29, 2005 5:00:59 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

ignacedhont@wanadoo.nl wrote:
> One of the things I heard is that you shouldn't present very hot or
> cold drinks to the singer as this will affect his/her vocal chords and
> ability to sing in tune. Makes sense I guess.
>
> Drinks/snacks holding sugar are also supposed to have a negative effect
> on the purity of the vocal sound. Might be true I guess, some of the
> vocalists I record refuse everything but water.
>
> Sometimes during a session a singer can develop a "grainy" quality that
> is sometimes undesireable. They try to get rid of it by coughing
> violently but this doesn't always work. Is there some supplement that
> really clears the throat and is used commonly in recording studio's?
>
> Oh.. and no sexy jokes please.
>

I've heard licorice tea is great....I always find that warm, or slightly
hot beverages help relax my throat, which works well for some singing
styles. Other singing styles a little straight bourbon helps relax vocal
chords (and nerves as well) and smooth out any harshness......milk and
dairy is always off limits to singers as it creates too much phlegm (sp?)

Jonny Durango
December 24, 2008 3:49:22 PM

Let me say that I have made a very good living with song.

Techniques for singing are the most important 1st steps to take. learning or relearning to train the vocal chord muscles are the best preventive from calluses forming and then waiting a week or more for the them to heal.

Mucus is forming within the vocal area of the air passage due to the need to protect and coat the area affected from irritation and inflammation.

Water and water only that is chilled but not ice cold is the best remedy for the hydration of the vocal area however, mucus and/or allergy medicine will keep you clear as long as good practice of good vocal techniques are in use.

Lemon water should never be used as the acids within the citrus (especially in lemons) irritate the throat's food passage which also can affect a portion of the vocal chord.

* Remember, proper singing techniques are the best prevention with a SOFT warm up of scales before with a 10 minute rest prior to stage.

Good luck, Michael S. B. http://www.michaelbuble.com
February 8, 2009 1:18:17 AM

Mr. Buble would you be willing to have a listen to my voice
I'm a striving Opera singer
My name is Alyssa Paonessa
February 8, 2009 1:25:22 AM

my goal is to become as great as you andrea bocelli, sarah brightman and if its my destiny I'll get there and hopefully be able to meet you some day as a professional singer and not a fan
Anonymous
June 24, 2011 2:49:53 PM

DON'T encourage a singer to clear the throat by coughing violiently. It can damage the vocal cords quite badly. A glass of water, not too cold, will help. Honey in warm water is good. lemon swings both ways, - it feels good but it is acidic and therefore not the best thing for cords, but some singers swear by it. Every singer has a favourite potion. Some say port and lemon, some say ginger, lemon and honey withy warm wayer. But ginger can be quite stingent.

'A spoonful of neat MANUCA HONEY (from New Zealand, and uniquely contains antispectic and voice soothing properties) is sold in strengths up to 24 and really is the best thing for s a strained voice.


Mike Batt
Singer and record producer
December 10, 2011 10:03:56 PM

Singman2u said:
Let me say that I have made a very good living with song.

Techniques for singing are the most important 1st steps to take. learning or relearning to train the vocal chord muscles are the best preventive from calluses forming and then waiting a week or more for the them to heal.

Mucus is forming within the vocal area of the air passage due to the need to protect and coat the area affected from irritation and inflammation.

Water and water only that is chilled but not ice cold is the best remedy for the hydration of the vocal area however, mucus and/or allergy medicine will keep you clear as long as good practice of good vocal techniques are in use.

Lemon water should never be used as the acids within the citrus (especially in lemons) irritate the throat's food passage which also can affect a portion of the vocal chord.

* Remember, proper singing techniques are the best prevention with a SOFT warm up of scales before with a 10 minute rest prior to stage.

Good luck, Michael S. B. http://www.michaelbuble.com


I have been Reading all the info here hoping to find an answer to my problem. I have just made it back to recording after a long stint in the Marine Corp. Problem is after returning from over seas I developed a cough that lasted for several months,, went away ,,, but comes back for weeks at a time. I have seen many doctors,,, vocal coaches...... everything short of a witch doctor. Nothing is ridding me of the mucus I am coughing up and my voice being constantly strained. GREAT Music by the way
!