Vocal Damage


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axemanchris
10-19-2009, 02:46 PM
I thought this could prove to be an interesting thread. I was doing a bit of research on performers with vocal damage, and there are TONS.

The evidence that you need to sing properly is overwhelming.

Post any links you know of (that substantiate your claim) and let's build a list.

Adele - http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/17725

AFI http://new.music.yahoo.com/afi/news/afi-cancels-tour-as-havok-blows-out-voice--12054364 - maybe not a good source?

Christina Aguilera - http://www.christina-aguilera.net/pastnews/apr04.html

Airbourne (Joel O'keefe) - http://www.roadrunnerrecords.ca/page/News?news_id=64872

Julie Andrews - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/6408165/Dame-Julie-Andrews-to-have-revolutionary-operation-on-vocal-cords.html

Avenged Sevenfold - http://www.smnnews.com/2008/09/11/avenged-sevenfold-cancel-remaining-us-shows/ http://www.metalunderground.com/news/details.cfm?newsid=38946

Broken Social Scene - http://www.seemagazine.com/article/music/music-previews/landoftalk1106/

Bullet for My Valentine http://www.dose.ca/music/story.html?id=e818f4d4-74ed-49a6-bcb3-cc83173bd1d0&k=53062 - maybe not a good source?

Chaka Kahn - http://uk.real.com/music/artist/Chaka_Khan/articles/358262/-related-articles-page-1/

Chris Cornell - http://www.dallasobserver.com/2000-03-02/music/chris-cornell/

Cinderella (Tom Keifer) - http://www.knac.com/article.asp?ArticleID=6360

Counting Crows (Adam Duritz) - http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19970902&id=it8NAAAAIBAJ&sjid=MW8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6699,471536

David Coverdale - http://www.thehighwaystar.com/news/2009/08/12/whitesnake-cancels-us-tour/

Creed - http://new.music.yahoo.com/creed/news/creeds-stapp-apologizes-for-postponements-announces-new-dates--12046076

Distillers - http://germany.real.com/music/artist/Queens_of_the_Stone_Age/articles/392610/-related-articles-page-6/

Dresden Dolls - http://dresdendollsdiary.blogspot.com/2008/01/goin-under-knife-northwest-shows.html

Whitney Houston - http://whitney-fan.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=34523

Jet http://www.jetmusic.co.uk/

Alicia Keys - http://www.reuters.com/article/entertainmentNews/idUSN2322795320080423

Killswitch Engage - http://www.metalhammer.co.uk/news/killswitch-engage-singer-quits/

Dave Matthews http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/09/01/blink-182-dave-matthews-band-postpone-concerts/

Mudvayne - http://www.metalhammer.co.uk/news/mudvayne-cancel-uk-tour/

NoMeansNo - http://www.onlineseats.com/nomeansno-tickets/index.asp

Mark Spano (Australlian Idol) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvPN1pzKa2M

Jordin Sparks - http://www.jordinsparks.com/us/node/6197

The Subways - http://www.nme.com/news/the-subways/22889

Sugarland - http://www.countrystandardtime.com/news/newsitem.asp?xid=3084

Justin Timberlake - http://www.kcra.com/news/14081286/detail.html

Tokyo Hotel - http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20186187,00.html

Steven Tyler (Aerosmith) - http://www.vh1.com/artists/news/1526788/20060322/tyler_steven.jhtml

The Used - http://www.chartattack.com/news/43913/the-used-cancel-june-and-july-tour-plans

Eddie Vedder - http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/09/01/blink-182-dave-matthews-band-postpone-concerts/

Venom - http://www.musicmight.com/artist/united+kingdom/tyne+and+wear/newcastle+upon+tyne/venom

Village People - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/arts/09iht-peepthu.1.14357208.html?_r=1

Surely, we'll all find sources that substantiate the myriad of other performers who have fallen to this.

CT

Speckled_Hen
10-19-2009, 03:08 PM
i love that chris cornell one- replacing his entire larynx with a siren and a tape of two cats having a shag...

:haha: :haha: :haha:
:haha: :haha: :haha:
:haha: :haha: :haha:

:golfclap:

Chaingarden
10-19-2009, 04:15 PM
Haha, yeah, I feel like maybe the Chris Cornell one isn't accurate. Call it a hunch :-P

This is a very good point though. Many of us presume that simply because an artist sounds great on the album, it's natural for them. Not the case much of the time. Lots of these people are killing their vocal cords to get a powerful, aggressive sound, and because of studio enhancement, that aspect is hidden. Sounding cool does not necessarily mean a healthy approach.

theGlitch
10-19-2009, 05:05 PM
the guy from linkin park had to have surgery because he'd puke on stage from screaming so much... i have no source but i remember reading it somewhere years back

ascend
10-19-2009, 05:27 PM
the guy from linkin park had to have surgery because he'd puke on stage from screaming so much... i have no source but i remember reading it somewhere years back

\m/

axemanchris
10-19-2009, 05:41 PM
Lots of things on the web suggesting that Cornell has screwed up his voice, though....

http://www.google.ca/search?q=%22chris+cornell%22+cancelled+vocal+damage&btnG=Search&hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enCA344CA344&sa=2

Not as much on the Linkin Park guy. I found some stuff talking about a hiatus hernia that caused him to puke, but not about vocal damage. If it's true (which wouldn't surprise me in the least), they have been pretty good at keeping shushed in the media.

CT

MAC2322
10-19-2009, 05:52 PM
And no mentions to Hetfield? Let's face it, great as Metallica is, James' vocals have deteriorated quite noticeably over time.

StonaLemons
10-19-2009, 07:13 PM
Grant Nicholas from Feeder (household name in uk, probably not in US) - he collapsed on stage once from bleeding vocal chords or something.

Enter Shikari also had to pull out of some shows because of singers throat.

esp1234
10-19-2009, 07:49 PM
How about Joe Cocker?

Chaingarden
10-19-2009, 08:16 PM
Lots of things on the web suggesting that Cornell has screwed up his voice, though....

http://www.google.ca/search?q=%22chris+cornell%22+cancelled+vocal+damage&btnG=Search&hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enCA344CA344&sa=2

Not as much on the Linkin Park guy. I found some stuff talking about a hiatus hernia that caused him to puke, but not about vocal damage. If it's true (which wouldn't surprise me in the least), they have been pretty good at keeping shushed in the media.

CT

Yeah, such a shame too. Had he just held back a little pressure on the cords, he'd probably still be the powerhouse that he was. Such wonderful resonance on that man, he just pushed too hard sometimes.

Chester from Linkin Park has abysmal technique. The bridge part of Given Up is a pretty good example of why his cords might be acting up on him. Great singer, awesome range, just terrible technique.

Black Star
10-19-2009, 08:54 PM
And no mentions to Hetfield? Let's face it, great as Metallica is, James' vocals have deteriorated quite noticeably over time.

We all know about his voice, but I couldn't find any real articles about it. But it is a perfect example of vocal damage.

guitardude11
10-20-2009, 12:51 AM
How do you even know if you are damaging your vocal chords? I can get pretty good grit, and I can do the "fake" screaming, but it never hurts me... not like I hurt myself when I first started singing!

I only hurt when I push for that extra note. I never feel veins popping out of my head. My throat used to get raspy after aggressive singing but not much anymore as I have changed my technique a little bit.

But it seems the consensus here is that, if you do aggressive rock singing, you will eventually hurt your voice. ?

Chaingarden
10-20-2009, 02:23 AM
How do you even know if you are damaging your vocal chords? I can get pretty good grit, and I can do the "fake" screaming, but it never hurts me... not like I hurt myself when I first started singing!

I only hurt when I push for that extra note. I never feel veins popping out of my head. My throat used to get raspy after aggressive singing but not much anymore as I have changed my technique a little bit.

But it seems the consensus here is that, if you do aggressive rock singing, you will eventually hurt your voice. ?

I don't know about that. My style these days can be aggressive, and I rarely suffer any vocal fatigue, certainly nothing that lasts into the next day. You just have to be careful not to overdo it.

Ideally, your voice should never hurt you. Even when you're pushing for a note (Actually, ideally, you should never push for any note, unless it's very, very high.)

axemanchris
10-20-2009, 07:19 AM
How to tell if you are straining: http://thebelcantotechnique.now-here-this.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=26&Itemid=30

CT

AlanHB
11-02-2009, 02:22 AM
I thought this would be an interesting one to add, one of our Australian Idol contestants last year was originally a vocalist for a rock band, close to getting a contract. However bad singing technique did bad stuff. Check out the vid below for a quick story and his audition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvPN1pzKa2M

axemanchris
11-02-2009, 08:36 AM
Good one!

*added*

I quite like his voice, but you can tell that he still insists on singing from his throat. I wonder how long it will be before he is sidelined again for another two years... or longer.

CT

PS> YOu feelin' okay.... yer lookin' a little green!!

z4twenny
11-02-2009, 03:24 PM
And no mentions to Hetfield? Let's face it, great as Metallica is, James' vocals have deteriorated quite noticeably over time.
whether you think his vocals have deteriorated or not, he doesn't stress his voice so he doesn't have many issues singing.

AlanHB
11-02-2009, 04:42 PM
Good one!

*added*

I quite like his voice, but you can tell that he still insists on singing from his throat. I wonder how long it will be before he is sidelined again for another two years... or longer.

CT

PS> YOu feelin' okay.... yer lookin' a little green!!

Yeah I actually like his voice a lot, but I found it interesting that he was so close to success before his voice got done.

And yes, my greenness is umm, green.

Benjabenja
11-02-2009, 06:17 PM
Chris Barnes.

blood8815
11-02-2009, 08:56 PM
Chris Barnes.
It was just too much weed and also, Corey Taylor.

axemanchris
11-02-2009, 10:45 PM
Surprisingly, I could find lots of references that alleged these two had surgeries, I couldn't find any sources that seemed legit somehow.

CT

Black Star
11-02-2009, 11:19 PM
whether you think his vocals have deteriorated or not, he doesn't stress his voice so he doesn't have many issues singing.

He doesn't anymore. Just like most of the people on this list, they've learned from their mistakes. Hetfield completely butchered his vocal chords from Kill 'Em All to the Black Album. He changed for the reason that he stressed his voice too much.

rmr024
11-10-2009, 01:06 AM
I've never heard of any official reports of damage, but Billy Corgan during the Mellon Collie era. :haha

As much as I love his music, it's painful to listen to him try and get through some of those shows back then.

Guitartist
11-10-2009, 05:23 AM
Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) and Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)

Saw them both in the past year and they were both struggling. Ian Anderson completely changed the way he sings. He can still play the hell out of that flute, though...

Myshadow46_2
11-10-2009, 07:20 AM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vocal_fold_nodule

This article lists a number of artists (some already cited) who suffered from vocal nodules. Obviously it's wikipedia so you can't believe everything you read. Some (Natalie Imbruglia for example) say that surgery made improvements to the artist's voice, but I don't know enough of Natalie Imbruglia's material to make any sort of decision and I certainly wouldn't want to go through surgery in the chance that my voice would be better afterwards!

I had heard that Ian Gillan only had half of his vocal chords left after undergoing a number of operations. I have not been able to find any evidence that this information is true.

axemanchris
11-10-2009, 08:54 AM
I saw that Wiki article. It seems to be a good starting point, but most of the people claimed on the list are unsubstantiated.

CT

xXMetal-HeadXx
11-10-2009, 03:45 PM
It was just too much weed and also, Corey Taylor.
what does pot have to do with anything?


EDIT: i am only curious because i am a chronic user, and also a screamer. and the claims about how 'Chris Barnes could get so low because of his pot use..." (saw that in a wiki article about him) seems about right with me too. i can get alot lower screaming then i can even do so talking. weird...but seems to be true, at least with me.

Cheeseman07
11-10-2009, 06:40 PM
what does pot have to do with anything?


EDIT: i am only curious because i am a chronic user, and also a screamer. and the claims about how 'Chris Barnes could get so low because of his pot use..." (saw that in a wiki article about him) seems about right with me too. i can get alot lower screaming then i can even do so talking. weird...but seems to be true, at least with me.

load of shit imo. Smoking anything will slowly **** your voice over, but I can't see anyone being able to smoke enough weed to severely damage their vocal cords. Smoking pot won't lower your voice, but screaming like that would let you scream at lower pitches than you can sing since you're actually using vocal fry instead of your modal voice.

xXMetal-HeadXx
11-10-2009, 07:05 PM
load of shit imo. Smoking anything will slowly **** your voice over, but I can't see anyone being able to smoke enough weed to severely damage their vocal cords. Smoking pot won't lower your voice, but screaming like that would let you scream at lower pitches than you can sing since you're actually using vocal fry instead of your modal voice.
i dont think its the weed that is doing any damage. i think its how much it dries out your throat that is probably doing it. i swear i heard somewhere smoking cigs actually relaxes the vocal chords :shrug:. I noticed quite the difference when i didnt smoke for a while. the only real difference i found was how "lubed" up my throat was. smoking just seems to dry ya out.

i was just curious if just smoking weed causes damage because of the claim "no he just smokes alot of weed." which now makes ZERO sense as to why he had vocal issues.

EDIT: now that i read my original post that sentance off wiki makes no sense lol. what does weed have to do with vocal fry?!

Roxor_Mc0wnage
02-04-2010, 10:49 AM
Hey you guys talking about smoking while singing: Check out Nat King Cole. Def not a rocker (he is waaaaaay old school) but he was known for taking a huge drag on a cig, and singing through the smoke. It gave him that raspy sound he was known for.....it also tore his voice up.

Thereisnotry
02-04-2010, 01:14 PM
Smoking weed will most definitely do damage to vocal cords and not to mention breath control. I find that after a long weekend of toking up I can't get the same depth of breath that I usually can, but it clears up after a day or so.

I find that while smoking is detrimental to the voice, it also provides an interesting tone.
All The Beatles smoked.
Dave Matthews smokes.
John Mayer smokes.
Kyo (dir en grey) smokes.
Bob Marley...need I say more?

You won't hear any of those singers hitting broadway belting notes but they are still considered some of the best just for their tone and creativity.

veggielover
02-04-2010, 06:01 PM
The odd thing is even with vocal damage, these pro singers still sound like pros. Their tone may be bad, but their ability to control volume and change pitch is still amazing. So when we hear it, it still sounds, "pro".

Another example I can think of is Bruce Springsteen

axemanchris
02-04-2010, 08:23 PM
The odd thing is even with vocal damage, these pro singers still sound like pros. Their tone may be bad, but their ability to control volume and change pitch is still amazing. So when we hear it, it still sounds, "pro".


If this was true, then why do they all postpone shows and cancel tours?

CT

veggielover
02-04-2010, 10:34 PM
If this was true, then why do they all postpone shows and cancel tours?

CT


Obviously I am not referring to singers with injured vocals, but those who had injured vocals at some points in their career. You can tell their tone is not good, but they can still sound like a "pro" . This just proves that tone may be overrated.

toyboxmonster
02-04-2010, 11:46 PM
not good..."like a "pro" .
subjective.
proves
objective.

Blind In 1 Ear
02-05-2010, 12:50 AM
didnt elton john have to have some sort of surgery to remove nodes on his vocal chords or something?

Cheeseman07
02-05-2010, 08:45 AM
^yeah was from cocaine use IIRC
his voice deepened so ****ing much after that, I haven't listened to him that much but its so obvious comparing his performances before and after the surgery

Roxor_Mc0wnage
02-05-2010, 01:44 PM
Using substances or smoking (anything) when you are a singer, especially a professional one, is extremely careless and negligent when you count on your voice for a paycheck. It would be like putting acid on your guitar neck, or leaving your amp on overnight then throwing it in the snow so all the parts shatter or some other ridiculous thing. Except in the case of your voice, you can't replace it. I can get another guitar, I can't get another voice.

I mean you put your guitar in a case right? Why not take steps to protect your voice as well?

Black Star
02-05-2010, 01:58 PM
Using substances or smoking (anything) when you are a singer, especially a professional one, is extremely careless and negligent when you count on your voice for a paycheck. It would be like putting acid on your guitar neck, or leaving your amp on overnight then throwing it in the snow so all the parts shatter or some other ridiculous thing. Except in the case of your voice, you can't replace it. I can get another guitar, I can't get another voice.

I mean you put your guitar in a case right? Why not take steps to protect your voice as well?

Nah man, I always keep my guitar near a fireplace. I like the sound of a guitar that has been damaged by fire. It has that rough edginess, it's so metal. I also like to pour some alcohol on the electronics. Oh, and on top of that, I like to thrash it so hard the strings snap every time I pick it up.

Now, this sounds ridiculous to many people, right? Replace "guitar" with "voice". Alcohol, drugs, and overall misuse is a sure-fire way to permanently damage your voice.

Blind In 1 Ear
02-05-2010, 02:06 PM
^yeah was from cocaine use IIRC
his voice deepened so ****ing much after that, I haven't listened to him that much but its so obvious comparing his performances before and after the surgery
im not sure if drugs would do that though. nodes come from belting to much i believe with bad technique. they are like calluses on your vocal chords. they can reduce your range and and make your voice raspy.

i think part of his voice being deeper is his age. everyones voice gets deeper with age. clapton is like that.

Highwaytohell
02-06-2010, 12:44 AM
What do you guys think of Cobain- notorious for singing from the throat. My style imitates that, tightening up the vocal cords...

Damages?

axemanchris
02-06-2010, 01:11 AM
^ Definitely on track for damage.

No question.

CT

Chaingarden
02-06-2010, 04:11 PM
Yeah, Kurt Cobain was a cool singer, but not even close to being a good singer. He was, for all intents and purposes, a punk rocker. Not much for "proper technique."

Chaingarden
02-06-2010, 04:16 PM
Obviously I am not referring to singers with injured vocals, but those who had injured vocals at some points in their career. You can tell their tone is not good, but they can still sound like a "pro" . This just proves that tone may be overrated.

While I have gripes with your logic, I see what you're saying. It doesn't have anything to do with them still being a pro-quality singer if they've wrecked their voice, it's just that it still sounds good because it's the same singer singing the songs they wrote. It's what you're familiar with.

Sorry about the double post.

Highwaytohell
02-07-2010, 02:05 AM
I feel an ample solution to most of my problems would be good PA... I often find my self pushing for more and more volume ...

Chaingarden
02-08-2010, 04:50 PM
I feel an ample solution to most of my problems would be good PA... I often find my self pushing for more and more volume ...

Yep, there's just no way you can compete with a band's volume. You can, however, work on getting better resonance. That will make you louder, and more importantly, make you cut through.

veggielover
02-08-2010, 05:52 PM
Are you sure technique is to blame for most vocal damage, not overuse? I think a pro even with proper technique would develop problems from performing day in and day out . The vocals chords are just like any other muscle and need rest to recover. Problem is pros are under a lot of pressure/expectations to keep performing.

Perhaps a better thread is which pros over 40 do NOT have any vocal damage?

Simptom
02-08-2010, 06:29 PM
What do you guys think of Cobain- notorious for singing from the throat. My style imitates that, tightening up the vocal cords...

Damages?


Hey highway, I'm new to the boards. But I did mention in other posts that I once blew my voice out. Wanna know what really triggered the whole thing besides trying to sing too high? I was learning how to growl like Kurt Cobain. I couldn't sing for almost a year.

I don't care what anyone says; there is absolutely no way to avoid permanently damaging your voice if you scream, growl, or add a gritty sound to it. If it doesn't happen sooner, it will happen later. Even with "proper" instruction on how to growl your voice will eventually go. It may not take months or weeks, but it may creep up on you over the years. Learn how to sing properly or you may not be able to sing at all in the end.

As far as surgery for nodules that are too bad, it isn't always 100% effective and oftentimes even if successful your voice will never be as bright and expansive as it once was.

Drink tons of water and never sing for more than 2 hours a day. I only sing about 90 minutes to 2 hours a day with a few breaks in between. Also, if I sing for a few days straight I give my voice a day or two off. Try not to excessively talk either. Smoking, caffeine (even tea), and alcohol are a big no no. You could possibly be pushing because you're now suffering from vocal fatigue. If this is what is happening, stop. Take a week off.

Vocal warm ups are important as well such as maybe 5 to 10 minutes of an easy/non-intensive song or some light scales before you go for broke. If your band doesn't understand this, that you cannot sing power sessions of hours and hours on end, then you need to sit them down because YOU run the risk of being seriously taken out of commission for awhile. If you only practice once a week for all day during that day, try working out a 2 night a week schedule with less time.

Many people (especially musicians; it comes with the territory) are very self centered and will be angry with you because you're inconveniencing them by having to take a week or two off. The straw that broke the camel's back for me was singing through laryngitis while recording because of band mate pressure. This is something in retrospect I wish I never did because while I was healing up he just went on without me. Think about your future and if the risks are really worth it for you. If you're recording right now, do not talk at all in between sessions and drink tons of water and stay away from the things I told you. Buy a humidifier as well because it helps.

As for the volume, I never saw any god damned reason why bands have to jack everything up so high during practice sessions. Most people who play instruments will want what they're doing to be highlighted so a problem begins to develop where every else tries to drown one another out. Sadly enough, not many people realize that singing is probably the most important aspect of a band, or at least one of them, and they could give a damn about that so they drown you out. Drums are the only excuse for this, but even then, there is no reason to be destroying the drums and smash them into oblivion and having to jack the guitar up to 11 just to overcome this during a practice session. That's ridiculous.

As a singer you have to understand that you only have one voice and unless you come from a wealthy background, surgery will not be an option for you. Surgery isn't even a good option to begin with anyway. People who don't sing or where they do and don't place much emphasis on it will not understand the concept of you having only one instrument. Guitar players can always buy a new guitar if it breaks, drummers can buy new drum kits, a maraca player new maracas, but singers only have one instrument their entire lives. Unless some one could clone you a new larynx and properly replace a bad one, there is no replacement for your instrument. Never allow anyone to pressure you into damaging your instrument. They will not stick around for you. They will find a way to replace you. I've been there. Take care of your voice!

I hope this helps.

Cheeseman07
02-08-2010, 08:00 PM
jesus simptom, you can write an essay on anything

z4twenny
02-08-2010, 08:07 PM
I don't care what anyone says; there is absolutely no way to avoid permanently damaging your voice if you scream, growl, or add a gritty sound to it. I hope this helps.

please dont lie to him. you can scream properly without damaging your voice, you just have to do it right. im sorry you blew out your voice but thats because you were doing it wrong.

TS if you want to get a growly/screamy safely theres an audio tutorial in my profile. i've been screaming for about 8 or 9 years now and its never hurt or had any other discomfort aside from a mild tickly (from phlegm rubbing against the back of my throat) i would never suggest screaming to somone who wasn't fairly well versed in proper singing etiquette like diaphragm control. i had been singing for about 4 years before i figured out how to scream right and even then it took a long time to get used to it and develop it. its something you take slowly and if you listen to my audio tutorial and say "i dunno what you're doing, that doesn't make sense" then i would suggest a vocal coach until it does make sense.

Simptom
02-08-2010, 09:48 PM
Whoa-ho, I am not trying to scare anybody here. Some, and only some, have vocal cords made of iron and that no matter what they do to them they will just never really become damaged. I'm also more or less speaking about the type of screaming Kurt Cobain performs or the type of screaming that many emo bands perform. I can't tell you how often when I was taking lessons and when I myself had to go for voice therapy that the teachers told me they saw people ALL the time coming in with damaged vocal cords from raspy screaming. Verbatim from my first vocal instructor, she said, "You have no idea how many promising singers' careers are ended because of this". Both teachers told me that they could not understand why people would choose to scream as more often than not they will sooner or later damage their voices.

The vocal therapist I saw practices out of Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia which is an extremely esteemed hospital. She specializes in the rehabilitation of singers. The otolaryngology department at the department itself even has several doctors who routinely treat mostly singers. I'm sorry, but I think I'm going to trust in a seasoned voice coach with three degrees working at a pretty prestigious hospital.


I listened to your screaming demo and I noticed you're more or less doing hardcore death growls. Slightly different from what I'm talking about here. I can't speak for death growling, I can only scream like Robert Plant myself, which is only kind of screaming and not as damaging to your voice. However, doing any type of growling/screaming for prolonged periods of time will damage your voice. Vocal cords are not made for this; hell, they're not even really made for singing to tell you the truth. It's one thing to do it periodically, it's another to base your entire singing style around it. I'm also sorry to say, that from listening to you z4twenny, it seems you have a very ashy voice, minus the dryness you claimed to have, which is indicative of vocal cord bowing. In other words; there seems to be damage to your vocal cords z4. Probably minimal, but it's there. I'd be really curious as well to know what your range is as well as I'm sure growling's affected that too.

The bands you all like out there with screamers probably keep their voice problems hush hush as to not worry about their record label giving them grief over anything. They do this too to not spark any controversy over possible inconsistent tour dates and having fans not buy tickets for any future shows. Unless the problem becomes too severe and there is absolutely no possible way to continue performing for that time.

Look, if you choose to or not to scream is up to you, but generally, from seeing friends around me who have played around me all throughout my life, some screamers, some not, you have one of two routes to go:

If you want to scream, you can definitely count on sacrificing range for screaming (the emo/grunge way) and look forward to dealing with voice problems a lot just like Freddie Mercury. Somehow he managed to avoid losing range, but he would cough up blood at concerts and could not speak for months at a time. And he was an exception too, nodules usually affect range and tonal quality, I have no idea how he managed to circumvent this.

"Proper screaming technique" is something that will only minimize the damage you're doing to your vocal cords. There is no proper way to scream without doing some damage to your vocal cords, you're shredding your vocal cords when you do it at the cost of range and tonal quality. I find screamers to run into more trouble than regular singers as normal singers do not base their entire repertoire around something that is simply one of the worst things you can do for your voice.

If you want range and a better tone and, frankly, to have a sound that's not so overdone, learn how to sing without screaming and concentrate on creating a pleasing and unique voice.

And z4, I'm not trying to come off as a dick or stand-offish, but this is what I've learned and I would not want any young and hopeful singer run himself into the ground because of a style of music he might possibly grow out of sooner or later. I'd wouldn't be surprised if you have vocal cord bowing going on. When was the last time you had an examination from an ENT?

Black Star
02-08-2010, 11:31 PM
please dont lie to him. you can scream properly without damaging your voice, you just have to do it right. im sorry you blew out your voice but thats because you were doing it wrong.

TS if you want to get a growly/screamy safely theres an audio tutorial in my profile. i've been screaming for about 8 or 9 years now and its never hurt or had any other discomfort aside from a mild tickly (from phlegm rubbing against the back of my throat) i would never suggest screaming to somone who wasn't fairly well versed in proper singing etiquette like diaphragm control. i had been singing for about 4 years before i figured out how to scream right and even then it took a long time to get used to it and develop it. its something you take slowly and if you listen to my audio tutorial and say "i dunno what you're doing, that doesn't make sense" then i would suggest a vocal coach until it does make sense.

I actually agree with Simptom. There's no way you can do growls, screams, or artificial raspiness in any way without damaging your voice.

I actually listened to your recording. That part about "lowering your voice to a rasp", that rasp is showing you that you are beyond your normal range. Pushing your voice at that point will certainly damage your voice. In fact, raspiness in itself is a symptom of vocal damage or abuse, if I recall.

It's good that you emphasize certain things, such as keeping your throat "loose". You seem to take precautions to minimize damage, but there's no way to prevent it while growling and/or screaming.

Chaingarden
02-08-2010, 11:44 PM
I have a pretty gruff voice, especially with a lot of the stuff that I've been writing lately, and I like to do a lot of throwing my voice around, as it were. I like to do a lot of overdriven vocals, pharyngeal screams, and pushing my voice pretty far with regards to range and what have you, and I'll tell you that while you can limit the damage done, pretty significantly in my opinion, I really don't think you can eliminate it. The overdriven sound itself is the sound of your vocal cords being irritated.

That's the price you pay, though. If you want a rough sound, you've gotta be rough to your cords. It would be like someone saying that they found a method of skateboarding where you could lipslide a 30-stair rail, and never risk injury, or found a mixed martial arts method that never took a toll on your body at all. It just isn't feasible. I've always maintained though that I'd rather sing the way I want to sing for a limited period of time, than sing with impeccable classical technique for the rest of my life. I prefer having power, depth, rawness and imperfections to my sound, and if that causes me some damage, so be it. That's my take, anyway.

HeavyReverb
02-08-2010, 11:50 PM
Lots of things on the web suggesting that Cornell has screwed up his voice, though....

http://www.google.ca/search?q=%22chris+cornell%22+cancelled+vocal+damage&btnG=Search&hl=en&rlz=1C1GGLS_enCA344CA344&sa=2


This thread is the number 1 result :haha:

Black Star
02-08-2010, 11:54 PM
I have a pretty gruff voice, especially with a lot of the stuff that I've been writing lately, and I like to do a lot of throwing my voice around, as it were. I like to do a lot of overdriven vocals, pharyngeal screams, and pushing my voice pretty far with regards to range and what have you, and I'll tell you that while you can limit the damage done, pretty significantly in my opinion, I really don't think you can eliminate it. The overdriven sound itself is the sound of your vocal cords being irritated.

That's the price you pay, though. If you want a rough sound, you've gotta be rough to your cords. It would be like someone saying that they found a method of skateboarding where you could lipslide a 30-stair rail, and never risk injury, or found a mixed martial arts method that never took a toll on your body at all. It just isn't feasible. I've always maintained though that I'd rather sing the way I want to sing for a limited period of time, than sing with impeccable classical technique for the rest of my life. I prefer having power, depth, rawness and imperfections to my sound, and if that causes me some damage, so be it. That's my take, anyway.

This is a very good point. You do what you can to make your voice the way you want it, but their will be consequences. If you're alright with that, more power to you.

The issue I have is when people explicitly state that abusing your vocal cords causes absolutely no damage whatsoever. Like you said, the "rugged" sound is the sound of your vocal cords being irritated, which can only lead to one thing.

HeavyReverb
02-08-2010, 11:57 PM
My throat feels strained sometimes when im listening to music but not singing along. I mean properly sore as if I was screaming for 10 minutes strait. Any ideas on how this happens?

Highwaytohell
02-09-2010, 01:42 AM
woah simptom - quite a text wall. Kind of makes me think a bit. Honestly I don't sing on non-practice days. I don't sing on a daily basis in general (at least since 8th grade chorus). I just get up there- drink a shit ton of water, and roll with it...

When your vocal idols are Lemmy, Dave Mustaine, and Matt Pike, you dont really have a grasp for all the conventional voice routine

z4twenny
02-09-2010, 03:03 AM
I actually agree with Simptom. There's no way you can do growls, screams, or artificial raspiness in any way without damaging your voice.

I actually listened to your recording. That part about "lowering your voice to a rasp", that rasp is showing you that you are beyond your normal range. Pushing your voice at that point will certainly damage your voice. In fact, raspiness in itself is a symptom of vocal damage or abuse, if I recall.

It's good that you emphasize certain things, such as keeping your throat "loose". You seem to take precautions to minimize damage, but there's no way to prevent it while growling and/or screaming.
while i won't say my voice is perfect, i am a smoker. trust me though, im not straining or hurting myself in anyway. as for simptom, yes those are kinda raspy death metal growls, i never said you could scream/growl any way you wanted to and be fine but there is a technique to doing it without hurting your voice and you can do it alot louder than i did on that recording and some diaphragm control. also the way i do it allows for pitch control, which ive heard some screamers and its just that, not really much pitch just all oomph.
I'd wouldn't be surprised if you have vocal cord bowing going on. When was the last time you had an examination from an ENT?
actually i had to go see an ENT about a year ago because i had gotten GERD (and didnt know it) and apparently had belched up a little stomach acid inside my throat and i had a teeny bit of swelling (but it felt alot worse) this was after the recording was made. the ENT said i was fine and everything looked fine except for a little esophogeal swelling. i actually asked her about my vocal cords and she said those looked pretty good considering im a smoker and had apparently been burping up stomach acid. i have since stopped burping stomach acid and my throat and vocal cords are pretty much healed up.

moral of the story? eat healthy to sing well

metalmetalhead
12-06-2010, 10:40 AM
Smoking weed will most definitely do damage to vocal cords and not to mention breath control. I find that after a long weekend of toking up I can't get the same depth of breath that I usually can, but it clears up after a day or so.

I find that while smoking is detrimental to the voice, it also provides an interesting tone.
All The Beatles smoked.
Dave Matthews smokes.
John Mayer smokes.
Kyo (dir en grey) smokes.
Bob Marley...need I say more?

You won't hear any of those singers hitting broadway belting notes but they are still considered some of the best just for their tone and creativity.

I smoke pot and cigs some things iv noticed from this is...weed will congest me so it makes it hard to sustain notes. and it affects vocal fry high and low.

Smoking should not damage your chords unless your taking a puff then singing allowing that smoke to pass through your vocal folds. research anatomy if you do not believe..freely breathing the smoke goes around your closed vocal folds

A test iv done, If you inhale cig smoke and sing it hurts does not feel good..if you do the same with pot is does not hurt at all..pot is a smoother smoke i guess?

despite what everyone is taught that one joint equals 20 cigs i do not believe that. tobacco is alot more harsh then pot..even if the moisture content is more you can compare a plant with no additive to a death trap with labels and additives

Pot seems to try to get the film out, cigs dont..but you know what they do to your lungs..i think id rather smoke something that congest you to get that shit out of your lungs dont you?

so i say cigs and far worse then pot. either way smoking still takes way lung capacity from what iv read 2/3 or around there. Iv noticed when i discipline myself to not smoke my voice gets better after about a hour of not smoking.

Also alot of these singers arnt even rock singers and they strained there voice..so what makes you think you can growl or scream without damaging your voice? I would think about your career before you ruin your voice..save it for the show.

out of all the research iv done Bel canto seems to be one of the only techniques thats said to leave your voice stronger at the end of a show. so theres a tone of things in that technique to keep in mind while singing that i believe helps me out a great deal, even tho i do not sing bel canto

pandora_grunt
12-08-2010, 05:10 AM
Hey guys I know it's an old topic but I came here through a sticky and I figured it'd be worth to give it a little bump anyway. Sorry if I bother anyone.




I checked the list and maybe I missed it, but I believe M Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold also had surgery. Resulting in more clean singing after his surgery.
Don't have a source but worth to check out I think.
-----
As for the above. I smoke. And I used to smoke like a pack a day. Now I haven't quit smoking cause well, it's a habit that's quite bothersome to get rid of entirely, but I do take breaks. Sometimes I don't smoke for five days and singing just comes so much easier.
Not sure if my timbre improves but I can feel I strain a lot less then when I've smoked.

And if you need to sing, I hope you're a social creature. Talking alone is a good warm up for those vocals chords. Acting a little silly with higher pitches aswell. But don't ignore a good singing warm-up. I've done days with it, and without it. Just do that warm up. An extensive one if you haven't talked a lot that day.

Cheers

Natrone
12-09-2010, 12:36 AM
Great example right here. Jon Foreman (Switchfoot) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Wwda36E-78

However, I don't know if that's so much damage or just a tired voice.

merriman44
12-09-2010, 10:23 AM
Also alot of these singers arnt even rock singers and they strained there voice..so what makes you think you can growl or scream without damaging your voice? I would think about your career before you ruin your voice..save it for the show.


Here, my friend, is where you go wrong. You equate screaming to straining your voice. Alot of the singers listed are those that strain to get that vocal shredding sound because it comes across to the listener as both engaging and emotional.

A scream does NOT feel like straining. Quite the opposite actually, as to me the screams don't even require a clenched abdomen. Its merely a technique that changes the way the vocal cords work.

Finally, you have no idea how to scream nor have you ever tried to do it correctly (if I am able to imply by the way you speak) so you have no first hand knowledge of how it feels. Yes, many screamers have hurt themselves but metal is an underground type of music. There are SO many bands out there that scream its ridiculous. Some of the screamers that have hurt themselves were pioneers into different niches of screaming. Such innovation always has risks involved.

No, I think time will tell that proper screaming (with projection, diaphragm control and correct mic use) is no worse for someone in the longterm than actual singing.

metalmetalhead
12-09-2010, 07:10 PM
first off..most of the ones named took them along long time to tear there voice up..prolly 10 years plus. have you been screaming for 10 years or touring, ya cant see the future so what you think is gonna happen 10 more years down the road?

Im not going to call you wrong and say your tearing up your voice..you misunderstood my statement all together..and please consider alot of these people here are kids there 15 16 years olds. its a young age to start tearing your voice up because of what you read "some guy" said on the Internet and you know at that age..you will believe alot of bullshit.

Believe nothing you hear and only half of what you see.

I am not going to say that its impossible to scream without tearing up your voice...but vocal abuse is caused by abusing your voice..your vocal chords touch each other when you sing..if they touch to hard or to much air you get vocal disorders. So to think you can just learn how to scream is ridiculous. just like running before you can walk..

I started out pretty heavy i used to yell like the foo fighters, just because i can sing like axl rose doesn't mean im going to and just because i can scream without pain doesnt mean theres no damage done. I have a very easy time over looking pain because i grew up that way.

So can I scream correctly? im going to be humble and say no. Do i feel pain when i do so? no I don't think so..but i get horse my voice will flip easer when i try to "sing" higher notes clean. This does not stop me from singing rough. But you do not practice as you preform at least all the time..

So now you should see my point the last line 'save it for the show'. better there then ruining your voice without an audience it would all be in vain by that point wouldnt it?

to think you can just start screaming in a way that does no damage, its arrogate.

just because its possible doesn't mean one will achieve over a few months time or longer..you should at least learn to sing before learning to scream.

axemanchris
12-09-2010, 10:49 PM
I checked the list and maybe I missed it, but I believe M Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold also had surgery. Resulting in more clean singing after his surgery.
Don't have a source but worth to check out I think.

Seems so... I'll add it to the list.

http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com/blabbermouth.net/news.aspx?mode=Article&newsitemID=104353

CT

axemanchris
12-09-2010, 10:53 PM
Oops. Actually, it was there... about five or six down.

CT

merriman44
12-10-2010, 03:59 AM
Bear in mind metalhead that while inferring that I am arrogant, you instantly dismiss any and all claims i make on the basis that you don't understand what I do.

I practiced with my band for 2.5 solid hours tonight. I finished our set a second time and was actually stronger. This is with screaming and then hitting relatively high notes in full chest voice. I just don't understand how you can immediately toss aside an individual's argument when you have no true understanding of the underlying technique. From a scientific perspective your data is incomplete and your logic is flaud.

In conclusion, any folks who wish to learn to scream should do so with caution. Learning can hurt you if you are not careful. However, there are ways to minimize/eliminate any damage done to yourself via learning proper technique. Phil Labonte, Howard Jones, Tim Lambesis and Cam Pipes are examples of folks who have been in the business for quite a while and seem to just get better. In fact I saw Phil in concert last month and he was better than he was in 2002 while downing crown royal during a 1.5 hour set in Columbus.
So please don't hate what you don't understand and be cautious to judge that which you yourself cannot do.

metalmetalhead
12-10-2010, 09:17 AM
no no no not you as in arrogant i apologize i should have stated that differently. that was directed to the masses to beginners basically. I dont need to know if your technique is flawed or incorrect only you do that kinda thing. adversary label lol

I dont think my prospective is flawed because i didnt say it was impossible and that you was wrong i just think its important to learn technique before pushing your voice to screaming. or even singing really loud.

When i heard a opera singer sing 4 notes from the chromatic scale on youtube i was amazed by how it sounded so musical ..the voice truely is the most versatile instrument and the hardest to master, it didnt even sound like chromatic notes and he said "it could take 10 years to get a sound like that"

So for me to say if you think you can scream without vocal damage is arrogant of ME. Maybe i could have found a better way to say things but on that note ill hush

merriman44
12-10-2010, 09:33 AM
Ah ok. Thank you for clearing that up. I actually agree with alot that you say when you cast it in this light.

Cheers brudda.