Does playing a brass or woodwind instrument put strain on your voice?


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rmr024
11-17-2009, 11:53 PM
Lately, I've been noticing that when people in my school concert band play their instruments, the veins in their neck bulge out when they play long phrases or hold long notes without taking a breath. It looks very similar to when a person strains their voice as they are singing and their veins pop out of their neck.

However, I can't say that I've ever felt a "strain" on my voice or pain in my throat or anything like that...

As a saxophone player, I'd like to know if this has any effect on your voice. Honestly, I would say that ever since I became more serious about playing my saxophone with good tone quality and air support, my singing has only improved. I'm interested to know what you think about playing brass and woodwind instruments in relation to singing and if you have any information, I'd be more than happy to hear it.

DestinDoom
11-18-2009, 12:01 AM
I doubt it has any negative affect, but to be honest I really don't know. But if it hurt your throat I doubt people would have long careers playing wind instruments.

It will help you a lot with your breathing though.

zhilla
11-18-2009, 04:14 AM
They are straining because they are running out of air, or because it takes pressure to play high notes - they aren't using their vocal chords (unless they are playing double-stops, which isn't gonna happen often enough to strain them), and they aren't straining their throats or their voices.

It will definitely help your breathing - lung capacity and control. A lot of kids with asthma get recommended to take up a wind instrument cos of that.

JacKofAces91
11-18-2009, 10:16 AM
I know a ton of people who are both amazing at woodwind/brass instruments and singing. Practicing one will only help your breath support on the other as well as developing your ear.

food1010
11-18-2009, 06:16 PM
Just because someone is straining, it does not mean they are straining their vocal chords. In fact, when playing wind instruments, your vocal chords should never be strained, to the best of my knowledge.

clayonfire
11-18-2009, 06:48 PM
I play clarinet, I play guitar, I sing (not the greatest though), and will try anything you throw at me.

While Playing Clarinet, it does use your diaphragm yes, but In all the years I've been playing (which is around seven or so) I've never felt any vocal strain; I have felt strain in my throat if I've had a sore throat, but that's to be expected. But yes, that "straining" you've most likely noticed is probably "I've been holding on to this note four 18 measures now, I WANT AIR"

And yes, for Wind Instruments (at least Clarinet), Higher notes take more air support...Playing a High C and Above (Concert Bb and above) is VERY difficult to play in tune with good tone.

Natrone
11-23-2009, 11:11 PM
No. Playing a wind instrument doesn't utilize your vocal cords. No worries there.

Well, if you do a growl or something then it does but you don't constantly do that.

Spoony_Bard
11-24-2009, 01:19 AM
I would think it would be pretty helpful for your breath control, actually.

rmr024
11-29-2009, 12:15 AM
Thanks for the replies.

What about when you are singing and veins pop out a little when you sustain a very long note? Is this something that ideally shouldn't happen or is it not a big deal?

food1010
11-29-2009, 12:53 AM
Thanks for the replies.

What about when you are singing and veins pop out a little when you sustain a very long note? Is this something that ideally shouldn't happen or is it not a big deal?If you're putting the strain on your throat, this is bad. If you're singing with perfect technique though, you should have nothing to worry about. Basically pain is bad. If it doesn't hurt or make your throat sore, it's generally not bad.