#1
I've always wondered if it really was completely true that smoking makes your singing voice worse, because I really can't help but notice that a lot of my favorite vocalists have been smokers (like a lot of famous musicians, really), and it either has seemed to only make their voice better sounding, or not have any noticeable effect at all.

Now, obviously there is the whole argument that it isn't worth all the health repercussions, but I was really just seeing if anyone else had any knowledge about this.
#2
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#4
i remember hearing Shaun Morgan (Seether) saying that he tried to quit smoking once, but then his throat would only become sore. Some doctor had told him that when he smokes, his throat automatically 'defends' intself, which makes his voice more enduring.
#5
well, alot of times smoking makes your voice sound cooler, but it definately harms your lungs which gives you less power and makes it harder to hit the notes. It also lowers your voice so if you sing in a higher register it will hurt your singing.
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#6
I think that it depends on your voice.

I have a deep, rounded voice, and when I smoked (gave up 2 weeks ago!) it brought out an edge, which added a nice gravelly tone.
#8
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#9
lots of good singers smoke (Eddie Vedder, Kelly Jones), and i find that a lot of those that do have a certain quality to their voice. however, there are plenty of singers that smoke that sound crap (Brandon Flowers)
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#10
its not good really. makes you sound breathless. u can hear it, and its not a nice sound. its like theyre pushing quite hard but not alot of airs coming out.
#11
Every vocalist that I've worked with that hasn't sucked has smoked. So to answer your question: No, quite the opposite.

I guess if you didn't know your range it would though. Bad notes + raspiness= hell.
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#12
chris cornel - my favourite vocalist ever, he smoked, and you can see how his voice has degenerated over his career, he went from incrediobly great range, to just kind of average. his older stuff has alot of super high pitched wails and super low droning, but as his career moved on it progresses into this kind of safe zone, like hes almost lost his uniqeness of having that great range, now he cant do the high notes nearly as well. you could blame that on ageing, but i mean come on smoking damages everything else in your throat and lungs its highly likely to damage vocal cords.
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#13
It does damage your singing ability. It makes you lose range, dynamic range, tonal range, agility and so on. Unless singing in one octave the same dynamic with the same growly, soon to be raspy, tone appeals to you. Then I guess it could be seen as an advantage.
#14
A lot of singers smoke, a lot don't. I'd be a lot more concerned about lung cancer than my voice having 'an edge'.
On similar grounds, I've heard from MANY vocal coaches that having a couple of shots of spirits before you warm up does wonders for your voice. Your vocal cords relax, hence you having a much greater range, etc. I can't sing for ****, but I'm sure somebody can benefit from this advice
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#15
My voice started to get a higher range when I started smoking....bizzarre.

I know it's bad for my voice though, so i've cut down alot.
#16
Smoking's bad. And singing's bad (when I do it anyway).

What's your point?

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#17
Well im the singer of a death metal band, and i started smoking. I really enjoyed it but i had to stop cause i couldnt get though low grunts, but maybe im just a pussy.
#18
Smoking makes your voice sound cool. Its just not good for your lung capacity, you will find it harder to hold a note.
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#19
I smoked half an hour before I auditioned for my school's talent show this afternoon. I was still able to go to Robert Smith range.
#20
Randy Blythe from Lamb of God smokes and if he quit it would **** his singing(more like growling) voice over i bet. He's got good range too.
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#21
Chris Cornell man. That's how he lost his voice..

Though, Tom Waits seems to have gotten cooler for it.
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#22
Liam Gallagher from Oasis comes to mind. His voice was so clear and perfect back in '94, and now it's absolute **** from all that smoking
#23
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Nat King Cole smoked 2 packs a day and refused to quit even after he got lung cancer. He believed it was the key to his voice.


Holy ****, he had, like, the most beautiful voice ever. I thought he would have had to wash his larynx with peppermint oil everyday to get a voice that awesome.

EDIT: K I just read the thread, and I've got a question. Could secondhand smoke make your voice lower? because my dad's a smoker, and I have a sort of a froggy voice, which is really deep. Of course, I'm also 6'3" and have a huge chest, which could have some effect. Which is more likely the cause of my deep voice?

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#24
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Randy Blythe from Lamb of God smokes and if he quit it would **** his singing(more like growling) voice over i bet. He's got good range too.


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#25
Brian Johnson was decent when he joined AC/DC in 1980. Now he can barely sing a song close to its original recording sound. He smokes like a chimney.
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#26
Listen to Chris Cornell and Kurt, that is how good smoking wil make your singing. It adds grit.
#27
Also check out Frank Turner (ex. Million Dead). Awesome voice, and a smoker.
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#28
It definitely adds a raspy rough-ness to your throat - Used to sing n smoke in my old band. TO be fair, best thing to do would be to start & keep doing like vocalist exercises - I know it's daft, but it really does help a lot, and counters a lot of the extra problems with smoking - breath capacity, holding notes, et al.
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#29
To be fair, not that smoking helped, but I also think Chris Cornell's more recent problems with singing also have to do with years and years of really straining it, the way that he sang in a lot of Soundgarden and Audioslave songs.

I can see where it might hinder your vocal capacity, but does it really narrow your range?

Korzack is probably very right in suggesting regular vocal exercises to keep your ability up.

Of course, there's still a matter of whether or not the health problems are worth it. But that's not really what I was wondering, since that's a whole different story.
#30
Smoking is bad for both the throat and the lungs; obviously it has adverse effects on the voice. Some people (Joni Mitchell, Frank Sinatra, etc.) manage to avoid the worst, but they are the exception rather than the rule.
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#31
Why thank you Delanoir.
Well let's face it, PatchworkMan has just hit a very obvious nail on the head (Even if in the 50's they did offer cigarettes as a remedy for various things - Imagine that from your doc nowadays), but at the same time, it ain't that so - As many have noted earlier, long duty smoking doesn;t really help you become a Soprano (in terms of singing)... Even in the case of Lemmy, his voice sounds a LOT more strained than it used to me.
I suggested the vocal warm-ups and exercises because they've helped me maintain the most part of my voice, although smoking has helped it along in a lot of ways in a rock sense, it just helps you with lung capacity for holding notes, making sure you can reach certain notes & the suchlike... I'm sure there's some free exercises about, but if not, I found a 'singing for dummies' book which was a godsend. I know it's probably not the most obvious thing to suggest, but the voice is an instrument, just like a guitar - and just as we all practice playing our chosen craft in order to keep at our best, it's a good idea to do the same thing for the throat - I don't suggest doing 2 hour warm-ups like I know a lot of actors do, but a quick 10 minutes will have its up sides onstage.
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#32
axl rose screwed up his voice with smoking. i personally think on appetite his vocals were really good. but i personally think it improved kurt cobains voice.

in general, i think its bad for your voice and ability to hold notes.

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#33
Ville Valo from HIM smokes a lot and he is a great singer. So no, not always bad.
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#34
Our singer smokes, and it makes him sound totally awesome...then again, he only screams and growls most of the time, so that's why it makes him sound awesome.
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#35
The dude fom The Strokes smokes and he kicks so much ass even my granny's ass is red.


BUT remember, age is also a factor. Look at wrinkly Robert Plant. They got to change the keys of the songs so he hit the notes again.
Last edited by walidb123 at Nov 28, 2007,
#36
Barry White sounded like Justin Hawkins (The Darkness singer) before he started smokin'


lol
#38
smoking and driknking is the key to any good voice. my favorite vocalists is(among many others) Lemmy(aka god) and tom waits, i like harsh voices and if you dont have it naturaly...then abuse your voice till you have it
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