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 I'm rapidly losing my range!
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the inhabitant Offline
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:10 pm    Post subject: I'm rapidly losing my range! Reply with quote

I started singing (besides shower singing etc) in a cheezy high school doo-wop kind of group and I've been singing ever since. For at least 12 years I never had a problem. I've always had a great range. I was always able to go pretty damn high without having to break into a falsetto or strain my throat.

But about two years ago something started to change. I started to notice my range wasn't quite what it used to be. And lately, that change seems to be rapidly accelerating. I've noticed a pretty dramatic change just in the last year. I'll listen to old recordings and realize right off the bat, "there's no freaking way I could hit that note anymore..." I'll make a quick attempt just for confirmation and sure enough...not even close...even worse than I guessed...

This is EXTREMELY disconcerting. I CAN'T let this happen! WTF is going on? Age? Has this happened to anyone else? Is there anything that can be done to reverse it? Any excersizes or techniques?

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the inhabitant Offline
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To be clear about the severity, it's not that I no longer have some kind of spectacular range and now days my range is only semi-spectacular. It's more like, I once had a pretty damn good range, but now my range is getting worse than your average singer. I even had to change the key of some of my old songs so I could sing them again. There are many songs I hear on the radio that I used to sing along with effortlessly, but now, even if I really strain, I just can't come close on some of them.
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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three things:

* People lose range with age. Listen to Dylan or Lenny Cohen these days. Sometimes it sounds like they're singing about two notes, tops.

* I'm in my fifties. A few months ago, my range actually increased. It coincided with my pretty much giving up alcohol.

* If you sing wrong and strain your voice, you can lose range.

Okay, so which is most likely culprit in your case? Age, alcohol, or bad technique?

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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2008 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i also point to elton john. he brings his songs down two whole keys now from his heyday in the 70s.

It's probably hard to swallow, but I would just appreciate your voice for what it is today. Older singers with mature ranges still create great music.

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the inhabitant Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dobro wrote:
Three things:

* People lose range with age. Listen to Dylan or Lenny Cohen these days. Sometimes it sounds like they're singing about two notes, tops.

* I'm in my fifties. A few months ago, my range actually increased. It coincided with my pretty much giving up alcohol.

* If you sing wrong and strain your voice, you can lose range.

Okay, so which is most likely culprit in your case? Age, alcohol, or bad technique?


Well three strikes I'm out. lol

I'm thinking it might be a little of each. I'm older. And I do drink (although I drink less now than ever, yet my voice is not improving). And I don't know a damn thing about technique. I was just able to sing from an early age. I never understood vocal lessons because it seems to me people can either sing or they can't. If you're trying to sing a note and just plain missing it, my guess is you don't have a very good sense of intonation and there's nothing you can do. You know, like people that need a tuner to tune? But perhaps I would be surprised at what could actually be learned if I took a lesson or two.

And another thing I just thought of that I never thought of before...

I've got this crazy phlegm disease. I don't know what it is but about five years ago I noticed an increase in phlegm - especially after meals. It has slowly gotten worse and worse over the years. Now, I'm just used to hacking up a loogy every twenty minutes throughout the day. I sometimes end up choking and gaging on phlegm for 20-30 minutes after a meal - just tons of it coming out. I don't want to gross people out so I won't give any more details.

Anyway, I can't even sing at all until I clear my throat sometimes and I've worried about getting on stage again now that I've got this problem because I don't want to freak the audience out with constant loogy spitting into some kind of...man I don't even know....bucket or something.... I bet the phlegm thing could be a big factor. I bet even after I've cleared my throat there is still some presence of it that affects my singing. Perhaps even the constant throat clearing is doing damage to my vocal chords. I dunno. ???

This is hard to swallow indeed. Man this sucks. A skill I had that I've always relied upon because it was about the only thing that set me apart from the masses, is slipping away. Damn, now I might actually have to get good at playing my instruments. LOL

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dobro Offline
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PostPosted: Tue May 27, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I had throat problems a few years ago, pain, loss of power, the whole thing. Went to a doctor fearing throat cancer or something. He took a look with a down-the-throat camera and I got to watch on the monitor. (There's a very interesting resemblance between a larynx and certain parts of the female anatomy - go ahead, make all the jokes you want, but yours is the same...) He said my larynx was pink and healthy and didn't even have nodes, let alone cancer, but also told me my vocal cords were dripping in way more fluid than they needed. It was his opinion that it was allergies - allergies generate phlegm, cuz the tissue's irritiated.

Okay, at that point, I could have gone the allopathic route with allergy testing and anti-allergic injections, but I'd been there when I was a kid and didn't like it or believe in it, so I ditched that alternative.

So I went to a naturopath instead, and went the elimination diet route, and found out some interesting stuff about what I'm allergic to.

I won't bore you with details of outcomes (cuz I'm just outlining the situation and a couple of ways of dealing with it), but I don't have that problem anymore. Hope this is useful.

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Rev. Jake Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My range is actually greater but it's lower. I used to be a tenor. Now I'm a baritone tenor. Don't push. If you keep stretching for notes you can't hit you'll lose more range. Transpose or drop an octave.
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GypsyDeltaBlues Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you sing in the car? IF so...then stop for a couple weeks and see if things improve. Singing too often while sitting down, and especially in full voice, is disastrous to the range.
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GypsyDeltaBlues Offline
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there anything else you're doing different? Like medications you started taking, or something different in your diet? Too much citrus can screw up the natural lubrication of your voice, as well as many over the counter (and prescription) medications.
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