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Why Does My Voice Sound Crappy In The Morning a direct question

#1 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 03:49 PM

Is it because I haven't had my morning coffee? Or is it because I haven't walked the dog? (I don't have a dog!) Night-time or early afternoon seems to be the best time to get down and dirty. Can't figure out why. Night-time is different. Like a transformation takes place or something, or the cells are winding down. Weird. Very weird. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Oh I know -- it's because my vocals have relaxed all day long from all of the talking I've done! Duh! I just now thought of that. Okay, so was this post a waste of time. No. I just thought of something else. What if I spent 1 hour (or a half hour) each morning reciting the same essay. Would this "warm up" my voice so that I could sing just as good as I do at night? That's the question.
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Posted 21 January 2010 - 04:21 PM

Quote

Night-time or early afternoon seems to be the best time to get down and dirty.
That's just biology. :unsure:

The rest I have no idea about, although I do always wake up with a dry throat.
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Posted 21 January 2010 - 04:34 PM

Yeah. Warming up helps a lot, doesn't it? :)
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#4 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 04:58 PM

View PostlyD, on Jan 21 2010, 03:21 PM, said:

although I do always wake up with a dry throat.


I change my air filter (house, not car!) regularly. If it gets too dirty my throat gets dry in the morning. I buy the highest quality, the ones that can filter everything. :)
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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:01 PM

My singing sounds funky (and not in a good way) in the morning as well. I would suggest gentle humming to warm up your throat before singing. Hum and then sing softly. You must warmup, just like you do before exercising

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:04 PM

I need about a liter of water to hydrate in the mornings, depending on the weather. I sleep with a ceiling fan on all the time too so that really dries me out.

Talking shouldn't be your warm up for singing. Singing should be :)
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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:12 PM

Warming up is always a good idea.

Beer is not such a good idea.

Why do I so often just go with the beer?

Nice advice thread here .. http://forum.cockos....ht=vocal+advice
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Posted 21 January 2010 - 08:18 PM

View PostAlistair S, on Jan 21 2010, 05:12 PM, said:

Why do I so often just go with the beer?

I always find a shot of Crown especially warming. :P
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Posted 22 January 2010 - 08:51 AM

I have herbel tea with honey before I leave the house :)

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:10 AM

One for the Vocal Score - move this post there and our vocal expert (Hummingbird) will answer :) - Maybe one of the mods will move it.

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 12:55 PM

Who says it sounds crappy in the morning? Whenever I want to record something in my lower register I always do it in the morning. Where there are challenges, turn them into opportunities.

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:23 PM

I'm going to have to think about that one. My problem may be smack in the middle between my lower and middle registers. I never had a reason to break my registers down into sections, but I think this weekend I'm going to ask my coach precisely where each starts and where each of mine, ends. Thanks for bringing that to my attention Neal.

I'm adding that once I learn the section breakdown, I can then go back and figure out where my problem is, in the morning.
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Posted 22 January 2010 - 02:30 PM

McCartney recorded the vocals of either 'back in the USSR' or 'Helter skelter' at something like 6am for the same reasons.

Just thought id throw that one into the pot :P

#14 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 03:09 PM

It's 2:00pm here where I'm at, and I'm off and running, my voice ready to sing in the middle and lower registers, as usual. My case appears to be the opposite of some. That is, I sing in my lowers much better in the afternoon and evenings, unlike others who sing in their lowers better in the morning. Like I said in an earlier post, it's very very strange how I can reach notes in my middle and lowers with virtually no effort, in the afternoons. Simply amazing.
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#15 User is offline   Hummingbird Icon

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 03:51 PM

The reason our voices sound crappy in the morning is that we aren't awake yet! ;)

Generally speaking, I try not to sing or record for at least 1.5 to 2 hours after waking up. Rehearsals at 9 am used to irritate me... not only because I'm a night person, but I'd have to get up at 6:30 am just to make sure my voice was somewhat awake by 9.

If you have to sing in the AM, I advise (as mentioned above)
- hydration (not coffee, it's a dehydrant)
- a walk
- gentle vocal warm-ups spread out over time.

If you suffer from sore throat or dry throat in the morning try a humidifyer.

Sleep is important for the voice. We should sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.

HTH
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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:38 PM

My voice is lower and less 'limber' in the morning. And I have found coffee to be definitely disruptive to the vocal cords. I love my coffee in the morning, though, so I usually just wait until later in the day to sing. On occasion, I'll work on things in my lower register in the morning. It helps to drink tons of water in the morning, and have hot lemonade later if I don't feel loose enough, or if crap is leaking down out of my sinuses, causing me to caugh, which often happens. Gross. Hydration is really important, plus it does wonders for your skin!

#17 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:07 PM

View PostHummingbird, on Jan 23 2010, 02:51 PM, said:

Generally speaking, I try not to sing or record for at least 1.5 to 2 hours after waking up. Rehearsals at 9 am used to irritate me... not only because I'm a night person, but I'd have to get up at 6:30 am just to make sure my voice was somewhat awake by 9.HTH


So does this mean we should warm up for 1 1/2 - 2 hours after waking? If so, that's fine, but wow, that's a long warm up.
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Posted 24 January 2010 - 01:36 AM

View PostTeri, on Jan 23 2010, 07:07 PM, said:

View PostHummingbird, on Jan 23 2010, 02:51 PM, said:

Generally speaking, I try not to sing or record for at least 1.5 to 2 hours after waking up. Rehearsals at 9 am used to irritate me... not only because I'm a night person, but I'd have to get up at 6:30 am just to make sure my voice was somewhat awake by 9.HTH


So does this mean we should warm up for 1 1/2 - 2 hours after waking? If so, that's fine, but wow, that's a long warm up.


no, it means we should wait 1-1/2 to 2 hours before attempting to warm up. Have a warm shower, drink herbal tea, go for a walk, have a swim, do your yoga, etc.
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#19 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 07:41 AM

View PostHummingbird, on Jan 24 2010, 12:36 AM, said:

no, it means we should wait 1-1/2 to 2 hours before attempting to warm up. Have a warm shower, drink herbal tea, go for a walk, have a swim, do your yoga, etc.


Gotcha! ;) and Thanks! :)
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#20 User is offline   Hummingbird Icon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 02:46 PM

You're welcome!
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#21 User is offline   Bruce N Icon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 05:01 PM

View PostNeal K, on Jan 22 2010, 11:55 AM, said:

Who says it sounds crappy in the morning? Whenever I want to record something in my lower register I always do it in the morning. Where there are challenges, turn them into opportunities.

Neal

I tend to agree with Neal, if you're a true natural singer you can sing morning, noon or night, as long as you're on pitch and in tune with the music, nothing like a throat with resonating phlegm in it, or a dry throat to give your voice tone that little extra something, might limit your range though, but think of it as adding fx as you would to a guitar's sound.

If you think your voice is not in it's most pristine condition, the listeners may disagree with you on that, while on the other hand if you think your voice is in it's most pristine condition as you hear it, the listeners may think you just suck, as I said, as long as you're on pitch and in tune that's all that matters. Let your voice sound as it sounds, Of course if you can't get on pitch or in tune after a few me...me...me...me's, then you're not a natural singer and I would fallow Hummingbird's advice.

Janis Joplin would party and drink and smoke her head off the night before and then go into the studio and record all those chart busting hits of hers or if you scan the youtube videos of the Beatles in the recording studio, more likely then not they are usually smoking a cigarette as they record.

Whatever works best for you, you either have an interesting and distinct singing voice that people want to hear, or you don't.
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#22 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:16 PM

View PostBruce N, on Jan 24 2010, 04:01 PM, said:

If you think your voice is not in it's most pristine condition, the listeners may disagree with you on that, while on the other hand if you think your voice is in it's most pristine condition as you hear it, the listeners may think you just suck, as I said, as long as you're on pitch and in tune that's all that matters......you either have an interesting and distinct singing voice that people want to hear, or you don't.


True, the audiences are the ones that decide whether you are worth watching or not, and whether your voice is pristine or not, day or night. Whatever they say, goes.
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Posted 24 January 2010 - 09:56 PM

View PostBruce N, on Jan 24 2010, 02:01 PM, said:

Whatever works best for you, you either have an interesting and distinct singing voice that people want to hear, or you don't.


Yes, there are natural singers who abused their voices (and themselves) and some are not here to talk about it. And yes, there are natural singers who take care of their voices and are still singing well decades into their career.

And then there are those who need help to find the natural voice, to explore their potential, and find their unique sound. No shame in that.
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#24 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:54 AM

View PostHummingbird, on Jan 24 2010, 08:56 PM, said:

Yes, there are natural singers who abused their voices (and themselves) and some are not here to talk about it. And yes, there are natural singers who take care of their voices and are still singing well decades into their career.

And then there are those who need help to find the natural voice, to explore their potential, and find their unique sound. No shame in that.


Hummingbird, nice point about abusing the voice and not abusing it. Also, very clever to bring up the point that some are exploring their potential, as I think I am. As Lazz once pointed out, I am learning all that I can, so that I can be the best that I can be. Mediocre isn't in my book. It never was, and it never will be.
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Posted 25 January 2010 - 08:32 AM

I'm glad I read this thread. Today is a day off work for me, and I'm going to record. The result will be videos of me playing guitar (or banjo, if I get adventurous) and singing.
I am certainly at my best singing in the morning or early afternoon, but I don't do much of anything to warm up. I do drink a lot of water, but also a good deal of coffee. (Sometimes, but not until the afternoon ;) , I will have a beer).
But what helps me the most is probably that I do my best work earlier in the day, whether it's taking up carpet (which I did yesterday) or playing music. Right now, I have a lot of energy and motivation to get things done, and that will hopefully carry over into my performances today.
When I record for February Album Writing Month, I do a lot of night-time recording because I like the uninterrupted time after my wife and our daughter are asleep (They are at work and school today!). But my voice sounds tired from a day of teaching and talking.
My voice is not great, but I can carry a tune and it fits comfortably in my songs. Almost anything I have put out for "official" release, singing or instruments, has been recorded during daylight hours.

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:22 PM

Hi Terri....just noticed your post. All my life I've suffered from some degree of "morning voice". I was aware of it back when I played in bands in my teens & 20's and it's still with me. I don't want to be misleading. so let me say that I'm not a pro.....and medeocre definetely "is" part of my vocabulary, but I didn't see the simple cause of mine listed here so I thought I'd add it to your list. I inheritted my dad's alergies....it's that simple. During sleep, a certain amount of congestion has a tendency to settle down in areas where it's not real helpful to the mechanics of singing. As the day moves on, so does the congestion so typically during afternoon & evening the voice works better. This may not be an issue for you....only you can know that. If it is though, I really don't see where it's the end of the world.....either don't bother to sing a lot in the morning or get up earlier so you have more awake time before you need your voice. Not all issues have to do with propper practice regiments, what you drink or whether you're motivated......some things are just basic mother nature.
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Posted 26 January 2010 - 10:02 PM

Hi Tunesmith. Glad you brought up your issue. I had similar problems. For years I had days when I had congestion and couldn't sing well. It wasn't until my nutritionist discovered my food allergies, did I get rid of that problem. If I stayed away from foods I was allergic to, I could sing without any difficulties. Eating properly got rid of my migraines, too.

I know someone who had surgery on his sinuses for this very same problem. I'm thinking if he could have discovered if he had food allergies, he might not have needed that surgery, and could have saved himself lots of money in the end.
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Posted 04 February 2010 - 08:04 AM

Great point about allergies, I was just going to bring it up :)
They can change during time too (eg if you eat a lot of certain food to avoid certain other foods, you may develop sensitivity to that food, so food rotation is very important). Also check any food additives or such.

There can be food allergies or sensitivities or environmental pollution (eg furniture or carpeting in your room, especially if it's new or with fishy ingredients (cheap particle board from China or such) and if you don't air enough, or the air outside is polluted as well, I've even read different opinions on ionizers or air filters or such).

A guy online says he prevents seasonal allergies or any problems with sinuses by rinsing the nose canals with salty water, maybe some of you could find it helpful? (My Mum helped cure her cold that way too.)

I'm usually 'rubbish' in the morning for anything, and deeply envy anyone who is a morning person.
That is why I hated choir practice in school too - who can sing their best at 7 am?

Otherwise, I find eating fresh fruit (eg apple) or vegetables (eg lettuce or sauerkraut :) - C vitamin and other minerals & vitamins!) perks me up any time of day. A truck driver told me he takes a big pot of sauerkraut for long drives to keep him up. :P Lemons - I find them too 'sour', not too good if the throat is not at it best, I stay away from lemonade if voice or throat are 'raspy', at times it made it worse.
A voice teacher said to stay away from dairy or chocolate to prevent phlegm. (So if you eat/drink those in the morning...?)

Janis Joplin - love her singing, wouldn't it be better if she took care of herself (and her voice) a bit better and could sing many more songs?

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 02:03 PM

View Posttunesmithth, on Jan 25 2010, 03:22 PM, said:

All my life I've suffered from some degree of "morning voice".

I once asked this question of a more knowledgeable friend,
"No, man", he said, "It's just your ears grow less discriminating as the day grinds on".
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Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:16 PM

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Beer helps my ears to lack discrimination too!
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"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#31 User is offline   Teri Icon

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:02 PM

View PostSusan R, on Feb 5 2010, 07:53 AM, said:

I found that 50 years of smoking and a goodly amount of beer and southern comfort adds character to the voice. :D :lol: :D


Hey what character might that be?? (I'm gonna be sorry I asked!)
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#32 User is offline   SocaMos Icon

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 07:15 AM

I always keep a Halls cough drop in my cheek when I need to sing. The draw back is paying to have the tooth beside it filled every few years. I am a smoker and my throat is usually dry no matter the time of day. I'm not really recommending it for anyone else but for myself it works when nothing else does. Drinking water or anything else on stage makes me cough or choke at inappropriate times (like when i try to sing). On the other hand a shoot of B&B brandy will get me through 2 last encores on the Saturday night of a six night gig, but then I can't even talk till Monday. I guess the moral of the story is don't smoke.

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#33 User is offline   Alistair S Icon

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Posted 07 February 2010 - 01:49 PM

View PostSocaMos, on Feb 7 2010, 12:15 PM, said:

I guess the moral of the story is don't smoke

Damn. I read it as "screw the encores" (they're what caused the Monday problem!):lol:

I'm a smoker too. I really should give up ... again.
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"In my opinion this is a bunch of filth and garbage and we need far less this type of lyrics gettin back in the ears of our children." - from a critique received

"When I was 5 years old, my mum always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wante to be when I grew up. I wrote down, "Happy". The told me I didn't understand the assignment and I told them they didn't understand life." John Lennon.

#34 User is offline   Simple Simon Icon

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 02:11 AM

View PostAlistair S, on Feb 8 2010, 07:49 AM, said:

I'm a smoker too. I really should give up ... again.

Have you read, "The Book"?

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 04:06 PM

Yeah, talking won't do it. If you want to sing in the morning, you need to wake up even earlier and start singing... Have some water and continue singing. and singing. If you wake up by 4am, you should be good to go around 6am.

Why can't you jump out of bed and run a marathon? Same reason. You gotta warm up. :ph34r:

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Posted 10 May 2010 - 10:41 PM

Brett Manning posted a video on "morning voice" not to long ago, It shows a short warm-up you can do to get rid of it. Just search "Brett Manning Morning Voice".

I can sing when I first wake up, but I feel like it's harder (and a whole lot raspier) especially if my sinuses get congested over night.

Yes definitely warm up and also exercising a bit works for me.

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 09:26 AM

Exercising in the morning does all sorts of good things for your body. I'm not surprised it helps your voice as well.
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#38 User is offline   Simple Simon Icon

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 04:31 AM

A thought: birds generally seem to sound their best in the morning. Perhaps there is something to be learnt from our feathered friends?

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 09:25 AM

Alstair mentions beer as not being good for your voice. Well, no alcohol is, alcohol is a drying agent. Anything acidic is not good at all for the vocal cords, and this makes your morning coffee a huge no no. Getting enough sleep works wonders. Health and nutrition plays a big role in the life of a professional vocalist. While the rest of the band partys after a show, the singer is usually in bed, this is the reality of the gig. Look up a book entitled The Rock And Roll Singers Survival guide. Genre doesn't matter, this is an excellent book for vocalists to delve into.
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#40 User is offline   Arius Icon

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 02:41 PM

I recommend the following.

1. If anybody asks you to sing before noon, just give them the finger and walk away.


Okay, so that fixes the singing in the morning problem.

As for warming up, I find that singing Alice in Chains always gets my voice where I want it. Especially "Got Me Wrong" or "Rotten Apple."
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Posted 19 October 2010 - 05:36 AM

My voice sounds crappy in the morning too, especially right after i wake up. My throat tends to feel dry and my voice would crack if i try to sing. Thus, i always drink alot water and do vocal warm up exercises.

I feel that singing is like an exercise. It is impossible for us to wake up in the morning and immediately go jogging or whatever. We certainly need to do certain warmups to get our body fit and ready. Likewise, it is impossible for us to sound our best in the morning just like that. Thats why i believe that warming up before singing is extremely vital if we want to sing and sound good. :lol:

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:09 AM

It is because your vocal chords have not been in use and are not warmed up!

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 10:32 AM

FLEM! especially if you smoke. even if not your throat passages have been lying dormant all night and need their wakey time too

sometimes someone will call and i don't want them to know I've been sleeping (like my boss) so i'll really go out of my way to bring energy into my voice and it never works. "what are you, sleepin'?" uhhhh... :lol:

talking/singing, always sounds bad in the morning, just how it is

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