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Thread: Whiskey-soaked voice?

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    Rokket's Avatar
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    Whiskey-soaked voice?

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    Ian Gillen of Deep Purple is best known for this. He said one time that he takes a couple shots of Jack Daniel's before he sings.

    I've never been overly impressed with his voice, although he does that tasty scream during the intro of "Highway Star"...


    What does whiskey do for your voice? Could I benefit from it?


    Knowing my luck, the only benefit I'd get out of it would be that I got so drunk I wouldn't care what I sounded like...

    So what does it do?
    Every kid wants to be Superman, Batman or Spiderman. I blame the parents. If parenting was better, maybe these kids wouldn't want to be orphans.

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    carlosguardia's Avatar
    carlosguardia is offline Dedicated Member
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    I think that single malt scotch is way better than bourbon. The Macallan, Dalwhinnie, Cardhu, heck even Glenfiddich...
    then again, good vodka does the trick as well... good russian would be best, but even Finlandia, Grey Goose or Absolut might do the trick!
    Planeta C Recording Studio. San Jose, Costa Rica.

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    Rokket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carlosguardia View Post
    I think that single malt scotch is way better than bourbon. The Macallan, Dalwhinnie, Cardhu, heck even Glenfiddich...
    then again, good vodka does the trick as well... good russian would be best, but even Finlandia, Grey Goose or Absolut might do the trick!
    Good recommendations, I guess. But you didn't answer the question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Rokket View Post
    So what does it do?
    Every kid wants to be Superman, Batman or Spiderman. I blame the parents. If parenting was better, maybe these kids wouldn't want to be orphans.

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    I'm no singing teacher or vocal expert.... All I know is from some years experience working with singers but here's the serious answer...


    I doubt that alcohol can do anything positive to your vocal strings. I doubt that alcohol can affect your diaphragm or lungs.

    When singing, your air is crucial; hence your lungs should be in good shape. Your diaphragm to your voice is kind of what a pick is to a guitar, so it, too, should be in the best shape possible. About your vocal cords, I don't know.
    Putting aside what psychologically alcohol might do... and guessing here:
    Room temperature liquor might help you stretch your vocal cords (heat expands, cold contracts) and that might help hit higher notes...
    Planeta C Recording Studio. San Jose, Costa Rica.

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    guitarboi89 is offline Dedicated Member
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    im not sure about those guys, but when i have a heavy night with just whiskey i cant talk the next day. Maybe its that to a lesser extent, its hard to sing so you push your voice harder getting that gravelly sound

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    I think smoking would have more an affect on the voice....it does something to vocal chords. Not sure about alcohol..I drink alot of beer and whiskey, and you've heard me....
    Honey Badger is badass...he don't give a shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokket View Post
    the only benefit I'd get out of it would be that I got so drunk I wouldn't care what I sounded like...

    So what does it do?
    Reverse the order of those two sentences, and I think you have 90% of your answer.

    I think most of it is simply that alchohol is an inhibition supressor and one has a tendency to get the ol' "courage from a bottle" when they drink beforehand. But that doesn't necessarily make them sound any better. And long term it's a bad idea.

    I just did some quick searching of th Net on the subject, which seems to back that up. Here's the first three results I got:

    From The Acoustical Society of America:

    Experiments to determine the physical effects of alcohol on the human voice are reported. Recordings of sustained phonations and prescribed texts were taken from 12 volunteers at various stages of alcohol consumption, to determine whether a significant change in voice frequencies occurs when alcohol has been consumed. No association between the fundamental frequency of a sustained phonation and level of alcohol consumption is observed (regression coefficient=0.146, t ratio=0.28, df=71, p=0.781). Similar results for the higher formant frequencies are also observed. The effect of alcohol on duration of speech is also investigated. Prescribed-text, sentence duration is found to increase at the rate of 6.4% (standard error =0.5%, p<0.0001) per ml of alcohol consumed per kilogram of body weight. There is no evidence that the sex of the speaker is related to the effect of alcohol on sentence duration. Acoustic analysis of fixed-text voice recordings is therefore not a suitable method of determining whether a person is alcoholically intoxicated. [This research was supported by the Research Committee of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.]

    From MusicBixAdvice:
    In moderation it’s OK. Alcohol is very drying, it tends to help to increase acid reflux, and the third thing is, especially while onstage it can inhibit the sense of perception… Most performers who have performed while intoxicated and then they become sober, are almost embarrassed by the fact that they used to think they were more creative and performed better while they were intoxicated onstage. And every single one of them--and these are great performers—said that they do much, much better when they do not have anything like alcohol inhibiting them onstage.

    From the Drug and Alchohol Resource Center:
    Heavy drinking can increase the risk for certain cancers, especially those of the liver, esophagus, throat, and larynx (voice box).

    G.
    Last edited by SouthSIDE Glen; 04-30-2008 at 06:00.

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    before the show or recording session....don't drink anything but water!
    after the show....get drunk, get stoned, do the groupies, party all night!

    alcohol will not do your voice any good !

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    ^^^what he said...it won't effect your voice...it will just make singing much harder on your vocal chords; although I do drink whiskey before I play shows (gotta look like a hardass you know)...

    ultimately your voice will be as scratchy as the voice you were born with...cigarettes do make it scratchier though IMO.
    I come from the taint of America, so don't bitch at me about your f*#@ing problems. You don't have to wake up everyday smelling like a mix of ass AND balls.

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    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-15823977.html
    Protect your voice: here's what you can do to keep your vocal cords singing.
    (includes related information)

    From: Vibrant Life | Date: 11/1/1994 | Author: Richard, Eric

    Your throat aches, and your voice is scratchy. It's uncomfortable to talk. You're afraid to try singing. Life's daily demands have left you with an uneasy, strangled, scratchy voice, making it difficult to performa at work, keep up with children at home, or enjoy simple pleasures such as singing.

    Despite how imporant your voice is, many people leave vocal discomfort symptoms untreated or do not know what to do to promote good vocal health. Signs of poor vocal health that are not treated can lead to more serious problems.

    In addition to interfering with your ability to communicate, voice disorders can have associated emotional consequences according to a recent survey conducted by the National Center for Voice and Speech (NCVS) at the University of Iowa.

    Sufferers reported experiencing negative psychological effects arising from their voice problems. The survey of voice and speech patients indicated that 76 percent felt their voice problems affected their future career options, while 65 percent limited their social interaction whenever possible. Psychological problems stemming from the voice disorder symptoms included depression (65 percent), embarrassment (53 percent), and adverse professional self-esteem (61 percent).

    If your voice persistently draws attention to itself for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor. Many conditions that lead to voice problems, including laryngitis, are not a serious health threat, but persistent voice abnormalities deserve a doctor's attention. "The rough voice associated with laryngeal cancer, the breathy voice assocated with largngeal paralysis from throid cancer, and the weak voice of a patient with Parkinson's disease are early tip-offs that warrant serious attention," says otolarynologist Harry Hoffman. Symptoms to watch:

    1. Pain when speaking.

    2. Speech and voice characteristics that are unusual for a person's sex, age, and community.

    3. Persistent or progressive hoarseness that lasts for more than two weeks.

    4. Unusual effort to speak, weak, tired, low or high speaking voice.

    5. In people older than 65, voice spasms and a lost ability to sing low notes.

    6. In people younger than 65, changes in voice that result in a lost ability to sing high compared to low notes.

    7. Alterations in pitch, range, and ability in trained singers.

    More serious problems that occur when not speaking include coughing up blood, an audible harsh sound when breathing combined with a feeling of airway blockage, difficulty swallowing, or an unusual neck mass. Any person experiencing these symptoms should consult a doctor immediately.

    What you can do. Not only is it important to know the signs of poor vocal health; it is important to know how to protect and maintain a healthy voice. A list of vocal health tips developed by the NCVS includes the following:

    1. Rest your voice in times of vocal fatigue. Tired muscles need rest; your vocal tissues are no different.

    2. Repeated clearing of the throat or coughing may damage vocal fold tissues; try sipping water to ease throat irritation.

    3. Simple relaxation techniques can ease the muscle tension that causes speakers to press their vocal folds too tightly together, causing damage.

    4. Vocal tissues work best when they are well hydrated. Drinking plenty of water and keeping home environments at a relative humidity of 40 percent or more will help moisten vocal tissues.

    5. Alcohol and caffeine dehydrate the vocal folds.

    6. Antihistamines for cold symptoms that dry up the sinuses and lungs also dehydrate the vocal folds; drink plenty of water when using them.

    7. Cough syrups treat the symptoms of a voice problem, not the source of the problem. Cough syrups also contain alcohol, which dehydrates the vocal folds. When using cough syrup to treat sore throat symptoms, drink plenty of liquids. The cough syrup will alleviate the discomfort, but vocal rest and good vocal hygiene are the best ways to deal with voice problems in a timely manner.

    Vocal steriods enable a person who is experiencing poor vocal health to do a single speaking or singing performance who otherwise could not, but they can be harmful! They also only treat symptoms and allow a person to produce normal voicing with damaged vocal instruments. The long-term effects of this repeated abuse could be devastating.

    8. Smoking is the leading cause of laryngeal cancer; at the very least, smoking irritates tissues used for singing and speaking. Don't smoke!

    9. Having good posture and using the correct pitch when speaking can improve the quality of your voice and can alleviate unnecessary stress on the voice.

    10. Vocal training from a licensed speech-language pathologist can help you learn how to best use your voice; vocal endurance, like athletics, requires special skills.

    Vocal health matters are often ignored. Having a healthy voice, compared to one that is weak and tired and does not perform well, can be an important ingredient to a successful and happy life at home, at work, and in the community. Take care of your voice! You and your loved ones deserve the benefits that a little good vocal hygiene can provide.

    LET YOUR VOCALS SING

    Myth: Smoking a cigarette or drinking coffee or alcohol before singing will help you relax and sing better.

    Fact: Smoking irritates vocal fold tissues, while consuming drinks with caffeine or alcohol dehydrate the vocal folds, which perform much better when they are well hydrated. Singing or forced voicing when the vocal folds are dry or irritated can be damaging. Drink beverages without caffeine or alcohol before singing to improve hydration. Also consider performing breathing exercises combined with stretching exercises for the neck and facial muscles as relaxation techniques.

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