How to recover range after surgery

dervish riff

New member
I went in for a hernia operation in December 2012. There were complications from the anesthetic, and I was laid up for a month in ICU. During that time I was fitted with a trache tube, which I had for about a month. I figured it would take some time to recover my singing voice, and my low end and midrange have recovered. However, when I try to use my high range and falsetto I seem to hit a brick wall--my voice just won't go there.

Am I expecting too much too soon, or has the medical community screwed me over yet again?

Oh yeah, I'm 58, never smoked, and had no problems with my voice before this incident.
 

Auralsects

New member
Man, it sucks getting old. But, there are plenty of famous people that have dealt with what you are going through. MJ was preserved at 35 but we saw his corpse do Black and White. Sorry, too soon?
Pay even closer attention to vocal exercise, you need to work that voice back into shape that that tube inhibited. While your throat may be affected, your diaphragm was not, And, your diaphragm is key to the singing process, it allows you to press the air out of your lungs harder, also faster air, higher frequency.
 

JuceBachs

New member
So any time you take a hit, you gotta roll then recover. Its fight science/ life 101... You have to rebuild the controls and muscle memory that you lost during your break. You can't be a bodybuilder that has a torn pectoral muscle that undergoes surgery then a month later bench press 410lbs. Its not wise, nor does it make sense. Stay calm! Stay patient! Stay proactive! Understand your new limits, and gradually work your way back to where you aspire to be! To far to fast (or high in your case) will do much more harm than good. Get a steady practice regiment and gradually progress back to the land of the sopranos!
 

AshleyBeawer

New member
Age can definitely affect the voice and vocal cords. My uncle suffered a similar loss 2 years back but unfortunately he never gained his original voice back again. May be luck showers on you and you get lucky. All the best.
 
I'm no singer or vocal coach but I do have a simple little warm up that I try to do if I'm recording something.

I sit at the piano and pick a nice easy comfortable note. Bang that chord out and sing the note as loud and strong as is possible, as long as it's comfortable and healthy.
Maybe hold that for five or ten seconds.
Move up a tone and repeat
and repeat
and repeat.

Now, when you hit a note that you're not comfortable hitting strong, just don't. Stop dead and remember the note before it.

Now repeat the exercise but only go as high as the highest comfortable note.

Maybe the next day or the day after you can push on a semitone higher or maybe a tone. Whatever is comfortable.
 

Slowrider

STOP Voting!
I'm no singer or vocal coach but I do have a simple little warm up that I try to do if I'm recording something.

I sit at the piano and pick a nice easy comfortable note. Bang that chord out and sing the note as loud and strong as is possible, as long as it's comfortable and healthy.
Maybe hold that for five or ten seconds.
Move up a tone and repeat
and repeat
and repeat.

Now, when you hit a note that you're not comfortable hitting strong, just don't. Stop dead and remember the note before it.

Now repeat the exercise but only go as high as the highest comfortable note.

Maybe the next day or the day after you can push on a semitone higher or maybe a tone. Whatever is comfortable.








Totally agree.
 
Totally agree.

Cheers. I duno how much it'll help the OP, but I work with a guy who really struggles to warm up and hit higher notes.
It's all in his head though. He can hit them but tries so hard that he does this fake husky thing.

I get him to do this exercise with a Sinatra tone before every recording session now.
 

nielphine

New member
There are so many variables there I hardly know where to start from...

So, first, hi! I'm actually a singer who just assembled my home studio and have been lurking around here for a couple of months absorbing knowledge. I felt the need to respond to this because I see too many people screwing up their voices unnecessarily for lack of info/knowledge/proper guidance.

So, here are my 5 cents...

- Laying down for a month may have actually softened up your muscles - higher notes require way more strength than the lower-middle ones. Remember, the higher the note, the higher the frequency you'll be vibrating in. Though you hardly notice the muscle tone loss for daily activities, for singing it is a big deal.

- The whole procedure, being laid down for so long and all the stiffness from the recovery may also have strained a muscle or two here or there - you sing with your whole body, if there's something amiss, the voice will not come as we want it. Talk with your physician, see if a couple of massage sessions can help.

- Talk to a fonotherapist. Get a videolaryngoscopy done and see if there was no actual physical damage to the muscle; if not, sometimes a couple of exercises for a few months will do the trick. Your fono will know what to do.

- Don't treat your voice as if nothing had happened - if needed be, make those beginner drills we all hate to do... Halftones, seconds, thirds, fourths, fifths, a halftone up each time... Sometimes a tone is already too much, so go slowly. And remember to breathe!

It also could be just psychological (oh, that scary high register....), but I hardly believe, given the circumstances...


Keep us posted =)
 

dervish riff

New member
I think I'm starting to make some progress again, got the OK to start riding my exercise bike--hopefully that'll help build up my wind.
I'll have to see if we have any fonotherapists here, that's new to me. As it is, I'm still dealing with a blood clot in my leg that didn't get diagnosed until March 2013, the complications make me wish I'd just bought a truss, lol.

Thanks for the helpful replys.
 

MissOneDayMore

New member
For me, it's arpeggios over and over again. Try and have someone present whilst you warm up, being under pressure can really help you have the strength to pursue those more difficult notes.
 
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