The Voice

No, not that "voice." My voice. Anyone who came out to Saturday's ITP show at Noah's Ark in Poughkeepsie may have noticed a strain in my voice. It wasn't as powerful as it normally is, it full-out cracked during a song in the first set, and you'll have to believe me when I said that it took a lot more work for me to get those notes out than it should. And the question is: why? I think there's a couple of reasons.

First, the season change. I have felt allergies affecting my throat over the past month or so as the tempuratures have gone from hot, to warm, to cold, to warm, to hot, to cold, to warm. It's really been all over the place, and I think it's given no gifts to my throat. I've also been told that people have had stronger allergies this year than previous, and this includes people who have never (or rarely) experience them. As a result, I've noticed that I sound very nasally when I speak, my range is not what it should be, and it also affects my diction. It's not painful, but it's an annoyance.

Second, I give group and private piano lessons for 5 1/2 hours on Saturdays which require a lot of talking. This past Saturday was the first day since March that I had to teach and then sing 3 hours worth of music, and it's the first time that I've had to talk so much before singing. My voice is obviously not used to this kind of strain. Couple that with the weather, and you can get an idea of what I'm dealing with.

I was watching the new Martin Scorsese documentary on George Harrison (which is great, by the way) and there's a scene where George is shown gargling a mixture of vinegar, honey, and warm water. Supposedly it coats your throat and vocal chords as a way of protecting them. The things we do to keep our voices healthy. I may try that. I may also go see a doctor, since we're getting close to the point of laying down vocals for the new album and I want my voice to be as strong as possible.

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    © STEVE SCHULTZ