Saturday, July 19, 2008


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"3 Ways to Ruin Your Speaking or Singing Voice for Life"

If somebody told me, "Go out there and ruin your voice for the rest of your life", I could do it in less than 1 year. Here is what I would do:

1. Nicotine: Crowded bars are notorious for their toxic air. Not only will singing in this toxic environment ruin your voice, talking can be just as damaging. Thankfully most clubs are aware of the dangers and are actually becoming smoke-free. Quitting smoking was VERY hard to do. I wasn't ready to quit until I was ready and even then it took a couple of years.

When you're ready let me know, I'll be happy to tell you what worked for me. But that would be a whole other article.

2. Alcohol: I don't drink. I know that is just as hard to hear as a musician who does not do drugs. But I saw it as an occupational hazard. Since I liked drinking so much, I figured I would stop drinking during work. But now that I am singing so many nights every week, it just makes sense to stay sober.

Also, you'll need to look out for throat sprays and holistic remedies that contain alcohol. We all know that over the counter medicines contain some alcohol, which was one of the reasons why I don't take them. But the so called "healthy" cures will require a quick reading of the label. Alcohol dries out the vocal chords.

So if you want ruin your voice in less than 1 year - Drink and drink heavily.

3. Sugar: OK so I don't do drugs and I don't drink. But boy do I love chocolate. Included in this list could also be carbonated soda pops. So pick your spots. Chocolate before the gig is perfect for ruining your voice. Plus, if I ate enough of those really good donuts down at the German Bakery, I could get real fat and clog up my arteries. That wouldn't just ruin my voice in a year, I could ruin my whole body.

Clearly, I do not want to ruin my voice. But how can I keep my voice strong? Look here in the future for more information on how we do it. For now though, I can tell you that when I stay from all three of these, my voice repairs itself quickly and efficiently.

"I am not Dr. nor have I ever played one on TV"
- some obscure TV commercial

But I do know what works for me and all of my fellow "Saloon Singers" who I gig with all over the country for Corporate Parties and Fundraisers.

I could have easily added 7 more ways to ruin your voice for life. It takes planning and discipline. It takes commitment and focus. And best of all it can take you career and slingshot it past those who do not take care of their most valuable asset - their voice.
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