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I am looking for effective ways of minimizing breath pressure on the cords while singing. That is without getting a weak or thin tone but a chesty and sometimes slightly held back one. Think Michael Bolton for instance. The reason is that it's extremely tiring and destroys my voice in very short time. I thought my problem might be my diaphragmatic support but I have been trying to use it and I also had lessons before. Any thoughts on what I should look for? Thanks.

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  • If possible, find someone with similar vocal tone who can do what your asking and ask for their advice. Dec 1 '14 at 12:38
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It is easy to forget that your vocal chords are muscles. They need warming up and cooling down just like any other muscle in your body if you want to progress and prevent injuries. If you find you have little endurance singing, a warm up might make the difference between shooting your voice out early and being able to sing for much longer periods. This can involve the following:

  • singing major scales at various volume levels
  • maintaining a constant pitch with different vowel sounds (ah, eeeee, eye, oh, you, etc)
  • stretching your neck and relaxing your shoulders
  • focusing on keeping your head level

Like anything that requires a lot of exertion, effective breathing helps as well. It sounds like you are on the right track, but just keep at it. It's a slippery slope trying to achieve the tonal quality of another person's voice. Michael Bolton became a great singer with years of practice. Appreciate your own voice and keep practicing.

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  • Thanks for the tips. How much time do you think one should spend warming up? Or alternatively how do you know you're ready?
    – user40079
    Dec 4 '14 at 18:16
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    No problem. I think the warm up depends on the gig. If you are going to sing for a couple hours, I might spend 30 minutes. Keep in mind, it's a warm up - you aren't singing full blast. The purpose is to prepare your voice, not strain it. Be patient. your chords are more fragile than you think. I know I am warmed up when I can hit my pitches without much effort.
    – piofusco
    Dec 4 '14 at 19:16
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    Also, don't forget the cool down! If you perform for a couple hours and need to talk with people afterwards, cool down the same way you warmed up. 5-10 minutes to relax your chords can make all the difference, without it you risk being hoarse the next day.
    – piofusco
    Dec 4 '14 at 19:19
  • This is probably why my voice was often tired even by the end of the warmup to the point I was singing better without one. Too much power and too early.
    – user40079
    Dec 5 '14 at 9:11
  • Hi @user40079 if this or any answer has solved your question please consider accepting it by clicking the check-mark. This indicates to the wider community that you've found a solution and gives some reputation to both the answerer and yourself. There is no obligation to do this.
    – piofusco
    Jan 4 '15 at 7:45

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