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I am in a pretty heavy band so I do scream vocals and cleans, but I'm having trouble singing my band's latest written song when we play live. I recorded the vocals at home with no problem, but after playing through our set and then trying the new song I really struggled to hit the notes.

I don't really want to change the vocals if i can help it because they fit the song really well. Does anyone have any tips?

closed as unclear what you're asking by Richard, Tim, Matthew Read Nov 19 '16 at 17:52

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  • I suppose changing the key is out of the question? COuld you lower it to bring it into a register you can sing more easily? – Doktor Mayhem Nov 18 '16 at 14:54
  • What are you doing differently in the recorded version vs live? Are you auto tuning it to sound better or are you allowing yourself breaks? What are the key differences between the live set and the recording? – Melanie Shebel Nov 19 '16 at 5:12
  • i think what happened was i strained my voice trying to be heard because the PA in the practice room was bad and had no monitor. i will try it again with a monitor and see if it makes a difference – james Nov 20 '16 at 0:50
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Sometimes when you overwork or damage your voice, your range can decrease. When it is mild you might not realize you did anything but you simply can't hit the high notes as easy. Rest seems to be the only solution. I have done such things and it has taken quite some time to recover.

It should be obvious but:

  1. Make sure you do proper warmups. Just like running, you have to stretch and limber up... get the juices flowing, else you risk damage. This isn't a joke and you can't "power" through it and your ego will only cause more problems here. Even James Hetfield does warmups after going through similar issues.

  2. Make sure to use proper breath. Live, you might be nervous and not conscious of your breathing and support but these are critical to your longevity. You also tend to try harder live because of the "pressure". This causes you to over stress your muscles.

  3. Practice.

  4. Drink Water = Lubrication.

  5. Don't smoke. Smoking creates a film of tar and excites the mucus membranes that can make it harder to sing. The cold weather can also do this because of colds, sinus allergies, etc.

  6. Learn to cheat by using falsetto/mix to help lesson the damage. Shorten the notes if you have to.

  7. Use proper vibrato. This helps you by requiring less control(more relaxation) because you don't have to be pitch perfect.

  8. Learn to sing the the melody an octave down or transpose the song down several semitones. This isn't cheating but actually strengthens your muscles by sort of "cross training". If you practice the same song(s) a lot you can develop a sort of repetitive stress injury where the vocal folds and muscles of the throat sort of end up with a "wear" pattern like a tire might get. By changing keys you are sort of "rotating" the tires and allowing them to wear in other areas that are less used.

  9. Last but not least: Take a bath, no one likes a stinky singer!

  10. 3.

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