Safety Mode

Recently, I was performing with my group Il Duo in a restaurant over top of a bar.  The bar was so noisy that I instinctively pushed my voice to be louder.  Not good!  The next day I had to sing as a part of my church choir and as Tom Burke says, “Straws save your life!”  So  I was warming up using a straw and noticing that the entire middle part of my voice was destroyed.  But the longer I used the straw the more it came back.  Thank god! What I also noticed was that the straw was forcing me to sing with a bit of breathiness in the sound.  When I try to sing with full closure of the vocal folds (using a light glottal for onset) the middle part of my voice became very difficult to sing with again.  But as soon as I went back to the straw and slight breathiness, most of my range came back!  So for the entire choir concert I sang with breathiness and could sing with a very usable range for the concert.  The one problem with breathiness I find is that the really high notes disappear for me, but I don’t need those high notes generally in choir.  Also I find if I sing with breathiness in choir my over trained voice blends better.  Anyways I am calling this new found technique “Safety Mode!”  It repairs my voice and allows me to continue performing.