News & Reviews
GIVE IT A REST!
this email was sent out on: 10:10:56 PM Sun., October 16, 2005
Tomorrow night is the “BIG ONE”. The band has rehearsed every day for two weeks and it is sounding more awesome than ever. Last night, you sang your ASS off and some “important” friends came down to check it out. Boy, did they ever think you were the SH-T! About halfway through rehearsal, you were feeling like you were not getting enough breath when you inhaled and your throat was feeling a little heavy. “F-K-IT, just let it RIP,” said that “goin’ down with Kurt, Janis and Jimi” voice in your head. After rehearsal, you all go out for a “few” cold ones. The bar is slammin’ noisy and EVERYONE is there. You are networking your way through the night. It’s 3:00 A.M. Hungry as a horse on its way back to the barn, you chow down some Burger King before you hit the hay. You dream that your limo is late to pick you up for your spot on “Headbangers Ball”.

9:00 A.M. next morning. Phone rings and you wake up to answer it with a voice like Marlon Brando in “The Godfather”. And now you are REALLY freaking out. You stay on the phone for 4 hours complaining about your throat. You spend 30 bucks on slippery elm lozenges, honey and lemon tea and vitamin water. You make some quacking noises at the bathroom mirror throughout the day to confirm the horror of your demise. A few hours to go and you are walking to the electric chair!

Q: WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE, CLASS?

A: There is no such thing as the “BIG ONE”. Pressure sucks. This is supposed to be fun. It’s only rock n roll. Get a grip.

Never rehearse every day for two weeks if that’s not what you ordinarily do. And if you do, make sure that you are taking10 min. breaks of silence every 75 minutes. If you don’t have a great PA, figure out how to get one. It will save you thousands in vocal surgery bills.

Don’t sing harder to impress anyone. Nobody is “important”. And besides, if you are trashing your throat, you probably think you sound better than you actually do. That’s because the extra effort your putting in translates to “better” in your imagination. TIP: Lose narcissistic tendencies at rehearsal for constructive results.

During rehearsal, when experiencing that there is not enough air coming in when you are taking breaths and your throat is feeling heavy, PAY ATTENTION! This is your body’s way of explaining politely that your cords are swelling and they are not happy about it. TAKE A BREAK IMMEDIATELY (let the band rehearse without you). If you had done this, the movie would have ended happily. The “f-it goin’ down for rock n roll voice in your head” should be permanently retired to an 80s retrospective museum.

Lack of sleep causes fatigue and fatigue causes vocal distress. Partying all night before gigs is not an intelligent move. Talking and networking over noise in a bar at any time, much less the night before a gig, is a really STUPID move. A lot of people do more damage here than they do on stage.

Do not eat before going to bed. This can lead to reflux laryngitis, which will exacerbate the one already created. Lying down horizontally after eating allows the stomach acid (that is working on your undigested cheeseburger) to splash the lower part of your voice box. Your body will create mucous to soothe the burn. If you absolutely HAVE to eat before bed, sleep sitting up or take PEPCID AC or another fast acting antacid.

If you wake up hoarse, SHUT UP!! A day of complete silence will do a miracle of wonders. Don’t complain on the phone and quack at the mirror. Take control. You will reduce swelling significantly with silence. Those who have actually mastered the vow of silence through a day or more will attest to the miracle of the result. Many do not believe it will work. And it is not easy to do, especially when you are freakin’ out. Vocal rest means complete silence- NO WHISPERING (whispering is worse). Write notes or text message only. Drink water, it works great! And it’s free! In the middle of the afternoon, do the speech warm-up on the DVD. One hour later, do the DVDs singing warm-up in your appropriate range. One hour later sing a couple of lines from a chorus in the set. Then shut up until show time.

If you still think you are in trouble, you have two options. The first one is call your local ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat doctor) and ask for a shot of prednisone. Prednisone is a steroid. Not the kind that makes you bat homeruns or grow tits. If it is your first time having one of these, be aware that a very few people may experience a temporary psychological reaction that causes a kind of manic, anxiety state. (I remember that happened to me the first time I took it, but it never happened after I took it subsequently.) A lot of rock stars take this stuff frequently. Personally, I don’t think that’s a good way to go. But once in a while, until you figure out how not to trash your throat anymore (from my DVD, of course, HAHA!) it could be a Godsend.

The second option is postpone the show. If they smelled money, whoever it is will be back. If they didn’t smell money, they probably were not going to show up anyway.


Keep on rockin’,
Melissa






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