Alcohol effects on Singing
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by admin


Had a short break just before my next lesson and since I was at Gardens (the mall just opposite Mid Valley, if you don’t already know), I thought I’d walk you through the mall just to check out what Christmas decorations they had (in case you were looking for a place to take nice Christmas pics) and also drop my vocal tip for this week while I’m at it 😉

With the festive season coming up, it’s normal for people to want to get together for some great food, drinks and some singing…which usually leads to a common vocal question that singers (and/or people who like to sing) have – does alcohol help me sing better?

And the answer is………….. NO 😛

There are a few reasons for this.

First, the body takes alcohol as a form or poison. So it does whatever it needs to do, to wash it out of our systems – which means lots of fluids used, which usually leads to us having to go to the loo after that alcohol. This results in dehydration – and dehydration as I’ve spoken about in my last Vlog, is not good for the vocal cords as our vocal cords need to be hydrated to remain limber and maintain the mucosal lining on them to protect the natural friction that happens whenever we phonate/vocalise.

This dehydration from alcohol consumption can lead to extra mucous production on our vocal cords – our body tries to hydrate it back. But this over production of mucous only leaves us feeling like we have to keep clearing our throat – it’s not great for singing, and it’s also not a healthy vocal habit to have, but we’ll talk about that another day 😉

The third significant effect that alcohol consumption can have on us is numbness. I’m sure you’ve watched a movie or even a few movies where someone gets shot and they need to remove the bullet immediately and there were no aesthetics around. What do they usually do to help the person who got shot?

They give the person alcohol! :S

And that’s because consumption of alcohol can have a numbing effect on our bodies. This numbing effect, however, is not great for singing. This is because singers need to be as sensitive about their instruments (their voices) as possible, to have as much vocal control they need when singing. They need to be able to sense and feel (and then control) how their vocal cords should come together (or zip up), how and where to place the resonance of their voices in their vocal masks and the different registers (whether chest voice, middle voice/mix or the head voice & etc). The numbing effects of alcohol therefore, can inhibit a singer’s ability to control his/her voice well when intoxicated and can easily cause a singer to sing out of pitch or lose their breath support.

So, the next time you think about taking that alcohol before singing, think twice!

If possible, take it only after you sing. And if you must take it before you sing, if you don’t want it to affect your singing, take it at least 24 hours before you do, so that your body can flush it out of your system and rehydrate before your vocal performance 😉

Questions or comments on the pretty decorations? Post them below.

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Alcohol effects on Singing
Does alcohol help you sing better? (Vlog)