Archive for July, 2016

7-25-16 Embouchure/Twang

July 25, 2016


I did 4 days of singing in a row.  Practice (auditions) Thursday night.  I had a gig at Crystal Springs on Friday (cocktail hour) and sang up to the C5.  Saturday I also had a C5 but it was a bit rougher above that.  Today (Sunday) I am up to C#5.  This was after poor sleep and 3 days of singing.  Today my range was more consistently up there.  I am remembering to sing through my “embouchure” of getting smaller and more “childlike” or “little boy voice” the higher I sing.  I was able to chest the D5’s in Bruno Mars again.  I have a feeling my voice may be on the “upswing” again.  I need to keep remembering this embouchure and try to emulate it during practice, especially of the speech level singing exercises.  This is called “twang” also.  It’s little boy voice, but also drop the jaw (I think).  I have to work on this.  This is exactly what Neil has been teaching me in lessons.


Last I checked, weight was slightly down.  Hasn’t gone up.  I am just working out every day.

7-20-16 Voice Update

July 20, 2016


Lots of things to update about.  From now on, I’m going to include a second category for “voice” to update on how my voice is doing.  For now I am correlating this with what I’ve been eating.

Last week my voice started out hoarse and got better mid-week.  It was fine for a few days, then on the last day of our vacation it was hoarse again.  I found though if I warmed up for 2-3 hours I could get my voice “back to warm” or pretty close to it.  Yesterday it was almost fully warmed up by the end of the day.  I was still cracking here and there on certain things.  I probably had it strong up to the Bb-B but I potentially cracked on things higher than that.

I tried cutting coffee out last week and it was effective.  I am going to continue to do the same this week.  I purchased a wedge pillow for reflux and am going to follow a GERD diet. No coffee.  I might go back to 1 cup if I find this to be effective, but first I have to get my voice back to a place where it’s effective.

This week I am cutting out: coffee, seltzer, chocolate, acidic fruit, acidic herbal tea (chamomile is okay) and no eating within 3 hours of bedtime.

I may also add dairy to that if it is not effective.  I was cutting dairy mid-week last week in addition to coffee.  (But I was drinking either green or black tea, black – so I may add this back in if it’s not what’s making the difference).

Going to give it a few days.

I went back and tried to correlate what I was doing at the times my voice was its strongest. I think in each of those cases I was doing some kind of caloric restriction, whether it be fasting or counting calories.  Perhaps I was doing something else that I’m not fully aware of.  I am going to figure this out now.  I know I was eating bread for my carb at those times, not fruit (which some kinds can be acidic).  If I have to, I’ll switch back to one serving per day.

I’ll update on the experiment in one week.  If this isn’t effective, I may try adding intermittent fasting (like a 14/10 protocol) into the mix to see if it isn’t effective.  Then I’ll re-update.

Update 7-2-16

July 2, 2016

So my weight has not really gone down, but amazingly, in spite of going back up to 219/220 it is back down to 215.  This is after a day of NOT exercising.

My guess is that the reason why it is lower is because through not doing my workout, I ate slightly less during the day (body consumes more food to compensate for energy expenditure during exercise) and I drank slightly less water (body needs less water without exercise) and finally, I slept in until about 11am.  (Interesting how my body wanted significantly more sleep over the course of the night.  Was there some major “repair” going on, or had my sleep been more poor in the days leading up to it?)

I have a theory: ever since Jess and I went to the shore and I had dessert for the first time in months (I ate zeppolis covered in Nutella (it was definitely FAKE Nutella) and fudge all on the same night in addition to eating a good amount of regular food) my body got messed up metabolically.  For the first time since that trip my weight is back down to 215.  I kept my carbs relatively low, having one serving per day from 1/2 an English muffin (yesterday was no exception… I had a wrap sandwich) and I exercised every day except yesterday.  (I need the small amount of carbs to not feel hypoglycemic after exercise.  There doesn’t seem to be any other solution.)  My theory is that over that long period of time I gradually restored my metabolism, and that the over-indulgence in sugar literally damaged my metabolism for over a month.  We went to Long Branch on the 28th of May, and my weight hasn’t been 215 since.  It’s July 2nd today.

I’ve done a bunch of research.  There IS a lot of correlation with countries who do more activity that have lower body weights and lower rates of obesity.  The Netherlands and Italy are some European examples.

Some data:

Most physically active nations (not really data, but you can see the correlation):

Obesity rates:
Long-Term Trends Affecting Physical Activity Levels:
Amish paradox:
There is another study on “cut points,” but it is kind of sloppy.  There is a good deal of correlation here.
My next step is going to be to rent a Suez bike and make this the most active summer vacation I can possibly make it.  I will keep writing back with the impact on my body weight.
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