Does playing the flute worsen our voice?

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sheetal_822002
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Does playing the flute worsen our voice?

Post by sheetal_822002 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:14 am

Hi….. Would like to know whether playing the flute would affect our voice.
Have heard that vocalists should stay away from flute since it spoils the
Voice. I am a beginner with flute and do have tonsillitis and sinusitis
problem as well. Looking forward to advices..

fluteguy18
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Post by fluteguy18 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:32 am

I have never heard such a thing! I dont see any problem/ side affects to playing the flute. On this board, there is a vocal major from my university who is learning flute. So, I really doubt that there are any damaging effects from learning flute to one's voice.

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finallyflute-ing
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Post by finallyflute-ing » Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:08 am

Vocal Major learning flute. *points to self*
That's me. :D

The only thing I would caution anyone with, when bridging over from voice to flute, is to keep in mind that both instruments require different breath support. If you have a vocal coach, I would have them explain the differences to you (I don't have a degree/certification or know all the names for everything yet, but if you don't have someone with a degree who can explain it, I'll try...) so that you can be more aware of it when playing/singing.
It's very easy to get used to breathing for flute, and create a bad vocal support habit.
However with attention, focus, and practice, that is an easy habit to break/avoid altogether - and I will never discourage anyone from picking up a flute as it is an awesome instrument.

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Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:43 am

I studies both flute and voice in college and if anything, both were stronger because of the other.

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Post by fluttiegurl » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:03 am

I guess I should also note that I sing and play professionally. Sometimes, I may do both in a single concert. I have never had any negative side effects relating on eto the other. Sorry. The phone range while I was typing my previous post :lol:

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finallyflute-ing
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Post by finallyflute-ing » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:04 pm

Perhaps I should explain what I meant in my previous post: What I was trying to say is that flute and voice require different types of breath support.
For flute, you have your embouchure to control and direct the air flow - depending on how large/small it is, and if you angle it up or down. So what you're most concerned with is pushing your air 'up' and out through your embouchure to make tone.
With voice, you don't have a tight embouchure to push air through, and so your only way of supporting your sound is to 'push down' - and use your abdominal muscles to help you support your voice.
Like I said - I'm not a professor yet, I don't have my doctorate, in fact I'm only a freshman in college. Those are the best terms I know to use to describe it.
But again, as I said earlier, this is an easy habit to get yourself out of - and also to avoid completely. If you practice voice and flute at the same time, take a minute or two between instruments to readjust your breath support, and get yourself in the mindset of doing the other.
Best of luck!

sheetal_822002
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Post by sheetal_822002 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 1:53 am

Thanks a lot for the information :) I would be happy to continue with the flute.. Do post back when you get something informative about this topic.

rai
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interesting discussion

Post by rai » Thu Mar 01, 2007 5:41 pm

:) What a good topic for discussion, since playing the flute IS about BREATH. Because i have played regularly for so many years I love the feeling and sound that is produced when really using the diafram to gently 'ease' the air from my lungs. At times it feel when one is playing that you almost become one with the flute.(thats a bit zen :wink: )

If you are not using your diaphram when playing, then you are 'blowing into the flute and the effort certainly impacts on the 'tone' of your sound. More diafram= more mellow.

As to your question about voice versus flute.. not qualified to answer really.. I certainly used to be able to reach those high notes with voice but years and cigarette smoke have contributed to that lack :oops: :lol: . So be it.. ultimately make your choices and follow them.. Far be it from me to add any technical advice to this forum, the only place i am speaking from is 31 years of selftaught fluting. It is such a joy to ones life to have such a form of self expression available to ones self... no wonder the flute then becomes 'your best friend' ?

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat » Mon Mar 19, 2007 1:29 pm

I am also a flutist/vocalist....I studied both in college and have never had a problem with my voice after 17 years of flute playing. I'm not sure how flute playing could hurt your vocal chords. I do agree that the breathing is different but that's just a skill that you have to master....it can't actually damage your singing voice.

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finallyflute-ing
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Post by finallyflute-ing » Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:58 am

musical_Kat wrote:I'm not sure how flute playing could hurt your vocal chords. ...it can't actually damage your singing voice.
Very, very true.

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Serpentine
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Post by Serpentine » Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:46 am

I wouldn't have thought that it could damage the sound of your voice, unless they are talking about singing and playing flute at the same time (ian anderson/ Jethro tull Style) that could possibly be hazardous to your voice, if you strained it or something while pushing 4th 8ve.

if you don't know what i mean, check out this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sO30LR2 ... ed&search=

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de_Genova
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Post by de_Genova » Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:15 pm

I would like to add a reply to this topic -- I have found lately that if I am playing say, for more than five or six hours a day it definitely has a negative affect on me. I end up with a dry - thirst at night and a hoarsness in my voice. So there is something to it. There is a great amount of muscle tension in the area of the throat and mouth (affecting even the saliva glands) so too much playing can apparantly put a strain on everything. I doubt that serious vocalists would be putting that much time into the flute but it is something to consider. Incidently, it took me a long time to figure out the cause. I went from everything to allergiic reactions to things like tooth paste, and certain foods - too much coffee - name it, and the list goes on. PD
“Albert, what did you do? This is an amazing headjoint! ” Albert Cooper’s response -
“What do you mean, what did I do? It’s just a hole.”

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Post by fluttiegurl » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:31 am

[/quote]I doubt that serious vocalists would be putting that much time into the flute but it is something to consider.

I beg to differ. At one time in my life (not now), I was practicing flute for five+ hours and studying voice very seriously, with much additional practice there. I was lucky enough to have a voice coach who also played wind instruments and understood how all of this works. I never had any problems whatsoever, except for maybe some fatigue after a long week, which I am sure we can all understand.

These days, I still do both professionally. Though I do not practice nearly as much, I will sing/play many hours at a time in a series of concerts, and have no problems still. I think it has a lot to do with my being taught how to play with very little tension anywhere. This has also allowed me to go from flute to singing and back (as well as other flute related instruments - fife, alto, etc) with no problems in the transition. How you approach playing/singing has a great deal to do with how you feel afterwards.

I know that if you are very serious about studying voice and flute, it can be done, and done well. Though this is definately not for everyone as it takes a great deal of time and energy to do both.

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musical_Kat
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Post by musical_Kat » Fri Apr 06, 2007 8:47 am

I completely agree. As I said in an earlier post I was also a double major on flute and voice for several years in college. I never finished because I dropped out of school to get married and have kids but all the same I have never had a problem switching. I still do both. As long as you keep everything lubricated (your throat will get dry without water on flute or voice even if you are only doing one or the other). I have gotten to the point in practicing the flute where my throat has been so dry that I started choking. That had nothing to do with my singing voice. I just wasn't staying lubricated. I have never had any ill effect on my voice from the flute. On the contrary I think the flute makes me a better singer since a lot of singers I really wouldn't consider as musicians and the singing makes me a better flute player because I can get more emotion into a flute piece since singing makes you think about things lyrically.

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Lauren
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Post by Lauren » Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:08 pm

musical_Kat wrote:I am also a flutist/vocalist....I studied both in college and have never had a problem with my voice after 17 years of flute playing. I'm not sure how flute playing could hurt your vocal chords. I do agree that the breathing is different but that's just a skill that you have to master....it can't actually damage your singing voice.
jeez, 17 years... i feel like such a beginner, i have only played for 4
whoEVER
whatEVER
whereEVER
whenEVER
whyEVER

!!!!

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