Sebastian Bach

Sebastian Bach (Skid Row) – One of the most influential rock and metal singers of all time

This post is continuing to pay tribute to the greatest rock and melodic metal singers of all time. This time, we’re going to be featuring the man who famously sung about the “youth gone wild”. I am of course talking about the one and only Sebastian Bach, most famously known for his role as front man for Skid Row.

Sebastian Bach was born Sebastian Philip Bierk on April 3, 1968. He is a Canadian-American, born in the Bahamas and raised in Peterborough, Ontario with his seven siblings.

He was the lead singer for Skid Row from 1987 to 1996. He has achieved many creative feats including performing on Broadway, acting in film and television (including Trailer Park Boys, The Masked Singer and Gilmore Girls). Sebastian now continues his music career as a highly successful solo artist.

Sebastian Bach is an anomaly among singers. He has a high tenor voice with extremely thick vocal cords, which not only allow him to sing high C5s and D5s in chest voice, but also to have the ability to mix chest and head voice with his “false cords” to create grit and gravel in the highest notes of his mixed register.

Speaking as a vocal coach, Sebastian’s voice is extremely special in its characteristics and its tonal nature. He is famous for having so much girth and width in his high vocals. This creates a gritty, gravelly scream that Sebastian uses to great effect in songs like “18 and Life” and “I Remember You”, among others.

Sebastian’s early years

Sebastian was surrounded by music at home growing up. His mother and aunt sing informally at home, which inspired Sebastian to join a choir at eight years of age. According to Sebastian Bach himself, he was always getting into trouble from a young age. He was curious to try new things, and he had no fear.

His first credited band was “Kid Wikkid”. Upon hearing of the band and unaware of their ages, Bach auditioned for the group when he was 14. He was hired by Jason Delorme, who was the guitar player and band leader of the group. Kid Wikkid moved to Toronto, and Bach’s dad eventually allowed Bach to move in with an aunt who lived there.

Side note: Sebastian Bach’s dad is actually a very accomplished artist in his own right. His paintings would grace the cover of various Skid Row albums. More on this later!

Fast forward to the 1980s

The formation of Skid Row happened in the mid-1980s. At that time, the vocal duties were handled by Matt Fallon.

The band began playing in various clubs around the New Jersey area. However, the band itself failed to make an initial positive impact with record companies and potential managers. It was obvious to everybody from the outset that Matt Fallon didn’t have what it took to make it big. He was absolutely committed to the band and worked his ass off on stage, but vocally lacked the critical firepower to truly bring Skid Row’s songs to life.

Below is an example of Matt Fallon, the original front man for Skid Row, performing an early demo song with the band.

In 1987, Fallon left the band (largely by mutual decision). This presented an opportunity for Skid Row to find a new singer and the search had begun.

A star is born

Sebastian Bach was spotted singing at rock photographer Mark Weiss’ wedding by Jon Bon Jovi‘s parents. They immediately approached him and suggested that he get in touch with Jon’s friend, Dave Sabo (the guitarist better known as “Snake”), who was originally jamming with Jon Bon Jovi before founding Skid Row with Rachel Bolan (the bassist).

Footage from Sebastian performing at the wedding still exists today!

This was not the first time that Sebastian was offered an opportunity to front an American rock band. Prior to hearing about Skid Row, he was briefly a member of a band called “Madam X”, from Detroit. Madam X had gone through a number of singers in a very short time, and Sebastian was their third. There were issues with Sebastian getting into the US to perform and combined with disagreements between him and the bassist of the band, it was short-lived position.

After Madam X, Bach was cautious of auditioning for another American band. When he heard Skid Row’s demo tapes he changed his mind and immediately flew to New Jersey to audition. Sebastian quickly proved that he was the voice that Skid Row had been looking for.

With their new front man in place, Skid Row was set for mega stardom.

The first tour

Dave “The Snake” Sabo leveraged his relationship with Jon Bon Jovi to get Skid Row to open for Bon Jovi’s New Jersey tour in 1989 (who were promoting their fourth album). In turn, Jon Bon Jovi leveraged his success with his own band’s album, Slippery When Wet, to help Skid Row get their first recording contract. Jon was a shrewd businessman and recognised Skid Row’s potential early on.

Bon Jovi set himself up as the middleman and had Skid Row sign a contract with him. He agreed to take Skid Row under his wing. Skid Row then performed over 9 months in 1989 for some of Bon Jovi’s largest crowds during their New Jersey syndicate tour, propelling their careers and securing another opening spot for Aerosmith a year later.

During the Bon Jovi tour, Skid Row’s reputation and fanbase were growing rapidly to the point where Sebastian Bach would later claim that Skid Row’s merchandise had begun outselling Bon Jovi’s. Possibly to keep Sebastian Bach in his place, during one of the shows Bon Jovi’s crew poured ice milk on Sebastian before he took the stage.

Fun fact: The tradition of the headlining band pranking the opening band has been going on for years and traces its roots right back to Black Sabbath (Tony Iommi is famous for pranking both other bands, and his own band members).

After signing with their new manager, Doc McGhee, Skid Row’s self-titled debut studio album was released on the 24th of January, 1989 by Atlantic Records. The album was initially received with mixed reviews in the music press.

At the time, Skid Row were very different from the glam bands that had come before them. They were mixing melodic music with Sebastian’s high-powered, fiery vocal deliveries. It was only a matter of time before the band was to find a legion of fans.

Need more Sebastian Bach?

To learn how Skid Row went from an opening act to a world class headlining show, check out Sebastian Bach’s biography. It is a must read for every up and coming rock or metal singer. I personally enjoyed learning about why Sebastian Bach’s vocal tone changed noticeably between his debut album and Slave to the Grind, in 1991.

The Skid Row records that Sebastian Bach sang on are as follows (I have included links to the vinyl copies of each of these in case you’re interested):

  1. Skid Row (released 24th of January, 1989)
  2. Slave to the Grind (released 11th of June, 1991)
  3. B-Side Ourselves (released 22nd of September, 1992)
  4. Subhuman Race (released 28th of March, 1995)

Skid Row went on to produce additional albums after Sebastian Bach’s departure, but in my humble opinion, they were never as good as their glory days with Sebastian at the helm. He was such a hard act to follow that they went through a succession of four different singers following Sebastian, before disbanding. The list of singers that replaced Sebastian consisted of Johnny Solinger (1999-2015), Tony Harnell (2015), ZP Theart (2016-2022) and most recently Erik Grönwall (2022-2024).

Sebastian himself went on to live out his own successful solo career. His solo albums (I’ve managed to track down some CD copies and streaming links for these) include:

  1. Bring ‘Em Bach Alive! (live album released 2nd of November, 1999)
  2. Angel Down (released 20th of November, 2007)
  3. Kicking and Screaming (released 27th of September, 2011)
  4. ABachalypse Now (live album released 22nd of March, 2013)
  5. Give ‘Em Hell (released 22nd of April, 2014)

There is no doubt in my mind that if Sebastian Bach and Skid Row were able to put their disagreements behind them and go on tour once more, within a year Skid Row would undoubtedly become one of the largest grossing bands in rock and metal today.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase from one of the above Amazon Associate links, a tiny commission goes to supporting the site. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I only ever recommend products that I personally use or know are beneficial to my readers.

Joe Elliott

Why do some older rock stars lose the ability to sing high notes?

Today I’d like to answer the question: “Why do some older rock singers lose their vocal power and ability to sing high notes?”. We’ll also cover some steps you can take to reduce the chance of this happening to you.

The simple answer is that usually between the ages 50 and 60, the micro-muscles that support proper larynx and vocal cord function begin to naturally atrophy. This is in regard to both the reduction of physical mass and loss of flexibility of not only the vocal cords themselves, but also in the vital tendons, ligaments and micro-muscles responsible for efficiently operating your singing and speaking voice.

Rock singers like Axl Rose (Guns N’ Roses), David Coverdale (White Snake), Joe Elliot (Def Leppard), Jon Bon Jovi (Bon Jovi) and Paul Stanley (KISS) have all suffered notable loss of vocal power and range, especially in their upper registers.

The average concert goer is just going to put this loss of vocal ability down to old age and partying to excess in younger years, or just plain old decades of live concert performances and punishing touring schedules. While some of these things may have played a part in their declining vocal abilities, there are other factors at play.

There are a few factors that can impact more significantly on a singer’s ability to deliver a good vocal performance and match those iconic high notes that made their songs such a high point of our personal music playlists. In this article, I’m going to shine a spotlight on some of the most obvious causes of vocal decline in older singers.

Collagen levels

Vocal cords are made up of individual strands of collagen. When you reach your 30s and 40s, both men and women start to produce significantly less collagen in their bodies. Collagen is essential for maintaining not only healthy skin and cartilage, but also the natural mass in your vocal cords.

Once you have lost a significant amount of your natural collagen levels, a strict healthy eating regime is required to be able to replenish most of what was lost. It is not possible to naturally reclaim all of your diminished collagen levels as you age.

My recommendation for thirty year old singers and upwards is to consider purchasing a respected, reputable collagen supplement product like this one from Vital Vitamins or this one from Ancestral Supplements. This will help to supplement your collagen levels, which is especially useful if you use your voice excessively or rely on your voice in any way to make a living. I believe that everyone, singer or not, should be using a collagen supplement to help maintain a healthy function of their voice as they age.

In keeping with my “No BS” policy, as a vocal coach that has logged thousands of hours working with singers, public speakers (and everything in between), I noticed that as soon as I hit my early 40s my voice would take slightly longer to recover after marathon coaching weeks.

Singing is like an athletic sport. Marathon coaching days are the vocal equivalent to competing in multiple back-to-back Iron Man events. The energy demand is very hard on the body and it’s important to have a good, healthy diet. Even the best diets can create gaps in vital nutrition, especially when it comes to essential minerals, vitamins, nutrients and peptides. This includes collagen.

I have been using a collagen supplement reliably for the past 10 years and I wish I had started taking them sooner! One of the biggest gains that I’ve noticed is that my voice recovers faster when I am using collagen supplements. My voice feels stronger and sounds like it too.

Need supplements? Click here to browse collagen supplements with the right types of collagen on Amazon.

Physical changes within the larynx

Inside your larynx, you have many connecting muscles, tendons and ligaments. As you get older, if you don’t use your voice correctly and maintain a healthy vocal exercise regime, you will experience decline and atrophy in the mass and the strength of the connecting supportive muscles that maintain a healthy larynx function. This of course includes your vocal cords, which are responsible for phonating (producing monotonal and melodic sounds).

As we age, we experience reduction in the size and the mass of the micro-muscles that anchor and support proper larynx function. This includes the aryepiglottic muscle, the thyroarytenoid muscle, the cricothyroid muscle, the oblique arytenoid muscle, the transverse arytenoid muscle, and both the lateral and posterior cricoarytenoid muscles.

These micro-muscle groups are prone to reducing in size as we age. The blood supply to these muscles is often reduced, which is going to speed up the amount of atrophy and shrinkage.

What does this mean for an aging singer?

It simply means that as these muscles atrophy and decline in size, you will experience a loss of strength in the larynx, making it harder for your larynx to naturally position itself to create the proper connection to your high notes. The larynx needs to be able to rely on the healthy function of tendons, ligaments and various micro-muscle groups to facilitate the larynx tilt or the thyroid tilt that allows us to access our higher register.

Depending on how significant the decline or atrophy is in these micro-muscle groups, it can be very difficult to rebuild these muscles back to achieve the required mass to function normally. A better idea is to adopt a regular vocal exercise regime that can correctly target these micro-muscle groups and help you to maintain healthy mass and function well into your 70s and beyond.

Shining examples of well maintained singing voices include Glenn Hughes (ex Deep Purple) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest) who are both well into their 70s (72 at the time of writing). They each understand the importance of regular vocal exercise sessions and using good vocal technique to maintain their glorious singing and screaming voices.

Glenn Hughes
Rob Halford
Rob Halford

It’s worth mentioning that both Rob and Glenn were born with above average natural strength, flexibility and length of their vocal cords. Throughout their decades long careers in music, they have both encountered numerous vocal problems with their voices brought about by excess drugs, alcohol and other vices.

Both singers are well known for their belting ability, both in their middle and upper registers, but they have maintained their ability to perform at a high level by regularly going back to the basics of good technical foundations in their respective singing styles. This includes good vocal warmup routines, and maintaining overall fitness.

One of the best kept secrets among high profile singers is having access to world class ear, nose and throat specialists (ENTs) and vocal surgeons including Dr. Steven Zeitels, who has operated on many celebrity singers like Adele, Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Cher, Roger Daltrey (The Who), Lionel Richie, Keith Urban, Paul Stanley (Kiss), and James Taylor.

Unless you also have access to a world class vocal surgeon, I highly recommend adopting a regular vocal exercise programme in order to maintain healthy mass, function and flexibility to these essential micro-muscle groups. You should also learn the appropriate warm up and warm down exercises for your vocal style and age group. If you’re unsure on where to start with this, please don’t hesitate to contact me to set up a private coaching session.

Long breaks between recording and touring

For established rock stars, it is very normal to have a touring schedule of 250 or more shows in a year. They then come off the road and have extended breaks of up to 1-3 years, or sometimes even longer before the band finds themselves back in the studio to record a new album.

An example of this is the time between Def Leppard’s Pyromania album (20 January, 1983) and their Hysteria album (3 August, 1987) which meant that Def Leppard would have had at least two years off between touring and recording those albums. There was a good reason for this in Def Leppard’s case, given Rick Allen (their drummer) was in a catastrophic car accident in which he lost his left arm.

Another example is the gap between Guns N’ Roses’ Use Your Illusion (17 September, 1991) album and their Chinese Democracy tour (starting in January 2001) which is a gap of over 7 years, even factoring in two years of touring for the Use Your Illusion tour!

While it may look like an appealing lifestyle to work at a breakneck pace for 12 months on tour and then retire to an exotic location for a well-earned extended break, these long hiatuses can be hell on a singer’s vocal abilities.

Here’s why.

Many of your favourite rock singers are just guys and girls that are born with above average strength and mass in their voice. It’s very easy for someone that is born vocally stronger than their peers to take their singing voice for granted. It might surprise you that some of your favourite artists don’t have regular vocal exercise routines and through their 20s, 30s and even 40s, continue to rely on the natural strength of their singing voice to see them through.

However without exception, these singers are in for a rude shock as they approach their 40s, 50s and 60s. This is because this is the time that the voice naturally starts to change. These changes take place inside the larynx (as I mentioned earlier) through depleted levels of collagen. The vocal cords are losing mass and flexibility, and so are the micro-muscles that are responsible for supporting the larynx as we sing up and down through our range.

Poor vocal technique

Many of your favourite celebrity singers sound good because they were born with naturally big voices. Just because someone sounds good, it doesn’t necessarily guarantee that they are singing or screaming in a way that uses healthy vocal technique.

A perfect example of this is Axl Rose (vocalist for Guns N’ Roses). Throughout the 80s, Axl Rose was renowned for his incredibly powerful male tenor voice. Axl is actually a natural baritone but he was blessed with an anomaly in his voice that allowed him to also have an incredibly powerful tenor upper register.

Axl Rose

Axl developed his vocal style by listening to and closely replicating the singing style of Dan McCafferty (Nazareth) who was known for his big, gravelly, three octave vocal range. As a result, Axl can be heard applying excessive pressure to his vocal cords as early as the G N’ R Lies album (released 1988). By around 1991-1993, Axl Rose started to suffer serious vocal challenges during GNR’s Use Your Illusion tour.

His vocal cords started to develop either nodules, nodes, polyps or cists which seriously impacted his ability to sing high notes. This can be seen through any of the Use Your Illusion performance videos online where Axl’s voice would regularly break into a whistle register to hit some of his signature notes when he applied too much pressure to his cords.

Axl sacrificed his magnificent voice regularly to produce a stunning vocal effect at the beginning of Welcome to the Jungle which is a combination of a vocal pitch and a purpose-made whistle tone. Producing this whistle tone effect requires air passing through the vocal cords, drying them out. It also requires an excessive amount of tension to the vocal cords to be applied to produce this eerie, whistle tone effect. This results in the vocal cords producing excessive amounts of heat, which is a really good way to dry out your voice and remove the protective layer of mucosae (natural lubricant that protects your vocal cords from friction damage).

If we fast forward a decade to 2001, from the start of the Chinese Democracy tour, Axl is clearly struggling to hit any high notes with the same vocal power that he once possessed. There was a long break between the Use Your Illusion tour and the Chinese Democracy tour that will have resulted in natural atrophy and loss of strength in the vocal muscles if they were not being healthily worked out regularly. This, in combination with the excessive wear and tear that Axl places on his voice to achieve his signature vocal style and sound, has contributed to the ongoing decline of a once-magnificent singing voice.

I believe that Axl smoked his fair share of pot in his earlier years with Guns N’ Roses, and passing superheated smoke over the vocal cords is a very good way to dry them out in a hurry. When you combine this with Axl’s extreme singing style, it’s easy to understand how he’s managed to blow his voice out.

Based on my 30+ years of vocal coaching experience, it’s highly probable that Axl Rose has had surgery on his vocal cords, possibly multiple times, to remove vocal polyps or similar conditions. Axl has never publicly acknowledged any ties to surgery in his interviews, so this is pure speculation at this stage.

If Axl had used proper technique that complimented his voice throughout his career, he may still be hitting those high notes today.

About vocal surgeries

Some professional singers choose to attempt to combat vocal decline by going under the knife.

The most successful vocal surgeries that I know of have been on Steven Tyler (Aerosmith), Sam Smith and Adele, who each used Dr. Steven Zeitels to repair their vocal cords.

In Steven Tyler’s case, Steven recounts this in well-documented interviews, where he admits to having gone under the knife in order to repair microtears in his vocal cords. The need for this was brought about through a combination of his once again well-documented drug and alcohol addictions. According to Steven, he had burst blood vessels in his vocal cords that prevented his vocal cords from functioning normally and being able to thin down correctly to access his iconic high notes.

Steven Tyler
Steven Tyler, age defying superhuman

Prior to this surgery, Steven had begun to struggle to hit his mid-range notes with power. His high notes were all but gone.

After the surgery, given the appropriate amount of recovery time and practicing regular vocal exercise workouts, Steven’s vocal recovery was nothing short of miraculous. It sounded to many of his fans, like Steven had discovered the proverbial vocal fountain of youth. That’s one very lucky singer!

On the other side of vocal surgeries, even as lately as 10 years ago singers were often left with permanent scarring on the vocal cords. This scarring significantly impacts on the ability of vocal cords to correctly thin down and make the appropriate voice level closures at the vocal cords to sing powerful high notes.

You are welcome to speculate on who these rock and roll casualties may include. Hint: Think about some of your favourite rock/metal singers from the 80s, 90s and early 2000s that are no longer able to hit the high notes and sound hoarse. These are usually positive indicators of permanent scarring on the vocal cords.

Rock and roll vices

Smoking cigarettes or vaping, excessive consumption of alcohol, weed/pot and other drugs are all known to significantly impact the healthy function of both your voice box (larynx) and your vocal cords. They also impair your ability to breath effectively from your diaphragm.

In the case of cigarette smoking (and now vaping), there are many studies that have proven direct correlation between usage lung damage.

If you are a singer that smokes or vapes and you have noticed significant loss of vocal range, or it’s getting more difficult to hit higher notes, contact me now for an honest conversation about how to reclaim your singing voice.

Genetic and neurological conditions

Not everything is under our control. Genetic disorders or conditions can have a real impact on singers in later life. We’ll cover both genetic and neurological conditions in more detail in a future post.

Better information leads to better singing!

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase from one of the above links, a tiny commission goes to supporting the site. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I only ever recommend products that I personally use or know are beneficial to my readers.

Cher – Testimonial

Rapid Vocal Results is exactly what you get when you sign up with Paule.

I met Paule when I was on the lookout for a vocal coach with a difference. Someone who could take me to the next level. And Paule is that person.

In just three months my vocal range has improved, so has my breathing, placement and resonance. I can execute my varied repertoire of songs with ease. I can flow between jazz, pop, rock, R&B etc…

Paule uses unique and funny anecdotes and imagery which “stick” when I am out there singing. 

We have “RVR breakthrough moments” every so often and that is deeply rewarding.

Paule shares his indepth knowledge of the workings of the respiratory and vocal functions and communicates really well.

His scales and drills which seem endless are very effective!

It’s great to have Paule in my corner knowing I can call on him whenever I need to. 


Aimee C

After falling pregnant, I had formed vocal weakness due to my morning sickness and after 3 years of no improvement, I knew I needed to seek help to restore my vocals.

I came across RVR while searching for a coach that could get my vocals back on track quickly and efficiently.

Paule at RVR delivers clear and concise lessons that paint a detailed picture on how our vocals work and how to use them efficiently and effectively. After our first lesson we had already seen an improvement.

Paule delivers world class training and knowledge with ease while keeping the environment stress free and fun. If you are looking for a vocal coach, I highly recommend RVR.

Emma L (Kōtare)

I’d been to other vocal coaches but there always seemed to be something missing – until I found Paule from Rapid Vocal Results. 

Apart from an increased register, Paule helped me to achieve more resonance and greater freedom. 

When I had an upcoming gig and was still suffering from post laryngitis, I booked a session with Paule. It was like pouring oil on rusty cogs and I got through the entire performance without a hitch. 

Working with Paule helped pave the way to leaning into my passion as a singer songwriter. 

Performers channel energies, but it’s having the physical frameworks and the confidence in vulnerability to release that fully out in to the Universe. 

I’m proud to have Paule as part of my team.

Kōtare x

Bonnie B – In progress vocal coaching testimonial

⁣I hired a world class vocal performance coach. It was a moment of courage. I couldn’t sing (that’s what I have believed for my whole life!).

But I became so curious, especially as I reflected on the spiritual “intelligence” I have received over the last three years.

I have had numerous people who don’t know me from all over the world, who have prayed and given me prophetic encouragement, sent me messages and words saying that I have a BIG powerful voice, that they see me SINGING, that I’m a great singer, that I will be leading a NEW Sound, speaking, entertaining, leading with my VOICE. ⁣It has become ridiculous how many people have said the same thing! ⁣

So I prayed about it and wondered whether this could this be true. It was always my total heart’s desire to sing! I decided to take the spiritual intel believing that I can sing and challenge this old belief I had that I COULD NOT SING.

I needed a professional though. Someone who trained REAL SINGERS, so I could discover whether I had any hope.

⁣To have it confirmed, professionally by an expert. To prove this correctly once and for all and let me find the very best vocal singing teacher in New Zealand. I decided I will have one session. He can tell me officially and professionally that my school teacher maybe was right, was there any truth in their words when they said that I can’t sing? ⁣If he were to say the same thing, I could finally accept that I was maybe impaired in this area of vocals. ⁣

My first session with my singing vocal coach, Paule Enso, was over 3 months ago. ⁣

Paule is highly intuitive and dug into the “why” I wanted to learn to sing. I’m suddenly tearful, spilling the beans with him, telling him about having to LIP SYNC my role as the Sea Witch at 11 in the little mermaid play. That my voice was bound and robbed at that moment when my schoolteacher said I couldn’t sing the role and would need to mime it. This was such an old story.

On our first session he asked me to sing for him. I suddenly felt the spotlight on me and was wishing for the TRAP DOOR to open now so I could escape this humiliating moment that I had SIGNED UP for. I sang gingerly, and it sounded absolutely terrible. My cheeks went red. I did it though. First steps. Sing bad so I can be taught.⁣

He encouraged me for being WILLING to be UNCOMFORTABLE also I could learn and grow. We have gone on to form a great coaching relationship. ⁣

He initially said on my third session it sounded like a constriction on my larynx⁣. Like when a python wraps and constricts around a throat. That the air was not able to hit my vocal cords at the right speed to release the sound. ⁣

As he took me through the exercises week by week, and he helped me develop my breath and opening of my vocal cords so we could get breath/air to hit my big thick vocal cords I was absolutely SHOCKED to hear the pure loud sound that came out of me. It felt like this freedom to breathe and sing and make this amazing sound through me. This is practically what restoring your voice looks like!

My voice coach told me that I have⁣ “BIG THICK VOCAL CORDS”⁣.

He excitedly told me “Bonnie, you have the raw vocal DNA potential to hit the MONEY NOTES”⁣.

This is the major C female singing voice that Grammy award artists such as ⁣Aretha Franklin and Mariah Carey possess! ⁣

On my tenth session he said it’s like someone who owns a V8 motorbike. It’s fast and powerful, but you need to learn how to ride it and control it so you don’t crash it. ⁣To learn the speed, tone of my voice, the foundational BREATH diaphragm set up, projection, pitch and most importantly to relax, “yawn”, and have my happy singer’s smile.⁣

Now I am taking FULL ownership for the sound of my voice and the message I sensed resting in the shadows. It was like searching in a dark attic for something that had been forgotten and stored away. ⁣

MY VOICE. ⁣Re-awakening to the sound of my own voice. Taking ownership of the SOUND that comes forth when I stand in the authority of my VOICE and SPEAK. ⁣It was a booming declaration.

I’m curious if this resonates for you? ⁣Have you wondered if you can LEARN HOW TO SING?⁣ Have you been ashamed to sing ⁣or publicly speak?

There’s so much to this and I’m looking forward to unpacking it more and help others dismantle their blocks and beliefs that are lies and holding them back from doing what could be most enjoyable!⁣

The best thing is when you sing did you know that it stimulates your pleasure centre in your BRAIN. Singing releases endorphins, serotonin and dopamine – the ‘happy’ chemicals that boost your mood and make you feel good about yourself.

It’s so awesome to have an experienced, knowledgeable coach to guide me step by step through this exciting journey of discovering my singing voice.

If this story resonates with you and you want to discover the power, beauty and freedom of your own singing voice, call or message Paule here at Rapid Vocal Results, or email paule@rapidvocalresults.com.

Carla Terry – Lead Vocalist for No Regrets

A little background on me. I have been singing lead vocals in a local Covers Band in the Manawatu now for just on 10yrs. I always knew that I required a little help to correct some bad habits I had taught myself in my journey.

Fast track through to 9wks ago….

Rapid Vocal Results

I had heard great things about Rapid Vocal Results and this Paule Enso. I ummm’d and ahhhhhh’d for a few months on whether I should join up. Well anyway, I did. And he is ah-ma-zing!!!

Paule has been teaching me about how to better breathe through my diaphragm to get a better use of air to create my sound. Yeah I know, sounds complex, and it is. But he makes it easy. He is the absolute best.

Honestly if your singing needs a bit of help – Paule Enso is your man! If I was asked to rate his teaching ability on a scale of 1 to 10, and 10 being the absolute best, I would rate Paule a 9.5 (I don’t give anybody a 10!) but it just shows you how amazing Rapid Vocal Results really is.

Thanks heaps Paule for everything you have done and continue to do to educate me in my vocals journey.

Attenuated earplugs: The key to protecting your hearing while practicing music

As a musician, practicing is an essential part of honing your craft. However, the noise level of your instruments can lead to permanent hearing damage over time. That’s why attenuated earplugs have become an essential tool for musicians who want to protect their hearing without sacrificing the quality of their practice sessions.

What are attenuated earplugs?

Attenuated earplugs are a type of hearing protection device that are designed to reduce the volume of sound without distorting the quality of the sound. Unlike traditional earplugs, which can muffle the sound and make it difficult to hear, attenuated earplugs are designed to reduce the decibel level of the sound, while still allowing you to hear the full range of frequencies. This means that you can protect your hearing while still hearing the music clearly.

Musicians typically use attenuated earplugs when rehearsing at loud volume levels with a band, in an enclosed space. Attenuated earplugs come in a variety of dB reduction levels. From as little as nine through to 25 dB reduction.

Why musicians should use attenuated earplugs

Musicians are at a higher risk for hearing loss than the general population. This is because they are exposed to high decibel levels on a regular basis, both in practice sessions and during live performances. Over time, this exposure can lead to permanent hearing damage, including tinnitus and hearing loss. Attenuated earplugs are a simple and effective way to protect your hearing and prevent these issues.

Attenuated earplugs have several benefits for musicians:

  • They reduce the volume of sound without affecting the quality. This means you can still hear the nuances of the music, including the dynamics and tone.
  • They provide consistent protection, regardless of the environment. Whether you’re practicing in a quiet room or performing on a loud stage, attenuated earplugs can provide reliable protection for your hearing.
  • They are comfortable to wear. Attenuated earplugs are designed to fit comfortably in your ear, and they won’t fall out or cause discomfort during long practice sessions.

Tips for using attenuated earplugs

If you’re new to using attenuated earplugs, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Choose the right level of attenuation. Attenuated earplugs come in different levels of attenuation, so it’s important to choose the right level for your needs. A music store or audiologist can help you choose the right level of protection for your specific situation.

Use them consistently. Attenuated earplugs are only effective if you use them consistently, so make sure to wear them during all practice sessions and live performances.

Clean them regularly. Attenuated earplugs can accumulate wax and other debris over time, which can affect their effectiveness. Clean them regularly with soap and water or a specialized cleaning solution.

Attenuated earplugs are an essential tool for musicians who want to protect their hearing while practicing and performing. By reducing the volume of sound without affecting the quality, they provide reliable protection against permanent hearing damage. If you’re a musician, consider using attenuated earplugs in your practice sessions to protect your hearing and ensure that you can continue to make music for years to come.

Where to get attenuated earplugs

In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I personally invested in two sets of custom-made attenuated earplugs. One of these sets has a 10 dB noise reduction, which I use while coaching singers. The second set has a 21 dB noise reduction, which I use at any event where my ears are going to be subjected to loud noises for sustained periods of time. This includes any event where extreme noise levels could potentially affect my hearing, such as concerts or motor racing events, etc.

Nowadays, earplugs similar to the ones I use are readily available online, like these ones from Eargasm. If you don’t have the time, energy or desire to get some earplugs custom-made (this can take up to four weeks, or possibly longer), then I highly recommend the Eargasm earplugs sold on Amazon. 21 dB noise reduction is ideal for concerts and other events with extreme noise levels.

Better information leads to better singing! If you’re a singer or learning to sing and you’re affected by any kind of hearing loss, contact me today and let’s chat. I can help you develop your body as a tuner and help you to regain your vocal confidence.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase from one of the above links, a tiny commission goes to supporting the site. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I only ever recommend products that I personally use or know are beneficial to my readers.

The pros and cons of steaming your vocal cords: What you need to know

As a singer, your vocal cords are one of your most important assets. Taking care of your voice is crucial to maintaining your vocal health and ensuring that you can perform at your best.

One popular method for caring for your vocal cords is steaming. While steaming can have many benefits, it is important to understand the potential risks as well. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of steaming your vocal cords.

Pros of steaming your vocal cords

1. Rehydrates dried out cords and throat

One of the main benefits of steaming is that it can help rehydrate dry vocal cords and throat. This can be especially helpful if you live in a dry climate or if you have been talking or singing for an extended period.

2. Loosens Mucus

Steaming can help loosen mucus in the throat and nasal passages, making it easier to sing or speak. This can be particularly helpful if you are suffering from a cold or allergy symptoms.

3. Reduces Swelling

If your vocal cords are swollen, steaming can help reduce inflammation and relieve discomfort.

Cons of steaming your vocal cords

1. Can Increase Severity of Viral or Bacterial Infections

Steaming vocal cords when you have a bacterial or viral infection can help increase and spread the severity of the virus to your airway. For this reason, it is not recommended to steam your vocal cords when you are sick.

2. Can cause burns

If the steam is too hot or if you are not careful, you can accidentally burn your vocal cords. This can cause serious injury and may even require medical attention.

3. Not a substitute for proper vocal care

While steaming can be helpful, it is not a substitute for proper vocal care. It is important to stay hydrated, get enough rest, and avoid behaviors that can harm your voice, such as smoking.

Steaming your vocal cords can be a useful tool for maintaining vocal health, but it is important to use caution and understand the potential risks. If you are unsure whether steaming is right for you, consult with a vocal coach or medical professional for guidance. Remember, the best way to care for your voice is to practice good vocal hygiene and take steps to prevent injury and strain.

Should you steam your vocal cords before or after a show?

As a singer, your voice is your instrument, and taking care of it is paramount. Whether you’re a rock or metal singer or any kind of singer that sings with grit or rasp, you want to make sure that your voice is in top shape when you take the stage. One popular method for vocal care is steaming, but is it safe to steam your vocal cords before a show? Let’s explore why steaming your vocal cords before a show is not recommended and why steaming post-show can be helpful for recovery.

Caution: Steaming your vocal cords before a show is not recommended

Steaming your vocal cords before a show is not recommended, and should always be an absolute last choice. The reason for this is that the steam can make your vocal cords more vulnerable to damage, especially if you sing with grit or rasp. This is because these vocal styles rely on a certain amount of tension in the vocal cords, and the steam can soften them, making them more susceptible to injury.

Steaming can also cause swelling of the vocal cords, which can make it more difficult to sing. For these reasons, it is best to avoid steaming your vocal cords before a show.

Steaming your vocal cords post-show: What you need to know

While steaming your vocal cords before a show is not recommended, steaming post-show can be helpful for recovery. After a performance, your vocal cords may be strained, and steaming can help alleviate any discomfort or swelling. Here’s what you need to know.

Use warm, not hot, steam. The steam should be warm enough to be soothing, but not so hot that it burns your vocal cords. Be careful not to get too close to the steam source.

I highly recommend that every vocalist purchase a steamer. In keeping with my philosophy of “No BS”, I have personally been using Vicks Steam inhalers for over 15 years. While there are different products out there, the one that I recommend is the Vicks Steam Vaporizer, or the Vicks Sinus Inhaler for travelling (I am not sponsored by Vicks directly, I just really like their products).

⚠️ After steaming, your vocal cords will be in a fragile state (more thinned down than usual). Do not yell or try to sing at any kind of performance volume. In fact, the best advice is to steam your vocal cords at night. If possible, practice complete vocal silence until the morning.

RVR pro tip number one: Vocal cords are highly sensitive to irritants. As a vocal coach and a singer, I do not recommend adding any substance (including menthol) to the water that you’re inhaling. Pure steam is the best substance to rehydrate a dry voice and help you rehabilitate inflamed vocal cords and when used the right way, it can actually help you to recover from minor strains and tears within the micro-muscles of your larynx.

RVR pro tip number two: If your vocal cords are seriously inflamed or dried out, my personal recommendation is to steam for at least 45 minutes with a towel over your head. I personally have four towels that I’ve sewed together to ensure that no steam escapes my inhalation.

Don’t rely solely on steaming for vocal recovery. While steaming can be helpful, it is not a cure-all. It’s important to rest your voice, stay hydrated, and avoid behaviors that can harm your vocal cords, such as smoking or drinking alcohol.

In conclusion, steaming your vocal cords before a show is not recommended and can be harmful to your vocal cords, especially if you sing with grit or rasp. However, steaming post-show can be helpful for vocal recovery, as long as it is done safely and in moderation. If you’re unsure about whether steaming is right for you, consult with a vocal coach or medical professional for guidance. Remember, the best way to care for your voice is to practice good vocal hygiene and take steps to prevent injury and strain.

RVR pro tip number three: When you steam your vocal cords, regardless of whether it is pre-show or post-show, your vocal cords will be thinned down and will remain thinned down for longer. This means that they won’t have the same mass or thickness your speaking voice will normally enjoy. It is not recommended to speak or yell while your vocal cords are thinned down, because you’ll risk damaging your vocal cords as they won’t support normal, rowdy levels of sound production.

I can’t stress this enough. If you’re a professional singer, once you’ve steamed your vocal cords you should try not to speak for the rest of the night. In fact, let the people around you know that you’re going to go into “vocal silent mode”.

Better information leads to better singing! If you’d like to talk more about the best steps to vocal recovery, contact me today for a chat.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase from one of the above links, a tiny commission goes to supporting the site. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I only ever recommend products that I personally use or know are beneficial to my readers.

Tinnitus: Understanding its impact on singers and musicians

Tinnitus is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world, including singers and musicians. It is characterized by a persistent ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in the ears, which can be distracting and even debilitating in some cases. In this article, we will explore what tinnitus is, how it affects singers and musicians, and what steps you can take to protect your hearing.

What is tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a condition that causes a persistent ringing, buzzing, or humming sound in the ears. It can affect one or both ears and may be constant or intermittent. The severity of the symptoms can vary from person to person, with some people experiencing mild ringing while others are completely incapacitated by the noise.

Tinnitus can be caused by a variety of factors, including exposure to loud noise, age-related hearing loss, ear infections, and other underlying health conditions. It is important to note that tinnitus is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying condition.

How does tinnitus affect singers and musicians?

Singers and musicians are particularly vulnerable to tinnitus because of their exposure to loud music and noise. Repeated exposure to loud noise can cause damage to the delicate hair cells in the inner ear, which can lead to tinnitus and other forms of hearing loss.

For singers and musicians, tinnitus can have a significant impact on their ability to perform. The persistent ringing or buzzing can be distracting and make it difficult to hear oneself or others accurately. It can also make it challenging to distinguish between different notes and frequencies, which can impact the quality of the performance.

What can we do to protect our hearing?

As singers and musicians, it is crucial to take steps to protect our hearing and prevent tinnitus. Some tips for protecting your hearing include:

  • Wear earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones when performing or rehearsing in loud environments.
  • Take regular breaks to give your ears a rest and allow them to recover from exposure to loud noise.
  • Avoid listening to music or other sounds at high volumes for extended periods of time.
  • Get regular hearing tests to monitor your hearing and identify any potential problems early.
  • Consider investing in custom-made earplugs that are specifically designed for musicians and singers. I’ve written about this in this post if you’d like to find out more.

In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I personally invested in two sets of custom-made attenuated earplugs. One of these sets has a 10 dB noise reduction, which I use while coaching singers. The second set has a 21 dB noise reduction, which I use at any event where my ears are going to be subjected to loud noises for sustained periods of time. This includes any event where extreme noise levels could potentially affect my hearing, such as concerts or motor racing events, etc.

Nowadays, earplugs similar to the ones I use are readily available online, like these ones from Eargasm. If you don’t have the time, energy or desire to get some earplugs custom-made (this can take up to four weeks, or possibly longer), then I highly recommend the Eargasm earplugs sold on Amazon. 21 dB noise reduction is ideal for concerts and other events with extreme noise levels.

Disclaimer: If you make a purchase from one of the above links, a tiny commission goes to supporting the site. In keeping with my “No BS” policy, I only ever recommend products that I personally use or know are beneficial to my readers.

Next steps

If you are a singer or musician who has been impacted by tinnitus or any kind of hearing condition, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional.

Paule Enso at Rapid Vocal Results is a trained vocal coach who has 30 years of experience working with singers who have all kinds of hearing loss conditions and challenges, including tinnitus. He can help you develop strategies to manage your symptoms and improve your vocal performance.

Contact Paule Enso at Rapid Vocal Results today to learn more.