So I am new to this forum but have been singing for 5-6 years... I always has this relaxing problem when it comes to my vocal throat, so I tend to not hit the notes that are higher without cracking. I meditate a lot. The thing is I recently stopped smoking, about 2 weeks ago. I don't know how many people do or have. When I started smoking, I feel like finally I relaxed my muscles, I found myself being able to sing extremely well, and I started to get a lot of compliments. The only thing is, it became really addictive, I didn't do it for the intentions of vocals or anything, and I don't have the urge really, except when I began to suck at singing again when I stopped. I am a fairly relaxed person, but when it comes to singing, even with a year of vocal lessons, I still run into the same problems because I feel I am not relaxed like I was with cigs. Anyone else like this, and anyone have any advice how to overcome problems? My thing is when smoking, you become less pure as a person, your moods and stuff change, and its addictive, just a struggle, because singing has been my life for ever, and I write all my own music, but I don't want the hassle of this strainious feeling. I know a lot about the voice too, but this just baffles me.
I conversely fell into depression after smoking, which reverberated in worring about my vocal chords. After all it was really relaxing when embracing the whole body, but sure enough it wasn't good for my vocals. By the way I didn't smoke normal cigarettes(I hate those things), but pipe, which was much more rigid. Fortunately I got rid of it by making an agreement with my friend(who also was devoted pipe smoker), that we both won't smoke in next 30 days, and we completed the task. After that we added next 30 days and so on... It was much easer to leave that stuff this way, because when doing this with two or more people, it becomes pleasure,I just know that I am not alone and there is someone else, with whom I can share my state, just seeing each other suffering was very funny for both of us.For now I have totally liberated myself from the temtation of tobacco.
The nicotine in tobacco is far from being a relaxing drug, all the contrary. Just read about it in wiki or anywhere else.
You may believe it is relaxing, even make you feel so, but it is only an illusion.
For what is to be "relaxed"? to be less nervous? or having relaxed muscles or throat? or something different?
You are convinced that smoking (as an activity) improved your singing ability and I cannot doubt it was true.
But the reason could be quite different and is probably related to other aspects of your personality, your stress management or even social pressure.
But believe me: tobacco can, and will if allowed, kill you, more sooner than later. Or (if you are lucky enough) deteriorate your health very dangerously. It will not improve your voice, but will quickly degrade it irreversibly.
So if you can quit, do it. The more you wait, the longer it will take to recover.
Sorry if I sound to "fatherly". Just trying to help. I have suffered a lot due to this addiction in my family.
Thanks for the response guys, the thing is I felt the same way prior to smoking cigarettes, cracked, and unable to sing without thinking so much about where I am singing from, and if I am doing it "properly". When I picked up smoking, after about a month of it, I got so good at singing, others telling me how good I got at it and such. I stopped and fell right back into where I am... now I am more relaxed with life, I smile more, I am no longer feeling depressed or any of that, so I am living up life... just seems like my vocals got !****!ed again. I've been off for about a month now almost, I would say more around 3-3 1/2 weeks. I did have health problems beginning, and one of the major reasons I quit. I smoked Cloves not regular cigs though, and haven't touched one since around new years eve. Just trying to figure out a way to just teach myself to not think so much about it... because I know I am a good singer, and I knew it when I was smoking, and I cant even smoke anymore because all it does is result in headaches. But When I didnt smoke yet and when I stopped smoking my voice begins to crack more regularly. Its the only part of my personality that tends to do this, I barely get nervous... a thing was I didn't care about anything because all I did was smoke, and not just cloves you know... to hide things to the point I didn't care which wasn't me. I stopped and my personality has certainly shaped up, people respect me more, and like me more... but this singing thing has slipped back into some of those little things I did wrong when I wasn't smoking. I just need to figure something out about this. I really as you said don't want to be stuck in this rely on a substance to make me a better singer deal. I am great, and when that relaxed as I was on cigs was phenominal. MY range was very large, and I could sing anything I thought of.
I have no arguments against your feeling -or the fact-, that smoking improves your singing abilities, your vocal range and even your social success.
But whatever the reason for that could be, the price to pay could be too high. There are thousands of articles in Internet concerning the risks of smoking, particularly for singers (but also for wind instrument players). Just one, that I found more convincing is here: http://www.scena.org/lsm/sm2-8/sm2-8dre.html
Meh, I promised myself that I wouldn't smoke, in order to not damage my voice. I have friends who do smoke, and like you, say it helps them relax. I don't know much about it, it could just be a psychological thing as well.