For singers, vocal fatigue can be a real concern. Even with years of voice lessons and proper vocal techniques, singers still run the risk of wearing out their voices due to constant and intense use. Symptoms of vocal fatigue include:
- Scratchy, sensitive throat
- Shortness of breath
- Constant urge to clear throat
- Weakness when speaking
- Tickle in the throat
Luckily, there are steps singers can take to prevent vocal fatigue and lessen the impact of vocal overuse. Whether you’re a beginning singer or a certified pro, you’ll no doubt want to make an effort to take care of your voice to the best of your ability. Check out our tips below to help you avoid vocal fatigue and keep your voice concert ready at all times.
Believe it or not, vocal fatigue often stems from damage to the vocal muscles. Due to the demand that singers place on their voices and surrounding muscles, it’s no surprise that vocal fatigue is a common complaint. One way to keep your vocal muscles in the best shape possible is by making a conscious effort to give them the rest that they need. Try to schedule some moments of silence into your weekly routine and eliminate any unnecessary talking. Although this can be tricky for some, it’s extremely effective at staving off vocal fatigue, especially if practiced in the weeks leading up to a performance (when you’ll likely be piling on the voice lessons and practice sessions).
Nothing is more vital to a singer’s vocal health than water. It is the magic elixir and cure-all when it comes to vocal problems. Drinking plenty of water ensures that the vocal folds stay lubricated and allows them to function at their best. In order to belt out those show-stopping tunes, your vocal folds must be slippery and wet in order to vibrate properly. Thus, the more water, the better! A dehydrated voice causes the vocal cords to work harder, leading to strain and injury.
As mentioned previously, vocal fatigue is often a result of injury to the vocal structures and muscles. One reason this might occur is because of poor breathing techniques that place too much pressure and demand on the throat. Instead, singers should breathe from the diaphragm and deep from the lungs. Supporting your voice through proper breathing reduces the risk of strain and vocal tension. To learn how to breathe properly, consider taking singing lessons where you will learn those techniques and so much more!
Our final piece of advice for avoiding vocal fatigue is to think strategically when preparing for a performance. Since you will naturally work your vocal cords the most during a show, we suggest starting out with your toughest, most vocally challenging songs first or layering them in between less vocally demanding songs in order to give your voice the break that it needs. Planning your set in this way will prevent your voice from tiring out too quickly. Although vocal fatigue is quite common among singers, it doesn’t have to be a problem for you. Utilize some of the techniques above and be sure to incorporate vocal warm ups before every performance to keep your voice in good working condition. Do so and you’ll be ready to rock your next concert in Scottsdale, Phoenix, or wherever your vocal pursuits take you!