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  • Writer's pictureVal Bastien

Four Causes of Vocal Fatigue

Vocal fatigue is a hint from the body that something is wrong. Awfully wrong. A symptom that careful singers should not ignore. Such fatigue despite not always being painful, can potentially convert to permanent injury. The death of singing.

That's right.

I am not exaggerating.

Ever wonder why someone you once knew to be such a fantastic singer seems to have abruptly stopped singing? Why so many sing in their youth but lose their passion during adulthood? Why do we have so many “One Hit Wonders”; what do they become after their first hit and tour?

Could it be that fatigue took the fun out? That they killed their voice and were forced to put a stop to their passion?

Re-occurring fatigue will affect your daily life including your ability to communicate with family, colleagues and peers and ruin your skills. Skills that you have spent years in the making. And in the most dramatic scenarios, it can render even speaking difficult. An unpleasant voice alters people's perceptions of who you truly are. Vocal injury can even take away the luxury of singing itself forever.

Does your throat ever feel dry despite drinking tons of water? Do you often need to clear your throat? Does singing make your throat tickle? Do you cough when attempting to sing higher? When is the last time you lost your voice?

You had an amazing night rehearsing with your buddies, but waking up in the morning brings about a new reality: You cannot talk... Your throat is horse. Your voice is gone. It's not your fault you say... You got carried away. And it's not a big deal because there are still a couple of weeks before the show you've been gearing up for, for the last 3 months. There's plenty of time to heal, right? Riiiight?

Think twice.

What if you pushed yourself once too many times and REALLY hurt yourself last night? How is the anxiety of not knowing whether you will be up for the job going to eat up at your confidence in the next two weeks? What about the couple of songs that are not quite there yet but that you were hoping to have ready for the show by taking double bites and practicing like a crazy man/woman until then? There's also that big number, a fantastic show stopper that you were counting on to win over your audience with the high notes, run and epic finale... Can you still pull it off if you have been saving your voice in preparation for the event?

You start wondering about the fragility of your instrument and whether or not it will be healed well enough to sustain the high energy demand of a live performance. You're also nervous about telling anyone about this... Your band-mates will be angry if the band loses face because you were not careful. Better keep this to yourself and keep a low profile in the next few days avoiding people and phone calls... It's not easy to live like a hermit.

You are also mad at yourself because this situation could have been easily avoided, had you recognized the signs of vocal fatigue and acted accordingly.

Here are four situations where your vocal cords are screaming: HELP!

1) You have a sore throat because you caught a cold or the flu. Despite washing hands often and wearing a mask in public places. Sometimes that's inevitable... It will pass in due time with over-the-counter mediation or other natural alternatives of your choice. There isn't much you can do at this point to save yourself aside from absolutely no talking or singing. The best way to prevent this in the future is by being pro-active with your overall health. Maintain a healthy diet, regularly exercising and sleep well to strengthen your immune system. Long term healthy lifestyle choices prepare you to bounce back in the eventuality of catching viruses.

2) You yelled too much last night. Whether you were watching the Super Bowl, cheering your favorite rock star at a concert, having an argument or just having too much fun chatting with friends and strangers alike at a club, it's easy to hurt your vocal cords when getting excited. Especially when the music is loud and you can't hear yourself speak. Remember that anything you learn about projecting your singing voice can be applied to your speaking voice. Your speaking voice and singing voice are one. Just like you don't have dancing feet and walking feet. Breathe, support and use your resonance to project your voice effortlessly. To get your voice back, take a break from talking and singing for the next few days until fully recovered.

3) You are trying to expand your skills but have no clue about correct vocal technique. This is the challenge every untrained singer faces. Push your voice a little too hard and it will set you back many days depending on how hard you were on your instrument. What is the point of singing outside of your comfort zone if it's digging the hole deeper? Don't take your voice for granted. Just because the pros make it look easy, it doesn't mean it is. The only way to expand your singing skills and maintain vocal health, is to know exactly what you're doing. Don't be afraid to reach out for professional help. You will progress much faster by investing in yourself instead of trying to figure it out at the expense of your vocal cords. If your throat hurts when you're singing, you are doing something wrong. Stop and resume later. If you have difficulty talking after practicing your singing, stay quiet for the reminder of the day.

4) You got carried away during a live performance. This extends on not adequately understanding vocal technique. Stress, excitement and other emotions tighten the larynx and can take a toll on your singing. Unless of course you understand exactly how to use your voice in order to multitask with the demands of a live performance. Silence is golden after a show in order to recuperate. But ideally, this wouldn't be necessary at all if correct technique were used.

Having fun with friends, at rehearsal and during music events shouldn't come with a price. You should be able to let loose at a show. Break free from inhibitions.

Wouldn't you rather not having to worry about getting a sore throat and saving your voice after a night out on the town or singing?

Imagine how much faster you could learn songs and develop your repertoire... If only your voice would keep up with you.

What if you fearlessly wailed those high notes on command and without the hint of a tickle in your throat? What if you get to sing more and more, even get paid for it? You could start making a name for yourself. Make important connections. Get discovered on TV. Even start touring and become a star (dream BIG!).

Does that all sound too good to be true?

It's not.

It's not when you take action in the direction of your dreams. If you are ready to do what serious singers do to care for their gift, then take your singing to the next level by setting up a FREE Strategy Session with me. Go to:

Let talks!



1 Comment

Unknown member
Oct 04, 2021

Hi thanks for posting thiis

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