If you've ever felt like your voice gets tired after a long time singing, or you even get a bit of a sore throat, chances are you've suffered from vocal fatigue.
You're not alone! I speak to people all the time who have to deal with some kind of vocal fatigue (myself included!). So, here's three of the methods I use to combat fatigue - both in my students and myself.
Pushing for Volume
Pushing for volume is extremely common amongst people who were in choirs as a child, because often kids in choirs are told to 'sing louder'. This is great, except that kids are then forcing themselves to sing louder without the technique that would make this easier for them. The result is people pushing their voice to produce more sound, which really isn't necessary. And once that becomes a habit, it's hard to break.
The solution? Sing a little bit quieter. And I really mean a little, just stop pushing and let your volume come down the slightest bit. What you'll likely find is that it's easier to sing, you can do so for longer and the volume really doesn't decrease that much!
Breathing & Breath Management
Breath management is an essential technique for singers - partially because it helps us to have more control over our voice and be stronger in our sound - but also because it directly relates to vocal fatigue.
If you take a really big breath into your chest, you'll find that your neck muscles engage to make that happen. When you're singing, we'd rather not have our neck muscles tensed. Instead, we learn to breathe with the abdomen, which allows us to take in a whole lot of air and keep our neck muscles relaxed.
Exercises & Warm Ups
If you're someone who uses your voice a lot, you might find that after a long day your voice or throat doesn't feel so great - in fact, you may even lose your voice.
Often our instinct is to stop using our voice, but there is another option - strengthen it with vocal exercises and warm ups!
If you're warming up to strengthen your voice, make sure you don't push it too hard. This is an ideal time to be gentle with your voice and let it slowly get stronger. That being said - don't whisper either! Make sure you get a clear tone if you can.
Of course, if your doctor or ENT recommends vocal rest, please listen to them!
If you're not sure how to go about warm ups or vocal exercises, check out the video guide below. I've created an entire warm up / exercise session designed for beginner singers, so it's a great place to start!
So there you go - three different ways to deal with vocal fatigue. Try them out and see what happens. Of course, let me know how you go!