Do you lose your voice from singing? Or get a sore throat? Does the solution lie in how you warm up your singing voice? Can lessons help?
Today I am going to address a question I received from a singer in Australia.
How I can sing night after night without getting a sore voice/throat? I sing 4 hours per night and after the gig it takes my voice a week to recover or get back to normal. I’d love to be able to sing every night but at the moment that's just not possible. I warm up my voice before a gig for 20 min with vocal exercises, drink plenty of room temp water before, during and after, but nothing seems to fix problem....
I’ve also had singing teachers and other musicians say sing your songs in a lower key but I find that only makes the song sound less powerful and flat.... I’ve tried a couple of these singing programs before, but they all seem to only take one's money and not help my problem except lighten my wallet.
Yes, losing your voice after a gig, then recovering for a long time, only to lose it again at the next gig, is a very common dilemma for hobby singers. It is absolutely crucial that you get out of this downward spiral.
A healthy, functional and trained body (and voice) is the one that can endure a lot and that recovers quickly. The better conditioned an athlete is, the faster he recovers.
Now, what you are describing is a perfect example of why singing scales will have no positive effect on you. You’ve already discovered that from working with “those other programs”. You also know, from watching the free video I provide, why working on those kinds of exercises don’t help you.
Warming up is good, but what is “warming up”?
See, “warming up” means to get your voice to where it needs to be to perform optimally. For a warm-up to be effective, it should be different depending on what is going on with your voice that day, and what you are warming up for. And you can’t really do that unless you have developed awareness and muscle isolation skill.
Just repeating some scales that engages compensatory muscles is not an effective “warm up”.
However, having said that about warm-ups, your solution doesn’t really lie in how you warm up. Let’s think about this…
Let’s say you want to run the marathon tomorrow but you have never run more than a mile before. Will it help if I just show you how to run “correctly”?
What if you have one month to prepare and you have excruciating pain due to shin splints. Is running further and further each day going to get you to run the marathon?
Is warming up and drinking some water going to help?
If you have shin splints, is the strategy just to rest until the day of the marathon?
Resting for a week is actually not helpful. Athletes don’t rest after an injury even. They are always engaged in “active rest” – i.e. doing certain things to speed up recovery.
What you need to do is to develop awareness and advanced muscle isolation. You need to release the compensatory tension that I speak about in the free video, so that you can release sound with less effort, and with much greater functionality.
You need to develop flexibility/ range so that there is no more effort singing in a higher range than a lower range.
You need to develop the awareness and skill to be able to release tension after the gig.
You need to know what to do the day after, and the days after that.
You need to learn how to condition your voice to be able to endure 4 hours gigs and recover within 24 hours.
Sounds like a tall order? Is this what it takes to ensure you won't lose your voice and won't get a sore throat from singing? Will it work?
Well, yes. As a matter of fact, it’s very doable. Because the awareness/ muscle isolation that I teach gives you multiple benefits. Feeling/knowing how to release tension, goes hand in hand with develop functionality, flexibility and strength.
It’s the same awareness that then gives you the knowledge to warm up effectively, how to recover between sets and songs, and what to do the next day to recover fully.
Right now you are not only depriving yourself of what you are capable of, you are actually depriving the audience of what you have to offer them. It’s not surprising, that gaining a healthy, functional voice can become a life-transforming experience, and a significant boost to a professional’s or a hobby band’s success.
As you probably know, I provide no quick-tips, quick-fixes or band-aid solutions. I provide real training to give you life-skills. Even if you have paid for other courses that you found useless, they were actually not useless. You still gained knowledge that brought you here, and which will propel you to get real results.
Feel free to leave a comment. Maybe you can relate to these issues? Maybe you used to experience these kinds of problems but don't anymore?