Singers love to sing. Many vocalists on the starting edge of their learning and singing careers might spend hours a day listening to their favorite music and they just can’t help but to sing along. Mostly, I don’t think they think much about singing too much.
One of the greatest vocal abuses is overuse of the vocal folds. In addition to all that singing we love to indulge in, singers have the added passion for talking. If you ever have the opportunity to be in a room full of singers (as I have been on many occasions) you will realize almost immediately that they are amongst the noisiest bunch of folks. I daresay most singers do not think of their voice when they are talking as much as when they are singing.
Of course, as one grows in their art and becomes more astute with their instrument, they realize when and how often they should take care to talk a bit less. Perhaps simply reducing the level of ones voice would be enough.
Singing too much, combined with talking throughout the day can invite a tremendous amount of vocal fatigue. If you are not sure when enough is enough, try singing and see how your voice reacts. If you find it becoming breathy, weak, (or certainly) tired, you should put yourself on vocal rest.
How much rest is appropriate? Usually, a good night’s sleep will be enough. If you happen to be starting the day, or you have a long way to go before the day is over, try pacing yourself when talking to people. Use a softer voice. If there is a loud noise in the room, don’t try speaking over it. Find a good place, or opportunity to be heard more easily and use your voice then.
If all else fails and you arrive at rehearsal, let the person/s in charge know the condition of your voice and tell them you will be marking! They will completely understand…at least, they had better. If they don’t you might want to reconsider ever working with them again. However, everyone I’ve ever worked with has understood.
While we are on the subject, I usually tell my students that they should not sing more than two hours a day. Even that is stretching the limits of the human voice. Research has offered that the most beneficial use of the voice is gained when practicing three times per day, 1/2-hour each time. Beyond this, we are simply overdoing it.
But, you might think that the voice is a muscle and like any muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it will become. Each muscle in the body will work and become stronger but only to its limit. After that point is reached, fatigue and failure will occur in the muscle. A bicep muscle will tear, heal and be stronger afterward. This is not where you want to arrive with your voice. If pushed too far, the vocal folds will develop an assortment of conditions which can end a singing career before it begins. These problems are simply not worth pushing the envelope for.
Like our back, each of us are born with what we have. It requires care. We should love our voice enough to take proper care of it. If singing is what you want to do, find a teacher who makes things interesting, fun, understandable and educational for you.
!!!–I highly recommend signing up for a trial lesson with me today–!!!
After finding a good teacher, (me!), learn your voice and follow the guidance your instructor gives you. With the correct technique and understanding of the voice, your singing will be fun for you for many years to come.