To Rest or Not to Rest the Voice?

  • Author:Angie Arsenault

Just because the singer is using his or her voice correctly, that does not mean the vocal instrument will never get tired. Vocal fatigue can take place when the voice is overused without rest.

Vocal rest comes in many different forms. It depends on how much you sing.

To give a break to your instrument, you can:

  • Take one day off from vocal practice during the week;
  • Rest your speaking voice (avoid yelling, speaking in a noisy environment, whispering, or any other vocal abuse);
  • Rest your body. A tired body will not react well to the demands of singing. Sleep helps with cell repair and is crucial to fix any wear and tear on the throat;
  • Remember to “warm-down” your voice after a performance to gently relax the singing muscles (use humming exercises for example);
  • Take a short break in between vocalizes and sip room temperature water during your practices;
  • Take a break from producing any vocal sound after extended periods of singing.

In the case of vocal damage, the singer will surely have to rest for a longer period of time before slowly starting to warm up the voice again to sing. In this case, the singer may need to take a break from talking or producing any sound.

No doubt you have heard of many famous singers needing to take a “vocal rest” because of damage to the voice or vocal fatigue due to over extended periods of singing or abuse.

Studies have shown that singers who break for water or for short rests will be able to sing for a longer period of time. Hydration and vocal rests will help preserve the quality of the voice along with longevity. Sounds good to me!

Speaking of rest, I am taking a computer break for a few weeks but will be back with a new post on April 13th. Until then songbirds, keep singing and remember to rest the voice as well!

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