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PopVlad
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Hey Guys,

A quick question for you all.

After doing my vocal exercises, if I start singing immediately I feel a bit horse and can't hit the notes with ease.

Yet, if I wait, say, for 20 min or so and then start to sing my voice feels amazing.

Why is that?

I guess this is different to a regular "light" warm up when you can just switch to songs strait away...

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Hey Guys,

A quick question for you all.

After doing my vocal exercises, if I start singing immediately I feel a bit horse and can't hit the notes with ease.

Yet, if I wait, say, for 20 min or so and then start to sing my voice feels amazing.

Why is that?

I guess this is different to a regular "light" warm up when you can just switch to songs strait away...

PopVlad: Your vocal exercise regimen is working the laryngeal muscles extensively, and they need that time to recover.

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Steve, how do you tell the difference between normal wear or the one that can hurt your vocal cords? I always thought any wear on the voice was bad...

blackstar: All skeletal muscles fatigue when used vigorously and extensively, and, depending on the workout, lose the ability to respond smoothly and rapidly to the desire for coordinated use until they recover. For example, if you go to the gym and do leg extensions on a weight machine, the intensity of the reps, and the number of sets will affect how smoothly you can walk right immediately after the last set. The coordination is further affected if you also work leg curls in alternation with the extensions, as more of the muscles which are used in the coordinated action have been contracted strongly.

With some appropriate warm-down, including stretching, those same muscles will return to well-coordinated action rapidly, unless the exercise was taken too far (i.e., to many reps, too heavy weight, too many sets), in which case the post-set 'pump' will subside, but the muscles will not return to smooth coordination as rapidly.

When applied to vocal workouts and singing of songs, these same coordinative effects can occur depending on the intensity of the workout, and what kind of warm-down is being done.

Now, to respond to the particulars of your question. The situation reported by PopVlad does not necessarily mean vocal wear. It sounds like vocal fatigue similar to what is experienced by many singers who use their voices continuously and vigorously for an extensive period of time. IMO, the 'how much is too much' is best answered by the point at which coordination begins to be affected. For that reason, I think its desirable for a practice session to progress toward exercises that use increasingly nuanced coordination, even actual sections of songs, and to include regular short rest periods. Under these circumstances, the singer can assess the arrival of the moment when coordination begins to falter (as evidenced by roughness of onset, hoarseness or range reduction), or when a rest period becomes insufficient for the voice to return to coordination.

I hope this was what you were looking for.

PopVlad: for our reference, how long is your vocal work-out, and what does it include?

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Hi Steven,

I don't do all that much.

After a very brief warm up I spend around 20 mins on very slow octave sirens (from the Four Pillars) and then another 10 mins on Octave Jumps.

After that, I do one of those "Song-like scales" that Robert offers as part of the system.

By then I feel a bit tired.

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Hi Steven,

I don't do all that much.

After a very brief warm up I spend around 20 mins on very slow octave sirens (from the Four Pillars) and then another 10 mins on Octave Jumps.

After that, I do one of those "Song-like scales" that Robert offers as part of the system.

By then I feel a bit tired.

popvlad, depending on your level, that might be a lot, in fact too much....those two are demanding exercises....did you start out slow with less demanding exercises such as lip bubbles, or falsetto slides or some light humming? you have to work up to things. and you need to be patient and not rush things....lol!!!

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Hi Steven,

I don't do all that much.

After a very brief warm up I spend around 20 mins on very slow octave sirens (from the Four Pillars) and then another 10 mins on Octave Jumps.

After that, I do one of those "Song-like scales" that Robert offers as part of the system.

By then I feel a bit tired.

PopVlad: Thanks for your response. 30 minutes of continuous singing, if done at a high intensity level, is quite a workout. Its as much singing as a lead opera singer does in an entire act of an opera, but they do not sing that entire time. Singing for them might be 1/3 to 1/2 of the total time for the act, depending on the particular role. Yes, while singing its pretty intense, but there are rest periods interspersed within the music.

Here are some suggestions you can use to take inventory of how your voice responds to a workout:

In your warm-up, do a few light sirens from the bottom of your voice to the top and back down, maybe 2 mins total.

Break up your workout just a little bit by putting 1 minute of the light siren, bottom to top (like your warmup) as a mini-warm down, followed by 1

min of vocal silence, between each 5 minutes of the octave siren, time yourself. Take a sip of water, walk around a bit. This pattern will extend each 5 minute group (and the 4 5-min groups) to 7 and 28 mins respectively.

Split your octave jumps into 2 groups, with the siren and silence as before. the 10 mins will become 14.

On to the song-like scales, and be sure to do some of them rapidly. Start slow, and with each rep, increase the speed.

Take inventory as to how your vocal coordination feels at the beginning of each 5-minute exercise group. Does the hoarseness appear as you start one of them? Note which group, and then add 30 seconds additional rest between each group for the next day's workout.

If the hoarseness does not appear at all, then the light siren and the silence are sufficient recovery for the intensity of the workout group, and you can re-group them into 3 of 6 minutes each, with the 1 min siren and 1 minute silence after them. If hoarseness does not appear with these rest periods, then you can re-adjust the timings to 3 groups of 7 if you wish, with the same rest periods.

The reason I suggest all of this is that its detrimental to vocal coordination to continue singing when coordination has been impaired. Yes, you can probably gut it out, but endurance is built on good technique, sensibly applied.

I hope this helps.

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