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Frequency of vocal workouts

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nissenoo7
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I been putting a lot of thought into how often you should work your voice. Obviously there is both a muscular and a technical aspect of your singing. From athletic experience of working out and building muscles, its pretty much agreement that it takes 48 hours to completely recover a trained muscle. However, i guess we are not training the biggest muscles when doing vocal warm-ups, so you might argue that you can train your voice more frequently. 

What are you guys experience with this? How often to you sing/train your voice? With how much intensity? How are youre results with this frequency of "vocal workouts"?

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You're right - strength training takes longer for muscles to recover.  But there are a couple aspects with the voice.  One is that the muscles are small, and the smaller the muscles, the quicker the recovery.  The other thing is most of voice training is about learning coordinations - as apposed to tearing muscles and waiting for them to rebuild.  The mistake a beginner makes is thinking that you need a stronger voice to pull chest up higher, when in reality, you can sing higher with better vowel choices and a fine coordination between the TA and CT muscles.

I practice every day with breaks.  In the past, while working on a tough song, I sometimes had to give my voice a day or more rest in-between practice sessions for recovery.  But that was more because I was using crappy technique, and pushing my voice too much.  Now I can practice tough songs every day and I know when I've had enough.  If you are using good technique, and you listen to your body, you shouldn't have a problem singing every day.  

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Studies have been done on practicing a skill and it has shown that 2x20 min sessions a day is very beneficial. I personally do that plus give or take another 30 min + sing through about 10 songs on a non gig day and 20-30 songs on a gig day. This is pretty much for a about 20+ years. 

Dan how is your voice holding up after all these years?  Did you always have a good technique to sing with the least amount of strain or this is something you learned to adapt as a professional?  

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I have been studying voice my whole career.. When I first started I would squeeze and press then I took a couple lessons with Gloria Rushe(r.i.p). And used those cassettes for a couple years. i had to build my voice cause it was shot from pressing and squeezing I had no falsetto and could barely squawk out a G4 . Throughout the years I was given the Seth cassettes and then finally started getting some personal instruction around 1999. From there I studied with everyone I could. But all the while I was gigging and blowing out my voice until the technique caught up to the songs. My voice is doing well. I have had some ups and downs because of a unilateral vocal cord paresis. Which is a partially paralyzed vocal cord. But I work through it with exercise and technique. 

I warm up everyday and I need to or I can't sing very smoothly or high..It never came naturally and sometimes I feel like not warming up and practicing but if you don't use it you lose it..

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Over the last couple years I've fallen into a fairly bizarre singing routine. A typical month consists of 3 weeks hitting it hard. 2-5 hours a day. 5-7 days a week. Then anywhere from 3-7 days of no singing. During that stretch of no singing I may hum a little but mostly just visualize. Lay down with earbuds in and go through my practice songs just imagining singing them perfectly. Sometimes with mouth movement but no sound. 

Whats strange is that usually when I come back from the break it feels like everything gets one very noticeable notch better/easier. More second nature.  I'm not sure if this is the best way but it's been working for me. 

 

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It surprises me that not one of you folks talked about how much time you put into breathing and breath management....

rib and back expansion, breath holds, Farinelli stuff, sipping, the pumping ha's and all of that stuff.....

don't laugh....I do breath stuff of one kind or another throughout the day. 

As for exercising and singing.....nowadays I go completely by mental and physical feel..meaning if I'm feeling a little depressed or had a rough day, I know I won't have the support energy or mental connection where i need it to do the demanding stuff.  I have light days and heavy days and if go overboard I have no issue laying off for a day or two...it's very intuitive now....just hope I'm intuitively right....lol!!!!!  

 

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