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Hurt myself today.

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JuanDa
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Hello, I've been having some problems with my throat, for six months I had a permanent sore throat, I stopped singing. Went to the ENT, and there's was a bit of inflammation on the throat, gave me antibiotics, been feeling a lot better.

I started to sing again a few weeks ago and I've been practicing a lot lately, my throat is still a bit delicate, it's not totally healed yet.

Anyways, today I was singing and after 2 hours or so I felt some pain on the throat when singing what for me is a high note. It was not that painful, it probably was a 4-5, probably a 4 on a scale of 10.

I immediately stopped singing.

I was considering to practice tomorrow aswell since I will have some vocal lessons on Monday and Tuesday and wanted to practice more, but what do you guys think I should do? Rest tomorrow?

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Yes, rest.

And you would not be the first person to overuse his voice, even with good technique. Another person posted one time in the health section.

He would practice for 2 hours, non-stop. Then teach other beginners for an hour or two. Then rehearse and plan songs for his church choir. Then rehearse with them. All this, nearly daily. As well as 2 and 3 performances a week. Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, I think. And wondered why his voice was giving out.

So, my question is, are you singing for 2 hours straight, non-stop, no rest? There are pro singers who don't sing that much during a show in a stadium. The entire set might be 90 minutes to 2 hours long with instrumental breaks in the song. Friendly banter with the audience, sometimes with a band member other than the singer.

You say your voice is not fully healed, yet. So, I would ask, why are you pushing harder than a pro singer who has been singing for 40 years?

I don't mean to sound accusatory. But yes, you need rest. And model your practice after a professional set list. With breaks and rests in between. And time to let your voice recover from the ailment you had. The reason for that is if you sing with pain and while suffering from some affliction, you will compensate in others and form bad habits.

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Thanks a lot for your reply. It's been pretty enlightening.

I'm in complete silence a today.

Indeed I was practicing 2 hours straight.

How should I approach modeling a practice session? I mean how long should I practice then rest. Or simply cut down on the practice time.

Also I'm going to college soon and there's Chorus in there plus ear training on the same day, this happens two days of the week and one day is 2 hours of chorus.

I'm assuming I won't be singing all the time, there might be breaks and everything and I won't be practicing on the same days, I will probably manage so that I have two rest days.

I could warm up 5 minutes

I practice an amount of 4 exercises. I'm guessing I could cut down to 5 minutes each. And probably 10 minutes of song practice. With rest in between exercise and song practice.

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I don't have exact times to tell you.

In 4 Pillars, a popular singing program, there is a huge load of vocalises and scale work, most of which you could not get through in a single session. And I don't think you are meant to. In CVT, there is a library of sound files, which doesn't mean that you have to go through each soundfile each and every day. More like a reference for particular sounds.

Professional singers on tour don't actually warm-up for very long, since they are singing every night. There is only so much endurance in any muscle and that includes the muscles you use while singing.

I mean, don't get me wrong. If you are in the zone while practicing and it's going well, you do what's comfortable. But it is never good to sing with pain. And fatigue is something that will simply happen with any physical activity and singing is a physical activity. Does the person who competes in a triathelon train that entire route, every day? No.

A pro football player who is on the A team and may start the game, does not play the entire game from start to finish on both offense and defense.

So, you have something that is surpassing the endurance of most anyone, including professionals. You already have, it sounds like, a heavy vocal schedule which is not even accounting for the speaking you will do socially and in other classes required by your degree plan.

A word of wisdom from our fellow member Steven Fraser. 30 minutes of the right thing is better than an hour or two of the wrong thing.

And I am not saying you are doing the wrong exercises though, I do have to say, if something is causing you pain, then it cannot be right. And regardless of what anyone else says about "working hard," "no pain, no gain" has no place in developing the voice.

But just to do hours of practice just to be doing hours of practice so that you can say you do hours of practice is not what is going to make the voice great and endurable.

So, at least one day of the week, you could be singing for 4 hours, as a student, rather than a seasoned teacher or professional.

Treat warm-up as just that. Some simple easy stretches. Like a runner who does a few stretches, maybe one or two start and sprints out of the practice blocks. But he does not spend his whole wad of energy in the warm-up. Just shaking it loose to keep it loose.

I am reminded of a video shared with us by James Lugo, a voice teacher and a professional singer who has sang with bands such as Nazareth. In the video, he is recording a song for an album. And they are comp-in the track, which means he is singing it in sections. And in between takes, he does a quick siren with lip bubbles. Nothing strenuous, not to the extreme ends. Just something to shake the muscles loose, like a swimmer or runner before they set on the diving platform or the starting blocks.

Here's the other thing. Do not be afraid of rest. A few days rest will not take away your "Singer's Points" and you will not lose everything you ever knew about singing.

And these long classes in singing, that will be your practice more than what you do at home.

Please believe me, I am not an expert. I work for a living as an operations manager for an electrical company. I am on the phone or talking from 6 am to 6 pm. With breaks in between. And I take advantage of those breaks to shut up. When I can, I prefer to correspond with email. It's a document of what information was passed and it didn't require talking.

All in all, I think you have a good plan. Some rest in between the bouts of vocalization. And more rest when you don't need to talk.

As far as your current pain, it might just be that recovery is taking longer. You need to respect that.

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Thanks a lot for your advice, actually I felt the pain on song practice, not on exercise practice, the exercises I'm doing right now are very light and not as harming.

It was my bad since I should've practice not only less but also I should've practiced the parts of the song that were more my range,even though I was doing well with the song, one time I failed and that was it.

You're right about the warm up, infact I realize that my warm up is not that long. Just some hums, and lip bubbles. Very short.

I didn't consider the talking. In college it's a bit more difficult not to talk but I would definitely try to shut up when it's not necessary to talk, in classes and so on.

Let's see I have 3 days when I have to singing in college, I will add 2 days of practice at home and that will be it.

And definitely cut down the practice time to less than half of what I've been doing, probably 30-40 minutes, with rest.

Thanks a lot for your advice.

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Yeah I know what you mean, the only problem I have is with the Chorus teacher, she makes the warm up like half hour long and really pushes students, like a lot, one day is 2 hours which it's ridiculous if you ask me because it's half hour warm up and then singing songs, which can be harming. I don't know what to do with this.

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She's probably assuming that class time is the only time you are singing and she's going to make sure you get a good workout. And she is probably also going by her own experience and background. Don't know what to tell you about that. She's a teacher and I am not a teacher of singing.

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