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How long should i last singing and how?

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Hello, i am going to state my point of view acquired from various "famous and professional" coaches and video sources. My teacher, classically trained tenor, told me he could last at least 3-4 hours with songs that have notes like ~A4+- and 8 hours going more easy. I've seen a document where a specific opera requires the tenor about 3 hours on stage. Others say 1-2 hours put a lot of pressure for a voice to last. I have seen singers on tour screaming, yelling, laughing loudly apart from the over an hour of extra screaming/belting/running and whatever they do on stage and the list goes on.

Personally my voice doesn't last more than 15' +-5 songs/exercises that require power and notes above ~E4 and a bit longer with lower pitched. After that my quality becomes mediocre. Talking a bit louder than usual or more than an hour, laughing and believe it or not even doing nothing at all makes my voice deteriorate within an hour or two. Breathing exercises with a lot of water help me regain my vocal edge after some hours but i prefer this to not happen at first.

My teacher told me i am in tenor range - now i can go up to D5 +-1 semitone - and in case you are wondering i am financially short and the best i can do is watch and read the free stuff here and there and maybe do some "check up" lessons once in a (very) while :P.

So my questions are how long should my voice last for songs that require belting and power and how can i do that? Should i focus more on breathing or exercises on technique using my vocal cords? How do i gain more power and stamina, like classical singer have?

I found this series of videos very interesting

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmauTTi7awA&list=PL6F5EB41FD629998A

If you don't mind mention how much does your voice last.

Sorry i couldn't make my post shorter.

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The answer is really simple. However long you need to last.

Practice running the set/show/whatever you need to perform, and if you are not getting through it, learn to sing with lighter "weight" and better technique, pay more attention to vocal health, etc. OR shorten the set.

It is normal for beginning singers to have less endurance than those with lots of training and experience. So, if you're crapping out within 15 minutes, don't be too hard on yourself. Just keep practicing, no more than 15 minutes at a time, and over time you will develop the strength and coordination to extend that to 30 minutes, then to 45 minutes, etc.

Another thing I noticed is that the more you sing, the less time it takes to warm up. So, beginners are really in a pickle. Often by the time they're finally warmed up, their voice is already fatigued. But that dilemma goes away, over time. Don't expect it to fix itself overnight. It's a lot like training for a race. You wouldn't want to run 1 mile and feel exhausted, and then run 5 miles the next day. You develop stamina very gradually.

Personally mine lasts...I don't know exactly...I wanna say about 1-2 hours, depending on what I'm singing. And I'm still more at an intermediate level.

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owen, i respect your opinion, but do you really think its okay to advise singing lighter for every situation?

if he doesn't last long, it might be more of a support issue.

also, the more you sing, doesn't always mean you take less time to warm up. in fact, it could mean taking more time, especially if it's just a guest appearance.

just trying to help.

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Bob, support would be plan B if lightening wasn't artistically acceptable.

The reason I suggest lightening instead is because maintaining support still takes stamina of the breathing muscles. Lightening takes stamina of...nothing really.

So between the two, lightening would result in better stamina, no doubt about it. Because it reduces the overall physical effort level.

Support would result in better stamina only at the larynx. The breathing musculature would actually get more fatigued. And for a beginner, it's too easy for them to start giving up on the support, which is just as bad as the laryngeal musculature giving up from too much tension in that area.

I don't really know what you mean by the last part. To be clear, I'm not talking about the longer set you sing, I meant, the longer you've been a singer. You get more experience and better coordination, and don't have to be as reliant on a warm up just to get something good out of your voice.

When I was a beginner it was like, oh no, if I don't warm up, my head voice will be an airy constricted mess and I won't be able to sing in chest past Eb4!

Now it's like, I should warm up so my upper range doesn't sound mediocre.

In time, I'm sure it will become, if I don't have time to warm up, no big deal, I will still sound good, just not fantastic.

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My day to day practice set would be 5 to 6 songs, of varying key and duration. Call it about an hour of actual songs. The average show in pop and rock is 90 minutes. And the singer is not singing the entire actual 90 minutes. And the songs are paced. During the 80's, most of the pop metal metal bands had a lively, high number to start. Middle stuff in the middle. Second to last song, a low, slow, singalong ballad, like Poison's "Every Rose has its Thorn." Followed by a high, powerful number. Just as much to do with keeping the audience's attention as conserving the singer.

Lightening doesn't have to mean "light singing." Goodness, we should fear that we ever sing anything soft and easy. No, lightening can mean singing a song that slower. Which is sometimes easier on the singer.

I cannot agree with the mentality that one must end the first song as if about to collapse. Endurance is the key.

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Thank you all for your valuable inputs. I found what i was looking for. Owen i was thinking going to the doc cause i thought i might have some kind of issue but now i understand its all about training and the running example was excellent.

The lightening thing i have seen it in various videos but i almost never follow it. I guess thats the main reason, along with the underdeveloped support coordination, i burn my voice quickly, in not comfortable areas they advise to gradually go from thin to thick and from weak to strong.

About the breathing exercises, its the most valuable thing i have learned and is rarely given the attention it should be. I can belt C-D easily with nice tone within a couple months of lazy training while before i would scream my lungs out.

Lightening, support and patience :)

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Bob, support would be plan B if lightening wasn't artistically acceptable.

The reason I suggest lightening instead is because maintaining support still takes stamina of the breathing muscles. Lightening takes stamina of...nothing really.

So between the two, lightening would result in better stamina, no doubt about it. Because it reduces the overall physical effort level.

Support would result in better stamina only at the larynx. The breathing musculature would actually get more fatigued. And for a beginner, it's too easy for them to start giving up on the support, which is just as bad as the laryngeal musculature giving up from too much tension in that area.

I don't really know what you mean by the last part. To be clear, I'm not talking about the longer set you sing, I meant, the longer you've been a singer. You get more experience and better coordination, and don't have to be as reliant on a warm up just to get something good out of your voice.

When I was a beginner it was like, oh no, if I don't warm up, my head voice will be an airy constricted mess and I won't be able to sing in chest past Eb4!

Now it's like, I should warm up so my upper range doesn't sound mediocre.

In time, I'm sure it will become, if I don't have time to warm up, no big deal, I will still sound good, just not fantastic.

owen,

the reason i get concerned about the advice of lightening is there are too many ways to misinterpret lightening.

i truly believe whomever reads this thinks they need to sing softer or of lower volume and that is not the way to go.

when you lighten you can actually makes things even harder on yourself.

and warmup time/method varies by individual...a seasoned singer may need more time than other days....a lot more time.

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owen,

the reason i get concerned about the advice of lightening is there are too many ways to misinterpret lightening.

i truly believe whomever reads this thinks they need to sing softer or of lower volume and that is not the way to go.

when you lighten you can actually makes things even harder on yourself.

and warmup time/method varies by individual...a seasoned singer may need more time than other days....a lot more time.

When you lighten in terms of the feeling and a lighter sound is merely an optional symptom of that (you can add back plenty of volume with twang and well tuned formants), I'm not willing to argue on this, it makes singing physically easier on the whole. Now, could it create a bridge of sorts that may trip you up, yes. Is it harder to coordinate in a person like you who is unwilling to practice it, of course. But once you get a hang of the coordination, when it comes to physical effort level, that kind of lightening relieves all that grippy tension that people who are afraid to let go of chest are victimized by. Without having to work support hard on the support. It's really a free ride. The only thing you sacrifice is a little power, a little punch, you're going to have to own up to sound a little more steve perry-ish. It may also be harder to emulate the tone of chest voice. But that's it. You can still sing with plenty of volume and resonance with the lightening approach, as long as it's not the type of lightening that tries to lighten the sound by using tension to suppress resonance. I'm talking about the opposite. Letting go of the tension and letting resonance do the work to create the volume. The result feels floatier and sounds more beautiful.

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okay, i won't argue with you. but i hope you don't mind if i don't agree......lol!!!

you see owen, you are associating singing heavier with increased difficulty and wear and tear, and that just not always true.

we really can't make that blanket statement.

a lot depends on the singer, his voice, his skill level, what he's used to, and other factors.

just because you sound heavy, doesn't mean you are singing heavy. and you can eliminate all that tension you speak of by maintained support.

in fact, the support is what keeps you from pulling up chest because it enables versatility and you can choose how much you want to take up with you.

all i'm saying is it's not always true. okay bud?

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