Jump to content

Fatigue and injuries, how does it feel? How to tell the difference?

Rate this topic


Xamedhi
 Share

Recommended Posts

I would like to know, guys, what do you feel when you think you are "tired" or very fatigued?

When you train... how much do you train?

Until that point when your voice is at its peak? Or do you train more until your vocal folds feel "used"..

I'd love to hear what you guys feel before and after your training, when do you call it a day and just quit your session until the next day.

Also... people who has injured themselves in the past, if there is anyone in this forum, how did you feel? What are the signs of when you hurt yourself?

I'm very curious as yesterday I was watching that Steven Tyler video where they monitor his folds and suck some of his little veins.

Thanks in advance for your replies, guys. It is a topic that really gets me interested.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not certain what I feel, it is a weird feeling. Once you've been singing for years you'll learn how to sense it. It's also a sound. You hear the struggle to achieve sufficient vocal fold closure. You'll sing with the same amount of effort as you did in your peak, but sound airier due to the slight swelling from a tough vocal workout. So I like to monitor it more by the sound personally, not the feel. Not sure if that's right but it makes more sense to me. But often it will be both. You'll get that funny feeling and also sound airier than you do at your peak.

I train until the first clear evidence of fatigue. No more no less. You don't want to stop at your peak because that's the best time to train. And you don't want to keep going while fatigued because you will get nowhere. Stop right when the fatigue kicks in.

I can't emphasize enough though, you are the best person to monitor this...listen to your own body, not the internet...if you feel you are done, you're done. If you haven't developed that kinesthetic awareness yet, just keep training. With experience you will figure out what vocal fatigue feels like to you.

That being said I am not an expert on this subject by any stretch of the imagination. I've just avoided vocal injury so far in my couple years of training. Other members with more experience may offer better insight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well it is kind of a problem for me as I am a ballet dancer.. and I am used to pain, to work until pain kicks in, ha hah.. So I have to find the right balance.

But yeah, I consider myself done, just like you, when I am actually doing the same efforts as before but the airyness is imminent, due to fatigue.

I feel sometimes, though, a kind of a tickle, or needly sensation.. or something when I am reaching my lowest notes, that is wrong, right?

It only happens on my lowest notes.

Well I am a ballet dancer, and my awareness and consciousness of my body is very developed.

For some time I have had a little muscle by the side of the laryx ( on the exterior, it is very easy to feel it at touch.. ) kind of contractured, as it is a bit bigger and harder than fibers on the right side.

I have 2 theories.. one that I am actually doing something wrong with my folds when going to low notes OR that as I move and lower the larynx it touches, moves and bothers that silly muscle and that I can't dissociate sensations to know well what it is..

I have noticed that if I massage that little bump of muscle fibers that are kind of contractured, that bothering sensation amplifies.

I am curious, what do you mean by swelling? As meaning or importance can vary from person to person..

Thanks for sharing your experience! heheh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just let it run its course.. if i sing a few gigs in a row and get hoarse for a few days, i worry about it a little. And then if it goes a few weeks i go to an ENT. Contrary to popular belief the voice can take a beating. Trust me on that. If you beat it up and then keep beating it up and drying it out you may have a problem otherwise, ROCK!!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahah No, not at all.

I get to an A2 and I am ok with that.. All the music I like is sung mainly on the 4th and 5th octave.

In fact when I excercise I touch those low notes like 4 times, lol.. no more than that. But to feel something weird down there jumps to my attention anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you "get to know" your voice after a while of consistang training/use so you have a reference point of how things go. You get sick a few times and you learn how it affects your voice so just have a consistent routine of teacher-approved exercise and you should learn your voice and be able to tell when it's off.

F.ex. you know which note your bottom note is, if it's all of a sudden 3 semi-tones lower you know something is up. Swallow a few times, is it back to normal? Then you probably had some phlegm, why was there phlegm etc.

If you know how it usually is you should be able to tell if something changed, if things doesn't get better you solve the problem.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me its all the same. Your call to know how much injury you can take, if you have a threshold of injury that's ok in your book, youll call if fatigue.

On training its best to set an amount of work to do, not work until you cant anymore. x series of y repetitions. Not repeat until you cant do it anymore. After training you should be ready to sing and apply what you have been working. And learn a warm down.

Live its normal to push a bit when beginning. Not constant fatigue. Monitoring and having your technique well applied on the songs are two very important things. It makes no difference to practice 3 hours of scales daily and just shout stuff at the stage. And if you are working with a repertoire where songs require a bit more of your voice, map the technique.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

as a singer, if you sing/exercise strongly, fatigue is be expected. it may not even be apparent to you, but may rear it's ugly head the following day...depends.

age, hydration level, sleep, level of development, what you sing, how you sing, how often you sing, all of this plays into it.

the best way to tell if you're on the right track is how things feel on subsequent days. can you do it again with no issues?

one thing to watch for is if things you did last time with general comfort and effort, suddenly before more difficult.

if it takes more effort to produce the same thing, or you feel like the folds have to be glued together to sing without breaking, it's time to take a break.

physical pain is a major danger signal. now you're really off course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My experience has been the same as Owen. I actually use some kind of indicator myself. If I can easily sing my highest falsetto note without any more effort than usual then my voice is not tired yet. And if you oversing all the time it will happen faster. But it is important that there is never actual pain and it does return to normal pretty fast.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had plenty of vocal issues over the years. I tend to push myself to the brink and sometimes I go over the edge. The voice always comes back, it's just a matter of time. Sometimes I just take a day off. Sometimes it takes a lot longer.

When you are doing something like Swimming or Weightlifting (or perhaps Ballet?), you have to push yourself to a level of pain. Then your muscles rebuild within 72 hours and they are stronger than before.

But with voice you have to watch it. The muscles are really small and it's hard to feel if you're pushing too much. So you have to get to know your body, which sounds like you're attuned to from Ballet.

You can use good technique and simply push yourself too long. Or you can use bad technique and hurt yourself really quick. The two rules that seem to hold true: 1) if you feel a tickle, that is not good. Stop and rest, then try again. 2) If you are getting hoarse. Stop - you've probably had enough for that day.

If you feel a pain on the side of your larynx that is NOT good. Something may be inflamed. Perhaps one of the InterArytenoids. I had a problem like that in summer of 2012.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

all great advice...

if this wasn't mentioned, watch how you speak! keep the voice up and out of the throat, support even your speaking, never talk loudly!! you are actually safer and better off shouting than talking loudly.

this from a former polyp owner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree, one might have to define fatigue. For there is fatigue, in general, just physical exhaustion from a long day. Or fatigue from singing a long time in one session. I swear, there was a guy that came into the forum at one time. Mentioned that he did his own training for approximately 2 hours a day. Then trained others and worked through sets of music ( he was in a church choir that was quite active.) And then would work on his songs, when he could, in addition to having a day job where his voice was in constant use. And wondered why he was feeling fatigue. It was equivalent to running 26 miles a day, marathon length and speed, and then wondering why one's muscles are getting tired. Two choices. He was either telling the truth and simply couldn't conceive of natural limits to the human body or it was a mathematical "perfect storm." As in, a puzzle to strain our brains to try and solve and prove how "expert" we are.

I agree with Bob, there will be some fatigue in training but what level of fatigue? Even a pro athlete can be fatigued at the end of a session. No injury, just some fatigue. Normal rest would take care of that.

Mantra of all the big singers you ever thought of admiring: rest and hydration. Everyone parties except the singer. It's just that simple, so most people miss it.

Self injury. Been there, done that. I didn't feel pain or sharp pain. I just had a big chunk of my voice missing. A honk of a speaking voice, a scratchy whistle on high notes, nothing in between.

I injured myself twice because I was a (self-censored nasty word adjective) idiot. After a severe round of kicking my own butt (looks like yoga came in handy,) I recovered with Frisell type of exercises. And lots of rest and water. Speaking only when spoken to and speaking close to someone to not "push" the voice. Not that easy on a construction site.

I did not "feel" fatigued. I just had no voice.

So, what are your symptoms, Xam?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, as for symptoms; today I did a full workout kind of at 3 pm, with a good part of it at high volumes ( I was on the ballet school, lol... but my classmates know I do this stuff so they don't care, hahah ), and finished about 45 minutes or so later. During the whole time I felt my voice better than yesterday, a lot better in fact.

As soon as I felt that tone was sliiightly more airy I stopped. Did my usual warm down and that was it.

I feel it was a very successful session.

I didn't feel irritation of any kind, or tickles.. not hoarse. Nothing like that. The only thing that bothers me is this muscle on my neck, lol.

When I swallow I can feel it, and there is nothing more than that. There is no actual pain, it's like a conflict of space of sorts hahah

When I massage this muscle to allow fibers to relax and blah blah... I feel it even more, and it is easier to decipher in fact, that it is just an external feeling. ( Man, all the muscles that hold my neck in place are stiff as hell.. we're having too much work lately, and the bill is unavoidable )

After that, we had a rehearsal, that finished at 10 pm aprox.

[Just so you know, I avoid singing immediatly after hard and prolonged physical activity. As I feel my folds very dry and "exposed".]

I drank a lot of water after that for hydration.

Kind of like 10:30pm, while waiting for the bus.. I did a very light vocalization but on a veery low volume, because I didn't feel any fatigue, of course resonance and tone wasn't the same as the first workout, but it felt very comfortable and veery in control.

The purpose of this vocalization was not to actually "build muscle", but to help memorizing coordinations and work mainly on that. On how to use the muscles. I was maybe 20 minutes doing this.

Then on the bus I practiced in a veeeery low volume some songs.. to practice the bridging and things like that. Slooowing down on difficult parts and stuff. The trip is like 30 minutes long

Now that I am writing this my voice feels pretty normal, just tired. My speaking voice sounds as usual.

Of course today was a very tiring day for my voice, and I am conscious that now I have to rest a lot, tomorrow I will not sing until late like 5 or 6 pm. And try not to talk much ( I have horrible speaking habits ) So I think I'll be ok.

As for @Daniel's, thoughts about doing what you do, consecutive times.. I still don't have a week or 2 with the new excercises I have been doing and the way that I am doing them, but yesterday I felt pretty good. And today I woke up with my voice recovered and when training it felt better than yesterday. So I don't think I am doing things in a damaging way.

Something that made me curious was this comment from @FelipeCarvalho, who says "On training its best to set an amount of work to do, not work until you cant anymore. x series of y repetitions."

Of course we all may have our thoughts on that matter, and it is totally acceptable, as something that works for someone may not work for another person.

From my own experience as a ballet dancer and a singer.. I always prefer to work according to my "current capabilities". As the body is always fluctuating.

So if I feel tired I will ommit X amount of series/repetitions. Or if I am feeling great I will do another series, but this time sloooowly so I make sure that muscle memory has time to write everything down, heheh.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Xam, that is a well-thought out reply. I think Felipe is right. At first, set a certain amount of work. And others, like Phil and Daniel are right, repeat as necessary. And so, that can also make Bob right, as well. All of these guys are right from different angles of the same thing.

A) initially choose an amount of work you can handle

B) work at it for some time, with dedication

C) it will take a while

Eventually, conditioning will happen and it will be like dancing, wherein some things, of course requiring muscle, are not as exhausting as they used to be. Just the same, don't you think that if you literally danced all day, for 12 or 14 hours, stopping for potty and water breaks, that you would be exhausted then, too? And how would you handle that?

Even the most conditioned and trained muscles get tired from prolonged use.

So, it is a balance of workload and patience. In the Perry threads, it is mentioned that Perry's voice was failing from workload. Yet many believe that there is a way to sing stuff in the original key for as long as you desire. Which is it guys? Balance the workload or "I can sing anything in any way that I want to only dropping from lack of sleep and food"?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with you, Ron..

I think having a system, a routine, a set amount of excercises and work is the best way to improve. As you work for 2 weeks on that, then the next 2 weeks is the same but a little bit more complex, or harder.. or for longer.

What I mean is that you always have to be conscious about "the moment". If your voice is not fully recovered from your last training/gig/barbecue, lol It could (or will, probably) be counterproductive to work at your normal, always at max performance level routine. So it could be good to just warm up to promote faster repairing ( Yes, inactivity is always good to repair tissue, but at the muscular level, it is always good to move in any very light kind of way... to make sure blood is irrigating constantly, to provide all the nutrients that muscle needs to regenerate )

If you are feeling very good, and feel like you have plenty of stamina, and you already finished that excercise that you think is helping you a lot, maybe doing it again could be a good option. Optimize energy for max gains possible. Kind of what you do at the gym.

I hope I explained myself better this time, heheh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And while I understand the view of others that yes, the voice can survive a "workout," you also don't a guy who just took the first swing with a golf club out on a full 18-hole game, which can take 4 hours, even with a golf cart, if you are playing 3 or 4 people.

To equate to weightlifting, just because a guy is starting to learn proper lifting form does not mean he is now ready to bench 350 lbs.

Small measured steps, which I think is what you are aiming at, Xam. And good for you. That is, take what you learned about learning and pacing in dance and apply it to singing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And while I understand the view of others that yes, the voice can survive a "workout," you also don't a guy who just took the first swing with a golf club out on a full 18-hole game, which can take 4 hours, even with a golf cart, if you are playing 3 or 4 people.

To equate to weightlifting, just because a guy is starting to learn proper lifting form does not mean he is now ready to bench 350 lbs.

Small measured steps, which I think is what you are aiming at, Xam. And good for you. That is, take what you learned about learning and pacing in dance and apply it to singing.

That's exactly what I am looking for :)

I have learned by experience that as much as we would like to sing awesome from one day to another it is just not like that.. all we do develops in processes, cicles... highs and lows, experimentation. And that is the only way our body grows technique and control. Time and dedication is the key.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

keep in mind that X and Y are not defined values. Should be defined as adequate for you, in a way that CAN be done on a routine ( not just those awesome vocal days) and do not leave you fatigued.

More often than not, the ammount of repetitions are not really that important, but the exercise itself needs to be better defined and be something according to your needs and capabilities. A good exercise does not leave you physically tired at all, it will wear your attention and focus.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heheh

I think I misunderstood then what you meant. And yes, I agree :)

That is totally what I mean.

In fact I think your mind should be the most tired, because of the efforts at coordinating everything; muscles, breath support, articulation, keen ears..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's exactly what I am looking for :)

I have learned by experience that as much as we would like to sing awesome from one day to another it is just not like that.. all we do develops in processes, cicles... highs and lows, experimentation. And that is the only way our body grows technique and control. Time and dedication is the key.

Excellent statement. That should be tatooed on the inside of our eyelids.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Heheh

I think I misunderstood then what you meant. And yes, I agree :)

That is totally what I mean.

In fact I think your mind should be the most tired, because of the efforts at coordinating everything; muscles, breath support, articulation, keen ears..

Yes if you mean mental fatigue, its normal and expected. Fatigue on the throat, as in feeling that your voice stops responding, plain no. Otherwise it can be anything else and even get results that sounds good, but its not technical work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes if you mean mental fatigue, its normal and expected. Fatigue on the throat, as in feeling that your voice stops responding, plain no. Otherwise it can be anything else and even get results that sounds good, but its not technical work.

Really? After working I always feel like a little more breathy.. be it from muscle fatigue, or the fold's material being "used" ..

Some people has said that it is normal, between certain parameters, of course. Today was not the case, I worked like an hour and my voice felt just as when I started, I put a lot of attention in not to push, or push to much air, concentrate on my support and everything. I guess today I accomplished that a bit better.

Thanks for explaining your thoughts on the matter, Felipe

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...