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Feeling physically fatigued after singing

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What part of you feels fatigued? If it's a general feeling of relaxation fatigue, it can be a sign of a workout. Singing can be pretty athletic. There are certain styles of singing that can leave me feeling exhausted in a good way.

If you're accumulating tension in the throat, there's debate as to what is reasonable to feel there. Some say muscles need to be worked out, which if like any other strength training exercise, would involve some tension, but I think the risk is pretty high that some of those tensions are unnecessary.

My opinion is generally a good idea to move towards less tension. Singing is more of a long distance marathon than a sprint. When you're in shape you'll be able go further with less fatigue. But if a long distance runner trains by trying to dead lift a thousand pounds, it doesn't mean they'll be able to run further than someone who trains by running marathons.

So things you can do: get a good coach. There are good programs. But in the meantime there is also breath management, as Ronws says. I'm a fan of breath support, a good exercise for it is to inhale through a real or invisible straw, and exhale through an hissing Sssssssss. And try to feel expansion, around your abdomen, engagement below your ribcage, and keep some of that engagement when you inhale.

Beyond that personal favorite exercise is to be casually experimental. What you'd do, is find the least strained fatiguing sound you can make, set that as a baseline, and then change pitch, volume, vowels, airflow, etc. When things start to strain or get more tense than that base line, move back to the place where you started, rather than pushing forward and accumulating tension. That's personally my favorite way to train my voice right now. Start with something that is not fatiguing (could be a speaking voice, or a comfortable falsetto), change volumes, vowels, pitch, and if something starts to strain or get too fatiguing. Every time something gets overly strained you can just catch it, move back, and personally it's helped me find my away round with less fatigue.

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If this helps you, when I first tried to sing Foreigner tunes (in that L.G. way) before any kind of voice lessons, "Urgent" and "That was yesterday" in particular, forget about the range requirement, I could barely complete the songs!!!

Sorry to keep going back to Foreigner, but it was a major struggle for me. I totally unanticipated the degree of physicality needed. Now there's physical effort needed for bands like Queen too, but not like Foreigner.

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If this helps you, when I first tried to sing Foreigner tunes (in that L.G. way) before any kind of voice lessons, "Urgent" and "That was yesterday" in particular, forget about the range requirement, I could barely complete the songs!!!

Sorry to keep going back to Foreigner, but it was a major struggle for me. I totally unanticipated the degree of physicality needed. Now there's physical effort needed for bands like Queen too, but not like Foreigner.

I wanna hear it, Bob. So many years of hearing about it. I wanna hear you sing a bunch of Foreigner songs. If you have tech troubles, all you'd need is a decent mic and record a vocal to backing track and one of us could try to mix it. Felipe seems the best at mixing, imo, but I could do a decent job.

I'm not overly familiar with their songs. Maybe if you pick the right Foreigner song we could collaborate as a forum and put together our skills to make a forum wide cover. I should be able to record a real guitar amp pretty soon. Put together some drums, synths, whatever is needed. Maybe we can have a Foreigner challenge? But I feel like you're the star we need for this.

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Killer, You'll have to live with some snippets.

Foreigner:https://app.box.com/shared/p4lg44us6f  Urgent section

https://app.box.com/s/viu6h1kpaoazzmv1mdyf "I want to know what love is" section

Queen:  https://app.box.com/shared/zqodebaygg "Kind of magic" section

 

 

 

 

 

I do dig your voice. It does sound very 'physically engaged' sound to me. Kind of an Otis Redding style. I think I can better understand where you're coming from with your posts and your singing philosophy after hearing your vocals there. Nice, we'll have to get more than a snippet sometime.

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"Like a trip through the past, that day in the rain, that one guitar made his whole life change ..."

 

I've been listening to it. I have a loose date for the move right now as the 3rd of next month. If everything goes to plan seems like a doable track for me to put together once I get everything set in place. 

Has harmonies too. We could provide backup. :4: If Bob wusses out we'll have to Gramm ourselves.

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I've been listening to it. I have a loose date for the move right now as the 3rd of next month. If everything goes to plan seems like a doable track for me to put together once I get everything set in place. 

Has harmonies too. We could provide backup. :4: If Bob wusses out we'll have to Gramm ourselves.

or get grammies.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Killer, You'll have to live with some snippets.

Foreigner:https://app.box.com/shared/p4lg44us6f  "Urgent" section

https://app.box.com/s/viu6h1kpaoazzmv1mdyf "I want to know what love is" section

Queen:  https://app.box.com/shared/zqodebaygg "Kind of magic" section

 

 

 

 

 

I hadn't heard those. Extremely good Bob. How about recording entire tunes, with better equipment, and let us - and the world - enjoy your voice?

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I hadn't heard those. Extremely good Bob. How about recording entire tunes, with better equipment, and let us - and the world - enjoy your voice?

Thanks very much.  yeah, down the road we'll move from snippets...lol!!!!

 

 

I do dig your voice. It does sound very 'physically engaged' sound to me. Kind of an Otis Redding style. I think I can better understand where you're coming from with your posts and your singing philosophy after hearing your vocals there. Nice, we'll have to get more than a snippet sometime.

 

I do dig your voice. It does sound very 'physically engaged' sound to me. Kind of an Otis Redding style. I think I can better understand where you're coming from with your posts and your singing philosophy after hearing your vocals there. Nice, we'll have to get more than a snippet sometime.

 

Killer, You'l have to live with some snippets.

Foreigner:https://app.box.com/shared/p4lg44us6f

https://app.box.com/s/viu6h1kpaoazzmv1mdyf

Queen:  

 

 

 

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Thanks very much.  yeah, down the road we'll move from snippets...lol!!!!

 

 

Killer, You'l have to live with some snippets.

Foreigner:https://app.box.com/shared/p4lg44us6f

https://app.box.com/s/viu6h1kpaoazzmv1mdyf

Queen:  

 

 

 

It sounded truly amazing to me, Bob. I don't say that because we get along and agree on a lot of things. I say it as being as objective as I can be about what I like in a singing voice and a performance.

 

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Killer, You'll have to live with some snippets.

Foreigner:https://app.box.com/shared/p4lg44us6f  "Urgent" section

https://app.box.com/s/viu6h1kpaoazzmv1mdyf "I want to know what love is" section

Queen:  https://app.box.com/shared/zqodebaygg "Kind of magic" section

 

 

 

 

 

Agree with Killer.  They sound amazing, but it sounds like a lot of physical effort.  Have you tried alternate ways.  What I mean to say is that I feel that You can produce 95% of the sound with 60% of the effort.. But I do understand that you may want to sound like this..  Lou is one of my favorite singers and he sounds a little more efficient to me in his sound production.  Of course, I am not expert, just calling it as I hear, so I could be wrong !!

Please do get some backing tracks and let us enjoy your voice :) 

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Agree with Killer.  They sound amazing, but it sounds like a lot of physical effort.  Have you tried alternate ways.  What I mean to say is that I feel that You can produce 95% of the sound with 60% of the effort.. But I do understand that you may want to sound like this..  Lou is one of my favorite singers and he sounds a little more efficient to me in his sound production.  Of course, I am not expert, just calling it as I hear, so I could be wrong !!

Please do get some backing tracks and let us enjoy your voice :) 

That's exactly it, aravind. Bob things those songs are meant to sound strained and that is how Lou Gramm sounds and so, that is how Bob is going to sound, Does it actually strain him, even now, to sing that? I don't know but that is the sound he has been crafting for a while.

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Agree with Killer.  They sound amazing, but it sounds like a lot of physical effort.  Have you tried alternate ways.  What I mean to say is that I feel that You can produce 95% of the sound with 60% of the effort.. But I do understand that you may want to sound like this..  Lou is one of my favorite singers and he sounds a little more efficient to me in his sound production.  Of course, I am not expert, just calling it as I hear, so I could be wrong !!

Please do get some backing tracks and let us enjoy your voice :) 

If I were to say a good portion of my favorite singers did not sound effortful, I'd be lying. I like the sound of effort in singing contexts and relate to it. If something sounds too effortless, sometimes that can leave me a bit cold.

To my ears it sounds like Adam Lambert has a much easier time singing an equivalent note than Otis Redding. But I prefer Otis Redding by a landslide. I suspect in part because strife/conflict/difficulties themselves are what I relate to in artistic expression. Art imitates life and if someone is communicating to me in their art, 'things are so effortless, I always win, I'm always in control, I never struggle, I'm never hurt and I never lose' it's tough for me to relate.

When singing requires significant effort, difficulty and hardship expressing it can speak to me on many levels. It sounds human, relatable and makes any obstacles overcome that much more rewarding.   

I'd say if you want to sing at a high level in that way, the best compromise is probably to learn to sing with minimal effort and turn it up for emotional reasons, but turn it down for preserving vocal health. Myself I'm a bit torn, I've always had a vision of who I was and how I wanted to sing. Being easy and 'always in control' were never goal posts. Being flawed and struggling to express things that are difficult to express were goal posts. 

I never wanted my singing to sound like Michael Jordan playing basketball against a five year old. I'm no king, dictator, or ruling class. I wanted to sound like a rookie struggling against Michael Jordan and often failing, or at least on the verge of failing. Success was supposed to sound like big moments because that's been my life. I'm a relatively poor, sick guy. I come from a dysfunctional family. I wasn't born to into a life genetically or culturally to win or be in control and I wanted to sound like an underdog. I wanted to sound like me.

That's something I've never been sure where Bob is coming from in his posts. I wasn't sure if he wanted to sing with effort because it's difficult (like a video game), or if he wanted to sing difficult for the same reasons I'd want to. I'm personally uncomfortable with the idea of getting too skilled with singing where I'm almost always in control with minimal effort. I feel in danger of losing my identity which from the start was intended to be both sincere and flawed. I'm not sure if 'emotionally difficult, physically easy' will transfer as well as both having difficulties in expression. 

You have to take health into account. It's likely the case that not all singers need to make the same compromises towards health by producing the least effortful sounds possible. If how Bob is singing works for him, good for him.

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Yes, in my opinion, Bob is just using the narrow vowel approach and putting some more compression into it. Using a little more compression and it will start to distort as I hear it.

Using compression to distort is more fatiguing on the folds than false fold distortion, right?

At 3:00 or so

 

The false folds coming would create a smaller space and a similar amount of air would probably be more compressed.  Unfortunately for people's folds, I  seem to prefer Bob style distorted sounds over the above style. I can distort with just air, but whenever my voice sounds 'good' distorted, it feels like there is a bit more compression regardless. Like a bit of 'oomph' in there.

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@Killer 

It depends on how you do it. If the volume is not too loud, an irregular vibration of the vocal folds (distortion) is fine. If you want to do false folds you'll often use more compression (engaging two vibrating sources) and it's usually fairly louder and more "rough" sounding due to the false folds physiological composition and the more pressure needed to engage them.

 

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@Killer 

It depends on how you do it. If the volume is not too loud, an irregular vibration of the vocal folds (distortion) is fine. If you want to do false folds you'll often use more compression (engaging two vibrating sources) and it's usually fairly louder and more "rough" sounding due to the false folds physiological composition and the more pressure needed to engage them.

 

Great discussion(even if op has vanished)…been a while since I've been on the forums, but always dig Killer's passion. I can definitely relate. And of course, Martin is spot on here. 

If I were to say a good portion of my favorite singers did not sound effortful, I'd be lying. I like the sound of effort in singing contexts and relate to it. If something sounds too effortless, sometimes that can leave me a bit cold.

To my ears it sounds like Adam Lambert has a much easier time singing an equivalent note than Otis Redding. But I prefer Otis Redding by a landslide. I suspect in part because strife/conflict/difficulties themselves are what I relate to in artistic expression. Art imitates life and if someone is communicating to me in their art, 'things are so effortless, I always win, I'm always in control, I never struggle, I'm never hurt and I never lose' it's tough for me to relate.

When singing requires significant effort, difficulty and hardship expressing it can speak to me on many levels. It sounds human, relatable and makes any obstacles overcome that much more rewarding.   

I'd say if you want to sing at a high level in that way, the best compromise is probably to learn to sing with minimal effort and turn it up for emotional reasons, but turn it down for preserving vocal health. Myself I'm a bit torn, I've always had a vision of who I was and how I wanted to sing. Being easy and 'always in control' were never goal posts. Being flawed and struggling to express things that are difficult to express were goal posts. 

 

All I can say is it's a grind and a balance between efficiency and energy. If your technique is on point, you'd be amazed at what you can do. As an example, I just started learning Born in the USA by Springsteen…now my natural tendency was to sing the chorus/verse Born as b-(oh)-rn(cvt overdrive) with light distortion…it's insanely efficient and costs almost nothing. But after listening back, it just sounded wrong. So, I had to start tinkering and I eventually leaned towards a more nasalized french o/ah type sound and it started to sound better( or at least closer to some his live recordings.) But, i was getting vocal fatigue right away so I knew something was wrong. So, I dialed back volume/intensity to around 5ish out of ten and focused on keeping it there, and everything felt great. 

Bottom line is singing actual songs should not be a solely intellectual exercise. Yes technique matters and yes it can be physical(and therefor tiring) but it's also a creative experience and above all should be fun. Here's my final one take on the song:https://app.box.com/s/y7bfd32o5xxxprr1wyaplijvxadby6d8 

 

 

OK...little addendum to my post..just saw this on youtube and damn I'm physically exhausted after watching Bruce on this one...jesus :) ...he's directing more towards overdrive vowels which is more bang for the buck in a live situation(for the most part ...of course he's blending and darkish also...but.....sounds ridiculously great here!!!

 

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Thanks for your comments folks.

I've always enjoyed the sound the comes when you sing with higher (but most importantly) varying levels of lean against the vocal folds and pressure from below.

It's the sound I personally like.  I have found the more you challenge yourself like this (and it is effortful but mostly down below in the lower core) the easier it gets.

I personally feel if you employ an economy approach (how can I sing this with the least amount of effort) you may miss out on just how much power and resonance your voice is truly capable of. 

I've been to some places with my voice where I actually was amazed by what came out of me....lol!!!! 

The thing you may not realize, is although it sounded efforful (after many years later) it is not as difficult as it used to be.  Now don't get me wrong, it's still challenging for sure, but less so nowadays because I'm taking the strain from down below.

Jon, you sounded great buddy.

 

 

 

   

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  • 3 months later...
On 9/26/2015 at 1:28 PM, KillerKu said:

Using compression to distort is more fatiguing on the folds than false fold distortion, right?

At 3:00 or so

 

The false folds coming would create a smaller space and a similar amount of air would probably be more compressed.  Unfortunately for people's folds, I  seem to prefer Bob style distorted sounds over the above style. I can distort with just air, but whenever my voice sounds 'good' distorted, it feels like there is a bit more compression regardless. Like a bit of 'oomph' in there.

 

 

okay, that throat vid freaked me out lol. I was waiting for the alien head to pop out

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