The best larynx is a happy larynx.

The best larynx is a happy larynx.

If you use your voice regularly, chances are at some point you’ve suffered from vocal fatigue. You know when it’s happening because it takes more effort than usual to produce sound. Maybe the story went something like this:

You got a cold accompanied by a bad cough. The cough took two weeks to go away, but meanwhile you couldn’t rest your voice because you had to keep teaching your 5th grade class every day (or making business presentations, or performing on Broadway – take your pick!). Your cough is better now, but the quality of your voice is a bit rough and you can’t talk for long before you’re tired.

Now, the problem with the human body is that no one taught you how to make sound. Quite the contrary, you came out of the womb and let out a huge cry right away. So when your voice has gone south, how do you know what to do to fix it? 

Most of us don’t know how to interrupt the cycle of vocal fatigue. So what tends to happen is overuse: the muscles around the voice box (the larynx) tense up to help you make sound. Big muscles in the shoulders, neck and jaw often get involved in trying to help, along with the much smaller muscles directly around the larynx. The problem is that the help these muscles are trying to provide is not the most efficient way to produce sound more easily – in fact, they tend to make it more difficult. So the cycle of vocal fatigue continues and pretty soon our breathing is more shallow and we’re locked into an unhelpful pattern, perpetuating our vocal fatigue.

What we need in this moment is some sort of reset button, but unfortunately the human body doesn’t have one. Instead, we have to turn to repeated practice (aka exercises) to encourage our overwrought muscles to release and our breath support to re-engage. By repeating simple exercises, we provide ourselves with positive reset information to incrementally pull ourselves out of the negative pattern that is causing and extending the vocal fatigue.

Go see any well-trained voice teacher and they can provide you with tons of exercises for releasing the muscle tension that leads to vocal fatigue. Indeed, the exercises that make up the Vibrant Voice Technique are based on exercises you can do with your own two hands. The great thing about adding external vibration to the mix is that the vibration encourages even more release and accelerates the process. 

If you are suffering or have a tendency to suffer from vocal fatigue, make today the first day that you spend five minutes doing some massaging of the muscles in your shoulders, neck, and jaw. Notice if it makes a difference. If you’re curious to try the Vibrant Voice Technique, give us a shout.

Let’s make vocal fatigue a thing of the past.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If your vocal fatigue is extreme, ongoing, or if you’re experiencing pain, make an appointment to see your local Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT), as these could be signs of a more serious problem. 

Liked this blog and want to hear more from Vibrant Voice Technique? Sign up for our bi-weekly voice tips here!