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7 Signs that Your Voice Needs Rest

Feeling clueless about when your voice needs rest? If you’re like most singers, then you may only realize the need for a vocal break after it’s too late. Subsequently, your voice might be tired for several days, if not longer. 

Even though you might be getting by with frequent vocal overuse, that is not how you should treat your voice. A constantly overworked voice can result in voice disorders, decreased vocal range, loss of vocal control, compromised dynamics, etc.

Here are 7 Signs that Your Voice Needs Rest:

1. You’re unable to produce a clear head voice. 

An easy head voice is one of the best markers of vocal health. If you’re unable to transition to head voice with a feeling of releasing pressure, then you should rest your voice. 

2. You’re unable to produce an effortless vocal fry.

Vocal fry has a bad reputation in the world of vocal health, but the ability to produce an easy one is actually a marker of healthy vocal cords. Try sliding gently to the bottom of your range and into a rumbly vocal fry, if you can’t do this, then give your voice a break. 

3. Talking is uncomfortable.

At Singing Success we emphasize singing with the ease of speech for a reason: speaking is supposed to be very easy. If your speaking voice is becoming labored, that means your voice needs rest.

4. You can’t sing quietly.

Inflamed/tired vocal cords have a hard time producing soft sounds. If your voice is starting to lose its softer dynamics, that is a sign of an overused voice. 

5. You’re starting to push.

During practice, if you start to get louder and louder unintentionally, that is a sign of vocal fatigue. Healthy vocal cords don’t need an aggressive attack in order to vibrate. 

6. Loss of resonance.

Even the darkest sounding voices have some level of a bright, ringing resonance when healthy. If you notice that ringing resonance start to fade, that means your voice is getting tired and needs rest. 

7. Unintentional breathiness.

Unintentional breathiness is a sign of swelling in your vocal cords. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t sing on swollen vocal cords. 

Time for Your “Break”-Through 😉

If these signs of vocal fatigue are often present in your voice, then I’d like to encourage you to take them seriously and rest your voice. I’ve seen singers experience miraculous vocal transformations by simply fixing their overuse problem. This could be the missing piece to your next big vocal breakthrough!

Benny Meza is a Master Associate at Brett Manning Studios in Nashville, TN. He’s taught over 9,500 vocal lessons and has worked with clients from Warner Music, RCA, Universal Music Group, and many others.