Mar 03 2016

VocalWisdom.com Masterclass Podcast #0003 - Dealing with Vocal Fatigue

In today’s class I’m addressing a couple of questions about vocal fatigue. This is an issue for pretty much all of us to some degree. But for those of us with a greater imbalance in the vocal function fatigue can become a serious concern. For the most extreme cases it can even lead to vocal injury like nodules.

Watch and/or listen to today’s class to find out the underlying cause of vocal fatigue and some things you can do about it.

Comments and questions are welcome below. Thanks!


  1. Great work on this, Michael. I picture of the voice sitting on top of the air was quite helpful. One thing that stood out, as well, is placement of the voice….WOW, when you likened the vocal fold operation/speaking/singing mechanics to those of an instrument it truly opened my eyes to something I should have seen long ago.

  2. Rachel Wheatley

    Thanks for this generous explanation Michael! Not a 40 minute rant at all…very valuable stuff! It is good to hear these things over and over just to remind ourselves what good vocalising is all about! You make these things sound achievable and not some type of mystic secret that singers would be lucky to grasp!

  3. Steve Van Dien

    Doesn’t this depend on the individual singer/speaker? Some are indeed too tense and can therefore benefit from the relaxed approach.
    I have a large voice, with large muscles that tend to contract. Therefore, I must concentrate on relaxation. But on the other hand, if I get TOO relaxed, the voice just doesn’t work; so I must then concentrate on bringing the cords gently together.

  4. Fantastic blog ! Those suffering with Muscle Tension Dysphonia should really try to understand it. Techniques advocated by professional therapists typically include yawn sigh and flow phonation, for me this is totally opposite of what’s required and exacerbates the muscle tension issue. My condition has improved by using the body more to close the vocal folds first , I’m then able to open the throat and jaw without restriction /tension, I’d previously been doing the opposite i.e. trying to open the throat first and then closing. For me seems this action set up some kind of antagonism between the abducting musculature and the adducting musculature. For the fist time I’ve recently experience “leaning” into the voice” this concept was always lost me due to poor function. I’m probably overdoing this at the minute , but given the vocal discomfort I was in, ill take it any day !

  5. Absolutely. The basic principles apply to everyone, but the details always depend on the individual. But a point I try to make is we need to recognize the different elements involved. Many people are closing the throat when they think they are closing the cords. This will never give the result they are looking for. Others are opening the glottis when they are trying to relax the throat. This won’t work either. We have to figure out what it feels like to close the glottis in the correct way, which leaves the throat relaxed. And coordinate the breathing so these things all happen correctly as well.

  6. Great to hear from you, Wayne. Thanks for the vote to apply these concepts to vocal disorders. I’m glad to hear you are still progressing with your voice.

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