Traci Kern
Helping singers find their real, natural voice.

Archive for the ‘Vocal Tips’ Category


Common Signs of Significant Vocal Abuse

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1. Throat is tender to the touch after use.

2. Voice is hoarse at the end of singing.

3. Throat is very dry, with a noticeable “tickle” that is persistent. Check dehydration.

4. Inability to produce your highest notes at pianissimo volume.

5. Persistent hoarseness or an inability to sing with a clear voice after 24-48 hours of vocal rest.

Treat your voice and body sensibly when you feel vocally run down. This necessitates the development of accurate perceptions by the singer of why the voice is feeling tired. Accurate self-evaluation will lead one to therapeutic practices which will return you to vocal health in the shortest period of time. In doubt? seek professional help.

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Vocal Use Practices

Posted in Vocal Tips  by Traci
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Vocal Use Practices

1. Avoid hyperfunctional use of your voice, i.e., learn to use your voice with as little effort and tension as possible. Singers in training should be able to sing for 3-4 hours per day (when healthy) without debilitating the next day’s singing activity. If one cannot sing for this length of time without some disablement, then one should consider a reevaluation of present singing or speaking habits.

2. Keep in mind that the degree of individual vocal conditioning and innate vocal capacity to endure wear and tear relate directly to the amount of singing or speaking one can do each day.

3. Avoid singing in a tessitura which is continually near the extremes of your own range (both high and low). Carefully pace the use of register extremes (such as pushing the chest voice into the upper range for effect, i.e, belting). MISUSE OR OVERUSE HERE CAN BE VOCAL SUICIDE.

4. Before singing or using the voice in unusual ways (public/dramatic speaking), do some vocal warm-ups. As in any physical activity, the warm-up should proceed from general stretching through less strenuous to more strenuous usage. Loud volume and high range are the most strenuous of usages,therefore, begin in the mid-range with easy production. At every stage along the way, evaluate your present day vocal condition, and adjust your rehearsal activity accordingly. Every voice is different, but 7-10 minutes of warm-up is usually the minimum.

5. Reduce general voice use prior to a performance. In the time prior to the program, have a quiet period when everyone can conserve energy for the task that is at hand.

6. Avoid shouting, screaming,loud laughter, and heavy throat clearing. Necessary coughing and sneezing should be as gentle and as nonvocal as possible.

7. If it feels bad, don’t do it.



Vocal Fatigue

Posted in Blog, Vocal Tips  by Traci
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A singer should NEVER experience vocal fatigue. If he/she is singing correctly, the voice should not tire. Hoarseness should NEVER occur after any voice lesson, or performance unless the singer is executing the technique incorrectly. If you are experiencing vocal fatigue, check out the following list of causes to see if anything on this list is contributing to your vocal fatigue.

Causes of Vocal Fatigue:
(1) Smoking or drinking alcoholic beverages.
(2) Belting: using too much chest voice pushed up to high in the scale.
(3) Using a technique with a tight solar plexus during singing.
(4) Singing with a high larynx.
(5) Singing with a low soft palate.


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Getting Your Voice Ready to Perform

Posted in Vocal Tips  by Traci
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Tip of the day—-Getting your voice ready to sing in a performance:
1. Start by warming up. Take the time to gently warm up your voice through your normal warm up routine.
2. Hydrate! Moisture is the lifeblood of your vocal cords, so make sure that you are always hydrating them with good ole’ H2O.
3. Depending on the situation, do some light physical exercises before you sing.
4. Practice, practice, practice. Practice what you are going to sing over and over again. Nail down the tough parts. Be confident in what you will be singing.