From an article about rock singers seeking vocal surgery:

Physicians say that there is no doubt that professional rock and pop singers on extended tours run a substantial risk of damaging their voices. The strain of singing full-voiced for an hour and a half is intense — as hard on the larynx as a professional football game is on a lineman’s body — and the vocal cords need time to recover after each performance. Dr. Zeitels, one of the leaders in his field, recommends that a rock singer not perform two nights in a row, though he concedes “that’s just not feasible.”

No kidding.

“John (Mayer) needs his voice to continue to work in the profession he’s in,” his manager said. “We were willing to sit out 2012 if that’s what it took.”

Must be nice.

At Pat O’s each of us are singing about two hours a night, four or five nights in a row, fifty weeks a year.

Since I don’t think my boss would approve a year-long sick leave, I try to be conscious at all times NOT to sing full-voiced.  (Lowering my singing keys and warming up properly help with this.)  It only takes one song sung in a key too high for me, and my voice is sore for at least two days afterwards.  But if I stay within my range and keep the volume moderate, I can perform pain-free on the endless tour I’m lucky enough to call a job.


About jjambon

I play piano and sing in the French Quarter. Life is good.

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