Investigate vocal fatigue and voice overload


Investigate vocal fatigue and voice overload

investigationVoice fatigue



On Pevoc9 in Marseille there was a lecture on vocal fatigue and voice overload Jackie Gartner-Schmidt . In a large study that Jackie has done, the question was asked how the voice recovers after a great load capacity.

People were urged to phonate, sing for a longer period of time with a certain amount of decibels. Before and after that they were tested on a number of components such as Sound Pressure Level, Brightness, Jitter and Shimmer. Sound Pressure Level is actually the loudness of the voice being measured. Clarity of whether interharmonic noise occurs Jitter or pitch varies so how stable the tone remains. Shimmer is the variation in loudness of whether a tone has a stable loudness.

3 researchgroups

The study was about whether the recovery period shortens and significantly improves when people do semi-occluded, (half open) exercises or sing after (over) loading. In other words, after long singing or singing with great power, firm and loud, the voice will in most cases lose some of its clarity, stability and flexibility. This has to do with the heat that the vocal folds produce and which will reduce the Musosal Wave. The gel layer, laminia propria in the vocal fold dries out a little. In her presentation, Jacke showed that singing semi-occluded exercises shortens recovery time and the vocal folds recover better. The research group was divided into 3 groups.

  • A group that did nothing after heavy loads, so they had peace of mind.
  • A group that did semi-open exercises after heavy loads
  • A group that continued to strain the voice after heavy loads.


The last and first groups showed little improvement in the voice one day after exercise compared to shortly after exercise. It is therefore remarkable that both resting and continuing to exercise produced so little difference.

But doing exercises that were performed half open greatly improved the vocal folds. All subjects had a significant improvement from the post-exercise time the following day after exercise.

“Conclusion: It certainly pays to do some kind of cooling down after a concert or performance.”

do a coolingdown after singing!

How do you do that and what are semi occluded exercises? Among others: Lip trills, tongue trills, raspberries, humming and trumpeting. The sound does not pass directly through the mouth, but there is a reduced opening. The principle behind this is that the impedance changes above and between the vocal cords. The Supra Glottic Pressure increases causing the vocal folds to vibrate with a lower pressure at the bottom. The vocal folds thus vibrate under the lightest breath pressure and can therefore recover well. Singers / Speakers would therefore do well to do semi-open exercises after a concert or rehearsal or performance. Trumpet scales or melodies so that the voice recovers more quickly in order to keep singing or speaking healthy and clear.

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