Why do I lose my voice when I sing? ( Top 11 Probable Reasons )

If you are constantly losing your voice then you are probably doing something wrong while you are singing, or simply not allowing your body enough time to recover from singing. The truth is that singing is fairly hard on the body, especially if you are a beginner singer, so my advice is to take it slow and steady.

You are losing your voice when you sing is usually caused by chronic vocal fatigue and by forcing the vocal cords too much while you are singing. The more pressure you put on your vocal cords the harder it will be to sing, and sooner or later you will lose your voice while singing. If you find yourself losing your voice when singing fairly often then it is time to take a break from singing and make a visit to your doctor.

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There are a lot of singers who actually lose their voice either when they sing or after a couple of hours after they have sung. Although a lot of people want to complicate things on why this is happening but the answer is fairly simple, it can either be a medical problem or a bad singing technique, in some cases it could be a combination of both. A lot of people do not know how to get their singing voice back after losing it, the problem is that if you are singing correctly you shouldn’t lose your voice at all.

A lot of singers put way too much pressure on themselves, and they try to improve as fast as possible, the problem is that their bodies simply can not adjust fast enough, and sooner or later they will damage their vocal cords. A lot of beginner singers need to simply slow down and allow their bodies to recover from all the stress. If you are a beginner singer then your body is not comfortable with singing yet, and it will not be for at least 2-3 months.

If you want to know what is the best way on how to repair your singing voice, then my personal recommendation is to never get to a point where you strained your vocal folds in such a manner that they actually hurt while singing. I know that this isn’t the advice you wanted, but trust me your first priority as a singer is to keep your vocal cords healthy. No matter how good or talented of a singer you are, without healthy vocal cords you will never be able to sing at your full potential.

On the other hand, frequently straining and forcing your vocal cords, can lead up to some serious medical problems like vocal cord nodules. A lot of singers get damaged vocal cords from screaming or scream-singing, this is because their body isn’t used to screaming at all, and with each attempt, they only put more pressure on their vocal cords, especially if they are not doing it correctly. My personal recommendation is to first read my article on how to keep your vocal cords healthy How to take care of your vocal cords for singing? ( In 10 Easy Ways ).

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Losing your voice while singing due to not warming up

One of the major reasons why you constantly injure your vocal cords or you simply lose your voice is because you are not warmed up. Even singers who think they are warming up, odds are that they are not doing it correctly. Consider warming up as a pillar post of singing, without a good warm-up routine you are simply exposing yourself to injury. Basically, without a good warm up routine, you are risking a lot for no potential reward, other than those extra 10 minutes which you should have used to warm up.

Far too many singers overcomplicate their warm up, although it should be fairly simple. Know what you will sing and what kind of warm-ups will be good for that genre of singing. If you are doing the same warm-ups every day and you are singing different types of songs almost every time then you should start to focus on warm up exercises that are beneficial for that type of song. My personal recommendation is to warm up in the morning, check out my recent article on how to do it correctly How to warm up your voice in the morning? ( Fast & Easy ).

Oversinging can lead to losing your voice while singing

Yes, there is such a thing as oversinging, I know that you probably love to sing but doing it for longer periods than your body is comfortable with will eventually end up hurting your vocal cords and possibly even losing your voice. A lot of beginner singers often fall into this trap of oversinging, and some of them develop a temporary hoarse voice. The logic of most singers who are oversinging is that the more they sing the better they get and the faster they will see results.

What you need to understand is that learning how to sing better is not a sprint, it is actually a marathon. Everybody has a different limit on how much they can sing, beginner singes often try to follow famous singers who sing for hours every day. The problem is that these famous singers have been singing for at least a couple of years, and their body is well adjusted to singing, on the other hand, if you are a beginner singer then you will force your voice if you sing for several hours.

Losing your voice while singing due to chronic vocal fatigue

Chronic vocal fatigue happens when you are oversinging for longer periods of time. In general, most vocal coaches do recommend a 10-minute break after 90 minutes of singing, but my advice, if you are a beginner singer, is to take more frequent breaks like 5-10 minute breaks every 15-20 minutes. Even if you are not a beginner singer I still recommend you to take a break every 50-60 minutes of around 10-15 minutes.

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The problem is that a lot of beginner singers who often oversing and are in constant pain while singing is that they actually think that they are getting better and sooner or later the pain will go away and they will be able to sing a lot better. The problem is that chronic vocal fatigue can lead to fairly serious health conditions, if you are already at that point your body can not focus on improving your singing as its main focus is to heal you and it can not do it as you are putting more pressure on it every day, in this case just take a break for a couple of days or even weeks form singing.

A hoarse voice can make you lose your voice while singing

A lot of singers do continue to sing even if they have a hoarse voice, they think that eventually it will go away but you will need to let your body rest if you want it to go away. The problem is that this is also related to oversinging, and if you are having a hoarse voice for long periods of time then it might even be that you are probably not singing with the correct technique. The singing technique which you are using can either break or make your voice so it is vital to learn how to sing with the correct technique.

A lot of singers who teach themself how to sing, do not actually know what is a good singing technique, and they just make it up as they progress as a singer. The problem is that sooner or later you might pick up some bad habits which might seem a good idea at first but will actually hinder your progress as a singer. A lot of singers simply ignore their hoarse voices for a long time, and once they realize their problem they start to wonder why they have a hoarse voice after singing.

Acid reflux can make you lose your voice after singing

Some singers might even lose their voice after singing not because of their singing but because of a medical condition like acid reflux. Acid reflux is when you burp a lot after a big meal and as you are burping the gases will bring up some stomach acid which will dissolve the protective mucus on your vocal cords. If you know that you have acid reflux then you should talk to a doctor about what to do and if this is what actually is causing you to lose your voice.

Losing your voice while singing due to frequent coughing

While coughing, in general, isn’t a problem, but for singers, frequent coughing can make them lose their voice. While you cough you put a lot of pressure on your vocal cords, and once you start singing you put even more pressure on your vocal cords, which eventually will make you lose your voice. I am not saying not to cough, as it is mostly an involuntary action, what I am saying is that if you wake up coughing then try not to force your voice that day.

Losing your voice while singing due to shortness of breath

Shortness of breath happens when you do not have the correct breathing technique. What ends up happening is you will force your vocal cords even with the supporting air, and no matter how hard you might try to force a sound out of your vocal cords, it will simply not happen if you do not have enough air inhaled. Far too often I have seen plenty of singers who gasp for air like fish on land while they are singing, and this is because they do not have a proper breathing technique.

The problem with breathing techniques is that these should be learned in general, but you as a singer will have to develop your own breathing technique, based on knowing how to actually do it correctly. Everybody is different, while one breathing technique might work for you, it will probably not work for all singers, if you want to know more about breathing techniques then check out my recent article Causes of shortness of breath while singing ( 11 Most Common Causes ).

A strained voice can make you lose your voice while singing

This happens when you force your voice to a point where it is starting to get irritated, in some cases, it also makes your throat inflamed. The problem is that once you have strained your voice you put yourself at risk of getting an infection and that will take some time till you get rid of it. This strained voice is mostly either due to improper singing technique or oversinging, although in some cases it could be as simple as the singer not getting plenty of rest.

Losing your voice while singing because you are tired

A lot of singers simply ignore the fact that their body needs to rest in order to heal itself ad to strengthen itself. Even if you rest your voice for a couple of hours that doesn’t mean that your body managed to heal itself, at that point you have just given your voice a break. If you are practicing to sing in the early hours of the morning you will notice that your voice will simply get exhausted till bedtime arrives.

This is mostly because after you have practiced singing you will probably still talk most of the day, which doesn’t allow your throat and vocal cords to rest properly. While you are sleeping your body repairs the previous day’s injuries, if it is not able to do so and you are continuously forcing your voice you will end up with chronic vocal fatigue.

Drinking cold water can make you lose your voice while singing

If you are used to drinking cold water then this might be a probable cause of why you are losing your voice while you are singing. Although drinking plenty of water is vital for any singer, the problem is if you are drinking cold water. Once you have ingested the cold water it will lower the temperature of your throat around your vocal cords and it will end up tensioning up the surrounding muscles. If you have just warmed up before drinking cold water then you are doing more harm than good.

Losing your voice while singing due to vaping or smoking

I have recently made an article on how vaping kills your singing voice, although it is considered a lot “healthier” than smoking but the problem is that you are comparing poop to warm poop. If you are a singer and you are serious about making singing into your career then you will have to avoid at all costs smoking and vaping, I would go as further to avoid places where people are doing it as second hand vaping and smoking is also extremely unhealthy, no matter if you are a singer or not.

In conclusion

There are a lot of causes of why you end up losing your voice. My recommendation is for you to try and identify what is actually making you lose your voice. If you can simply not find the reason why you are losing your voice constantly, then it is probably your singing technique. Most singers think they have a good singing technique although the truth is that not a lot of singers have developed a singing technique which makes them better singers and also doesn’t destroy their voice later.