Technique and Vocal Fatigue
I saw a singer/actor recently who was struggling with vocal fatigue. She had started an 8 show-a-week run and was concerned. She had never had any problems with her voice before.
The number one cause of vocal fatigue in a performer is poor vocal technique resulting in excessive tongue and throat tension. This results in pushing too much air at higher pressures though the vocal cords, which in turn injures them. Technical problems can occur in singing and/or speaking. They need to be addressed early on so that more serious vocal cord issues don’t develop.
There are multiple causes of throat and tongue tension and it can occur in the most seasoned performer. A performer may or may not be aware that they have subtly changed their technique for artistic reasons or due to stress, aging, or even an upper respiratory infection.
My number one rule is that ALL PROFESSIONAL SINGERS NEED TO BE ACTIVELY WORKING WITH A VOICE TEACHER. I often compare singing to golf. There is not a professional golfer on the PGA or LPGA tour that does not have a swing coach watching over them. This is because even the most subtle shifts in the swing can radically change the result. So many successful singers have not had a voice lesson in years, or never had one, and they are surprised when suddenly have a problem.
The reasons behind not having a voice teacher are many, but the most common excuses that I hear are: money and time. Vocal longevity and vocal technique go hand in hand. My recommendation is to find a great voice teacher and keep re-discovering how to sing without effort.