I sing either solo or as lead singer in my band, on shows lasting from 3 to 4 hours. I do take a break occasionally and sip water between every other song. I also avoid alcohol before and during my performance.
But by the third set, my voice begins to lose it's quality and I have an increasingly difficult time cleanly hitting the higher notes. The problem is worse if I sing many songs at the upper end of my range or sing with too much passion and power. And the next day, I am hoarse all day long.
What happens to your voice as you continue singing - that results in the loss of ability to sing the upper end of your range and makes you hoarse? Is it the vocal chords or something happening in your throat?
I don't know if your vocal chords themselves can become inflamed or tight or if it's more an issue with your throat (and other parts of your anatomy that are involved in singing) becoming inflamed or tensing up.
Specifically, I am looking for advice on what I can do to relieve, reduce or minimize these symptoms. Drinking water helps a little if my throat is dry, but that is not the main issue. It's the tightness in the throat and hoarseness that I want to minimize.
I know there are sprays you can buy that are supposed to help, but do any of these really work? Will honey do any good? Should I take an anti-inflammatory analgesic such as ibuprofen? Are there natural remedies like grape juice that might help?
Also, what can be done to speed recovery between gigs besides getting plenty of sleep and keeping well hydrated? I have to sing again tomorrow after singing last night - and my voice is still hoarse from last night.
I know some of you will want to tell me to not sing so much, but I have committed to these performances and don't want to have to cancel a scheduled show just because I was overzealous and agreed to too many. And yes I do know folks who have totally ruined their voice by over doing it.
Any advice from experienced singers on effective strategies to enhance my vocal endurance and minimize the tightening of the voice and getting hoarse, as well as next day recovery - would be much appreciated.