How many seconds of nonstop voice (or silence) without taking another breath is satisfactory for a professional singer ? Is there a rule thumb ? does it depend on the register ?


1 Answer 1


You should be at least able to delay your breath in such way that it does not interrupt with your singing. Being able to sing more is a big bonus, but we can't really put a value on that: Just as long as you can...

You shouldn't be trying to sing more than you are able to, as that will also interrupt with your singing.
Unless you are practicing of course, just make sure you are comfortable on a life performance... ;)

Lower registers need more breath pressure, so they need more breath to do the same.
However, people that need to sing high notes also need more breath for those notes.

But, unless you were to compare yourself with someone else, registers shouldn't really matter...

  • Trying to sing 'more than you are able' is generally not a bad idea, but there are a few exceptions, such as in Annie Get Your Gun: "I can sing any note longer than you.... Yes I caaaa........n". If the vocalist is practically keeling over at the end of the note, that would add to the charm of the scene more than if the vocalist appeared to be capable of going for another 15 seconds.
    – supercat
    Sep 6, 2022 at 17:26

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