It can’t be me! I better stop singing
Have you noticed how interested are children in their own singing or speaking? They like listening to their voice, they are even proud: “Listen! It’s me talking (or singing, shouting, crying)”. It rarely happens with grown-ups. Usually it’s “Turn it off! I can’t bear listening to myself!” or “It can’t be me! Stop it!” Truly our voice changes when going through devices while recording. There are a lot of factors responsible for the quality of the record: sound mixing devices, the sound director, the studio acoustics itself – all of that contribute to the ultimate result. But nevertheless the way we hear ourselves is different from the way we others hear us. To fix it and bring to a common value you may use the following:
– Pre-stage singing. Put on your earphones and play your favorite song. Sing with it as loud as you can forgetting about the quality of the sound. This is our warm-up. Watch the way your tongue, throat and facial muscles behave and fix it in your memory. In future try to set your apparatus the same way while singing.
— Sing with your ears closed. It will help you better control the quality of the sound. You will eradicate the habit to sing though your nose, clearly see the picture of your voice and find the best range for it.
— Put your cupped palms (or a sheet of paper) in front of your face. This helps to keep your voice in one place, concentrate around your hearing zone thus allowing you to hear it in full. A small closed space does the same function (bathroom or shower singing is popular for the same reason).
— Make your own records often. A vocal teacher will not substitute for your personal practice. Record a verse of a song, then play it. Catch the nuances that make you sound better (or bad) and re-make the record. If you have vocal lessons, say, twice a week, try to make a record before and after the lesson to implement new skills you’ve acquired at the training.
And there is a small but an important note you’d better start with: to accurately hear your own voice you need to get rid of the illusions you have about it. Perhaps (and most surely), you don’t sound like some specific singer you like but your voice is still special and is worth using and developing.