Inside, outside, upside down

People frequently say that when they hear their voice on a recording it is a little shocking. Singers have to learn to make peace with this. Listening to a recording of yourself can help you fix some things, but it also can confuse you if you’re not careful.

If you hear your recorded voice and it sounds “off”, it is a good idea to sing for a voice teacher who can listen for any problems in how your voice is working. Generally speaking, you need to figure out with your voice teacher how to work the most ease into your voice over time. A teacher can help you to find functionally easier sounds, which you can then get used to as your own. Working from the other direction, from an ideal “sound”, and then trying to make that exact sound more easily, will bury your potential and uniqueness.

Where it gets strange is when the better, stronger, more flexible way of singing doesn’t sound “like us” at first, even though it is actually “us” becoming a better singer. If you are a fairly mature singer, bouncing back and forth between recording and singing can help you to become acclimated to the changes, but that doesn’t work for everyone. Some people need to develop new habits and sounds for a longer time before listening to a recording.

At some point trust comes into the picture. You ideally can trust your voice teacher to guide you to better sounds. You should trust that what is easier is better. You should trust that the changes in the sound inside your own head are good. Lastly, you must accept that the sound on the inside is never the same as what is heard outside. But only if you want to stay sane.

If you enjoy this blog, consider grabbing a copy of Sane Singing: A Guide to Vocal Progress, available in print and ebook!

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