Questions related to the use of the human voice as an instrument (singing).

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27
votes
5answers
20k views

Why do I yawn while singing?

Singing almost always make me yawn. I've heard this is due to not breathing correctly, but I'm not sure what that means. What's the correct way to breathe while singing so I don't yawn?
26
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I be sure that I am singing effortlessly in my natural voice?

I have years of vocalization practice, but I still start straining while singing—especially if I am not vigilant. It happens imperceptibly and is a hard habit to break. Is there a reliable technique ...
23
votes
10answers
12k views

Can anyone learn to sing higher?

So, I sing to myself a lot, and one thing that really frustrates me is that I cannot even reliably hit a middle C. (I'm male.) This is basically unacceptable to me even for ordinary shower-singing. ...
20
votes
4answers
325 views

Criteria for selecting a voice teacher

I have been singing in a (classical) choir for several years, including the occasional solo line, and am now seriously considering voice lessons. However, finding a good teacher seems like a daunting ...
19
votes
6answers
6k views

How do I know when I'm singing in key?

I absolutely love to sing and do so on a daily basis, usually in the shower or while practicing guitar. When I sing it sounds fine to me and I don't think I'm off but I have this fear that I'm ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I safely extend my vocal range?

What type of vocal exercises should I be looking for? Are there any temporary influences to the vocal range, like having had a drink?
17
votes
10answers
32k views

I want to learn how to sing. Where do I start?

According to a couple of websites, the best way to learn how to sing is with a vocal teacher, a recorder, and practice. But let's say I don't have the means to get a vocal teacher right now. What ...
17
votes
3answers
3k views

Why can't I whistle and hum different notes at the same time?

I can whistle and hum at the same time, by making the breath from my humming go out through lips formed into a whistling pucker. I've found that no matter how hard I try to do otherwise, whatever note ...
17
votes
7answers
18k views

How to extend and strengthen low end of vocal range? (I need about a whole tone extra.)

There are a bunch of songs that I'd like to sing that sit just under my vocal range (the low E of the guitar range, or the D under it). I can reach these notes with some effort, but it feels forced ...
17
votes
5answers
925 views

Techniques for remembering a pitch without reference

I'm wondering what ways there are to remember a note. For example, as a guitarist it'd come in handy if one can hum an E note so you can tune your E string according to it. Are there common ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Teaching a student to match pitch

I'm a piano teacher and I currently have a student that is taking voice lessons from another teacher. Our lessons involve me accompanying her and discussing interpretation and style. She has some ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

What are Head voice and Chest voice

Head voice and Chest voice were discussed in this question about natural voice, but despite singing in choirs for nearly 9 years I have never heard of them. Can someone provide a good description of ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Can anyone learn to sing?

It may seem as a kinda dumb question, and I'm totally aware of this. But, what I'm going to ask may be specific enough to not get closed: I've been playing guitar and also a few other instruments for ...
15
votes
1answer
4k views

Is cold water bad for the throat?

Will cold water affect our throat / voice if we drink it before singing? Also, in the long run (say if you drink cold water everyday), will cold water cause the throat / voice to be "lousy"?
15
votes
1answer
414 views

Why can I sing in key?

I've been playing around with pitchlab on my phone. And trying to figure out my voice. How high can I go, how accurate can I be, how well I can hold a tone, etc. One thing I noticed is that if i ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
14
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I develop a bass voice?

I am an 'adult male human' and can sing from A2 to G4 comfortably. It would be great if I can sing up to a whole octave below this. I am in no hurry and am willing to expend time and effort. I just ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

Ways to warm up vocal cords?

What are some safe ways to get my vocal cords without over using them before a practice or performance?
13
votes
2answers
357 views

Maximizing Practice Time

I play both guitar and sing(I'm a much better guitarist than singer) and have been devoting around 4 hours a day to both instruments. I'm noticing that I'm having trouble covering all the things I ...
13
votes
5answers
9k views

When should falsetto be used for a male voice?

I'm really confused about the concept of a falsetto voice. As I understand it, past a point when I'm singing / talking, something in my vocal chords changes, I lose the "basey" sound of my voice, and ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

Falsetto voice in women

Can women have a falsetto voice? If not, why not? If yes, do they just have a deep enough voice or does it depend on something else? Are there men that don't have a falsetto voice? Edited to add a ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

How can I do rough vocals without hurting my voice?

I recently wrote a song where the vocals are supposed to sound rough, but not quite growling/screaming. What's the best way to get that sort of sound from my voice without any long-term or short-term ...
13
votes
1answer
710 views

Singing: How to pre-visualize harmonies

When singing, I have a good singing voice for harmony--once I've identified the note. However, finding the note is exactly my problem; I tend towards singing the note the lead singer is using if I'm ...
12
votes
5answers
10k views

How to correctly position your larynx when singing?

I'm a beginner singer who wants to get it correctly. I've seen quite a lot of videos explaining how keeping the larynx neutral while singing is crucial, but not a lot of the techniques they teach ...
12
votes
4answers
925 views

How do I train myself to sing pure vowels?

When singing in languages like Italian or Latin (which don't run to diphthongs the way English does), I sometimes find it hard to sing pure vowels, particularly when holding a note for a while. ...
12
votes
1answer
352 views

I've “lost my voice.” What physically happened to my vocal physiology?

I've been suffering from a mix of allergies and a cold over the past few days, and woke up this morning to find that overnight, my normal singing range of about F2 to G4 had been reduced and lowered ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Does weight and/or body frame have anything to do with singing?

Does a small body frame (meaning small bones and possibly small organs) or low weight affect the "power" of a singing voice?? Does a higher weight creates some sort of "pressure" or something that ...
12
votes
2answers
350 views

How to improve the blend between male and female voices on the same part in a choir?

I sing in a small volunteer choir (12-15 people) in which we have women and men singing together on some parts. (Aside from the common tenor-shortage problem, sometimes we sing three-part songs, and ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I know when to stop singing?

Assuming you complete a vocal warmup, I'm wondering how you know when you've overdone it and should stop singing. Is it normal to feel a bit of strain in the vocal chords? How much strain should you ...
12
votes
2answers
422 views

In “All we like sheep have gone astray,” are we laughing with Handel or at him?

Nobody can ever sing — or practically even talk about — "All we like sheep have gone astray" from the Messiah without noticing that the words "We like sheep" are prominently accented, in a way that ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Proper technique for screaming vocal style

I just started screaming properly (i think i have no idea) a bit ago like a couple months and i just need to know if I'm doing it right I will try my best to explain how I scream. When I scream I ...
11
votes
2answers
547 views

What does “TAG for Three-part voices” mean?

Reading some three-part a cappella music, I see "TAG for Three-part voices" above the staff. Any idea what that might mean? 19 is the measure number. There are 27 measures total in the song, so ...
11
votes
1answer
111 views

What is a “Naturstimme?”

At a recent audition, the conductor of the choral ensemble said that my voice had a Naturstimme-like quality. (The conductor is, of course, German.) However, I can't seem to find a good definition of ...
11
votes
2answers
234 views

Alto singing Tenor

I am currently musically directing a community theater production of Sweeney Todd. We have cast a female to play the part of Toby, and in the song "Not While I'm Around", she is not able to achieve ...
10
votes
4answers
634 views

How to sing better in a band situation?

The singer in my band can sing very well. When he is singing by himself playing an acoustic guitar he sounds great. However when put into a situation where he is singing with a full band (ie: studio ...
10
votes
7answers
4k views

When singing, how to avoid being distracted by vocal harmony or other vocal lines?

I'm not a professional singer but I love singing. I find it very difficult to focus on my own vocal line when I hear other vocal lines. For example, When I was in the college choir, I sang bass, and ...
10
votes
7answers
621 views

How should I practice before going into the recording studio?

I've heard that one of the best ways to save money in the studio is to spend a significant amount of time woodshedding before the actual studio date, which will help keep the amount of mistakes to a ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How will a long break affect a singer's voice?

If a singer takes a long break from singing, be it many weeks, months, or years, how severely will it affect his ability to sing (vocal range, singing technique, etc)?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

What does it mean to be tone-deaf musically and how does one improve?

I had a vocal session over the weekend and I couldn't get the sound right on the song I was supposed to present, it was "Nothing like Heaven" by Men of Standard. My instructor said I needed to ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why is my voice lower pitched when I get up in the morning?

When I sing or speak just after waking from a long sleep, I can reach lower pitches than I can after being awake for a few hours. Why does this happen? What happens to my body after waking that ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

How can I learn to growl?

How can I learn how to growl? (Think the heavy bear growls vocals used in plays and metal music.) I'm looking for free resources and/or exercises I can do myself; in either case I want to be able to ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How do I practice harmonizing in singing?

I'm not good at singing harmonies. In my mind to harmonize, you can just sing an alternate melody and that usually sounds good with the main melody. I don't think to myself that I have to sing a 5th ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I learn to sing and play an instrument (like Piano) at the same time?

I find this a very difficult thing to do, and also not easy to put as much energy into singing, while playing piano. I have started off by just trying the chords on the piano, though it is still ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What are “nodules” and how do you avoid them?

I've heard from singers (I'm primarily a guitarist) that it can be dangerous to try to make your voice deeper because you might develop "nodules". Is it true? What are they? How can you avoid them?
9
votes
4answers
548 views

Why do I sing a lot better post intense workout?

I've been singing for years but I don't know why I sing so much better post intense workout. It's like I am truly ready to sing no matter what the notes are. I can hit all those high notes easily and ...
9
votes
2answers
198 views

Why is it considered wrong [for a singer] if shoulders rise when breathing?

What is the difference between the breathing that causes your shoulders to rise and the breathing that enlarges your stomach? Why is the first type considered wrong?
9
votes
2answers
350 views

How to properly vocalise and sing

I am a bass. I can go down to E2 on any day and my voice sound rich and deep on F2-B2. I can somewhat vocalise up to E4, but I cannot sing anything from E3. I think I know what my problem is. I ...
9
votes
1answer
231 views

Is there a sound theoretical reason why a capella choirs “drift off” of the starting pitches in a piece?

Is the "comma pump" an empirical problem, or merely theoretical? It's a standard music theory exercise to show that certain chord progressions don't actually quite work. For example, in the ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I improve my note accuracy and intonation?

Over time my pitch has improved simply through singing more, but I still have some problems with being a bit off sometimes (or way off on very high or very low notes). It helps if I focus on a ...
9
votes
2answers
242 views

What are some objective ways to measure improvement as a singer?

On instruments such as guitar and piano I find it is easier to measure progress. You have objective devices such as the metronome and generally when you get things wrong the sound is very dissonant. ...