Around a year ago, I started singing while listening to music in my ears; usually belting out lyrics while having my earbuds at full blast(not literally), but now when I try to sing A-cappella, my voice catches in my throat and I can't bring myself to sing anything.

This problem doesn't occur when I'm listening to the radio, singing along to music playing on my computer or singing with someone else, so I'm wondering if I've developed a mental block towards hearing myself? Does it have something to do with the fact that I sang for hours on end with earbuds in?

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to fix this or explanations as to why it happened in the first place?

2 Answers 2


You could try this to see if it helps or helps get you out of this habit,

  1. Sing along to a tune played on an instrument, find a piano or something and make a simple tune to play on it. Sing along with this melody if possible, then after singing along to the melody try singing the same tune while imagining the tune is being played in you head. You could also try this on other instruments such as a guitar.

  2. You could get some sort of microphone app on your phone and sing into your phone in a way that you could hear yourself through the earbuds. I know garage band can do this but the process is quite complicated to set it up. This could act as your second singer. Gradually turn the earphones volume down over time until you can sing by yourself without earphones.

I cant think of anything else that may help at the moment, I haven't ever heard of anything like this in the past but I hope this may help you.

Good luck. :)


I've got a client who has a form of this. She comes to me to prepare backing tracks, and of course we have to set a key. But although she's happy to 'sing out' at her gigs, she just won't do it here, she just sings back in her throat. Purely psychological of course. Perhaps you can fool yourself out of it with some voice exercises.

Does it MATTER if you can't sing unaccompaned? When would you need to?

  • I believe that that this person's problem is that they require a guiding vocal not just accompaniment.
    – Dave
    Dec 13, 2017 at 14:30
  • @Dave, that's not what I understood from the question. Oryan only mentions things like "singing along to music", which doesn't exclude singing along to karaoke backing tracks.
    – Dekkadeci
    Dec 13, 2017 at 15:24
  • You may believe that, but he didn't say that!
    – Laurence
    Dec 13, 2017 at 18:24
  • Ah... I apologize if I wasn't as clear as I should've been, but it is true that I need guiding vocals. Karaoke doesn't work for me.
    – Oryan
    Dec 16, 2017 at 20:02
  • Also... It's "she".
    – Oryan
    Dec 16, 2017 at 20:25

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