Questions tagged [voice]

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

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43
votes
6answers
66k 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?
34
votes
13answers
40k 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. ...
31
votes
7answers
143k 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?
29
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
58k 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 ...
27
votes
8answers
70k 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 ...
27
votes
7answers
4k views

Why can I easily sing or whistle a tune I've just heard, but not as easily reproduce it on an instrument?

People with perfect pitch can easily reproduce a tune they've just heard on their instrument of choice. Most trained musicians without perfect pitch can also do this, but they would have to ...
26
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
25
votes
11answers
95k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
1k 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 I-IV-ii-V-...
24
votes
10answers
9k 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 ...
24
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
22
votes
6answers
8k 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 ...
22
votes
7answers
47k views

What is the difference between male head voice and falsetto?

What is the fundamental difference between head voice and falsetto in male singers? I think I know the answer, but I cannot be sure in its credibility, since all my self-researched knowledge comes ...
21
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
21
votes
8answers
32k 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
38k 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"?
21
votes
4answers
553 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 ...
20
votes
3answers
4k views

Improving breath support

What are some exercises or tips to help singers improve their breath support?
19
votes
9answers
7k views

Do hard rock singers use distortion effects on their vocals?

I've been wondering how hard rock/metal singers (e.g. Layne Staley, James Hetfield, Dave Grohl) manage to achieve such a 'gritty' sound with their vocals. Do professional rock singers ever use ...
19
votes
4answers
13k 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?
19
votes
8answers
27k 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 ...
19
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
11k views

Are women's voices one octave higher than men's voices?

I heard this somewhere and was wondering if it's true that women's voices are one octave higher than men's?
18
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is my choir director telling a bunch of rednecks to drop their Rs as though they were Londoners?

I currently live in the American South, where every English speaker within a hundred miles speaks with a rhotic accent. Recently, I spent an afternoon with a local choir in practice, and was somewhat ...
18
votes
4answers
48k 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 ...
18
votes
6answers
13k views

How can you tell if the singer is in pitch?

Just found this site. I'm an adult piano beginner. I just started studying music for the first time in my life about a year ago and am loving it. It's fascinating. I've been taking piano lessons. ...
17
votes
6answers
23k 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

In musical terms, what properties are varied by the human voice to produce different words / syllables?

Why, for example, does the word "hello" sound completely different to the word "goodbye", or the letter "a" from the letter "b"? I know it can't be pitch, because all of these words and syllables can ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between singing and speaking?

I can both sing and speak C#3 . There would be a difference between using the note for singing and speaking. What is the difference between singing and speaking? If it depends on what kind of vocal ...
16
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
66k 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 (...
16
votes
4answers
27k views

What is the best way to learn to sing harmony?

I am quite capable of singing the lead vocal but have a difficult time finding the 3rd or 5th harmony in order to harmonize with someone else. Is there a method of learning to hear or find the ...
16
votes
4answers
39k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

Do capable harmony singers sing in just intonation or tempered tuning?

I understand that the mathematical frequency ratios between certain intervals will correlate with the overtones that are present when a note sounds in a fundamental frequency. Certain predictable ...
15
votes
7answers
49k 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 work....
15
votes
1answer
585 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 ...
14
votes
11answers
8k views

Do out of tune singers hear that they're off?

Is it the song "in your head" that is out of tune or is it your vocalisation of that ideal song that is off, and if so why/how? I guess what I'm asking is how is it possible to sing consistently out ...
14
votes
6answers
24k views

What is the difference between portamento and glissando?

What is the difference between portamento and glissando while singing?
14
votes
1answer
5k views

Can't sing high notes anymore after a bad cold

I'm a twelve year old female that sings with a choir (I'm a mezzo soprano that sings alto when there is no sop 2 part). Around Christmas last year, I got a really bad cold. Like, so bad I could ...
14
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
9answers
22k views

Why do people say “you are a little flat” and never “you are are a little sharp”?

Is there a tendency to sing flat when singing out of tune?
13
votes
4answers
4k views

How to have a penetrating voice?

My voice is always buried in background sound, no matter if it is singing or speaking. What can I do to have a more penetrating voice? What kind of voice is more penetrating, high or low pitch?
13
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What does this 'x' mean on the stem of the voice's note, above the notehead?

I was looking at the score for Arnold Schoenberg's Pierrot lunaire (On Youtube), and on the voice staff none of the notes are connected with each other and they have this x or * on their stem: What ...
13
votes
3answers
6k 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?
13
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...