Home Psychology of Singing

Why can't I sing with a mic but can do it acapella?

Hi guys.
First of all I gotta be honest with you all, I got the course in February but haven't been able to go past Vol 1. This basically because of a few things, mainly a vocal chord surgery and a rough divorce (what a combo) so right now I don't have a place to practice. I mostly practice in my car on the way to a gig. I'm a musician and do 2-4 gigs a week. Just with Vol 1 I've been able to grow my chest voice and add stamina to my performances and got rid of hoarseness all together. It was hard getting rid of years of bad habits but was worth it in the end. Lately I've "discovered" my head voice and have been able to song higher than ever before and have added tons of songs to my repertoire. My main problem is... even though I am used to singing with a PA or sound guy (mostly medium volume level PA gigs) I can't seem to stop over-singing in head voice. I start singing too loud, almost shouting, and can't hit the notes. When I practice by myself at a nice comfortable volume I can sing high songs easily with good tone and resonance. But with a mic I kinda get the feeling that I am almost competing with myself on the monitor. I've tried just plugging my ears and it sort of helps but I can't hear whats going on outside too well. I'm posting here since I figure if I can do it at home or in the car then I should be able to do it in front of a mic, so it's got to be psychological. I ordered some volume reducing ear plugs that I'll test out next week. Any tips or advice you can give me?


  • Options
    cwcwcwcw 2.0 PRO Posts: 412
    First, I'm sorry to hear about your struggles. That's rough.

    Ah...over-singing. That's a fun one. From what I remember with my gigging days and my current experience on KTVA, stage volume plays a huge part in the temptation to over-sing. I'd suggest in-ear monitors if you can make that happen. If not, control stage volume where you can. Also, getting your mic hot enough (encouraging you to sing at a good volume) so that IF you sing too loudly, you are getting blown away by your own monitor. That'll back you off in a hurry. :) I'd like to think that the volume reducing earplugs will help, but I don't have experience with that.

    When you're at home practicing, you need to make a concerted (mindful) effort to constantly monitor your singing volume and keep it in check so that you really know what you "feel like" when you're singing at a comfortable volume, so that you can then take that to the stage. Mindfulness about that is key. I have to remind myself about that as I'm singing at home, and it has been helpful.

    Let's see what @doc_ramadani , Bob @highmtn and @Furious_Phil have to say.

  • Options
    bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,650
    edited September 2019
    Sorry to hear about what you are going through.

    Do you have a good monitoring system? Maybe in-ear? You should not be competing with yourself on your own monitor. Of you know this as you have gigs more often, but just to rule it out.

    At KTVA we learn to really reinforce our head voice at Volume 4.

    We might be able to give you some pointers if you upload some audio of yourself doing a few exercises? If you just discovered head voice, using it a lot right away might not be optimal, especially since you are on Volume 1. But i can't decide that as i never heard you. I also don't know how you use your head voice. The issue does indeed sound like over-singing.

    In Volume 1 you split your time evenly between bridging exercises and chest stretching exercises. It pretty much stays like that until you start adding in head voice exercises from Volume 4. You want to spend roughly the same amount of time on all aspects. That way, nothing is neglected and everything is trained and kept strong. So at volume 1, you only have bridging and chest stretching exercises.

    Hope this helps
  • Options
    GaryDrummGaryDrumm 2.0 PRO Posts: 45
    edited October 2019
    First off, sorry to hear about your troubles, but it sounds like you’re on the mend, so congrats there.

    On over signing, I find that I do that when the stage volume is too loud. I find it really difficult to hear myself. I know in my head and nervous system what it’s supposed to sound like, and generally I’m spot on, but on some of the more challenging songs, it gets to be a struggle.

    I’m looking in to getting in ear monitors and have my vocals turned up a bit so I know I’m where I’m supposed to be.

    Another thing I do is just practice the hell out of the song. That’s a good compensation, but hearing yourself is also really key when doing live performances.
  • Options
    heidianitaheidianita 2.0 PRO Posts: 144
    I support the others here 🙋🙂 but i would like to add the microphone. Different mics gives you different sound. I have been struggling the same as you, oversinging, though I have in-ear. I've realised that the right mic helped alot. My best tip is to Try out different mics, pic out the best one for you (not always the best for others) and use that mic everytime possible.

    Good luck 🙂
Sign In or Register to comment.