Welcome to The Voice Connection Sound Off; a forum for users of books like Raise Your Voice, Melody to Madness, The Ultimate Breathing Workout, and Unleash Your Creative Mindset, as well as a place for Vendera Vocal Academy members to interact.

This message board was created so that singers could come together and "sound off" to help support each other during vocal development and the creative process of unleashing the creative spark that occurs when writing and producing music. Currently, myself and vocal coaches Ben Valen, Ray West, and Ryan Wall are here to respond periodicially to your questions, with new vocal coaches coming soon. But, feel free to help each other too:)

This board is here for you to ask questions about my and my fellow coach's books, videos, and MP3 programs, as well as offer others help with our vocal techniques. You may also post videos of yourself and your band to share your music and ask for critiques.

Please refrain from negative comments, profanities, spamming, and inappropriate criticisms of vocal methodologies, vocal coaches, and singers. All negative posts will be deleted and subject to banning without question. I will not respond to negative posts, because, as Mark Twain once said, “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” With that said, positive criticism is welcome because that is how you'll grow as a singer during the training process.

The Voice Connection - Sound Off
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Re-learning how to sing

Hey guys. I've been teaching myself to sing for a few years now and have developed the habit of covering my right ear (I usually sing with headphones on). Whenever I try to just sing normally I find that I end up straining my throat because I'm not used to singing without cupping one ear.
Is there anything I could do to sing as well normally as I do when I cup my ear or do I have to basically re-learn how to sing? I feel like singing with headphones on is detrimental to my technique. :/

Re: Re-learning how to sing

Alternate cupping and not cupping. One scale cupped, then immediately remove the cupping and do the next one like that. Then next one cup again. etc.

Over time the difference between the two will become the same.

Good singing to you,

Phil Moufarrege

Re: Re-learning how to sing

Hey Victor! I'm no professional, however, I have been teaching myself to sing for a couple years, before taking on and off voice lessons with various coaches. What I've learned from private practice and training with coaches is that the goal is to attain consistency in the voice. In my opinion, this means technique stays the same, no matter what. For example, whether a singer is dancing, sitting at the piano, singing with or without a microphone, or in your case, cupping their ear, vocal technique has to be practiced and applied to the point where it becomes second nature.

Also, there's a possibility that cupping your ear isn't really affecting your voice as much as you think it does. It may be more of a mental shift than a physical shift :) When singers cup their ears, it enhances their ability to hear themselves, not release tension in the throat. My suggestion to you would be practicing vocal scales and exercises easy and light (not airy) while recording yourself, then listen back to it. If something sounds off or feels painful, then experiment, research and play around with ways to do it differently until it feels just right.

And don't think of having to re-learn how to sing! I've had this worry for a while now, and I can honestly say, it's more limiting than it is empowering. Singers are always reviewing the basics, no matter what skill level. Think of practice as unlocking your fullest artistic potential, and singing as finding your voice that allows you to express yourself and share your message in the unique and special way that only you can :)

I hope this helps. Have fun and good luck!