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Jonathan Hoard (Vocals, Songwriting)

Others don"t have the additional source. So these two factors alone make for a very different sound quality.

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Besides, not every recording of your voice sounds the same. Now, I am sure there are a lot of psychological processes at work, when your hear a recording of your own voice. Unfortunately I don't know about these. But for example the position of the microphone will greatly affect the sound of the recording. Any musician who has tried to record himself will attest to that.

I wouldn't be so sure, though, that the recording sounds worse than your "real voice". That's probably just a your subjective perspective. I also found it interesting that you talk about how your voice "really is".

I think that the sound of your voice that you hear while speaking and the sound of your voice that others hear when they listen to you are both instances of your voice as it really is, just from different perspectives, whereas on a recording you could actually change the sound of your voice by means of a lot of different sound effects. Jens ' answer is pretty much spot on, but misses the fact, remembered from my undergraduate lectures, that your ears actually partially 'turn off' when you speak or chew , in what's called the stapedius reflex wikipedia. Hearing: It's Physiology and Pathophysiology illustrated ed.

Academic Press. There are two sound pathways by which we hear: bone conduction and air conduction.

How to Sing Better: 16 Strategies Your Vocal Coach Won’t Teach You

The air conduction pathway involves vibrations in the air being transmitted from the ear drum, through the bones of the middle ear, which act as a lever, to our fluid filled inner ear. The lever acts as an impedance matcher between the air and fluid filled inner ear.

It effectively provides about 60 dB of gain, although there is a strong frequency dependence, and therefore is the normal conductance pathway for hearing. The bone conduction pathway involves vibrations in our skull, typically due to vibrations in the air, being transmitted directly to our fluid filled inner ear. For pressure waves in the air there is a large impedance mismatch between the air and fluid filled inner ear making this an inefficient pathway. When we speak, the vibrations in our skull are not due to vibrations in the air, but rather vibrations in the vocal tract.

This means that the impedance mismatch is substantially reduced and the normal conductance pathway when we are speaking is through bone conductance. Things are a little more complicated because our vocal tract is not a rigid system, but rather has muscles and soft tissue. This changes the filtering characteristics of the bone conduction pathway by adding more attenuation to the lower frequencies than is typically seen when measuring bone conduction with external sources.

Further, our vocal system and hearing systems are linked and there are feedback mechanisms, including the stapedius reflex, that change our perception of our speech. Speaking as a musician and one-time music teacher, this is not just true of the voice. When an instrumentalist records and plays back a performance, it can be very disconcerting. This is especially true of beginners who often imagine they sound much better than they really do.

I suspect that the action of performing somehow suppresses the ability to listen. Musicians are often exhorted by their teachers to "Listen to what you are playing! Listen to what you are playing. Many times, we play through our music and couldn't even begin to say anything about it when we have finished! The reason could be as simple as the brain being too occupied with producing a sound to attend to it properly. Only the most accomplished musicians can 'stand aside' from their performance to simultaneously monitor it. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Why does your recorded or objective voice sound different to what you hear in your own head?

But take it a step beyond that. If you know what you need to work on, keep a list of the songs and exercises that are going to help you the most, and make a detailed plan every day about what specifically you'll be doing. As far as your practicing goes, try to have both long-term and short-term plans.

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First, set your ultimate goals. Where do you want to be a year from now?

How Musicians Can Practice More Efficiently

Five years? From there, you can make weekly or monthly goals that will serve as stepping stones to reach your primary goal. Even if you aren't able to do as much as is on your plan, as long as you're taking steps towards your goals every day, you'll reach them. The microphone tells no lies. Recording your practice is essential, as it allows you to see and hear any weak spots in your playing loud and clear.

It's especially essential if you aren't studying with and getting feedback from a private teacher, as this will basically let you see yourself from an outside perspective. Recording yourself is also a wonderful way to keep track of your progress. After a while, you'll have long log of practice time, and going back to listen to old recordings can be very inspiring, as you'll get to see just how far you've come.

While audio is great, video is even better. If you have a webcam on your computer, this whole process can be quite easy. Try it out!


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Consistency is the key to lasting progress. It's much more effective to practice 30 minutes every day rather than 2 hours every other day. This consistency will not only allow you to retain information better, but will also keep your technique from dropping below its full potential. Again, I can't stress enough that consistency is the key. Let me run you through a few scenarios: First, say you have 30 minutes to practice during the week, but two hours on the weekends. Even if that's the case, stick to 30 minutes. Rapidly increasing your practice time, especially by that large of an amount at once, will put a ton of stress on your body and could lead to performance injury.


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  • 1. Go into it with an actual plan;

Your mind also won't be used to focusing for that long, and you'll probably have trouble keeping up that high focus for very much of that time period. Second, let's imagine that you're sticking to 30 minutes a day, every day. However, on Tuesday, you only end up practicing 15 minutes, and decide to add that onto Wednesday's practice. But then, you miss practice altogether on Wednesday, and decide to add that time onto Thursday for a total of 75 minutes. Practicing this way is a straight path to performance injury, and I absolutely advocate against it. Life happens, and if you have to miss a day of practice, then you have to miss a day.

Oh well. But if you find yourself consistently missing practice days, you may have a daily goal that's too ambitious, and you might need to reduce your daily practice time to better suit your schedule. If you aren't warming up, you're missing out. Many players reach a point where they choose to forgo warming up.

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However, just like even professional athletes take time to stretch, it's essential that you give you hands a stretch prior to heavy activity. If you don't typically warm up before you practice, try it out for a week. Even something as simple as running a couple of scales to a metronome will do the trick.