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I tried wearing headphones and singing along to it, while playing the karaoke version over a speaker to see how I sounded singing

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I wanted to see how I sounded singing without hearing myself in the moment cause I am extremely self conscious. Anyway, it sounded horrible. Is that my actual singing voice or is the way I did it what made it sound bad? And how do I learn without feeling so self conscious?

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There's an old joke: a hobo is carrying a violin case in NYC, when he runs into another man dressed in a tuxedo, also carrying a violin case. The hobo needs directions and asks the man "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" Without stopping, the tuxedo man replies "Practice, my man! PRACTICE!!"  :lol:

Practice, and if you can afford them, VOICE LESSONS. There is always a "cringe factor" when one hears a recording of their own voice.  Just like you can't pick up a violin and be a good player in two weeks, it's really no different with singing. Singing turns the human voice into a musical instrument, one without keys or frets. It takes time and WORK to make it happen.  And for pros, the work never stops, they are always practicing to maintain what they have. 

On 12/21/2020 at 2:24 PM, RacerNCH said:

without hearing myself

If you can't hear yourself, you can't sing on-pitch. You need to hear yourself in the headphones. 

On 12/21/2020 at 2:24 PM, RacerNCH said:

Is that my actual singing voice

Microphones are brutally honest. I don't know what set up you're using, but as long as the recording level is more or less correct, then yeah, that's what your voice sounds like. Now, on recordings there is some processing done to vocal tracks, usually some dynamic range compression which keeps the volume level more even, and some equalization which reduces unwanted frequencies, but neither of these changes the basic sound of your voice, these just "clean it up" so to speak so the voice fits better among the various instruments. 

Cliff Notes version:

1) Make sure you can hear your voice in the headphones. 


3) Take voice lessons. In person is best, but if you can't, read a book, watch a YouTube video


5) DId I mention PRACTICE? 

:blah::blah:  (I don't do any of these things, and my singing is terrible as a result) 

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The way you sound to yourself in your head versus the way you sound in playback or recording is very different. This is basically due to the perception of sound of the voice being altered by the resonance and vibrations within the head cavity. It's a phenomenon that many novice singers experience. It's normal. If you listen to yourself more you will eventually get used to it. The playback or recording sound is actually closer to your actual sound. 

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