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How Music Works: why do you sound better when you’re singing in the shower? | Musique Non Stop

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Monday, April 13, 2015

How Music Works: why do you sound better when you’re singing in the shower?

If you’re like most of us, your singing voice hasn’t quite reached star quality—but when you step into the shower, you sound like you're ready to hit the stage.


So why do we sound so much better in the shower?



In short, your shower works like a very low-tech sound mixer in several ways, each of them helping your voice sound fuller and richer.



First, most showers are small and lined with hard, smooth tiles which, unlike softer surfaces such as fabric, barely absorb any sound waves—so when you sing, the sound waves reflect around the small space before dying off, which makes your voice seem louder and more powerful.



Ask most vocalists, or karaoke singers, and they’ll tell you that a little reverb can also go a long way toward that achieving a fuller sound, as well as blurring those sour notes—and that’s another way your shower stall is helping you out.



When the sound is bouncing around the shower, some of those sound waves travel a shorter distance to your ear; other sound waves travel farther before you hear them. Because you’re hearing these multiple reflections in a short sequence, it stretches out the sound, and makes it seem richer.



Finally, your shower also gives you a bass boost. In the average shower, the resonant frequency is 100 Hz, which is at the low end of the range. (Human speech ranges from roughly 85-255 Hz.) So your shower stall naturally amplifies those bass tones, making your voice seem deeper and fuller.


So hop in and belt out your top songs, because it's probably where you'll sound your very best. (Warning: some roommates, spouses, children and/or pets may disagree.)



Want answers to more science and music questions? You can find all of them here.


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by Jennifer Van Evra via Electronic RSS