There are plenty of singers who sing quietly and they do not have any problem with disturbing others, however, the vast majority of singers wish to practice in a manner that they can improve and that they do not distribute others, this can be somewhat of a challenge, luckily for you, I have all the answers for your questions in this article.
You can practice singing quietly by using acoustic foam which will absorb the vibrations caused by your singing and this way you will not disturb your neighbors. In addition to this, you can use a vocal dampener or a vocal silencer, this allows you to sing as loud as you want without disturbing others.
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A lot of singers have a problem actually practice singing, they either do not want to disturb their neighbors or they simply can not find a place where nobody hears them sing. Generally speaking, beginner singers and singers who teach themself how to sing seem to have this problem, as most of them do not have a dedicated space where they can sing. If you are serious about singing and made your goal to practicing singing every day, only to find that you only have a couple of times a week where you can truly sing and the other times you will have to figure out how to practice singing quietly.
On the other hand, even singers who have a vocal coach but would want to practice singing at home during the sessions also will have to figure out a way on how to sing quietly in order not to disturb other family members or neighbors. There are some families that do encourage you to practice singing, but it is only a matter of time till they simply want some peace and quiet. Most families have both parents working, or in the case of single parents these tend to stay at work most of the day, and it is understandable why your singing might bother them.
It is not that they do not support your singing, the problem is that after a hard day at work, nobody wants to come home to somebody singing or scream-singing in the next room, if you are a younger singer then you will understand this later in life. The simple fact that you are here on my site proves that you know that no matter how good of a singer you are you will have to find some ways on how to practice singing without disturbing others.
If you have read my recent article, Singing into the mask ( Fast & Easy ) you probably noticed that I have mentioned vocal dampener masks which will actually allow you to sing without disturbing others. I will not go more in-depth about what the pros and cons are for using such a mask, although if you want to sing quietly you do have plenty of options that will not cost you any money. As a sidenote sing quietly is called Mezzo Piano, which roughly translates to moderately slow, and its symbol is “mp”.
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Practice singing quietly by using a microphone and headsets
As a singer, you probably have a microphone already, but not a lot of singers do also use a headset. Most beginner singers do not actually think that they need a headset in order for them to practice singing, while this is true but if you want to practice in relative silence then you will have to use a headset in addition to the microphone. Simply put set up the microphone and the headset in such a way that while you are singing you will hear your voice in the headset.
This way you do not even have to sing loudly as you can adjust the volume on your microphone or on the headset, in addition to this most professional microphones have a small dial called “gain” try to adjust it and you will see that you will sound a lot louder and clearer in your headset. The only problem is that oftentimes singers get carried away and they start singing louder, you can simply avoid singing too loud by watching the software provided by the microphone as you will see the green and red bar go up and down as you sing.
Figure out a place in that green and red bar where you actually start to sing loudly and try to focus on never going above that point.
Sing quietly with a singing silencer
Yup, that’s a thing, although some call it vocal dampener and some call it vocal silencer. Just search around the internet and you will find plenty of these items for sale. Most of them do look like the mask of some Mortal Combat character and I can not imagine how you can use a microphone while wearing one of these. Basically it is a product that does the exact thing as if you would be singing out loud into your pillow, although some come with extra characteristics they are all doing the same basic thing.
Sing quietly with acoustic foam
Accustic or soundproof foam is a special foam that will absorb the sound, generally speaking, the thicker the foam is the better its soundproofing qualities are, although as technology is progressing we are starting to see slimmer type acoustic foams that outperform the thicker foams. Now, most singers when they think of using acoustic foam they will think that they have to plaster it all over their room.
This is far from the truth, as there are some strategic locations where you can place them and they will be sufficient enough so your singing will not be heard by your neighbors. My personal recommendation is to choose a corner of the room and place the acoustic foam on both sides of the walls, while most people will say that you should place them roughly around head height but I do recommend you to increase this a bit.
It is also a good idea to place a thick rug in that corner and if you can simply glue a couple of these foams onto the ceiling above the corner. Far too often people do not use the acoustic foam correctly and they have an echo sound in their recordings, to avoid this make sure that there is no space between the foam tiles, do not glue them to each other, instead, glue them to the wall. In addition to this if you do not want to mess up your wall with glue then you can use double-sided duct tape.
Soundproofing apartment for singing quietly
If you do have the budget for it, by all means, you can soundproof your apartment for singing, this way you can sing as loud as you want and you will not bother anybody. The problem is that most soundproofing will need a lot of modifications, which if you are in a rented apartment will probably never be approved by your landlord. Luckily for you, I have written an in-depth article on how you can soundproof a rented apartment without doing any modifications which would require approval from the landlord, for more information check out my article Soundproofing a rental apartment ( In 10 Easy Steps ).
It is not always necessary to soundproof an entire room, a small corner would be enough if you do use the right soundproofing items. The major problem when it comes to soundproofing in order to not be heard by your neighbors is the resonance of some items in your room, simply put some furniture will echo and even amplify your sound while others are great at conducting sound in general, as pipes do, so if you are living in an apartment and you are singing while you are taking a shower, then probably most of your neighbors can hear you.
Find a place where you can sing quietly
If singing at home is out of the question for you then you will have to find a place where to practice singing. The problem is that most urban areas are filled with people, and the ones that are rather quiet are usually the most dangerous ones. My recommendation is to pair up with a couple of people who are also interested in practicing singing without disturbing others and simply to find a place where you can sing as loud as you can without disturbing others and it is also safe.
Most schools have an auditorium which is rarely used, you could ask your teachers if they will allow you to practice there after hours. On the other hand, you could also ask your local pastor if he would allow you to practice singing at the church, most churches do have a choir and they do practice singing there, just figure out when would be a good time when you can practice without disturbing the choir.
Learn to sing softly
Singing softly is an actual skill, and not a lot of singers can do it. The problem is that singing softly is actually a lot harder than singing loudly. While most singers do only lower their voice while singing this is not sufficient enough, it is good for not disturbing others with your singing but you will not be able to practice singing correctly. Some singers also think that if they do not open up their mouth wide enough they will sound a lot more silently, while this is true but in order to take full advantage of your voice, you will have to be able to sing with a wide-open mouth and to also do it softly.
I will not go into much detail as to how to sing softly, as I have already written an in-depth article on how to sing softly and lightly, so check it out How to make voice clear and soft? ( Fast and Easy ).
Turn on the volume of the music and sing quietly
If you do not want anybody to hear you sing then you can turn on the TV, the problem is it will be very difficult to concentrate if there are two separate sounds conflicting with each other in the same room. In this case, my personal recommendation is to go online and search for the song which you want to practice and find a version of it that doesn’t have any lyrics. This way your family and neighbors will actually think that you are listening to the song and not that you are practicing singing in secret.
The only problem with this is that you will have to have an internet connection in your room, on the other hand, it is great as you can play the song from any device you want, just make sure if it is somewhat louder than your singing. If you are using your smartphone, then get some cheap Bluetooth speakers, these are fairly powerful and some even have a one-directional sound which means that where the speaker is facing is where you will hear the sound and you will almost hear nothing if they are not faced towards you. Simply face these Bluetooth speakers towards you and start singing.
Join a choir
If you do not want to disturb anybody with your singing than one of your best options is to join a choir. Most choirs do have a dedicated space where they can practice singing, without disturbing anybody else. I know that you probably want to focus on your solo singing, but joining a choir will make you a better singer and will allow you to practice singing without disturbing anybody else. In addition to this, you should also check out my recent article Tips for shy singers ( How to get rid of it? ).
Correct timing of singing quietly
You can simply sing as loud as you want if your timing is correct, figure out when the people who you might bothe are not at home and simply sing your heart out. Generally speaking, most people go to work in the morning hours, and if you are working then you are probably also doing so. But the morning hours are the best to practice singing if you do not want to bother anybody. This is partly based also on luck as your schedule has to be in sync with the schedule of the people who you might be bothering with your singing.
If you do not know what busking is then simply put it is when you perform on the street. Most people live in big crowded cities and they do not have the option to sing without anybody else hearing them sing. Why most singers will think that this is a major drawback of living in a big city, think of it as an advantage. In big cities, almost nobody knows you and you can go out and start busking, on the other hand, try to do this in a smaller town and you will probably be the talk of the town.
I do know some singers who couldn’t practice at home and went out to perform on the streets, not only they made some money but they managed to achieve their primary goal of practicing singing. My personal recommendation is to put on a costume and try busking a couple of times, put a hat or something down so people can “donate” money, and they will not think that you are just some lunatic singing in the streets.
Be careful and think of your safety, busking can be dangerous and some performers do have their favorite corners so try to avoid these if you do not want conflict with others. In addition to this, you should also do your own research if busking is legal or not in your state. Good luck and be safe!
There are plenty of options on how you can practice singing quietly and without disturbing anybody. Just keep in mind that your primary goal is to practice singing and not actually to not disturb the neighbors. If your primary focus is not to disturb others and practicing singing is only a secondary goal then you will probably pick up some extremely bad habits while you are practicing.