Why do people sound better singing in the shower? The shower works like an acoustic box that amplifies your voice and changes the way it sounds. When you sing in the shower, your voice becomes a lot richer, more resonant, and generally melodious than it actually is.
Are you one of those people who hold personal concerts in the bathroom while taking a shower? What normally takes 15 minutes extends to at least 30 because you the crowd needs an encore. You sound so good in there that you think if someone heard you, you would get a record deal on the spot.
If you do, you’re not alone: about 60% of the world sings in the shower. The problem is, once you leave, the lights go off, the crowd dies down and the concert’s done, you’ve lost the magic. What is it about the showers that make us sound so good?
Your Shower is a Great Acoustic Box!
Showers, at most times, are enclosed in bathroom tiles. These tiles don’t absorb sound but instead bounce it back to you. Think of it like a stage monitor system. Musicians use these systems to hear themselves when they sin. The same formula is in your bathroom; the soundwaves come back and make your voice much more powerful. Plus, your shower is enclosed in this material, and depending on the distance, some of the sounds take a bit longer to reach you which gives it a richer feel.
But how does it sound like you’re hitting the right notes?
That’s where reverb comes in. This is the representation of sound in the room and, in this case, a bathroom. With the hardness of the surface of the tiles as earlier noted, having a ceramic space that creates multiple reflections of your voice in different directions replicates this effect.
Reverb is actually used by musicians and is sometimes digitally mixed into songs. The reverb effect makes your voice fuller and adds depth. It also blurs your voice and helps make it sound like you’re hitting the right notes; no wonder you feel like you’re one of the casts in Pitch Perfect.
But of course, there’s more to it than that. Resonant frequency also plays a role in your shower concert. Most bathrooms are shaped like a square; specific wavelengths can be amplified in this setting.
Take your voice, try speaking outside of the shower, and then out; you’ll notice that your voice resonates or is louder inside the bathroom. The resonant frequency of a normal room is 20 hertz and the resonant frequency of a normal bathroom is 100 hertz. This also makes each sound louder and even gives your voice more bass.
Fun facts: Pond, an Australian band, recorded their vocals inside a bathroom, citing that it “sounded like an old recording studio“. Ed Sheeran wrote One Direction’s “Little Things” inside a bathroom in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Singing in the Shower Not Only Feels Great; It’s Good for You, Too!
Singing, in itself, is good for you. If you use your right hand to shoot a basketball every day, your right hand will develop into that motion, making it stronger and lessens the tension every time you shoot because it’s exercising that particular set of muscles. This is called muscle memory.
The same goes for singing, as it may help increase lung power or even strengthen your diaphragm. It also stimulates blood circulation because you need oxygen to keep singing.
Do you, or someone you know, have a snoring problem? Then singing might help, as it strengthens the airways. Plus, singing can relieve stress, which can greatly improve sleeping habits.
Since singing in the shower can reduce stress, it may also lessen the likelihood of suffering from stroke or diabetes. This is because singing help reduce cortisol, a type of stress hormone that can make your blood pressure and blood sugar go up.
Singing does not only reduce stress, it also has the power to make you happy. Ever wondered why some people still manage to sing a tune even though they’re sad? Singing becomes their outlet, a way to deal with their emotions. Singing releases dopamine and oxytocin, the happy hormones which improve your general mood and can even alleviate physical discomfort.
Oxytocin, in particular, is called the love hormone; this is essential in creating meaningful relationships. It helps promote trust and empathy, and it increases with physical affection.
Dopamine, meanwhile, is a hormone and a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in our brain’s reward system. It is well associated with learning, our motor system, and even pleasurable sensations.
Many studies have shown that singing can trigger the release of oxytocin and dopamine in the brain. These two hormones, together with music, are keys to improving your emotional well-being.
But Wait… There’s a Small Hitch
The most glaring downside is that you can’t bring a shower with you wherever you go. As your voice sounds very different in the outside world, getting used to your bathroom voice may give you a higher expectation of yourself.
To realize that the voice effects of the bathroom would be next to impossible to recreate in any other setting and that we just possess this vocal prowess inside it would be preferable.
Don’t hold back though, confidence is still attractive! But it’s best to keep our singing inside the shower and for our ears, that’s the best way to enjoy it after all. Remember, you are still training your vocal muscles, and that’s already a good thing.
Popular Songs People Sing in the Shower
Let’s close this out by listing some of the most popular songs that people sing in their shower. Let’s see if your favorites made it to the list:
1. Wham, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”
This one is a classic, and if you’ve ever watched the movie Zoolander with Ben Stiller, you’d remember an iconic scene with this song (check the video below to see that hilarious part again!). It’s a lively song that can inject some perkiness into an otherwise lazy morning.
2. “Singing in the Rain”
From a 1952 musical, this song oozes positive vibes. To be in love and have that feeling reciprocated—yes, please! It’s also quite apt as you can recreate parts of the film in your very own shower; just don’t bring an umbrella, though.
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
As one of the best songs to test your headphones with, Queen’s classic will forever be sung inside showers as it is one of the most playful songs in this list. From opera to rock and roll, this song has it all, and don’t even get us started on the instrumental parts; you’re sure to rock it out to this song.
A few notable songs in this list are, “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift, “Africa” by Toto, “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, “My Way” by Frank Sinatra, and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.
In conclusion, enjoying what we do is a simple pleasure that we all hope to attain.
If singing in the shower for hours on end makes you happy, then, by all means, do it!
At the end of the day, you’re your own audience; so if you do decide to belt a high note on a hot Sunday night, make sure to have fun in the moment! More importantly, make sure that no one else is waiting to use the bathroom after you. Have fun!
Joyce Ann graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies at New Era University. She especially enjoyed her journalism class and was nominated for Photojournalist of the Year. Joyce Anne loves music; she is a self-taught piano player. When she's not writing (or baking or watching documentaries), she's probably playing songs on the piano, mostly by ear.