Blocking the Ear when Singing

Have you seen people use their fingers to block one ear when singing? Have you ever wondered why they do that?

I may have an answer. Singers performing on stage need to hear their own voice and they are pressing their in-ear monitor into their ears for a snugger fit. Most professional singers who perform on stage use in-ear monitors, devices that are usually transparent or skin-coloured. These devices allow them to hear their performance along with the mix (of other instruments/voices). Thus, just when a singer is about to sing a difficult run, you may notice the finger in the ear.

What about singers who are not on stage or wearing in-ear monitors and are blocking their ears? I would have to ask, “Is that singer a professional?” Most likely, such a singer is blocking the ear to appear professional. It would be mostly for style and not very practical. Blocking the ear does not allow you to hear how your voice sounds to others, but it does lower the volume of unwanted noise. To hear how you sound without monitoring, the best way is to use your hands and cup behind your ears with your palms facing forward, angled toward your face.

So there you have it. Blocking the ear does not make you sound better or allow you to hear how your voice sounds to others. It simply blocks out noise.

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