Why do so many of us sing in the shower? Because we sound better in there!
Of course, most of us know that it’s because of the acoustics in the room that we sound a bit better than, say, on that karaoke stage. As I understand it, these are the factors that make bathroom-singing so popular:
- The size of the room. Most bathrooms are small and relatively bare. We’re not talking the massive bathroom suites with couches and carpeting and all that–most bathrooms are simple. This lets sound bounce around but in a confined space. You get less echo in your standard home bath than, say, an empty room or a large locker room.
- The materials on the wall. Bathroom walls tend to be concrete and tile, both of which add a bit of reverb (echo echo echo…) to your voice which produces a fuller sound, overall, making even a squeak sound large and robust. Generally speaking, a good thing. Even if, again generally speaking, a bit misleading…
- The steam as you bathe/shower. Apparently steam acts as sound-sinks, dampening (hah!) the reverb coming off the walls to smooth it out as opposed to just echoing a lot. Which is why your voice probably sounds different while showering as opposed to just singing in the bathroom. Go ahead, try it, I’ll wait.
- Steam’s effect on our body. Heat relaxes, water lubricates. Steam, therefore, loosens up our muscles (it takes a lot of them to sing) and smooths our throats, allowing the words to glide forth.
- Getting clean is good, clean fun! A lot of “Woo-Woo New Agers” (of which I suppose I count myself) see the positive benefits of sluicing the mental and metaphysical accumulation of the day away along with the physical dirt and grime. Lighter spirits are just more prone to lift voices in song!
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that we tend to be alone while showering and between the sound of the shower, the closed bathroom door and the thicker walls (thanks again, tiles!), we can let our hair down and really belt out a torch song or two without those pesky afflictions of shyness or self-consciousness.
What’s your favorite shower song of the moment? Does it change whether you shower in the morning versus at night?