Why Do Singers Cover One Ear: Explained For Beginners


Have you ever seen a singer cover one ear while they perform? You might have wondered why they did this.

Well, there are several reasons why singers do this. The most common explanation is to hear themselves in a noisy environment or to focus on their pitch. 

If the singer covers their right ear, it usually means that they try to listen to themselves over other sound sources to ensure that they are singing correctly.

This article will explore 6 reasons singers cover one ear when they sing and look at a better alternative.

Why Do Singers Cover Their Ear

1.To Hear Their Voice In A Noisy Environment

Suppose singers are singing in an exceptionally loud environment. In that case, they may choose to cover one of their ears.

This can be because the noise is coming from behind them, or perhaps it is just too hard for them to hear themselves over all the sound which surrounds them when lots are going on around you.

This happens particularly when singers perform outdoors where ambient sounds become part of the performance itself, and sound waves get trapped in the room, causing a louder noise. 

Suppose someone has trouble hearing themselves in noisier environments. In that case, it might also help them avoid any other sound sources, so they have more clarity about what’s happening with their voice and how it sounds.

2. When There Is No Monitoring System Nearby

Most singers will have a monitoring system near them so they can hear their voices better. Monitor plays a vital role for the singers because they cannot hear their voice clearly without them.

Singers rely on the monitor system and use it as a backup tool to check if they are singing well or not.

If the sound of their voice is not properly monitored or too low, or there’s no monitoring system near them, they may cover one ear with a hand.

This will help them hear their voice better and know if they are singing well or not.

3. When They Are Having Trouble With Pitch Or Tuning

Another reason singers cover one ear is to help them with their pitch and tuning when it’s off.

It can be extremely difficult to hear yourself clearly in a live show because of the heavy ambient noise.

At this point, the singer usually covers one ear with their hand to focus on their pitch and tuning without any other sound interference.

For example, if a singer is having trouble hearing themselves over ambient noise, then covering one ear will help them tune into what’s coming from their voice ideally rather than the PA system, which may distort how they are actually singing because of all that external sound clamoring for attention!

Singers will sometimes cover their ears in a recording studio during practice when they are about to record a song.

4. To Compensate For Equipment Failure

There could also be some technical issues on the audio equipment during a live show causing problems for the singers. Particularly in older buildings where there might not be great acoustics or appropriate speakers set up, the singers will have difficulty hearing their own voice with clarity.

In this case, singers might choose to cover one ear to focus on what’s coming from their voice as it is the only thing that matters in those moments!

And suppose you’re wondering which side a singer will usually prefer to use. In that case, most frequently, they’ll be covering their right ear because of how our ears are naturally wired up.

The left ear is more attuned to picking up sounds and music. In contrast, the right ear doesn’t have such acute hearing capabilities – although both ears pick up sound equally well regardless of whether we hear with them or not!

We don’t hear as clearly when someone covers their right hand over their head compared with using your left!

5. Singing With Another Singer

One other reason singers sometimes choose to cover one ear is so they can duet with another singer. When two people sing together, each person has different strengths and weaknesses.

Suppose one person sings louder while the other stays quieter. In that case, the weaker performer needs to compensate by raising their volume level higher.

This means they need to raise their voice even further to match the stronger singer’s volume level.

To avoid this problem, singers often cover one ear to make sure they do not get drowned out by the loudness of the other singer.

6. When Singing In A Group Of Instruments Or More Voices Than One Voice

Another scenario where covering up really comes in handy is when musicians have multiple instruments playing alongside them, or even multiple vocalists!

In this situation, it can be challenging to make sure you’re projecting your voice and hitting all the right notes without any other sound interfering.

The best way of resolving this is by covering one ear with hand, so we can focus on our performance and hear what’s coming from our voice – rather than everything else going on around us, which might get in the way of singing well if we aren’t careful enough.

Or when too many voices are singing together at once, such as for a choir or massed singers. Then, sometimes covering one ear provides more clarity about how they should sing their part correctly, compared with trying to use both ears at once in these situations.

Because some parts will overlap others and create a wall of sound, it can be helpful to cover one ear so we don’t lose our sense of pitch and timing when trying to sing along!

Better Option

Covering one hand might not look professional in a live show. So, a good and better alternative than covering one ear with your hand is using an In-Ear Monitor known as IEM in short.

IEM are devices designed specially by sound engineers to plug into your ear and get a clear sound from an audio source.

In this way, even if there is a lot of noise around you while singing on stage, you will not have a problem. This wireless technology lets you easily overcome all types of noise interfering with hearing yourself during a show.

These devices provide high-quality music directly in your ears without any other equipment involved, such as a monitoring speaker system!

So it’s much more professional looking for a live show – especially when performing at concerts where hundreds of people might be watching!

Conclusion – Why Do Singers Cover One Ear

Many singers find it hard to hear themselves on a live show, even professionals, because of the large ambient sound.

Using headphones, IEMs, or covering up with your hand are the most common ways of solving this problem on stage!

In addition, if you want more information about In-Ear Monitors – including the high-end wireless ones that will be perfect for live shows too! To find out how they work, check this link here

If you’ve wondered why singers cover one ear when they sing on stage, then hopefully, we answered that question. Singers do this because it helps them hear themselves better.

Jacob Miller

Hi, I'm Jacob Miller, and welcome to AudioOver, a platform designed to help aspiring music producers create music from home. With a musical background inspired by my award-winning father, I've been passionate about music since I was young.

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