How to get rid of a Nasal Singing Voice

By | October 14, 2009

I love to sing, and I really love writing songs.  But I have never liked my singing voice. The nasal quality of it annoys me.

In the control on the left, under XenoMusic, you can hear me singing some of my original songs.

A few sound okay with the tweaking I do in my home studio to enhance the frequencies, but “Get off my head” is an example of me without the tweaking: annoyingly nasal!!!!

Some of this may be fixable with voice lessons, but I’m wondering what else can be done. I was told recently by my doctor that I have a deviated septum. My father had this too and had it surgically corrected.


A nasal voice is a type of speaking voice characterized by speech with a “nasal” quality to it. It can also occur naturally because of genetic variation. Causes of hypo-nasal speech include anything that causes nasal obstruction including, but not limited to:

Nasal septum deviation is a common physical disorder of the nose, involving a displacement of the nasal septum.Presentation

The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage in the nose that separates the nasal cavity into the two nostrils. … A deviated septum is an abnormal condition in which the top of the cartilaginous ridge leans to the left or the right, causing obstruction of the affected nasal passage. The condition can result in poor drainage of the sinuses. Patients can also complain of difficulty breathing easily, headaches, bloody noses, or of sleeping disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea.

It is common for nasal septa to depart from the exact centerline; the septum is only considered deviated if the shift is substantial or is adversely affecting the patient. Many people with a deviation are unaware they have it until some pain is produced. But by itself a deviated septum can go undetected for years and thus be without any need for correction.

If the deviation merely entails a mild deflection from the midline in one direction or the other, it should not be considered a medical issue. Some people are concerned about diminished airflow through the effectively smaller nostril resulting from deviation; however, what ever airflow-diminishment occurs in one nostril is recaptured by augmentation of airflow in the other (now larger) nostril.


In most cases a deviated septum can be corrected with a minor surgical procedure known as a septoplasty, in which the surgeon enters through the nostrils and cuts away the obtruding matter. The surgery is performed quickly but the patient may take one to three weeks to fully recover.  …

Some tips from

Nasal voices are caused by the improper flow of air whenever you speak. You may not know it, but the nose is a very important organ in speech. Aside from the movement of your mouth parts and the vibration of your vocal cords, airflow is very important in producing speech sounds.

There are two kinds of nasal speech:

  • Hypo-nasal speech is a nasal voice caused by an obstructed airflow. Something as simple as a clogged nose, allergies, sinusitis, or the common cold can cause hypo-nasal speech. In most cases of hypo-nasal speech, the words come across as rather hollow in depth.
  • Hyper-nasal speech is a nasal voice characterized by distorted speech-sounds, and an inability to pronounce certain parts of speech like consonants. Hyper-nasal speech is caused by physical deformities like cleft lip or cleft palate. Sometimes the velopharyngeal (VP) mechanism, which is a membrane that separates the nasal and oral cavity during speech, does not work normally.

See a Doctor

If your nasal voice is bothersome and you have had it for years, chances are that you are suffering from a medical condition or a physical deformity that causes it. When you have had a nasal voice for a long time and you are bothered by it, you may need to consult a doctor.

Deformities like cleft palate, cleft lip, or VP inadequacy need minor surgery. Most babies who have deformities in their mouth get quick surgery to correct the problem, but some causes of a nasal voice need to be evaluated, diagnosed, and cured by a doctor. A doctor who specializes in eye-ear-nose-throat (EENT) medical procedures may remove inflamed adenoids, tonsils, or correct VP inadequacy and other deformities and diseases.

Breathe Properly

You may be surprised how the quality of your voice improves if you breathe properly. If you take in too little air when you speak, you’ll end up with a very exhausted, hushed tone that comes across as a very nasal voice. If you inhale and hold in too much air whenever you speak, your nasal passages expand and more sound resonates through the space, giving you a nasal voice.

Correct Your Posture

Proper posture is perhaps the most important thing about good speech, and can get rid of a nasal voice in a snap. If you stoop or slouch, you’re forcing your speech organs in such a way that you don’t have a clear air passage. Improper posture will force you to speak through your nose.  …

Would I go under the knife to improve my voice? Probably… if it would really help. Has anyone out there with a nasal singing voice had it fixed with an inner nose operation?

10 thoughts on “How to get rid of a Nasal Singing Voice

  1. Danny

    Surgery at anytime, I believe, should be a last resort. Exhaust all your options first. Take voice lessons but avoid teachers who have you try to sing in “the mask”. Singing in this manner can make your voice more nasally. You may just have to develop your chest register more. I studied with some of the best(i think the best) classical opera instructors for years. They know every aspect of how the voice works and have repaired countless vocal issues in students. go here, this guy truly knows what he’s talking about. Perhaps you can glean something from his posts, but I would recommend you contact him and discuss your issue through email.

  2. ANONYMOUS7777

    I had a deviated septum operated on by a doctor who removed the small bump on the bridge of my nose. What a nightmare. I can hardly breathe since he removed almost all of my nasal bone. The skin collapses, i breathe through my mouth and it’s constantly dried out.I wake with a parched mouth at night. Swallowing air gives me horrendous gas. I have felt like I have the flu with sinuses draining out my nose instead of down the throat before the operation. DON’T HAVE SURGERY OF ANY KIND UNLESS THERE REALLY IS NO OTHER OPTIONS. DOCTORS REALLY DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING. IF IT TURNS OUT ALRIGHT, IT IS SHEER LUCK. PROTECT YOURSELF.

  3. nephelometer

    Breathing properly while singing can solve the problem. I used to have nasal voice singing, good thing I was introduced to one of the best voice teacher in town. With her vocal exercises, my nasal voice singing was cured. And I thought proper breathing was one of the major keys. She would always say to “sing forward” not “upward”.. I hope this helps. Thanks also for this post. Very informative.

  4. Margaret

    Haha, I think nasal voices are sexy. Especially nasal singing voices. Mmm, like John Linnell and Neil Cicierega and Jace McLain. Mmm…

  5. JJ

    If you must have any sugery on your person, make sure the doctor doing the surgery is good. Most states have a state medical board website go to it and check to see how long they have had a practice. any complaints, ask arund the community and see if anyone has had sugery from this doctor.
    check double check and then check again it’s your body this guy is cutting on.

    1. Ann

      Being extremely familiar with the profession, although not in this particular area, I say, that’s very good advice, JJ.

      And, nephelometer, offers an alternative that may be worth considering.

  6. Marie

    I HATE my voice. I have a high arched palate because of that, I have very bad sinus problems. I sound so nasal and I can’t sing, laugh or get excited without sounding like a chipmunk. Seriously considering surgery,,, but I heard they take bone from your hip to repair the palate. OUCH!

  7. Annie

    DO NOT have sinus surgery. I have a terrible nasal voice. I’ve had terrible comments made about my voice. I had sinus surgery twice. The first time did not help, so I sought help again. The surgeon said he would “fix” what the last surgeon didn’t do correctly. The second surgeon made it worse. I now have a colapsed sinus on my right side, and I sound worse than ever. My advice? Don’t do any surgery.

  8. Rick Beaver

    A Nasal quality or singing sound, I believe and have been told, is due to NOT singing through your nose as apposed to singing through your nose as it should be. The Nasal cavity should be used as a resonator during vocalizing. If you HMMMMMMMMMM and raise your pitch with a HUM and you have a problem or are feeling pressure you are probaby not using your nose as a resonator. HUM and feel your nose and make it buzz. Also, warming up with the proper excercises is important and really important is breathing. Expand or push OUT your upper rib cage and slowly draw IN your abdomen muscles at the same time as you are singing. When you breath– breath on an AHH and take air LOW into your abdomen–Don’t raise your shoulders when you breath. Another common mistake.

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