The Truth About Having a Bad Singing Voice
Do you love to sing?
Afraid you have a terrible voice?
This is the most common fear and complaint of students to our vocal teachers. They believe that they can never become singers because they hate the sound of their voice, and discourage themselves from giving singing their best shot.
Even if you have a “bad” singing voice in the beginning, the truth is your voice is perfectly fine, and that once you understand the basics and learn good techniques, once you get out of your own head, and once you establish good practice routines, you’ll become a much better singer, and you’ll appreciate the uniqueness of your voice.
Here are 3 tips to remember when deciding whether you should pursue singing, and hint, they have nothing to do with how awful or awesome you think you are as a singer.
Why You Think You’re a Bad Singer & Why You Actually Aren’t
People have similar reactions after hearing a world-class pianist. “She is such an amazing musician,” someone might say. “What incredible skill!” others might point out. But no one is likely to cry, “What a beautiful piano!”
After hearing a world-class singer, on the other hand, the reactions are quite different. “What a beautiful voice,” most people say. “He is so talented, his voice is so impressive,” others might suggest.
Do you notice the difference? Singers garner more compliments for their actual instrument (their voices) than for their skills. But in truth, while the instrument is important, the musician is just as – if not more – important.
Separate the Instrument from the Musician
Imagine someone gifting you an instrument you’ve never played before. For example, a clarinet, which you’d have no idea what to do with it. Even if you made sound with it, it’d likely sound cringe-worthy. Would you judge the clarinet as terrible? No, that clarinet, in the hands of a practitioner, could produce beautiful music.
Your voice, like a clarinet, is an instrument too. If it sounds terrible at first, it doesn’t mean it’s useless, you just have to figure out a way to make it useful.
Even if you magically traded voices with an incredible singer, you still wouldn’t be able to sing! It’s like getting a more expensive clarinet: you still have to learn how to use it, and practice it deliberately.
Your voice is a work-in-progress. Don’t be so quick to judge it, and write yourself off. Focus on the work.
Focus on the Work. Improve Your Musicianship.
As the saying goes, “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
Singing is hard work, but you can be smarter about it by learning and improving your musicianship in all areas. You have to learn to perform proper breathing exercises, like wind instrumentalists. You have to learn how to access different notes within your range, like string players. You have to gain control over all of the tiny muscles of the throat, face, jaw, and mouth. Learning these concepts, and training yourself with practice will not only help you sing better, but it’ll also improve confidence in other areas of life, where you feel you’re bad at.
Before you rule yourself out of a singing career, try practicing and learning from a professional teacher. Try free classes with TakeLessons Live, or 1-on-1 private singing lessons near you.
Additional Singing Resources
The Best Daily Vocal Exercises for Singers
5 Singing Techniques That Enhance Your Sound
9 Tips for Singing High Notes
Sight Reading Tips for Singers
How to Know What Key to Sing In
How to Structure Your Singing Practice
5 Important Vocal Health Tips
Why Does My Voice Crack When I'm Singing?
4 Steps to Improve Pitchy Singing
3 Good Practice Songs for Beginners
How Long Does it Really Take to Learn to Sing?
How to Sing in Falsetto
How to Have Proper Singing Posture
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