Three Reasons You Don't Like Your Voice
You Can Be Taught to Carry a Tune
I Can't Carry A Tune In A Bucket
"My voice is terrible," "I don't like my singing voice," "I hate the way I sound." If I had a dollar for the many times I have heard these words...
As a vocal instructor for 40 years I have learned that there are three reasons that keep you from singing. I will list each of these reasons, giving you insight into each one. My hope is that through discovering why you reject your singing, you will be more inclined to accept your voice.
You are certainly not alone in not liking your singing. I often ask new singers during their vocal lesson whether or not they like their singing voice. Would you believe that over 95% answer "no?" Surveys also indicate that most people, even hate the sound of their singing.
"I would rather die than let anyone hear me sing," is a phrase spoken by way too many people. And here's another one that's been passed around for years, "I can't carry a tune in a bucket."
Why is this? And can anything be done about the way we sound when we sing? Does a person either have a good voice or not? Is there any hope for those who want to sing but are afraid they will never sound better?
The answer is a big resounding "yes", and I'm here to encourage and help you. Let's take a look at the three main factors that cause us to hate our own singing. Once we learn the answer to this question, your negative inner-dialogue just may change.
Reason # 1 - Comparing Your Singing To Another Person
Why would you do this to yourself? Why would you think that unless you sound exactly like Mariah Cary, Blake Shelton, or any other singer, you can't sing? Does either of these recording artists sound like any other famous singer? Absolutely not. In fact, it's their own unique style of singing that sets them apart from other artists making them popular and successful.
Then why do we try so hard to sound like our favorite singers? Should our goal be to duplicate them in every way? We even try to use the same genuflecting. (Body and arm/hand movements.)
I want you to stop doing this. I want you to find your own individual, unique, sound. Once you find it, develop and keep it.
Oh sure, you want to practice correct singing techniques because this is the only way to improve on your present voice. But don't duplicate someone else's singing. Keep trying to discover your own special sound.
Consider how you first learn a new song:
- You listen to the song over and over again.
- You learn both the lyrics and the melody this way.
- You also learn the rhythm and copy the singer's phrasing and inflection. And this means you are duplicating the artist's style (or at least you are trying to.)
Is it any wonder that you end up trying to sound like the original artist of a song?
Reason #2 - Negative Childhood Experiences
A young boy entered a school talent show. He loved to sing, so he signed up to sing his favorite song. During his few minutes before the classroom and as he was singing, some of his class mates started to giggle. He was devastated and could barely finish his song. He was certain that they were laughing at the way he sounded. He vowed to never sing again.
Has this happened to you? What a terrible message this is for the poor singer. This image is sometimes carried throughout the person's life. The message is, "I can't sing at all. My voice sounds funny to others." "I don't want this to happen again so I won't sing anymore."
Oh, how sad this is. You parents must be very careful in the way you react to your children's singing. Here are some ways you will stifle your child's voice for years to come:
- "Stop that noise - I'm trying to concentrate."
- "Go outside and sing."
- "I'm too busy to listen right now."
- "Your brother (sister or friend) has such a beautiful voice. Maybe you should learn the piano."
- "Don't sing so loud."
- "That's not how the song goes."
- "Oh, you can't sing on key."
The Best Message For Singing
Reason # 3 - You Were Told You Can't Sing
Now here's a reason that makes no sense at all. Consider this analogy. If someone walked up to you and after hearing you speak, told you that you can't talk, you'd laugh right? "Of course I can speak" you'd tell yourself.
You wouldn't buy into this ridiculous claim. How absurd. You've been talking for years and it's completely natural. Well, so is singing. In fact you were singing long before you learned how to form words.
Singing is our birthright. The first sound we ever made was in the form of a cry. Singing is 'sustained sound.' And we certainly sustained our first sound as we let out a howl using correct singing technique.
- Our breath came from the diaphragmatic area. (Just watch a baby or animal sleep. The abdominal wall inflates with each breath.) This is the foundation for singing.
- We opened our mouth wide. This is an important factor in singing.
- Our posture was perfect, keeping the back straight.
- We cried with an unlimited range of sound.
- Our voice resonated through correct chambers causing the sound to project just as we do in singing.
- We had no fear. All self-judgement had not developed.
We think we can't sing because we are taught that we can't. How sad this is. There isn't a child alive that buys into this lie. Just watch these little ones sing Happy Birthday at a party. No judgement takes place. We don't know that we can't sing until someone tells us we can't.
Singing Tips To Help You Sing Better
If Your Singing Is Flat
If You Want To Sing Higher
If You Want A Better Tone
1. Practice matching piano sounds
1. Imitate a 'siren' sound stretching high
1. Support your singing with enough air
2. Add more air to each phrase
2. Increase your breath support
2. Sing the sound 'forward.'
Record your voice to correct flat notes
3. Relax and soften your voice
3. Sing with a relaxed but open jaw
Use the correct mouth position for all vowels
Practice singing scales
Always warm up your voice before singing
You Were Born Singing - Summary
You were born singing. Singing is your birthright. Singing is part of you just as your talking voice is. Both your singing and speaking voice can be changed and improved upon. But if you decide to get some help and seek out a qualified teacher, do it for the right reason.
Don't try to imitate anyone else unless it's to magnify a proper vocal technique or learn how the song goes. Some people think that if we don't sound like a carbon copy of the original recording artist, we can't sing. This is where your own unique singing style must shine. Sing with such conviction that you will 'carry the listener away.'
I always tell my vocal students, "If you make a mistake make it with confidence." This way, people are not sure whether you did something wrong or not.
The Three Reasons That Keep You From Singing has little to do with your actual voice. It has more to do with ego.
Think more about how singing feels than the way your singing sounds.
Your voice is your musical instrument. Use is proudly and freely to celebrate, meditate and to pray.
In the words of the late Kren Carpenter, "Don't worry if you're not good enough for anyone else to hear ~Just sing - sing a song."
Has This Article Convinced You To Sing?
There`s no half-singing in the shower, you`re either a rock star or an opera diva.
— Josh Groban
© 2014 Audrey Hunt