Have you personally known a terrible singer that got good over time?

Yr Blues

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Most people initially hate their recorded voice because that is not what they hear due to the resonance of their head. However, they still may be crappy singers.

For example, regardless of recorded or not, I am a terrible singer.

Allow me to put it in perspective:

I was so bad, I went to a voice/singing coach and she indicated she could not help me because she thought my vocal chords were damaged and I should see a doctor, so I did. The otolaryngologist determined there is NOTHING wrong with my vocal chords.

Yes, I was so bad, a vocal coach thought I was beyond help without medical intervention.

I did a couple of sessions of voice therapy at the hospital, but it was expensive and they were primarily teaching me fundamentals that most vocal coaches would teach.

I have gotten better. The biggest improvement was from choosing and transposing songs so they suit my baritone voice better.

I wasn't going to do it, but screw it... Here's what I sounded like trying to sing a metal version of Dirty Deeds, which is way out of my vocal range:



And that's with a bunch-o-effects. Pretty nasal, muffled, and lacking resonance. I have since been working on singing more from my chest and lifting my soft palate to sound less nasal.

Your vocals have a unique quality that lends itself to AC/DC, but it would improve clarity a lot if you rebalanced your vocals towards the upper mids with EQ and use more compression to keep it on top. :idea
 
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Lopp

Silver Supporting Member
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592
Your vocals have a unique quality that lends itself to AC/DC, but it would improve clarity a lot if you rebalanced your vocals towards the upper mids with EQ and use more compression to keep it on top. :idea
Thanks for the encouragement and tips. I'll revisit the mix to boost the EQ on the upper mids. From what I recall, the vox may already be heavily compressed, but I'll check it and add some more.

Cheers!
 

DirtLover

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2,508
Well I am a terrible singer BUT - and this is a true story - I had a dream last night I was playing the National Anthem before a b-ball game on guitar. About half way through I forgot everything, or my amp died, something, you know how dreams are. So I finished by singing it. Really well, it went over great. The thing is, it really felt like that was my voice and I think I was just need to find/re-fine it... there's hope, is all I'm sayin'.
 

Yr Blues

Member
Messages
2,870
Well I am a terrible singer BUT - and this is a true story - I had a dream last night I was playing the National Anthem before a b-ball game on guitar. About half way through I forgot everything, or my amp died, something, you know how dreams are. So I finished by singing it. Really well, it went over great. The thing is, it really felt like that was my voice and I think I was just need to find/re-fine it... there's hope, is all I'm sayin'.
I've played with Cobain and Michael Jackson in my dreams. Felt so real, too. :eeks
 

nightchef

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1,111
Some of the bad singers I’ve known personally have gotten better. I don’t know if I’d say any of them have gotten good. But that’s relative.

I think a lot depends on why a singer is bad. If it’s a technical problem, it should always be fixable to at least some extent with focused work. And if it’s a confidence problem (as I think it often is), again, just doing it a lot in a challenging but supportive environment should help in the majority of cases.

OTOH, I’ve known a few singers who just don’t seem to get it. The problem isn’t technical, it’s more conceptual—something in their neurophysiological wiring that just sends them on a weird detour when they try to sing and makes them do seemingly random, often unmusical things. That’s a kind of problem I don’t think can be fixed with work, although if a person is a strong enough creative personality they may be able to turn that kind of singing into something that works on its own terms. David Byrne comes to mind as a successful example of this. (Maybe Yoko Ono would be the counter-example….?)
 

EndGame00

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536
Yeah... Not me... There was this girl in high school with a beautiful voice, but doesn't have a good pitch... It took some coaching and practice to get her to correct some mistakes...
 

WickedPenguin

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854
It's interesting to read how many of these responses focus on pitch. Nothing about tone, breathing, projection, phrasing, vibrato control (when and how to use it, and more importantly how to avoid using it without sounding terrible...the adult human voice usually naturally carries vibrato unless the singer deliberately takes it out), or any of the other technical aspects of singing.

Most of those things are highly teachable and trainable.
 

Ayns

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624
A few years ago I used to go and see a local covers band quite a bit, as I knew a couple of the musicians. The singer was one of the worst I’ve ever seen in a performing band, but they used to pack places out and have them dancing on the tables everywhere they played because they were an energetic, good fun, party band. After a year or so, the singer got some in ear monitors, and went from terrible to ok overnight.

Again, a couple of years ago a young lad used to come to our local buskers night, and sing solo acoustic original songs, which takes a lot of cojones. He was only about 14 when he started and he wasn’t a great singer or player. He’s now about 18, and has improved so much, if he released an album, I would buy it (and I hardly buy any new music.)

But, in general I think it’s quite rare for a poor singer to become great.

That said, my favourite band of all time (unknown ‘70s/ ‘80s local band) had one of the worst singers I’ve heard. :)
 

Yr Blues

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2,870
It's interesting to read how many of these responses focus on pitch. Nothing about tone, breathing, projection, phrasing, vibrato control (when and how to use it, and more importantly how to avoid using it without sounding terrible...the adult human voice usually naturally carries vibrato unless the singer deliberately takes it out), or any of the other technical aspects of singing.

Most of those things are highly teachable and trainable.
And feeling. Feeling covers a multitude of sins.
 

WickedPenguin

Member
Messages
854
And feeling. Feeling covers a multitude of sins.

Yep.

That's what I meant by "phrasing" (and separated it from "breathing")...how dynamics, tone, attack, release, and diction are managed over the course of a phrase to make it a coherent musical expression, rather than just a series of on-pitch notes.

That comes across to the listener as "feeling" or "emotion", and it's impossible to do it well without feeling it, but those things are how it's done mechanically.
 

Radius

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1,525
Yes. A guy I grew up with. I still have a tape of his caterwalling on a cover of a Police tune we did back in the 80's....it was BAAAD.

He's been a pro for decades.
 

macrossgeorge

Gold Supporting Member
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3,193
Yes, a friend of mine was (still is) in a band and wanted to sing but he could not sing in key or on pitch even though he really wanted to. The band told him that he would need to get training if he wants to sing with them live and he took lessons and practiced and took it very seriously and within a few months I believe it was, he was singing with that band live and on their recordings. He also sings with several other bands now as well. He is mainly a bass player but he loves singing and he put in the work, got professional help and learned to sing well. It is possible for anyone
 

Mickey Shane

apolitical
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I'm reading an autobiography by Lenny Kravitz. According to him, he learned to sing from his choir instructor when he was a teen. He mentioned singing from your diaphragm instead of your throat, and something about knowing and practicing notes to the hand moves of his teacher. I was in a 9 member small group choir in the 6th grade. I vaguely recall following the hand.
 

willyboy

Silver Supporting Member
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3,589
Any singer can be taught to be a better singer. It's physical mechanics - learning how to breathe, support, placement, control of the muscles, vibrato, etc these are all technical physical parts of the instrument that can easily be taught. I see this every year with 25 new vocalists in the college I teach at and saw it during 6 yrs of my music studies. When a singer learns how to control their instrument and works hard on those skills it's pretty amazing the difference that can happen in the course of a couple years.

Now pitch that's another subject and by far the hardest thing to for any musician to learn if it's not already intuitive. Again my experience after 22 years of teaching.

Does all that make a terrible singer good? It can and sometimes it can't. It really comes down to the individual. Some people have an aptitude for things and some just don't.
 




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