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rich2k4

Is it possible to just not have a pleasant singing voice?

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someone can practice singing all the time and have pretty good technique, but their voice just isn't pleasant to listen to.

I ask this because the other day, my dad was talking to my brother on skype, and my brother was listening to one of my recordings, apparently they thought i was sleeping, but i ended up overhearing my brother say "he doesn't have a voice for singing" and my dad followed up with "nope, he sucks, poor sounding voice"

this really hit me hard as it was coming from family, and it was being said behind my back. Yet to my face, my father says it sounds good.

so once again, if someone practices and ends up with really good technique, however the tone of their voice just doesn't sound right when singing, then what's the point?

i think what makes people like jason mraz, paul mccartney, marvin gaye, donny hathaway, etc all sound pleasant, is not their technique, it's because their normal speaking voice seems to be suited to singing as well. Where as for me, i notice that i have this weird stoner/hippie type of voice, and from what i hear, it doesn't translate well.

i'm not really surprised anymore when my dad tells me to drop the singing practice, and focus more on guitar

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someone can practice singing all the time and have pretty good technique, but their voice just isn't pleasant to listen to.

I ask this because the other day, my dad was talking to my brother on skype, and my brother was listening to one of my recordings, apparently they thought i was sleeping, but i ended up overhearing my brother say "he doesn't have a voice for singing" and my dad followed up with "nope, he sucks, poor sounding voice"

this really hit me hard as it was coming from family, and it was being said behind my back. Yet to my face, my father says it sounds good.

so once again, if someone practices and ends up with really good technique, however the tone of their voice just doesn't sound right when singing, then what's the point?

i think what makes people like jason mraz, paul mccartney, marvin gaye, donny hathaway, etc all sound pleasant, is not their technique, it's because their normal speaking voice seems to be suited to singing as well. Where as for me, i notice that i have this weird stoner/hippie type of voice, and from what i hear, it doesn't translate well.

i'm not really surprised anymore when my dad tells me to drop the singing practice, and focus more on guitar

rich2k4: keep singing. Your father and your brother don't know what you can accomplish. they just know what you have accomplished so far.

Here is a true story. I know a lady originally from from the chicago suburb of arlington heights, who, when quite young, wanted to sing. so, she went to a voice teacher and auditioned. the teacher told her she would never be able to sing... no talent. Give up, she was told. don't bother.

The young girl went to her neighbor over the fence, a dance and music teacher named Debbie Parvin, and arranged for lessons. There were many issues, but the desire of the young lady, the will to sing, was strong.

I met her when she was about 19, and a voice major in the music department at a university. her voice was already spectacular, and continued to get better each year I knew her. As a senior, she sang Rosina in the Barber of Seville. She gave a fine recital, and graduated. She went to the University of Illinois, and got a masters, and then a doctorate. She now teaches voice at a university. She is a way fun person, too. Fabulous sense of humor. I can hear her laugh and her singing in my memory even now, 35 years later.

I would not be able to tell this story if she had believed the people that thought she had no future as a singer. However, she needed the support of good teachers and the encouragement of those around her.

The extent of your talent is not known until you pour your heart and dedicated work into it. For some, it comes easily.... for others, with much work. In my own case, it was the much work path.

Don't give up, but do find yourself a good voice teacher if you do not already have one. For some students, a book and a CD are insufficient, and the direct involvement of a committed teacher working with you is what is needed, much in the same way that a physical therapist is needed after an accident, or a running coach is needed when prepping to be a competitive runner.

We can all improve. We (or anyone else) will never know how far our work will take us...we simply must try.

Keep singing.

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Flat out, unless someone is a voice teacher, a professional singer who has had training and understands what singing is, what it takes, etc... they simply are not qualified to tell someone they dont sound good or cant sing. Singing is very misunderstood, there is a lot of mystery that surrounds it. I have found in my career, 9 out of 10 negative opinions are barely worth shaking a stick at and most are coming from places of jealousy and resentment, in an effort to clip your wings.

I will also tell you this, most people can learn to sing and if you train hard and have a passion for it, you can learn to sing amazing. Truly, you can... it just takes a good teacher and practice and you will come out on top. People who know me, know I dont pull any punches and blow sunshie. Im not interested in trying to make you feel better. I dont care to make you feel better, I care to inform you of the truth, and those are the facts my friend. Ignore it, your brother and your father dont know what they are talking about and are not qualified.

Why dont you email me a file of you singing, I want to hear it and let me tell you what is really going on.

robert@thevocaliststudio.com

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someone can practice singing all the time and have pretty good technique, but their voice just isn't pleasant to listen to.

I ask this because the other day, my dad was talking to my brother on skype, and my brother was listening to one of my recordings, apparently they thought i was sleeping, but i ended up overhearing my brother say "he doesn't have a voice for singing" and my dad followed up with "nope, he sucks, poor sounding voice"

this really hit me hard as it was coming from family, and it was being said behind my back. Yet to my face, my father says it sounds good.

so once again, if someone practices and ends up with really good technique, however the tone of their voice just doesn't sound right when singing, then what's the point?

i think what makes people like jason mraz, paul mccartney, marvin gaye, donny hathaway, etc all sound pleasant, is not their technique, it's because their normal speaking voice seems to be suited to singing as well. Where as for me, i notice that i have this weird stoner/hippie type of voice, and from what i hear, it doesn't translate well.

i'm not really surprised anymore when my dad tells me to drop the singing practice, and focus more on guitar

I've had that for years - straight to my face - parents and every other person including voice teachers. Especially voice teachers : "listen Thanos, your voice is not made for singing, you've got to understand that".

Nowadays they come to my live gigs to hear me cover their favorite singers. They go "who could have known ?" - well certainly not them.

I'm the toughest critic of my voice and I've still got a long way to go but I know singers and teachers who do worse.

It's an instrument you've got to put into shape, use this forum and find a decent vocal coach. There will be a day when you'll surprise yourself and everybody else out there.

And take Robert's offer.

All the best,

Thanos

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I couldnt sing in tone if it where to save my life in a certain time in my life, now the "good" singers from my old school are amazed and envious of my voice :P

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Personal preference is personal preference. There will always be people who won't like the sound of your voice. It's like beauty, actually it is beauty, it's all subjective :)

When the blow comes from the family, it does hurt. But in the grand scheme of things, they are normal people with personal preferences too. Also, listen to what Robert said.

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I've not always been a fan of Bruce Springsteen's voice but some of his songs are classic and I could not imagine someone else doing those songs. Like "Born to Run" and "Thunder Road." That's a case of personal preference. I can't stand the way his voice sounds on "Born in the USA." But that doesn't mean he's a bad singer. It's just a stylistic preference. As to what I think constitutes a good voice, well Bruce Springsteen has made his money. The people buy what he is singing and in the world of recorded pop music, that rules.

And sometimes, when people say something like you don't have a voice for singing, I have to ask compared to what? Pavarotti? Pat Boone? Do people say that because they think you should only sing in the bel canto operatic style? Or the jewish cantor style?

As Robert said, people saying that usually don't know what they are talking about, which limits the value of their statements to personal stylistic preferences, which have nothing to do with your singing ability. Or, they are envious, especially if you can sing higher than they can. Or with a tone they can't achieve.

I've had people telling me "no" most of my life, including dear friends. One friend said I would never be able to pass the master electrician exam. So, of course, I had to prove him wrong. Actually, I put his words out of my mind. It wasn't about proving anyone wrong, it was about achieving whatever I can.

Words are words and yes, they can hurt, but the only one really stopping you is you. If you let the words become your limit, you give those words more power than they deserve. And take Robert up on his offer to hear what you can record. He gives away more free advice and time than he probably should but he truly loves the art and craft and science of singing. It is his raison d'etre. You may or may not buy the whole program right away. But at least you would have an objective person with a ton of experience and training reviewing you and not someone with a personal agenda against you.

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reik2k4 - If you have the desire you can do it. Anyone can learn to sing. People aren't born with bad or good voices. We are all born with the same equipment so to speak, and if used correctly and healthy, we can all produce a "pleasing" voice. Your father and brother probably have no idea of how to help you and have thus concluded you should give it up. I would definitely check out a teacher.

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Every singer is a beginner at some point, and you can develop your voice almost endlessly. I know it hurts to hear stuff like that, but don't give up! I did not have a very good voice to start with, but I had commitment and a will to improve and it has taken me far beyond what I ever dreamed of vocally. Believe in yourself and your potential, and continue with vocal practice. Practice routines isn't beautiful to listen to, my family hated me for practicing scales and high notes at home a few years back :P But hang in there and you will reap the rewards of practice!

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"he doesn't have a voice for singing" and my dad followed up with "nope, he sucks, poor sounding voice"

that was a f%$#ed up thing for them to say. They're probably jealous! Let's hear that voice!

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most of you have heard these already

http://www.box.net/shared/dg1koumr6y

http://www.box.net/shared/u8zehbfedx

Rich2k4: I finally had an opportunity to listen to your two recordings, listed above. Here is what I heard:

I enjoyed them, and they speak as performances in an individual style - your style. Your textual pronunciations are very conversational, but you do let reasonable and workable changes happen as you change range.

There are a few very minor pitch discrepancies, a few notes a little under pitch here and there, but they do not detract from the overall effect of the pieces.

While there are lots of things you could change to create a different musical and expressive effect, those would need to come from some concept you have that you'd like the singing to be different than it is... in other words, and aesthetic or value system that needs the pieces to be different in some aspect. To my ear, these are already aesthetically coherent the way they are.

Now, back to your family's comments. They may have different expectations about how these songs should sound, perhaps something as simple as having such a strong impression of how Paul McCartney sounds on Eleanor Rigby, that any performance of the song that does not mimic Paul 'sucks'. If so, you may just have to accept that their expectations are different than yours, love them as family, and take their comments about your singing as honestly felt, and consistent with their own expectation. They just want it to sound like something else, and that is fine.

However, you do not have to accept their conclusions about the viability of your singing in the market, or whether others will enjoy it. You have every right to look them in the eye, and say with truth, honesty and love: 'Thanks for your opinion. I am not singing for you, I am singing for people that are looking for something different than the original artists put in to their songs. They are looking for a new vice singing truthfully and with integrity. They don't want to hear another Paul McCartney. They want to hear what I can bring to the songs that are dear to them.'

Now, if you really want to sing as well as Paul, or better, you have to understand how your own singing is different than his, which is perfectly doable. The qualities present Paul's delivery of ER are discernable, and can be trained into a voice. While you would not sound exactly like him, you would sound quite a bit closer to him. HOWEVER, that would mean applying a different aesthetic (value system) on the performance, which would be a personal choice to work for different artistic objectives within the song. That is all up to you.

If you want to understand at the detail level how your singing is different than Paul McCartney's or some other singer you like, just say so, and this forum will offer you plenty of suggestions as to how to do that. But, as mentioned, its your voice, and your choice how you wish to sound.

Let us know. We can Help.

Keep singing.

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well my goal is to try to get my voice to have that smooth soft quality. I can't really explain it other then give examples of singers who have this quality.

Jason Mraz, Paul Mccartney, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Seal, etc

they have this smoothness in their voice that i like. very "sexy" sounding for a lack of a better term. This is the type of singing that i like listening to, and the type of style that i would want to work on.

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Well you might have some pitch issues (I do too) but your voice sounds just fine.

Nothing bad or weird - in fact you're starting with a better voice than some.

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Rich, I have heard your stuff before and your singing is a stylistic preference, not anything mechanically wrong with you. And sometimes, we won't sound like a particular favorite singer. For example, I'm a huge Guns and Roses fan and have everything the band has recorded. It was "Sweet Child o' Mine" that inspired me to do something about my voice. And I don't sound like Axl Rose. I might sound close in some parts on some days, maybe, but never just like him. And I am okay with that. When I sing a song, I sing it like I wrote it. Because that is where the emotion comes from that the audience will take away from the performance. If they wanted to hear something just like Axl Rose, why not go and listen to him, the real thing?

And I understand how you would like the tones of someone like Seal, who actually sings with a whispery rasp, rather than what I would call a solid tone. It also depends on how soft you want to sing. You sing soft enough, now. Some changes in breath support and slight adjustments in resonance might bring you more twang or ringing and that's great, if that's what you want to do. On the other hand, if you like the soft, conversational tone, stick with it. That tone brought success to Looking Glass with one song, "Brandy."

In fact, your voice reminds me a little of this song and this singer.

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I actually like the sound of your voice. I think your family would be incredibly harsh to say that you can't sing, but you know, everyone will always have their opinion of how something "should" sound. Just don't let people make you give up :)

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You have nothing to worry about! Great sounding voice to my ears. That being said, not every singer sounds good on every song and often times a hit song is nothing more than the right voice with the right piece of music at the right time in history. I just posted myself singing a Judas Priest song and did an ok job on it. If I had attempted Elenor Rigby I'm sure that your version would have made mine sound like crap in comparison. My voice is just naturally suited to certain songs as is yours. The key is in learning what songs you sound best singing and then refine them and make them your own.

Keep up the great singing and never worry about what anyone else thinks. There's an audience for every singer. ;)

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You have nothing to worry about! Great sounding voice to my ears. That being said, not every singer sounds good on every song and often times a hit song is nothing more than the right voice with the right piece of music at the right time in history. I just posted myself singing a Judas Priest song and did an ok job on it. If I had attempted Elenor Rigby I'm sure that your version would have made mine sound like crap in comparison. My voice is just naturally suited to certain songs as is yours. The key is in learning what songs you sound best singing and then refine them and make them your own.

Keep up the great singing and never worry about what anyone else thinks. There's an audience for every singer. ;)

I'm so glad you said that. I've said it before and I'm not sure if anyone appreciated what I meant by it. Most especially in my recording of "I Remember You" by Skid Row. I don't normally perform that song but decided to, on a lark, and got my ass kicked. I think I sucked at it and I think it's because of the melody and the lyrics of that one song are not suited for my voice. I could do it differently and probably come up with a better sounding version but it wouldn't be "just like" ole Baz (Sebastian Bach.)

That's where a good manager and producer come in when it comes to choosing material for an artist to record. The singer might have a favorite song that they simply cannot do in the original style. It's either change the key or style of that song, or find something different. It does happen. Can any singer sing any song? Conceivably, theoretically, yes. Should they? That's another question with not so easy an answer. And it's not always a bad thing. I have a recording, not released on any album back when I got it (through a friend cleaning up after the birthday party for Atlantic Records back in Dallas in the 80's) of Judas Priest doing "Johnny B. Goode" by Chuck Berry. It was a live recording. I came to like it better than the original and even figured out, by ear, how to play it the JP way.

I guess that's why I sing a cover song as if I wrote it, which invites criticism that my timing is off or I didn't hit the same notes or I went into head voice too early. And I can't seem to break the habit of singing it my way. When I try to sound like someone else, I usually fail and create some truly horrendous problems for myself.

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right now my next step is to save up to take some skype lessons.

i'm meeting a lot of resistance with a bunch of people telling me that i'm an idiot for wanting to spend so much money on a 1 hour lesson.

"THAT MUCH FOR 1 HOUR!? WHAT ARE YOU RETARDED!? YOU WON"T LEARN CRAP, IT"S JUST A SCAM TO TAKE YOUR MONEY"

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I have an ancient secret for avoiding toxic crap from toxic people. You may want to write this down: stay away from toxic people.

It is that simple and that complex. You may now leave the temple.

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right now my next step is to save up to take some skype lessons.

i'm meeting a lot of resistance with a bunch of people telling me that i'm an idiot for wanting to spend so much money on a 1 hour lesson.

"THAT MUCH FOR 1 HOUR!? WHAT ARE YOU RETARDED!? YOU WON"T LEARN CRAP, IT"S JUST A SCAM TO TAKE YOUR MONEY"

It's all about hearing from a vocal coach what YOU need to do to improve your singing. no amount of free tips will help if you don't know what it is you need to work on specifically. It will be the best 1 hour of your career as a singer as far as value for your hard earned money goes.

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most of you have heard these already

http://www.box.net/shared/dg1koumr6y

http://www.box.net/shared/u8zehbfedx

rich, gotta help you out here buddy. that wasn't bad at all.

the first song was rich singing elenor rigby. okay, work on it, tweak it, perfect it...but remember..the voice is never perfect..never the exact same.

there is always another way of singing a song.

(b.t.w. i still think your father and brother need a beating, but that's just moi...lol!!!!)

sometimes when i'm feeling creative, i do this little exercise which helps me vocally perhaps it can help you too?

i pick a song, any song, and sing the song as if i were other artists than those who did the actual song.

so as an example, i'd sing elenor rigby, as if i were chris isaak, or marvin gaye, or chistine aquilera, or lou gramm, or smokey robinson, and when i do, it helps diversify me.

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