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Why does my voice suck?

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Here is a recording of me singing a verse from Please Remember Me.

First time it is mixed with the song. Second time my voice is panned left and song is panned right. Third time is just me.

I did do a little effects(comp, verb, eq) but no pitch correction.

I think my pitch is ok? My voice sounds so much worse than McGraw's and in a very bad way.

What things am I doing wrong/need to improve so I won't be embarrassed if I sing this song in front of people and I'll be more happy with my voice? :)





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Your voice stinks because you belong to the wrong political party. There, does that help? Or are you thinking that your voice stinks because you don't sound like an absolutely exact carbon copy of Tim McGraw. If that's the case, grow up.

And while you're growing up, I'd lay off the r sound a little. It doesn't need to be that tight an 'r' sound. But you are on pitch, you've got a good tone in your voice and the right range for the song you are singing and vice versa.

Do you stink so bad? No. Do you sound like Tim McGraw? No. Do you need to open your vowels just a smidge, yes.

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As far as i'm aware Ron, one of your mantra's is "singing is mental". In this case, it could not be more applicable.

@ThisSuxs: you've got a poor and very negative attitude towards your voice, and a username (that if spelt correctly) says "This Sucks"..

So if singing is mental, how do you expect to sound remotely good with such a poor mentality?

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What the others said in easier terms than I used. Change your mind about your singing, about your voice.

Or is it false modesty? A person comes in and says "I'm crappy" and they sing just fine, no doubt, fishing for compliments.

Others come in, acting like they are all that and a bag of chips and upload something so problematic that I can't find anything to be a cheerleader about and suggest they start from square one, preferrably with a vocal professional who can actually hear them.

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Um, guys... I'm really looking for technique and some way to improve my voice. I do think my voice is not that good although I'm happy with my pitch and phrasing in that case.

I guess I'd rather think my voice sucks and be wrong than think it's great and be wrong. At least if I think it has problems then I can always work on it but if I don't then I'll never improve. I really hate it when people think they are awesome and suck and maybe that pushes me to the other side too much.

I do not think singing is all mental and those that think it is are simply wrong. You can watch just about any episode of American Idol where someone gets up and sings and cannot sing in pitch. They *believe* they are singing just fine/great. It is absolutely possible to show they are not singing in tune. Other factors involved with singing "well" maybe more subtle and maybe I'm blowing them out of proportion for my case.

This is what I hear the difference between McGraw(or most good singers) and my voice:

fullness, resonance, very solid pitch control, good articulation, clarity.

It's not that I don't have any of those things but my voice still feels very amateurishness and to my ears I feel like I need to improve on a few key things to make more appealing. Of course, it could just be that I need to sing a lot, which I don't do.

I'd rate my voice about a 5/10. For me, that is not good enough.

How can I get better at singing if I don't know what I'm doing wrong? Is that a sin to ask in here?

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Here is a recording of me singing a verse from Please Remember Me.

My voice sounds so much worse than McGraw's and in a very bad way.

What things am I doing wrong/need to improve so I won't be embarrassed if I sing this song in front of people and I'll be more happy with my voice? :)

Hi, ThisSuxs: What is it about your voice that you do not like, or that you think McGraw does better in your opinion?

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To me his voice sound harmonically rich(which could be as simple as eq) and "rock steady". I do not know if it has to do resonance and vocal control or what which is why I posted the question.

I just hear his vocal quality(and good singers in general) having that "something extra". It could be "studio magic", psychological, or just simply technique. I have no idea since I've never done much singing except a few songs I like(some songs I feel I can sing much easier than others in terms of pitch and phrasing).

I want to get better though and I was hoping someone could point out some of the issues.

@Owen: Thinks. I did notice that some of the words sounded a bit funky and think I just got a bit nervous recording it. (to me, tears sounds messed up) I also was holding the mic below my chin pointing up to the ceiling which I've just read is a bad way(I was trying to avoid breathing directly into the mic).

For me, it's hard to be confident at something when I've never sung in front of anyone and it feels a bit "off". Obviously if I was really happy with it I would be confident in singing it and probably not have made this post. I have a big time just remembering the lyrics much less the melodies. When I sing along with a song sometimes it feels good and right though and I enjoy it. I want to possibly learn a few songs though and sing them in front of people so I can get better and have some with some friends. But I have no idea where I'm at and it doesn't feel even close on the same level as the cd(Although I also can say I've heard much worse... I guess thanks to things like American idol, you tube, etc...)

Thanks guys

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ThisSuxs - That sounds very good actually. Good tonal balance, you don't sound constricted at all. Your tone IS rich - the recording isn't even bad. Your phrasing and timing is right on. Phrasing is one of the most critically important skills to learn - and in this recording you've got it down. I'm not sure how well you do in general, but in this performance it is excellent.

Sure you'll get better results with proper mic placement - and a wind screen. it's not going to be a big difference though. It won't change your tone "richness". It's not going to make your voice better. We can hear your voice just fine with with recording you made.

All you need to change is your username - to something that is not negative.

Oh, and if you want to improve your technique you should take lessons. There are plenty of teachers here on the forum to choose from. You've got Robert Lunte - the owner of the forum. And how about Renee? She taught Tim McGraw and just about EVERY big name country singer out there. She's here right on the forum.

Or buy a DVD program. And get on a practice regimen. Make sure to sing every day - learn songs - etc.

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Whatever your name is, for I am not going to honor your login (and you can't make me,) let me clarify my statement that you may read in other posts, "singing is mental."

I do not say that to mean that you can sing just because you think you can. Yes, there are plenty of auditions, collected for entertainment value only, of people on AI who can't sing but think that they can. That is not what I meant. By the way, Colby Callais auditioned and was rejected because she was not the walking wounded and actually had a good voice. Nothing to laugh at, not trying to "make an image." So, she left and recorded "Bubbly" which turned into a huge monstrous hit that you could not escape from on the radio. So much for AI.

But it does involve changing your mind about yourself, as those audition failures must also do. For they have to change their mind from thinking that they sing well to a mindset of "what can I do to improve?"

By stating that you would rather think that you stink and be surprised that you don't, rather than the converse shows fear. You fear criticism. What if you came in here and thought, well I do pretty well but maybe I need some fresh ears, that is more honest and it would have avoided all this "mental" stuff that you basically brought on yourself. Notice how not one single person particularly likes your login and it has been a central point in each reply. So, there, you get some criticism anyway, taking away from actually listening to your voice.

If you want to sing like Tim McGraw, I would suggest listening to him sing. He does not lean into the r's like you are.

And here, you have a number of saying that your voice is fine and yet you still think it stinks. So, our opinions mean nothing? And only yours counts? That is mental, whether you like the word, or not.

And there is also good advice in seeking some instruction, however you are able to manage that. Maybe just the application of practicing some things will give you some confidence because then, you will have a system to point to, feeling that you are accomplishing something because you have used x, y, or z system. And that is mental.

Here's your homework. Record "Live Like You Were Dying" (because it's my favorite McGraw song, mostly). Sing it like you wrote it. And here's the hardest part. Sing it like you are a good singer. And that is the hard part, because it is mental. This will not protect you from criticism. For that, you just have to develope a tough hide.

Someone once gave me a bad critique on "the Immigrant Song." Not because I did badly. He just wasn't into Led Zep like I am but felt the need to critique. No doubt, from some mental need to do so.

I should probably quit using the word mental so much. People will think I am mental. Wait a minute, I am, yikes...


And really, please do record that song. If I could do it, you certainly can.

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geno: Well, to me it doesn't sound that rich but maybe that's. When I list to the panned version it sounds pretty good to me and it is hard to tell me apart form McGraw... I think that is just my brain playing tricks(sort of like an optical illusion).

The timing is pretty good I Think except for the first phrase. I think phrasing tends to be pretty easy for me as I generally can sing very close to the original(at least when singing along). My problem areas tend to be pitch, technique, and memorization. Some songs just come easier to me than others.

I guess what I'm suppose to take away from this is that my voice is "decent"(at least with that clip). Maybe lessons/practice can help me turn it into something I'll be "proud" of and not afraid to sing in public. I rarely sing and maybe that leads to uneasiness/discomfort that makes me feel like my voice sucks? To me, it is like catch 22 and I can't get better unless I'm better ;)

@ronws: Well, I suppose I do fear criticism. It's more that I fear failure though. I don't mind someone criticizing me at all if it helps me get better. In fact, I want that type of criticism. I guess I care too much what people think about me regardless if I know the truth or not. Why I feel that way I do not know and it is irrelevant because I can't just change it.

"And here, you have a number of saying that your voice is fine and yet you still think it stinks." Well, it's hard for me to take them serious when my ears/mind is telling me something different. Maybe to you guys my voice is not bad but to me it is a few steps lower... maybe ok is not good enough for me. In any case, I may never be happy with my voice but if there are *not* any serious technical flaws then at least I can move on. This is why I posted the question. I guess it has at least given me some confidence that I do not suck as bad as I thought which is a good think.

I'll work on the song. It might take me a while to do it as I have a lot of other things to do first. I might just do a verse since that is all that is needed. Do you have a backing track for it?

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Bob is right. But, hey, if you think your appraisal of your voice is more important than our ears, more power to you. It is a known fact that you cannot hear yourself as others hear you. Maybe some more work and practice will build up your confidence and that will undeniably change some of the quality of your voice.

And when are you going to u/l a version of the song I mentioned before? I am waiting, impatiently. For I covered the song and I sound nothing like Tim, whereas you do sound somewhat like him and I would like to hear it.

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