Can A Bad Singer Become Good? If So, How?

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We often hear stories of successful singers who were “born with talent” or grew up singing in churches. And it’s easy to compare yourself to others who seem to have it all figured out.

But here’s the part they don’t tell you – just because you’re singing all the time doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good or even that you’re improving. There are many nuances that contribute to being a good singer – breath, enunciation, good rhythmic sense, and more.

If you’re not singing and practicing the right way, you could be doing more harm than good.

So, can a bad singer become good? Here’s what you need to know.

Can A Bad Singer Become Good? – Quick Answer

While we can’t guarantee that all bad singers will become “good,” most if not all singers can become better at what they do, if they put in the time and effort necessary.

Bad singers may struggle with pitch, or bad technique, or rhythm, or something else. Correcting bad habits can take time, but with patience, even singers who thought they had no chance can improve.

Unskilled singers, on the other hand, simply haven’t put in the time necessary to get to where they want to go yet. They aren’t necessarily bad; they just don’t have enough practice behind them.

Singers looking to improve should consider online lessons like 30 Day Singer a valuable resource, as it offers the correct guidance to help you develop as a singer in a month or less.

This isn’t to suggest you’ll become a virtuoso in 30 days, but many 30 Day Singer students have seen vast improvements in that time.

Is Your Voice Really That Bad?

Before we make a bad situation worse, we should stop to consider whether we really are bad singers.

Even Elvis Presley, Colbie Caillat, Shakira, and Fred Astaire were all told they were bad singers, but look where they ended up! Negative feedback only caused them to work harder at their craft.

As I hinted at earlier, there is a difference between a bad singer and an unskilled singer, where a bad signer genuinely struggles with musicality (or ego), an unskilled singer simply hasn’t put in the work necessary to achieve the level of vocal technique they aspire to.

Because of this, there are a few different types of “bad signers” out there. Here’s a basic rundown:

  • Those who are unskilled and know it. Despite all the rumors you’ve heard about “natural talent,” all singers who want to build a career at any level spend a lot of time developing their voice. It’s okay to be unskilled. Everyone starts somewhere. You can become a better singer with the right coaching, guidance, and practice. Programs like 30 Day Singer make it possible for anyone to make huge strides in just a month. We've reviewed 30 Day Singer before, and explain why we feel it's a valuable resource for improving singing skills.
  • Those who don’t like their voice but are good singers. Technically, this type of singer is not a bad singer at all. But many are shocked to hear the recorded sound of their voice for the first time because it doesn’t sound anything like they thought it would. It makes sense, though. Your voice vibrates in your own head, and your ears aren’t pointed at your mouth. Meanwhile, microphones are usually pointed directly at your mouth and convert your voice to electrical signals. Learning to like your voice may take some time, but if you keep using it, you will get there. The trick isn’t to shy away from listening to yourself – it’s to listen to yourself more and become desensitized to it.
  • Those who think they’re good but are in fact bad. We’ve seen them on American Idol and The Voice. The quirky and delusional – they genuinely believe they can sing when in fact they are completely tone deaf. While it may be entertaining to poke fun at them, there are sometimes greater underlying issues that make it harder (but not impossible) for them to learn to sing better, and not just because of ego. Musicality can be a real challenge for some.

But the truth of the matter is that your voice may not really be that bad. There’s a greater chance it’s untrained. And while you may have certain limitations, you may be surprised to find that even Taylor Swift is considered pitchy, Miley Cyrus has a nasal quality to her voice, and Katy Perry often has throat tension as she’s performing.

Maybe you are as bad as you think you are. But you still have a chance, because…

We’re All Working With The Same Raw Materials

If you have a voice, be grateful for it. I know that may sound like a strange thing to say, especially if you’re not feeling very assured about your voice right now.

But the reality is that if you can make a sound, you can sing. It is that simple.

Gently remove comparison from the equation, and you’ll begin to see for yourself. If you can make a sound, you can learn to make sounds at different pitches as well, no matter how limited your range might be.

Your voice is your voice. It’s a unique imprint. And you can learn to control it.

Singers are admired for different qualities. Some for their range. Others for their perfect pitch. Still others for their distinctness. There’s a niche for everyone to fall into.

I was not considered a great singer when I was first getting started. If anything, people were pretty vocal about the fact that while my guitar playing was “there,” my voice just wasn’t.

I’d only started singing seriously in my early 20s. By the time I was 25, my voice had improved by leaps and bounds. Yes, it took a long time, and it took a lot of effort. But I got to the point where I could sing my own songs competently and hop on backing vocals for just about anyone.

That’s all I ever aspired to. I didn’t see myself becoming Jason Mraz, Michael Bublé, Adam Lambert, or anyone like that.

You may aspire to that level of greatness, and that’s okay, but you’ve got to be willing to put in the work.

Ultimately, I have become known as someone with a distinct, unique voice. To me, that’s the highest compliment you could pay, because I looked up to guys like Rod Stewart, David Bowie, and Elton John, who all have very unique and distinct voices.

You may not become someone who’s able to sing fancy flourishes and radiant runs like Christina Aguilera. You may not have the range of a Mariah Carey. You may not have the aggressive tone of a Kurt Cobain.

It’s okay, find what makes you, you. Find a way to bring that out in your performance.

How Does A Bad Singer Become A Good Singer?

The short answer is simple, and it’s a trope you’ve certainly heard before – practice, practice, practice!

But of course, there is more to it than that, because practicing more won’t automatically make you a better singer.

When you really think about it, this is true of most things – whether riding the bicycle or playing the guitar – if you practice the wrong way, you will develop bad habits that hold you back or stifle your progress.

The good news is you can easily bypass this problem by seeking out skilled coaching. 30 Day Singer is home to several skilled, accomplished, and experienced teachers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re male or female. It doesn’t matter whether you want to learn to sing rock or jazz. There is someone there who can help.

Good coaches can also help you avoid common pitfalls beginner singers frequently run into on their way to becoming better singers. So, even if bad technique is your primary struggle, the simple act of practicing good technique can sometimes reverse the issue.

You can also find personal help if you need it. It can be very difficult to self-diagnose where things are going wrong in your singing. Professional coaches are very skilled at identifying common problem areas to look out for.

So, the key to improvement is to have someone who’s invested in seeing you grow and become better. Accountability can boost your motivation to put in the work necessary to get to where you want to go. And, because you have personalized attention, identifying and working on your problem areas proves much easier.

Why Practice Doesn’t Necessarily Make You A Better Singer

Can you improve as a singer?

To get better at something, we must practice. It’s commonsense, right?

And yet, singing is one of those things that’s easy to do wrong or overdo. If even the pros like Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus struggle with it, it stands to reason a beginner or intermediate singer might have their share of challenges too, right?

Most people do start learning on their own, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But many people end up picking up bad habits early. Which is one of the reasons it’s a good idea to get singing lessons as early as possible.

Over-singing can lead to calloused and even damaged vocal cords. Kelly Clarkson, for instance, is known to have suffered from vocal cord damage, and while that new, raspy voice of hers might appeal to some, her range has suffered quite a bit. If she doesn’t take care of herself, worse things could be in her future.

If you’re feeling any pain in your throat, stop. If you’re feeling any pain of any kind while singing, you might have a bad habit that needs to be corrected.

Not all bad habits are so readily apparent, mind you.

My biggest challenge was in figuring out how to sing from the diaphragm. My coaches and friends always told me to sing from the diaphragm, and yet it probably took me until my late 20s to even comprehend what that meant.

If I’d sought out coaching earlier, I may not have had to spend so much time making that connection. It may have “clicked” a lot earlier had I kept asking questions and seeking out guidance. I bet some singers figure it out in minutes rather than years! Coaching makes the difference.

If you have a teacher, then have them show you proper posture, breathing exercises, scalar exercises, and more. This will help you bypass many a turbulent road. Practice what your teacher gives you to practice – don’t make up your own curriculum!

Practice the right way, and you will gradually but surely become a better singer.

Can A Bad Signer Still Have A Career In Music?

Absolutely, and I’m not just talking William Hung!

Many would not consider Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Yoko Ono, Bob Dylan, Cardi B, Fergie, or Billy Corgan the best singers around. But look where they ended up. They did okay for themselves.

The negative often screams louder at us than the positive, which is why one negative comment can end up stopping us from chasing our music career dreams.

And while I would agree that Ozzy Osbourne isn’t a trained singer with a huge range, he is clearly unique. Can you really imagine anyone else fronting Black Sabbath in the 60s and 70s? I can’t.

If you’re passionate about music and are committed to making it your career, no matter what, and you’re willing to invest in your ongoing self-education, even “bad” singers can have a shot at stardom.

Further, the music industry, generally, is not about talent, skill, and craftsmanship but rather about marketability. It’s about brand and image.

There are some talented musicians in the top 40 charts, sure, but the majority are not so much the “best” but rather the most popular and the highest selling. There is a difference.

Finding your brand and becoming marketable can be a challenge all its own, but what matters most is that you’re marketable to the people who count – your fans and prospective fans.

Today, there are fewer opportunities than ever to be signed by a label, and more opportunities than ever to become an independent success. You do not need millions of fans to become successful on your own terms (though it can’t hurt!).

Additionally, if you’re really worried about your vocals, you can work on other aspects of your show – costumes, stage presence, multimedia, lighting, pyrotechnics, and more. These tend to make up for a lot of shortcomings.

You could even learn an instrument. Not all singers are interested in going down that road, but if you can play, sometimes audiences will offer more grace to singers who have other skills.

And if you really are a bad singer, chase distinctness, not skill. You may never become skilled. But you should be able to “find your voice,” as metaphysical as it sounds.

How A Bad Singer Can Become Good, Final Thoughts

Can a bad singer become good? In most cases, yes. But can a bad singer become better? Almost 100% of the time. That’s an important distinction, because no matter how many singing lessons you offered to Ozzy Osbourne, he’d probably still sound like Ozzy.

But practice alone will not make you a better singer. You’ve got to practice the right way to improve. And that may prove challenging without proper guidance and direction.

So, if you’re serious about becoming a better singer, be sure to seek out someone who can help. We think 30 Day Singer is an excellent place to start.

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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