View Full Version : Advice sought from former singing disasters...

12-09-2009, 06:59 AM
OK - I have a goal of being able to sing well while strumming.

My main challenge is that I have a disasterous voice - or more specifically I am often off key. I also let my voice stray into different notes, or my voice peters out, I'm also pretty nasily, and even without all that my voice is pretty overall lackluster... and so on....

I am seeking to hear about the experiences of people who became good singers through practice and raw effort. Especially people who strated out as singing disasters. I'm not talking about the good singers who became extraordinary, I'm talking about the guy who originally made people laugh out loud or grimace who became at the least pleasant to listen to. That's the guy I think I can learn from.


What specifically did you do to improve?

How long was the process?

What were the single most effective things you did?

Do you perhaps have before and after clips to share?

In retrospective what were the main obstacles preventing you from singing well?

How satiisfied / surprised were you with the results of your effort?

Did you hit a wall beyond which you could not go?

Thank you!

12-09-2009, 07:04 AM
Take lessons! - Best thing you can do. Check out the music department at your local colleges. The faculty will usually take you on for tutoring, or steer you to someone who can.

It's dangerous to try to learn on your own. You could develop some bad singing habits at best - or damage your voice at worst.

12-09-2009, 09:04 AM
jsut do it, i didnt sing at all until i was about 26. i got a big beatles songbook, cos i knew all the songs and i learned like that. over a couple of years i got better and better. yes there is a wall beyond which hard work will not take you. the best advice i can give is...record yourself often.

01-24-2010, 11:24 PM
Well, it is good that you can recognize when you start to go off key or when you hit the wrong notes. Many people I know who would have a nice singing voice have no idea if they are in key or not which is a huge problem!

One thing I know for sure is that to get better at singing you just gotta SING and keep on SINGING...sing in morning, sing in the shower, sing in the car, sing at work, sing before bed, sing while you eat! don't choke on your food.
However, at the same time try to recognize when you go off key and then FIX it because you are able to hear yourself. You can try recording yourself to see how you sound. (Its way different than just listening to yourself WHILE you sing.) analyze where you go off then try to change it. Really, you get alot better by singing ALL the time.

Some say you can try is to sing along to different styles and perhaps try to emulate the voices of singers that you like. Some say that is a bad idea and you should just sing like yourself. Just do both! Just remember to breathe and support your voice with your diaphragm and enough air. Thats very important!!

Also, never strain yourself trying to sing loudly or to reach notes that you aren't supposed to because that can lead to you hurting your voice.

Other than that, singing and strumming at the same time just takes practice. Just practice strumming until you can do that part in your sleep. Then you can memorize the song until it comes without thinking. Then put it together and your coordination will start building in no time!

01-25-2010, 07:26 AM
I am a former singing disaster. I used to be pretty horrific. There is a tape of me singing "For the Longest Time" in a high school talent show. I will poison anyone who has seen it. While they're sleeping.

While I couldn't agree more with UKISOCIETY, here are some answers to your questions:

What specifically did you do to improve?

It really helps me to know exactly what note I'm supposed to be singing. I play the melody on whatever instrument is around me and match it with my voice. Once I know the exact notes that I'm singing, I know how to iron out problem areas.

I also practice intervals. Get used to what they sound like. Some of them have familiar qualities. A major third is a doorbell. A major sixth is the beginning of the NBC melody. A major second is the beginning of Happy Birthday to You. etc...

There are vocal exercises that I do too. Well, I should do them more... They're kind of hard to explain in text. I bet there are a bunch of videos on YouTube.

Basically, do what UKI said. Take lessons. I never went through a long stretch of taking lessons. I'm an actor who occasionally has to sing for shows. I'd steal a lesson here and there. I plan on lessons in the near future. I'm developing a bad habit of singing through my nose.

How long was the process?

Years. It's still on-going.

What were the single most effective things you did?

I think I answered this question above.

Do you perhaps have before and after clips to share?

Good god, no. Besides, you don't want to be poisoned, do you?

In retrospect what were the main obstacles preventing you from singing well?

Lack of natural talent. I can't sing the right notes if I don't know what they are.

How satiisfied / surprised were you with the results of your effort?

I'm satisfied to a degree now. I still sound too nasally at times, but at least I'm mostly on key now. I'd say I'm about 80% satisfied with my voice. It's an ongoing process.

A huge step for me in this process was accepting my odd-sounding voice. I'm never going to have a pop-style voice. My voice is sometimes hard to listen to, but that's okay. I have to rely on character more than technique or vocal wizardry.

The most important thing for me to do while I"m singing a song is to tell a story. There's a story in that song, and if I don't tell it, I'm totally missing the point.

Did you hit a wall beyond which you could not go?

Yikes, I hope not!

Now take lessons!