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Steve_A's avatar

Can you learn to sing?

Asked by Steve_A (5125points) December 27th, 2009

I have played guitar for almost 4 years and learning to sing/play same time.

my voice is not very good, in fact it sucks…..REALLY SUCKS.

but I love being able to express my lyrics and songs when I write them.

its hard to explain but I would love to be able to sing.

I play Metal/Rock/Blues…..I dabble in jazz but thats deep stuff man!

anways can I learn to sing or is it one of those things that you are born with ya know talent or what have you?

I am really giving up hope, as I want to go out and play and sing. Just for fun! like open mic and bands for jamming etc…..

Thanks for any advice,tips, and what not.

(I have music where I sing/play if you need to hear it…message me.)

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55 Answers

jctennis123's avatar

Great question! Can someone answer this please? I wonder the same thing

gemiwing's avatar

You can take voice lessons and learn how to sing. There are lessons online, via webcam and in person. I prefer in person.

Steve_A's avatar

I can’t really afford voice lessons.

I had to stop taking guitar lessons because money is tight :(

I guess I will look for a good voice website, as I find many are misleading or not good like guitar lessons online , lol :)

gemiwing's avatar

Look for group lessons at local music stores. Also, even though it won’t be the same style you want, consider joining a chorus. You’ll get free vocal training and meet other music people.

Steve_A's avatar

I did not know music stores do group lessons…I dooubt guitar center or the such does?

Where would I join a chorus, like I have to go to church?

PS, I am 19 am I too old to start learning?

gemiwing's avatar

You are never too old to learn. Your voice actually hasn’t reached maturity yet.

On group lessons- google would be best for that.
Choirs are in churches, choruses are secular. Try googling or checking CL for some in your area.

nebule's avatar

Hi Steve, I am a trained opera singer and I’ve performed professionally in many other genres of music (rock, jazz, pop, etc.) since giving the classical scene up many years ago. I believe you can be taught how to sing, but you do need some raw talent. I think it all depends on what you want to achieve, your personal capabilities and the type of music you are writing. There are some singer songwriters that I think can’t really sing very well at all…but the music suits it… and therefore can be very successful… for example I don’t personally think you need to be a great singer to be in a heavy metal band… but that’s an extreme of what I’m thinking about.

On the other hand…if you are tone deaf…(which you are evidently not if you can play the guitar with some success…) then it would make singing with tunefulness pretty impossible…. but technically everyone can sing…it’s a case of what and how well…

I would love to hear your music if you could send me a private link that would be great… maybe I could then give you some online tips if you can’t afford a teacher and regular lessons xx

Steve_A's avatar

Oh thats good…..and my voice is still growing, when does it stop?

nebule's avatar

your voice matures in your 40s generally.. i mean at its peak…

Steve_A's avatar


Steve_A's avatar

Ok Lynneblundell, first let me say nice to meet you, and thats really cool and awesome!!! (can you shatter windows) :P

I will send you a private link with songs I have vocals on…..DONT laugh! ok well you can…

gemiwing's avatar

@lynneblundell I bow down before your musical prowess! bow bow ,GA

Steve_A's avatar

Also some bands/artist I like are (vocally)

The White Stripes
Led Zeppelin
Big Sugar
Paradise Lost
Chet Atkins
Brian Sezter
BB king
Alice in Chains
Hank Williams Jr ( yes country too)
Johnny Cash
Jason Aldean

Steve_A's avatar

I got more….some I can not even remember (pretty sad lol) but maybe that helps give you an idea?

nebule's avatar

@Steve_A ahh my pleasure! not shattered any windows yet!! (still not really sure if that means I’m good or bad! lol) ... I won’t laugh..promise! x From your list I could probably only say that I know the White Stripes to any degree of detail… I’ve heard of some of the others so I know where you’re coming from… I’ll get back to you anyway x

@gemiwing bless you…thank you xxx

Steve_A's avatar

will you be on today, It will take my couple minutes I got a few songs written/demos :) ?

nebule's avatar

I am here for a little while longer yes x

Steve_A's avatar

ok I will try and hurry, if not catch it later then..?

mrentropy's avatar

Can I learn to sing? No. Can you? More than likely.

Tomfafa's avatar

Of course! Anybody can. Frank Sinatra… the greatest interpretative vocalists of the modern era (in my opinion) was generally acknowledged not to have the best voice…

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I can’t.Even “pie therapy” hasn’t helped ;)

Chatfe's avatar

I think you can improve your voice, given time and practice and active listening to recordings of yourself and others. Also, remember there are a lot of singers who are kind of tone deaf and yet they made that into their personal style. Bob Dylan and Lou Reed come to mind. Their singing is no less powerful for their lack of a pleasant voice. Good luck!

filmfann's avatar

You can improve what you have, and make them probably pleasing to the ear, but the cruel fact is that many people study singing for years, only to learn they just don’t have the pipes to sound like those singers they want to emulate.

mollypop51797's avatar

Singing, of what I know (or think I know), is not a thing that you either have or don’t have. You have to work for it, obviously, but you can always improve. But you do have to improve though to get better.

Jeruba's avatar

I remember reading this about either Peter, Paul, and Mary or the Mamas and the Papas or both—that the promoters (managers, whoever) had this ensemble who sounded great, but for commercial purposes they also needed them to look great, and so they rounded up (Mary Travers / Michelle Phillips) and taught her to sing well enough to get by. They were never going to be great vocalists, but in ensemble they could handle the parts they were given well enough, leaning on the vocal strength of the rest and lending the necessary packaging for commercial success.

I have no singing voice, but when I used to play guitar and sing informally all the time, my (untrained) voice was much better and stronger than it ever has been before or since. There’s something in practice, and much more in a forgiving audience.

nebule's avatar

just have to say…his voice is really quite gorgeous, much depth and malleability of tone…it’s far from in his own words…“not very good, in fact it sucks…..REALLY SUCKS” that’s not a good representation at all…. and his music has great potential… we have another unnoticed star amongst us…very talented man and don’t let him tell you otherwise

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes. Musicality seems to be a general human trait. If voice lessons are too expensive ask a friend who’s in a (good) choir. You need individual feedback. Take an instrument, e.g. a piano or a guitar and focus on single notes first. You friend will sing a single note and ask you to do the same, the tell you with his thumb to go up and down. Eventually you will sing the same note. This could take a couple of days. Then you move to two notes and intervals and so on. A whole gamut and so on. The most important thing is not to feel embarrassed. Ask your friend not to tell anyone about this, if necessary. Everyone can learn to sing when being able to overcome the embarrassment factor.

jctennis123's avatar

Practice a lot like you would at anything else. You will only know if you can make it by working hard. Think about how much work someone has to put in to be good at the piano. That is what you will have to do for singing.

Tomfafa's avatar

It’s all about getting the right tone!

Zen_Again's avatar

I will have to take exception (partially) with my learned friend @mattbrowne, for a change. He is right in what he wrote, except for one important thing; if you are tone-deaf – and there are many who are – all the lessons in the world won’t help. Where I agree is that one can learn how to sing, and from that an apperciation for music – and even to enjoy singing.

But from that to singing where others enjoy it – well, I know some tone deaf people who have had many voice lessons and think they can sing. They cannot. It sounds pretty horrible, actually. The trick is to know the difference.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zen_Again – Good point. I forgot to mention that. Do you know how many people are tone deaf? I couldn’t find a reliable source, but if I remember correctly, it’s less than 3% of people in most populations. I think I read something about it many years ago. Maybe someone on Fluther knows:

Tomfafa's avatar

I would have to agree with zen again…. although I have seen instances of girls who had a great pair of ‘lungs’ and nobody would dare say they were tone deaf. Speaking of frank sinatra, (I think I did) there is a story that guitar players could tune their guitar on his vocal G… I don’t know if it’s true, but good story.

nebule's avatar

I don’t where he’s gone but I gave him some advice and not heard anything… eek… it wasn’t bad at all!! :-/

Tomfafa's avatar

Lynne.. I will sing you a ballad… slow… smooth… long…

nebule's avatar

oh @Tomfafa bless you! what would you sing?

Tomfafa's avatar

I’ve got a crush on you… sweety pie…
All the day and night time… hear me sigh…
The world will pardon my mush!
beeee couse I have got a crush! my baby… on you!

Tomfafa's avatar

I wish you bluebirds in the spring
To give your heart a song to sing
And then a kiss
But more than this
I wish you love

And in July a lemonade
To cool you in some leafy glade
I wish you health
And more than wealth
I wish you love

My breaking heart and I agree
That you and I could never be
So with my best, my very best
I set you free

I wish you shelter from the storm
A cozy fire to keep you warm
But most of all
When snowflakes fall
I wish you love

Tomfafa's avatar

The deal is…
I have 1 huge tattoo
One nipple ring
One PhD
I sing johnny mercer tunes when nobody is listening…
And zero girlfriend!

nebule's avatar

Oh my goodness, I’ve never heard that song before…that’s absolutely beautiful… that’s my anthem for 2010!! thank you… there’s nothing like discovering a beautiful artist

and if I thought you were serious that would be more adorable… but I don’t think so x the tune, lyrics, moment, song, beauty… however will stay with me all year and that’s the best new years gift I’ve got so far xx

Tomfafa's avatar

Actually ‘I wish you love’ is originally a french song… you should try you tube for a good recording of it. The first song is ‘I’ve got a crush on you’ by the gershwin brothers.
I really do wish you nothing but health and love in the new year Lynne!

nebule's avatar

oh stop it you’re making me all gooey….and gooey is not a good look for me… well, maybe.. anyway

I love French music, I will check out the original – I found the Rachel Yamagata one… which was deeply lovely and movingI have to say…

and the gershwin thing… I felt like I’d gone back to my roots! xxx so refreshing in a bizarre way…

I wish you everything you deeply desire but don’t know it yet…for the new year that is xxxx

nebule's avatar

…oh my…just found the french version… oh dear…. I think I’m in love!

Tomfafa's avatar

Happy to turn you on to some good music… to warm you on a cold winter day, my dear lynne…. you think we have a following here?
And thank you! There is nothing I desire… unless I don’t know it yet.

Zen_Again's avatar

@mattbrowne You know how Murphy’s Law works, eh buddy?! Even if it’s only three percent, it’ll be 90% percent of your tone-deaf friends who insist on trying out their singing with you.


Zen_Again's avatar

@Tomfafa Hi – I just barely noticed you wrote about me – but if you forget the ampersand it’ll likely go unnoticed if you talk to or react about somone.

Re. what you said: Of course! Anybody can. Frank Sinatra… the greatest interpretative vocalists of the modern era (in my opinion) was generally acknowledged not to have the best voice…

I think I know what you are trying to say – but frankly – how would one of the greatest “interpretative vocalists of the modern era” (your words – but I tend to agree) not “have the best voice?” (your words – sotr of cancels out what you just wrote – Best voice = great vocalist = not exactly tone-deaf, eh?

denidowi's avatar

Steve, I know from your previous Q that you cannot afford lessons – even though to me, that sounds like just what you will need to do this thing properly.
Your main point in life is to get a proper job and to look after those siblings of yours.

But, Steve, may I ask you this:
Is there any way you can send something of your work to me… my son is, this very moment, receiving a $160,000 Upfront contract with RCA, following many other offers from many different other record companies for their first album.
We’ll take a look at it.

I think the Most important thing you need to realize though, is that the music industry, for 99.9% of young people, just does NOT pay the bills… and that is the Pure reality.
MY lad won an Australia-wide classical music competition 4 years ago when he was 20. So you might say he had talent.
He then moved into the dance music [“House”], which only cost him long hours late at night, and did only little. He then tried the pop/alternative rock industry, doing private recordings and DJ work. Except for a LITTLE DJ work, nothing has paid much at all in any of this [In fact, it has probably COST him money over those years] until now.
They commence work with RCA in a couple more months: so even for the successful, this industry is a LONG haul.

I suggest you look up “Elvis Presley Discography Wikipedia”, and just take a look at the long perseverence that even Presley had to undertake before anyone would listen to any of his work: he also eventually won an RCA contract. His first real seller was “Heartbreak Hotel”, but Hey, it took a Great deal of ‘heartbreak’ for him before even that soldLOL!! ;)

BBKing, Huh??
Now there’s some Great raw talentLOL!!
I sure wish I had his voiceLOL!
I wanted to do pop myself when i was around your age, but fortunately, I sensed the realityLOL!
My bro has a better natural voice than mine: I would have needed quite some voice training, I’m afraid. My tuning was good, but my voice production would have needed quite some work.
My mother, on the other hand, was the BEST female musical voice I have ever heard – as good as any, she was – operatically trained, though – and I have heard tens of 1000’s over the decades – including operaticLOL!

Strauss's avatar

One of the best and most affordable ways to learn to sing is to join a chorus or choir. Even though it might not be your style, you will find folks who will want to help you. Half of singing is hearing your own voice. That is something that some folks have a talent for and some folks have to learn. If you join a chorus, and learn to sing parts, you will have the advantage of being able to listen to more experienced folks in your section, and learn to match your voice with theirs.

What @lynneblundell told you has a lot of merit. I was a voice major (classically trained) and performed for years as a singer-songwiter.

Tomfafa's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Brilliant suggestion!!!!

Strauss's avatar

@Tomfafa I heard that one about Sinatra’s “G”. I have known several vocalists who had perfect pitch.

Tomfafa's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I had to dig to validate that story and it happened once so…. the point is, compared to say… crosby or nat king cole… sinatra’s voice was lacking, but we learned to love it. I did anyway.

Strauss's avatar

Sinatra’s strength was that of a stylist. He had a style all his own, and I believe he was the first “Pop” teen idol.

Tomfafa's avatar

I agree… till today, nothing gets a girls clothes off faster than a well chosen sinatra tune.

Steve_A's avatar

I will just keep breaking windows till they stop breaking ;) thats gonna be one bill heh

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jazmina88's avatar

a voice is an instrument….you can get training…...

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