Who here is a good singer?

I used to sing pretty well, when I was in college, because I had to be in an ensemble to get my music minor piano lessons free and there aren’t that many piano ensemble places so I was in the collegiate chorale. I loved it and I came out quite a decent singer. I’ve lost it from not practicing, though.

Sometimes my boyfriend and I like to sing together, though. I’m not religious but I love singing hymns and carols.

I’m a talented amateur with good tonal qualities, above average range, and musical training from seven years of public school band. I took a year and a half of voice lessons, which tremendously improved my abilities. I sing in my church choir and my church’s chamber choir. If I try out for a solo in the former, I usually get it. The really good singers we have usually don’t go for the solos. I think they get it out of their system in some other venue.

More than that, I love singing. I love being in the choir. I love the music. I love the physical sensation of nailing a phrase. The best compliments I’ve ever gotten were that I gave someone goosebumps. I’ve also made someone cry. Okay, it was my mom, but still…

Many years in Glee Club and choirs and 2 singing leads in Plays, so I can sing but have a limited range. I used to be better, but had a throat operation that damaged my vocal chords years ago.

This is where I am, too, though I don’t think I’d call my own voice ‘excellent’ it was a very good legit soprano, back in the day. Though as a kid I was almost tone deaf, funnily enough. This was me at almost 19 in a local community teen production of Kiss Me Kate. After 25 years’ distance I think the vocal quality is actually a little better than I remember it being, though I wince at how little control I had. Still, I was very young then. I got better vocal control by the end of college, and I do think if I’d continued I could have had a not-too-shabby career in minor productions.

But after graduating I gave up singing and performing, mostly because I was struggling with depression and didn’t have the energy/will to practice and train, much less the confidence to audition. So now I’ve got a rusty but still good voice that only my cats hear anymore (aside from the odd funeral / wedding performance).

It was a naturally very good voice – my whole family on both sides can sing quite well – that maybe could have been great if I’d ever really worked for it.

I’m a classically trained Tenor, and it’s a lot of work.

The only (universally) natural thing for a singer is their tone (or timbre). Everything else is training, technique, and practice. It’s actually quite exhausting, even if it looks really easy. “Naturals” exist, but they are few and far between; and of course, the esteemed Mr. Taylor’s particular timbre is his own, and no matter how good somebody else is at singing, they ain’t no JT!

Thanks for all the interesting replies.

Here is what I am wondering now:

Can I be taught to carry a tune?

Information that will assist you in answering:
[li]I am fairly musically inclined; I play piano (100% self-taught)[/li][li]I have rhythm (used to play drums back in the day)[/li][li]I have never, ever sung (aside from joking around) in front of someone else[/li][li]I’m a bit shy and not at all uninhibited[/li][li]Every once in a while, I’m certain I nail a phrase or passage, but I know I cannot do it consistently or at will[/li][li]Deep greens and blues are the colors I choose[/li][/ul]

Le Ministre de l’au-delà is a professional opera singer, a baritone I believe. I heard him many years ago in a production of Wozzeck here in Montreal, and that was an extraordinary experience.

It would be interesting to learn how he sees himself. I hope this thread attracts his attention.

I’ve gotten applause from my one acapella song at the unit Christmas dinner these past six years.

This year, I’m singing Danny Boy. Last year was Night and Day.

I’m one of the stronger Basses in our men’s chorus . . . though not because I have a soloist’s voice, which I definitely don’t have. Before joining the chorus 14 years ago my only musical experience was instrumental. When I played violin and viola in high school, I was the kid with perfect intonation, and that holds true with my singing. I think my main talent is that I have an “ear” for the type of voice a particular song requires. There are some guys who sing every song exactly the same, and I wonder whether they just don’t hear themselves.

My weakest point is definitely my vibrato.

I know somebody that sort of happened to. She went from thinking she was an alto to a very high soprano; she had a high range that her previous teachers had never figured out she had. Coloratura range, we’re talking. jealous

I’m way out of practice, but I did have about two and a half years of classical training in my mid 20s and was in the choir at the same time. I miss singing. There is a local choir I really need to look into joining. It’s not like there’s a serious shortage of us sopranos in any choral situation, but what the heck. My teacher told me that if I’d walked in and said I wanted to actually be an opera singer she’d have had to tell me I’d be sadly disappointed, pretty much, but since I didn’t (at the time I was thinking of music therapy) she was more than happy to teach me. That doesn’t bother me; I like what I have. She was not an easy teacher and I know if I was truly hopeless she’d have let me know. Not everybody’s going to be the soloist, but lots of us can have pretty voices.

I sang one perfect high F once, unfortunately in a lesson and not a performance. I still remember that feeling. One. Perfect. Note. Everything came together for a few seconds in a way it hadn’t before and hasn’t since. Perhaps if I ever get back into practice it will happen again.

I couldn’t say for sure without actually hearing you sing, but I’d guess yes. You’d be seriously hampered if you were tone-deaf, but if you have a handle on the piano I’d figure that not to be the case. I think most of the rest of it is learning how to use and control your vocal apparatus, and practice. It’s not too different from learning a new sport – at first you need to consciously step through the skills and get used to how doing them properly feels in your body, but eventually much of it becomes muscle memory.

Make sure you have a good teacher though – get recommendations from people who sing well. It may take a while to get comfortable with it, too – when first learning I remember it being very counter-intuitive that I should be singing with relaxed muscles rather than engaged (that is, tense) ones. Even the diaphragm needs to be support, not tension.

(Also, for those of you who can’t find your vibrato, you’ve probably got some throat tension going on. Try more warm-ups, or “breathy” ones. Vibrato comes naturally out of a tension-free voice.)

Lastly, confidence comes from knowing you’ve got the skills. Find a good teacher, then decide that when it’s just the two of you, it’s okay to try things, and occasionally to mess up. A good teacher won’t judge you for it – that’s what they’re there for, after all. After a while you’ll be able to feel the changes happening in your singing voice, so singing in front of other people won’t be so scary.

I will say that learning to sing is a little more difficult than most sports, simply because you can’t see the body parts involved in what you’re doing. You have to go by “feel” rather than supporting that “feel” with visual cues – and of course language describing how it feels when you can’t see it and can’t point and say “hold your hand/arm/leg that way” is a bit nebulous. There’s a bit more trial and error involved.

From the sounds of it, yes.

Pulp Friction, in my earlier post I mentioned Natural Voice. This is a methodology that gives you techniques to “feel” the music in order to sing it. It also helps with an openness of voice, body, breathing, and harnessing natural harmonics, to give the student a versatile and representative singing voice. You sound like someone who might benefit from it.

Warning: it is somewhat rooted in New Age “theory” and practice. But it works.

I, an arch skeptic, threw myself into it anyway (my reasoning being, if you’re going to do something, you may as well do it properly despite any misgivings), and was very well rewarded. Not only that, but during the course I saw people who had never sung in public before, or said they “couldn’t sing”, or people who genuinely could not hold a note, suddenly unlock their vocal abilities.

One girl in particular, who had never sung before, discovered a voice that’s among the most pure, bell-like and beautiful I’ve ever heard; one guy who genuinely could not sing - no tone, totally off note and grating - ended up being able to hold a tune and get passionately expressive.

A bunch of us from the course, including Ms Bell-Like-Voice, formed an a capella group and we ended up performing on stage and on the radio.

If you can find a practitioner, I’d say it’d be worth giving it a go, anyway.

I’ve always been told that I have a good voice, but have never had any training. I used to be able to sing anything from baritone up to and including falsetto. Roy Orbison? No problem. Frankie Vallie? No sweat. Bing Crosby? Piece of cake. Now that I’m getting older, the high notes don’t come easily anymore. I’m too self-conscious to try to sing in any public venue, unless well-lubricated.

People (including professional musicians) have told me I have a nice voice, but I’ve sung in front of people only very rarely. I’d love to remedy that. I’ve taken some guitar lessons so I can accompany myself, though what I’d dearly love to do is sing backup harmony. I’m forever making up harmonies as I sing along, often to songs I’ve never heard before. (With practice, it’s easy to make a guess where the song is going, or to correct myself if I guess wrong.) A classically trained friend told me that not many trained singers can make up harmonies on the fly; they have to have the music in front of them to tell them what to sing. I find that a bit hard to believe, though.

A few weeks ago, I was teaching a rather obscure folk song to a musician friend of mine in the hope that she might play with it and give it her own style, and she agreed that it was a great song and she’d work with it. Then, as long as I had the guitar out, I played another song I’d been practicing: one of my favorite songs of HERS. She was thrilled . . . she said (1) people usually seem too intimidated to sing around her (she really has an amazing voice) and (2) she’d NEVER heard anyone else play one of her songs before. That made me :slight_smile: and :cool:.

No training. I know I make goobers sometimes, and I’m sure some professional attention would help with that.

I am an excellent singer. I’ve been paid to do it, and will be paid again.
Your voice, even if you are blessed to be born with a golden voicebox, is your instrument. You must practice with it, and the more you practice, the more you learn how to “feel” how to make the note you want to make. With enough practice, and enough musical training, you can even sing written music, much like a pianist can sit and play it.

I’m a classically trained baritone, semi-professional opera singer, professional chorister, and voice teacher. So I guess that makes me a “good singer”.

I’m a naturally good singer. But there’s no doubt whatsoever that no matter what skill you’re born with, working on it makes it better.

I’m always amazed watching shows like “American Idol” where some person says they’ve always wanted to be a singer, but they’re never taken voice lessons. It’s akin to saying your dream is to be a pro golfer but not bothering to take a few golf lessons.

Classically trained bass-baritone here. I’ve never had the talent or the drive to make it professionally, but I’ve got the tone, projection, stage presence, and experience to land good character roles in musicals and operetta. Unfortunately, I have not been able to afford voice lessons in over ten years, so I can hear my upper range deteriorating a bit more each season. But since I regard performing as a pass-time and not a vocation, I don’t let it worry me too much.

I’ve always sang, since I was in grade school, and was told I had a very nice voice, so for some dumb reason I thought I didn’t need voice lessons. I didn’t start taking them until I was 18 because I could get credits for them in college. I learned that my range was much, much higher than I’d ever thought (coloratura soprano) and that I could have more control over my voice than I ever thought possible. I never would have known that without a voice teacher, which is why I absolutely 100% recommend taking voice lessons to anyone who wants to sing, even just for fun. It is definitely worth your time and money, even if you can only take a lesson once or twice a month. You do need to have some basic talent to get started- a good core to your voice, or timbre, as others have said. But almost anyone can be taught to have a decent voice, good enough for the chorus.

I’m a professional singer. I work in professional musical theater and in a museum setting (I work at our state’s historical museum- there was a very famous and prolific musician from our state so I sing his songs for visitors to his exhibit), with some extra gigs on the side. I have learned to be a better harmonizer but it’s still sometimes difficult for me. I’d really love to find time to take some ear-training courses. I’ve heard that a lot of famous musicians had a tough time harmonizing- I know the girl who sang lead with the Andrews Sisters would get lost if she had to leave the melody.

While I had a very good natural voice to start with, my choral teacher insisted that I start taking private voice lessons in high school. After I went to university and majored in voice, singing/practicing every day, I came back home one break and my old voice teacher was astounded at how much my range had increased. I’m (was) a contralto with a great low range but my high range was lacking. After a year of training it was amazing how much it had increased - without losing my lower register. I could easily sing soprano roles when I was at my best. When I changed majors, my instructors did their best to talk me out of it but, frankly, I just didn’t have the dedication required at that age. Beer and boys ruined me!

As an aside and completely irrelevant to this thread, I met a girl at university who had the most amazing voice I had ever heard. She could have been great in opera circles but was suddenly struck by debilitating stage fright so severe she couldn’t sing in front of more than one person during her senior year. I don’t know what ever happened to her but it was certainly a loss to the music world.

Oddly, none of my family can carry a tune in a bucket…