Why Do I You Suck At Singing? 40 Reasons You Don’t Improve!Devlon Jarrod Horne
I still practice my vocal exercises and I try to sing every day for as long as I can if I get the chance. I am far away from a perfect vocalist but I can hold my own when it comes to certain things and I’m proud of that. I decided to make this list for myself and for others to tick off the things that were holding me back and making me suck as a singer.
You suck as a singer because you do not practice consistently and enough. Among things like not practicing correct vocal techniques, incorrect breathing, smoking, not taking lessons, singing one style, not learning anything new, and not singing to the strengths of your own voice are the main reasons you suck at singing.
I created this list of 40 reasons why you suck at singing. I have put a few jewels in here that you definitely would not have thought of and I hope that this list helps you as it has helped me. We will tackle all areas that could be holding you down and that is stopping you from getting better making you not suck at singing.
Why do I suck at the guitar?
Here is the list of why you are not improving and are stagnant in your vocal ability. If you are a beginner then grab a pen or pencil and take these notes down. More often than not vocalists are hindered because they are falling into at least 5 of these reasons if not more. Take your time to go through them and then try to understand what you are doing wrong.
You don’t practice your singing
I’ve seen this time and time again. People think they can sing so they don’t ever practice their singing. They can sing a song by Tayler Swift and low and behold they don’t ever need to practice or take a voice lesson. There are so many aspects to singing that you need to practice. You have to practice.
You don’t practice your singing for an extended period of time
Singers are known for being flaky, moody, and just downright queens always complaining and worrying about their voice. They think singing is a gift, they can do it and that’s that. They won’t sing too much for fear of damaging their voice. you do get the ones that practice but then they say “I can’t practice for more than 30 minutes” You do know that singers for rock bands at concerts sing up to 3 hours and then opera singers sing up to 5 hours, right? So how long do you think they practice for?
You don’t practice singing consistently
Just like with anything in life consistency is the key and will lead you to success. You can’t sing for 2 hours in one day and then not sing until the following week again, or sing the day before your vocal lesson and not practice throughout the week. It doesn’t work like that.
You spend too much time watching other people sing
It’s great getting inspiration from your idols and watching them perform. That’s why you wanted to start singing in the first place. Remember for all the time spent watching them you could be practicing and developing your voice.
You only ever sing 5 songs
Just because you can sing 5 songs does not mean you can sing. Maybe those melodies are easy and don’t push your voice. There are hundreds of songs that are famous because they are good songs have catchy melodies and are not renowned for their vocal difficulty. You need to learn more songs and try to learn songs that push your voice to develop (within reason of course)
You only ever attempt to sing 1 genre
I’ll admit I used to be like this. I used to sing rock and that was that. Then playing in cover bands and having to sing every song under the sun broke me out of my comfort bubble and helped me expand on many aspects of my singing. Opera is a whole other ball game. I’m talking about, pop, and rock, blues, RnB, and soul for the most part. Rock also has very hectic techniques such as screaming that we won’t deal with here.
If you want then read my article on – Why Do Rock Singers Scream? And Find Out How?
You never attempt to learn anything new when singing
This can go for songs or techniques. If you want to improve as a vocalist you need to learn new songs and new techniques if you have not already. Even if you sing a specific genre learning a new technique from a different genre could help you grow as a vocalist. The same goes for songs. Learning new songs and songs from other genres will test and push your vocal ability. Once you’ve learned it you can turn it into your own. That’s how you become great.
You don’t practice your breathing
Now I’m not saying you must go and spend 3 hours practicing your breathing. But vocalists don’t even consider just going over their technique before they song so as to remind themselves. While going through your practice routine you need to be mindful of your breathing and practice it correctly while performing any vocal technique or exercise.
You sing in a style that doesn’t suit your voice
It’s all good and well that you want to sing rock, pop, blues or anything for that matter, and you can to a degree. You can sing any genre and style you like. However, know your limitations and implement techniques you can and don’t try force techniques and your voice in general if you can’t. Also, be honest with yourself. If you have a voice or accent that would make it difficult to sing a certain style then try just learning to sing normally first before attempting to mold your voice to how you want it.
You sing outside of your comfortable singing range
I don’t know how many times I’m going to have to tell singers this one. If you are a bass you can’t sing tenor. And that goes for whatever range your voice falls into. You can still sing any song you like, you just have to change the key so that it falls in your range. It will sound better and you will sing more comfortably.
You don’t change keys of songs to suit your voice
Live professional performers change the keys of their songs when they sing live. Bon Jovi, Ed Sheeran, Whitney Houston. They do this to protect their voice because they are professionals. You do not have to sing in the original keys all the time. Furthermore, if your voice does not fall into the range of the original song you have to change the key so it suits your voice. Trust me it will sound fine and better than if you try to force or push your voice.
You don’t warm up your voice
Rule 101 for singing live and before practicing. Always, always, always warm up your voice. One of the main reasons you suck and you aren’t improving is because you jump right into the deep end when trying to sing without warming up. You put your voice under strain and it is still trying to warm up while you are singing cold. By the time it’s warm and ready to practice and improve you are either done with your practicing or you have blown out your voice.
You don’t eat correctly or exercise
They say you are what you eat. Now I do know that opera singers are hefty and other pop singers as well and they have amazing voices. Those are the exceptions to the rule, not the norm. You want to eat healthily and exercise because it is good for your voice, your body, and your mind. Your body and your voice are your instruments and you want to keep them healthy by eating the right foods and exercising correctly.
You drink and smoke
Drinking and smoking are horrible, to say the least for the vocal cords. One of the main reasons that you are not improving is because your voice takes a long time to recover after a night of partying. I would teach students on a Wednesday and then they would party on the weekend and then they would only have Tuesday to practice before our next lesson because the alcohol had such an effect on their voice. Remember both drinking and smoking dries out the vocal cords and smoking can cause inflammation on the vocal cords.
You don’t take vocal lessons
How can you improve as a singer if you don’t know what you are doing or you don’t know what to do next? You might not and usually do not know, where your bad habits are. This is where a vocal coach comes in. It’s their job to help you improve. They know what to look for, how to structure lessons and techniques so you can improve as a vocalist.
Watch The Vocal Lexicon show you a before and after of a student who had just taken a couple of vocal lessons for a couple of months. You need lessons
Book your vocal lesson via skype or zoom with me today – MMT Online Lessons
You take vocal lessons from an amateur
If you want to improve your singing you need to take lessons from a professional vocal coach and not Susy down the road. Susy may be able to sing very well however she might not be trained or have studied singing and how to teach it to others. Do yourself a favor and take lessons from a professional.
You don’t practice scales
Scales are the cornerstones to learning any instrument even your voice (if you think pro singers don’t or can’t sing scales, think again). It’s all good and well to be able to sing songs, but you can’t improve if you only know your major scale. How can you come up with melodies in your head if you can’t even think of what notes to sing, what notes go well together, and how others differ from one another in terms of a minor, major, and how they differ from an intervallic perspective?
Purchase any scale that you’ll ever need to sing right from our store here – MMT Store (Scales)
You don’t practice arpeggios
Chords are fundamental in learning to play any instrument. Now as a vocalist you can’t sing chords, you can only sing notes of chords and we term that an arpeggio. It’s so crucial to learn your scales and your arpeggios. They lay the grounding for everything that comes after. Improvising, harmonizing, and melody creation.
Purchase any arpeggio that you’ll ever need to sing right from our store here – MMT Store (Arpeggios)
You don’t practice runs and licks
A run could be made up of parts of an arpeggio or parts of a scale. That’s why it’s so important to practice, your arpeggios and your scales. Runs and licks are built from them, not from anything else. Even if a singer says they made up a run or a lick. It is from a scale or arpeggio. Now how can you improve if you don’t practice your runs correctly? Furthermore, how can you practice your runs correctly if you don’t know your scales or arpeggios?
You sing out of time
Keeping in time for a singer is just as important as keeping in time for a singer. You need to know where to come in and stop. You need to know how to phrase your lines correctly, rhythmically, and now what rhythmical values are and understand them. The last thing you want to worry about is not knowing where to come in or how to phrase a line rhythmically when it is still vocally challenging. This could definitely be hindering you in your pursuit of vocal greatness and definitely a reason why you suck at singing.
You sing out of tune (off-pitch)
Pitching is an issue that can be fixed with correct technique, correct breathing, and knowing your scales and arpeggios. If you can think of the notes you need to sing in your head (by remembering scales and arpeggios) you are more likely to hit them. All these factors combined can and will help you to pitch. If you’re not pitching correctly then take a look at what area you are lacking in.
You try to sing like some famous pop star
We don’t need another Madonna or Cher. They were great and they were unique. You need to stop trying to be someone or something you’re not. You have a great voice; it is unique and nobody else in the world has the same voice. Trying to sing like someone else will not help you improve your voice. Their range might be different from yours and you could be trying to sing a style that does not suit your voice.
You don’t drop your jaw when you sing
Lots of my students don’t want to open their mouths and don’t drop the jaw when they sing. They feel embarrassed and they think it looks silly. The air and tone need room to move, flow, and resonate through your mouth and head. Without dropping the jaw and without correct mouth placement you are definitely sacrificing a better overall vocal technique and vocal tone.
You don’t place the notes correctly in your head when you sing
Learning what the vocal mask is and how to sing with resonance is something a vocal coach needs to teach you. Not being able to sing and place notes correctly in your head will inhibit you from getting better as a vocalist. You will always be struggling to hit certain notes and pushing your voice when just with the correct technique you can elevate this and your understanding of where the voice is supposed to be when you sing.
You sing through your nose
Some people can’t help this and some people just developed an incorrect technique. They sing with a nasal quality to their voice. This placement of the vocal tone is incorrect and sounds horrible. Do you remember Janice from the sitcom Friends? Nobody wants to hear her sing. If you sing like this you need a vocal coach to help you with the correct technique.
You sing with a tight tongue
Tongue tension plays a major role in being able to formulate and shape the tone of your voice. You need to be able to place the tongue in certain positions of the mouth in order to sing notes in certain ways. Tongue tension release exercises are great for this.
You don’t project when you sing
Not knowing where to place your voice when you sing will not enable you to project correctly. Hence you may be pushing your voice and shouting instead of projecting. This form of singing with an incorrect technique will probably damage your voice and will definitely hold you down while you struggle to improve your vocals.
You use too much vibrato
If you can produce a vibrato then that is great. Just remember that less is more and you don’t need to sing vibrato on every note. At the end of the phrases is where vibrato should be placed. Know when to hold back. Throwing vibrato on every note will definitely make you suck as a singer.
You try to sing techniques without practicing them
You can’t sing techniques like the Bel Canto or vibrato, falsetto, belting, and so on without practicing them first. One way to really suck is to try to sing without practicing these techniques. Any vocalist worth their salt will hear and see straight away that you haven’t mastered what you are trying to pull off.
You don’t use subtleties and nuances in your vocals
It is so important to use emotion and subtlety in your singing. Singing is not just about belting, hitting high notes, and pushing the living hell out of your voice. The best artist in the world know how to put emotion into their singing and that comes from subtleties and nuances that you need to practice and takes time to understand and perfect.
You don’t practice your vocal techniques
I can’t stress this enough. You can’t belt if you don’t practice belting. You can’t place vibrato on a note if you don’t practice vibrato. Yes, to some singer’s things come easy, but for the rest of us who suck at singing, it takes time and practice. You need to practice all your vocal techniques. If you think it cant be done it is a myth. I taught myself vibrato with practice.
You don’t sing from your diaphragm
We can correlate this to breathing and incorrect technique. One of the reasons your singing is not up to scratch is because you don’t sing and breathe correctly from your diaphragm. Again, focusing on breathing and practicing correct techniques will help you with this.
You don’t play an instrument
You don’t have to play an instrument and some singers don’t. However, it would benefit you because you would be able to play chords or songs just by practicing a little. This could help you with pitching to a large degree, singing over chords and songs you play yoursoelf on the piano or guitar.
You have a diva complex
You need to turn down the ego and focus on your singing and your practice routine in order to get better and not to suck. Having misconceptions about practicing, vocal coaches, techniques, genres, and anything else will only hinder you in becoming a better vocalist.
You give up too easily
Singing is a very difficult art form to learn. For some people, it comes easy and for some people, it comes more difficultly. The key is to press on, never give up and you will reach a level that you can be proud of. You might not be a superstar but you will knock them dead at karaoke.
Watch Singgeek go over the concept of diaphragm breathing for singing. Hopefully, this helps you improve your breathing
Remember the vocal exercises sold at our store are developed so that you learn to practice your breathing as well as your voice. Check out our exercises here – MMT Shop
You don’t sing with other singers
Singing with other singers is like playing with other musicians for an instrument. You can learn so much from other singers and riding as a lone wolf will not open up the possibilities of new things you could learn and pick up by singing with other singers. Just, for example, you could get tips on your technique or ask them how they go about singing a song or phrase.
You can’t annunciate clearly
Even if you can pitch and have a superb range. Some people cannot annunciatewhen singing syllables, or consonants correctly. They sing with an accent or speech impediment and you can’t make out what they are singing. Do yourself a favor and just look up some YouTube videos on tongue twisters and universal accents on how to pronounce words. You will be surprised how it can affect your vocals.
You only ever sing female songs if you’re a female
Just because you are a female singer does not mean you shouldn’t or can’t sing songs that male artists or bands have written and performed. Take the song, put it into your range if need be, and turn it into your own. It’s one of the best ways to grow as a vocalist.
You only ever sing male songs if you’re a male
This holds sorely true for male vocalists. They never try to sing songs written by females. They say it’s out of their range and they say if they change the key this doesn’t do the song any justice or it doesn’t sound the same. Female pop artists make great melodies and you could only benefit from learning a couple.
You don’t sing for the joy of singing
Singing is a gift and is part of the human soul. If you think you can’t sing and you are always putting yourself down then you will be demotivated to practice or to even sing at all. It is a gift that is amazing to behold and you should enjoy the fact that even though you aren’t a famous pop star, singing is a beautiful art form and should be appreciated. If you do this then you will sing with confidence and presence and you will improve.
As you can see there are many reasons why you could suck at singing and these are only 40 of them. I could have listed a couple more but these are the ones that stood out and we will leave the rest for another article.
All you need to do to improve as a vocalist and not suck as a singer is to find out which of these areas you are lacking in and be honest with yourself. Then all you need to do is make a list of them and figure out what you can do to correct them.
If you do this, keep yourself motivated and constantly practice I guarantee, you will improve and not suck as a singer.
If you’d like some further help with your pursuit in improving your singing then why not think about taking one of our free vocal courses her – MMT Vocal Courses
If you enjoy practicing alone, then be sure to check out our catalog of over 100 vocal exercises at our store here – MMT Shop
Or why not book me for a private 1-on-1 lesson via skype or zoom here – MMT Online Lessons