Musician, Co-Founder and CEO of Ninebuzz Music Tech
Feb 11, 2016
Learning how to sing can be frustrating and even humiliating. It can also be really rewarding and have a huge impact on your general musicality.
While my voice will never be my strongest instrument, I’ve found that training just enough to call myself a proper singer has actually made me a way better (and happier) musician.
Here are 9 reasons bad singing is better than no singing.
1. It’s healthy
Science, baby. If you value your mental and physical health, sing. Your girlfriend brags about her yoga, well guess what? The breathing involved in singing provides arguably some of the same benefits. There are also many other healthy reasons to sing involving stress reduction, cardiovascular health and more. If not for any other reason, sing for your health.
2. You can always improve
Justin Stone, a prominent New York Vocal Coach, says that the voice can be trained “in just about everyone.” He’s one of many.
The voice and ears are your core instrument. The entire system can and should be trained, and it’s not really even that hard to do.
I’m going to make a post with some of my favorite vocal training apps, so make sure to sign up to my email newsletter at the bottom of this page so you don’t miss it. Bottom line: if I can improve my ear and voice, so can you!
3. You don’t need to be ‘great’ to rock \m/
Bob Dylan? Beck? Rivers Cuomo? Billy Corgan? These guys would have all bombed out on The Voice. They all have very average if not kinda bad voices.
But they all rock.
Being a great musician has way more to do with authenticity, passion and great songs than it does actually having a technically great voice. Unless you’re singing opera, of course. Plenty of “bad” singers rock. You could be one of them!
4. You’ll improve your ear
Here’s the real benefit to pursuing singing: your ear.
To be a singer (even a “bad” singer), the one requirement is that you’re not tone-deaf. You have to train your ear. Beyond that, you can have a pretty terrible voice. I actually believe you can’t call yourself a musician unless you have a well-trained ear, demonstrated by a decent ability to carry a tune.
Interval ear-training builds “ear frets” upon which you can identify tones and notes with insane precision. It changes the game. Start now. Ear-training on it’s own is dry and boring. In the context of singing, though, it’s actually fun.
With high-definition hearing, you gain unprecedented control of your voice and really any instrument you play. You can appreciate subtleties in guitar solos that you previously missed. You can hear individual notes in chords and know when it’s appropriate to add certain colors. Ear frets make it easy to know where tones lay on the spectrum.
Even if you’re a “bad” singer, the benefits to your overall musicality you’ll reap from training your ear are in a word, massive. Check out this completely unscientific graph we made to illustrate this very true point:
You don’t need to go nuts on style and power and technique. 90% of the benefits from singing come from training your ear. So why not just do it? Be a bad singer!
5. You’ll learn things much faster
By working on a becoming a “bad” singer with a capable ear, you’ll be a much better musician. You’ll be one with your instruments. Again, this comes mostly from training your ear.
And the only reason I bothered ear-training was because I settled on becoming at a minimum, a bad singer! If you don’t shoot for that goal, you’ll probably never tune up your ear (ear-training is too boring otherwise).
Your new and continually improving ear will allow you to learn melodies, songs and even different instruments faster than ever before. Tip: Keep a keyboard in the house. I’ve found that more precise tones train your ear faster than imprecise ones, like from a string instrument.
6. You’ll improve your rhythm
There is natural rhythm in lyrics. By singing, you’re linking your ears and your voice and your internal clock to create music from your body. Anyone can slam on drums or slap a bass, but singing is internal and you’ll sharpen your rhythm faster (that’s coming from a drummer!).
7. You’ll be a better bandmate
In addition to keeping your instrument in better tune and tuning faster, you’ll be able to contribute more to your band. An improved ear as a result of basic singing skills will enable you to better hear what’s lacking in an arrangement. This is especially beneficial for keyboardists, backup singers and guitarists. You’ll be able to add cooler voicings to your chords and harmonize easier as you improve.
8. You’ll build confidence
Confidence is a real thing that’s built from competence. Make the right goal and set yourself up for an easy win.
You DO NOT need to a great singer. In fact, be a bad one! Just be a singer.
Train your ear, link your ears with your voice, and use your voice regularly whenever you play music. It’s not that hard and you’ll feel great when you start seeing improvement. Everyone you know will love seeing (and hearing) a happier, more confident you.
9. It’s just fun
Why not have a new instrument to play with? One that doesn’t require batteries. One that keeps improving.
There are so many fun vocal apps out there, effects, recording toys, etc. — it’s never been a better time to be able to carry a tune. You can write songs, sing backup in your band, and maybe even impress a few cute girls at the next impromptu Karaoke jam.