Good singers come in many different forms. You can be a good singer in church, a good singer as a pop superstar, a good singer as a session vocalist, or even just a really good shower singer.
What makes a good singer is not about the stage or audience, it's not about the genre, and it's not about the subject matter that the singer is even singing about. Being a good singer is simply about your vocal talents. While the concept is simple, the process that needs to happen for one to become a good singer is quite challenging, since there are several factors involved.
Are you a good singer? Am I a good singer? Is it all way too subjective for anyone to really be able to 100% tell for sure? Surprisingly, all good singers follow a similar path and master the four qualities of good singing I will mention below.
This is a quality that a surprisingly huge number of people have. Have you ever been singing along to music with a large crowd and noticed that a lot of them sound pretty good? Most people have a pretty decent singing voice by default in life, whether they take it seriously and practice it or not.
Good singers have a pleasing tone to a large number of listeners' ears. There will always be a small number of people that won't like your voice if you get enough exposure, so don't stress too much if you have a few haters here and there as a singer.
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Singing is all about hearing the music correctly. If you're singing and don't know how to sing on pitch or think you're on the right pitch, but you notice your audience looks troubled, you may not have a good musical ear.
Even without formal training, good singers are likely to have a naturally good ear and be able to match the key of any song their singing or humming along to. Even if they're singing off-key, they can quickly notice it. It's all a part of the magic of music; people can feel and understand the foundation of its art without knowing how or why they understand it.
Now I don't want to make it sound like people who are tone deaf can't appreciate music. The good thing about music is, whether you have the technical ear for it or not, it can still be a delightful form of entertainment that we can all hear well enough to benefit from.
Hearing is the first step, and without having a good ear for music, you will find it hard to be able to control if you're in key or not. Good singers are able to identify and sing the right pitches when performing a song. Getting your voice on the same page as your ear is critical in becoming a good singer.
It's one thing to be able to hear the right pitches to sing, but another thing to be able to control your vocals enough to be able to hit the right notes consistently. Control is all about consistency here, which leads to the next quality.
All good singers take the journey far past the point of just having a nice tone and good ear in order to truly become good. You can't just have the basics of something and automatically master good vocal control, no matter how many natural talents are in the mix. Ever heard of putting in your 10,000 hours to become good at something? What hour are you on in your journey to become good?
When I was around 10, I had a lovely singing voice and a naturally great ear, thanks to my family, church, and my personal music collection. Yet, I was not quite a good singer. I had really just started practicing getting good around this time, and it was a long uphill battle full of bad notes, missed lyrics, and bad technique.
Gain experience with self-help, formal training, and practicing consistently. It's very simple to do in theory but can be a challenge to do!
A bad singer is someone who doesn't practice enough, doesn't have the right tools to get better, or simply is not being patient enough to go through the process of learning to control your voice, train your ear, and learn the good vocal techniques.
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While the qualities above will land you a good singer slot in the music world, you shouldn't stop at just becoming good. Here are a few more qualities you'll want to start considering in the future once you hit your first goal of becoming good.
Breath Support - Great singers have a handle on breathing techniques that allow them to sing through long phrases and hold out long notes more efficiently than most good singers.
Enunciation - Lyrical clarity is a big quality that sets great singers apart from the rest. Singers often get caught up in the melodic parts of their talents and leave out the simple yet essential art of clearly communicating the lyrical content.
Emotional Range - Advanced singers can often mimic voice actors' talents when they put enough work into their craft. Singing with the proper emotion can turn a good voice into an absolutely killer voice that must be heard over and over again.
Vocal Acrobatics - Call them runs, melismas, riffs, or trills; great singers love showing off their musical ear and vocal control with ornamental singing.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 200 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, features, nursery rhymes, and DJ drops, she currently spends her time engulfed in creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Her most recent creative collaborations include work with PBS Sound Field, Tribe of Noise, and the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Check out Yona’s latest music releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share the music if you like it!
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