Making mistakes as a singer is fairly common, all singers will make mistakes, the difference between a good and a bad singer is that a good singer learns from his mistakes while bad singers don’t. Most singers have not been born with the ability to sing flawlessly, for most of them it took several years to form their voice and most importantly to find their voice. Making a couple of mistakes as a singer doesn’t mean that you are a bad singer, it simply means that your voice is still a work in progress.
Beginner singers make a lot of mistakes, and this is normal no matter what kind of new skill you are learning. The truth is that you will learn more from your mistakes than from anything else, although you will need the ability to listen to your singing critically. The problem for most singers is that they know that something off and they are probably making a couple of mistakes but they simply can not identify what are they doing wrong.
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If you are a singer who is stuck and doesn’t know what the problem might be as to why you are not improving, then don’t worry, singing takes time to learn and you will make plenty of mistakes. If you are an advanced singer then you have probably noticed that famous singers also make mistakes and a lot of them. The general public won’t notice these mistakes but anybody who knows a thing or two about singing will definitely notice the problems.
The singing mistakes are not always about technique, posture, or singing in tune, there are a lot of things that impact your voice as a singer. You might not even know but something as unrelated to singing like diet, for example, can play a big role in how you sound, as soon as you clean up your diet you will notice significant improvements in your voice, for more information check out my recent article Foods and drinks to avoid as a singer ( Top 16 ).
Not being consistent
This is one of the most common mistakes which simply doesn’t allow you to get better at singing. Consistency is key, no matter what skill or craft you are trying to learn. The problem is that a lot of singers will practice on and of, only when they are in the mood. Some of them will go months without practicing and then wonder after years of “practicing” they are still not getting better. Give yourself 90 days and practice 5 times per week, and you will notice after 90 days you will be a better singer.
The problem with posture is that most singers simply do not know how important their posture is. The way you position your body will directly impact how you sound, this is why most singers are singing while standing up and not sitting down. The diaphragm and your lungs play a big role in how good can you sing, if you have a correct singing posture you will allow your diaphragm and lungs work for you, and not the other way around. If you want to know what is the correct singing posture then check out my recent article Correct singing posture ( In 11 Easy Steps ).
Bad breathing technique
Breathing is a pillar of singing, without it, your talent doesn’t really matter. The good news is that it is extremely easy to learn a good breathing technique, and you should learn it as soon as possible as this will be the foundation of your voice. There are some established singers who will say that they do not use any particular breathing technique, but the truth is that they have probably found their own breathing technique and they don’t even know it.
Too many H’s
If you have been to singing auditions than you have probably noticed that some singers will add the letter H to almost every word. This sounds extremely strange and in some cases, the singer doesn’t even notice that they have done something incorrectly. Most of them do this because they do not have full control over their voice and adding H’s to some words is a lot easier than to pronounce the words correctly.
Some genres of songs do need the singer to sing as loudly as he can. The problem comes when the singer is trying to hit the higher notes, and instead of hitting them, they raise their volume. This sounds awful, but some singers do not know how to sing higher notes correctly and they are actually thinking that they are hitting the higher notes correctly.
Improper singing of the higher notes
Most singers struggle to sing high notes, but not everybody will be able to sing them correctly even if they take voice lessons. If you have been struggling to sing high notes for a couple of years already than odds of improving are fairly slim. There are plenty of singers who made it big and they avoid singing high notes. The problem with singing high notes is that you must sing them correctly, there is no gray area you are either good at it or you are not.
Bad passaggio tehnique
The passaggio is when you switch from one of your voices to another, for example when you are switching from your head voice to your chest voice. There is a delicate balance that you have to make with your voices, so while you are switching between your voice is not noticeable. The problem is that a lot of singers will make a fairly long break while they are switching between their voices and this makes them sound out of tune.
Not warming up
This is a family common mistake made by a lot of singers, not only beginner singers but advanced singers as well. Warming up your voice will allow you to sound better, just like you do in the gym before lifting those heavy weights you have to warm up. In addition to this warming up also protects you from injuring your vocal cords. A lot of singers who do not warm up will sound hoarse and in some cases even out of tune.
Singing off pitch
Singing off pitch is also known as pitchy singing, this usually happens if you have taken a long break from singing and you re trying to overcompensate or trying too hard. Pitchy singing is probably one of the worst mistakes which you can do as a singer. As a singer you will have to sing in pitch otherwise you will sound awful, you don’t need to have a perfect pitch but try not to stray off from the song’s pitch and you should be fine.
Singing out of tune
This is by far one of the most common mistakes made by singers, no matter how good of a singer you are you will still make the mistake of singing out of tune. The good news is that this can be fixed with time and mindful singing practices. If you know that you are singing out of tune than you should focus on improving, although there are a lot of singers who think they are the best singers in the world and they still sing out of tune, just don’t be one of them.
Singing outside your vocal range
Everybody has a different vocal range, and with time, you can even expand your vocal range. Although a lot of singers pick songs which are simply outside of their vocal range, as a singer you should avoid this at all costs as it will make you sound bad. This is extremely important especially if you are going to sing at an auction, stick to your vocal range, and while you are practicing try to expand your vocal range.
Not practicing correctly
Practicing is extremely good, but you have to practice to get better at singing, rather than practicing just for the sake of it. Most singers just go through the motions while they are practicing, just to get it over. The problem is that this way you will never get better as a singer. Set realistic and achievable goals for yourself and you will notice that you will start getting better in just a couple of weeks.
Not opening your mouth wide enough
How wide you open your mouth while you are singing will determine your overall sound. The problem is that most singers do not open their mouths wide enough while they are singing. You have probably one or two friends who do not open their mouth wide enough while talking to you, at first you were probably asking what they were saying but after a while, you just don’t listen to them, and this is exactly the same for singing.
Having a bad diet
The diet of a singer is not that different from the average person, although there are some things which you should avoid, like coffee, dairy products and so on. There are a lot of foods and drinks which alter your voice significantly although you will most likely not be able to avoid all of them. What you can do is to focus on a diet that is specifically made for singers, this way your vocal cords will be in top form.
Not getting enough rest
Rest is extremely important for you as a singer, if you do not get enough rest you will find that your voice is raspy and that you are having a difficult time singing higher notes. Although a raspy voice is fairly normal even after a good night’s sleep, but if this raspy voice is not common for you personally and you still have it later in the day than you are most likely not getting enough sleep.
Not using your diaphragm
This is one of the biggest mistakes which is mostly made by beginner singers. Beginner singers do not know yet how their diaphragm impacts the quality of their voice. I have a couple of tutorials on my site for diaphragmatic breathing so you should probably check them out.
Forcing yourself too much
A lot of singers force themselves way too much, for some reason some singers think that the more they force themselves the better they will be, the problem is that this isn’t bodybuilding and your voice doesn’t work like that. As a beginner singer you will force yourself, in the beginning, no matter what you sing, this is normal as your voice is not used to singing, but you shouldn’t constantly forcing yourself.
Not taking care of your vocal cords
You would be amazed how many singers do not take care of their vocal cords, not just beginner singers but established singers are also guilty of this. If you are planning to have a career in singing then you are basing all your cards on one thing, your vocal cords. Not taking care of them is a big mistake and a lot of singers find out the hard way. The problem with vocal cords is that they are extremely limited on how much they can generate, so take care of them, they are your musical instrument.
Not going to auditions
A lot of singers upload a couple of videos of themselves singing and they hope that someone will discover them and give them their deserved break. The truth is that if you want to be a singer than you have to go after success and not wait and hope to get lucky. If you want to be a doctor, you will go to university and you won’t stay at home hoping someone comes and makes you a doctor, the same principle applies to singing as well so start going to auditions.
Although this isn’t related to singing but it can still impact how you are perceived as a singer. I have been to thousands of auditions, and let me tell you that most judges are looking for an easy-going personality. Confidence is also a big bonus, but if you have a bad attitude than your voice doesn’t matter. The companies which make singing auditions are looking for singers with which they can work, and your personality can say a lot about how easy it is to work with you.
As you can see there are a lot of mistakes which you as a singer can make, some directly impact your voice while others do not. Mistakes are part of life, if you make a mistake or two then this won’t be a problem, but if you are continuously doing the same mistakes over and over then this will only limit your ability to sing.