A lot of beginner singers are way too harsh on themselves, either they do not think they have a good singing voice or they start to nitpick their own vocal technique. The truth is that not every singer has a good singing voice, and this is also true for some of the most famous singers today. There are two types of singers, the one who can sing and pushes him or herself to get better all the time, and the mediocre singers who think that the world owes them to become famous.
You can tell if you have a good singing voice by recording yourself, using headphones to listen to the recordings, using an app, having a perfect pitch, not hearing your breathing while you are singing, having clear enunciation, having good volume control, correct phrasing, getting feedback, having the impostor syndrome, and if you get regular singing jobs.
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We have all seen people who got a couple of ironic compliments and they truly believed that they have the voice of an angel, that is until they start singing, and everybody is smiling just to not offend them. Criticism is welcomed for every singer, although you should take it with a grain of salt. You as a singer have to know your abilities and limitations when it comes to singing. The problem is that judging yourself singing isn’t that easy.
If you have just listened to the first recording of yourself singing, then no matter how good your voice is you will still think it sounds awkward. This is normal as you are not used to hearing your own voice. On the other hand, there are a lot of singers who use autotune for their recordings and they truly believe that they are talented singers. In order to judge your singing ability, there are a couple of things you should look for.
The equality of voice is one thing, but singing is a complex process, and once you figure out what your limitations are you can start working on fixing them. A lot of singers struggle with self-confidence, and this is normal, oftentimes we are our own worst enemies. If you are a beginner singer then I highly recommend you to read my recent article How to be a good singer for beginners? ( In 8 Easy Steps ).
Record your singing
By far one of the easiest ways to tell if you have a good singing voice is by recording yourself. It is extremely important that you use equipment which is specially designed for singers. You can use your smartphone to record yourself, although the microphone in smartphones is not ideal for singing. If you sing a song with several higher notes than you will notice that the recording will sound extremely distorted.
Just grab a condenser microphone and there you go, these are specifically made for singers and they will pick up even the highest and the lowest notes which you can produce, just be careful not to scare all the dogs in the neighborhood. If you are looking for the best microphones for singing then check out my recent article Best recording microphone for singers ( Top 26 Microphones ).
Use headphones to listen to the recording
If you want to hear your voice as clearly as possible then you should use headphones. Most headphones can make the sound come from different angles, this is extremely important as you will hear every sound that you produce while singing. If you do not have a pop filter for your microphone then you will probably hear the popping sound which you make while singing, either use a pop filter or just ignore it in the recording.
You will notice that headphones are an excellent way to judge your singing, and most importantly you will actually hear yourself struggling at certain parts of the song. Usually, when you prepare for the part of the song which has high notes you will notice that you will breathe in intensively. By using headphones to listen to the sound you make right before you are singing high notes you can take conclusions like how deep you should inhale our how soon you should inhale before the high notes.
It seems that there is an app for everything nowadays, and there are thousands of apps that will “judge” your singing. The wast majority of these are worthless, they do not actually analyze your voice, and they just give you a random voice. The few which actually analyze your voice do an extremely bad job, the problem is that the microphone of a smartphone is not ideal for recording singing.
If you follow some singers on social media like IG, FB, or YouTube then you have probably noticed that some of them do use these apps. The truth is that they are either paid to promote these apps or they will get an affiliate commotion when you download it from their link. The technology is simply not there yet for an app to analyze your voice and determine the quality of your singing.
One of the telltale signs that you have a good singing voice is that you can match the pitch of the song. You will hear the term perfect pitch quite frequently in singing circles although most singers do not even come close to it and they still manage to sing extremely well. If you are having difficulty maintaining the pitch than my personal recommendation is to try singing some other genre of song.
Odds are that you can not maintain the pitch of the song because it is not suited for your singing technique or vocal range. Pick a song with which you are familiar with, like the one you are singing in the shower or in your car. If you are able to match the pitch of the song than you have one of the many requirements of what you need to be a good singer. If you are not able to maintain the pitch of the song than this doesn’t mean that you are a bad singer, it simply means that you have to work more on your vocal technique and your pitch.
Not hearing your breathing while you sing
Breathing is the most important part of singing, and ideally, you shouldn’t hear your breathing on the recording. If you are using headphones then you will most likely hear your breathing, this isn’t bad news but you should aim to breathe as silently as possible while recording. Most professional singers back away from the microphone for a second or two when they are inhaling. This is more to do with the microphone than with their ability to breathe.
Most microphones made for singers are extremely sensitive and they will pick up every sound which a singer makes and this also includes breathing. Your main goal should be to make your breathing extremely hard to notice. On the other hand, if you managed to sing a song correctly and you didn’t hear your breathing on the recording than that is excellent news for you, most singers can not pull it off.
A lot of singers do not care about their enunciation while singing and this shows in their singing style. If you want to be a good singer then you will have to have clear enunciation, there is no point in trying to hit the high notes if nobody is understanding the words which are coming out of your mouth. A lot of singers have extremely bad enunciation and this is their main limiting factor. The goal of every singer should be to sing with a relatively good voice and have clear enunciation.
Most songs do have a certain message, think of it as a story, if your audience can not understand the story because of your bad enunciation than all they will hear is some forced high pitched sound and a couple of random words. If you can sing clearly, and correctly at the same time then that is a sign that you are a good singer.
Have you ever noticed how a lot of singers raise their singing volume when they are singing higher notes? If they can pull it off then it means that they are truly a good singer, but the truth is that this is a mistake made by a lot of beginner singers. They simply can not hold the higher notes and they think they can fake it by raising their volume. Your ability of how your control your volume is extremely important, you will have to be in full control of it, and raising or lowering your volume should always be deliberate.
On how you can learn to control your singing volume that depends on your signings style, although with some experience you will figure it out. When you are listening to your recordings and you do not hear massive and inconsistent spikes in volume than you are potentially a good singer.
Most beginner singers struggle with some of the musical terminologies, although phrasing is extremely easy. The phrasing is a combination of tone, pitch, enunciation, volume, and overall cohesion of a certain phrase. Generally speaking, most singers will develop their own phrasing technique, although if you are in a singing school than most likely they will tell you that there are certain rules to be followed.
The truth is that it will take some time to develop correct phrasing and oftentimes you will find that you will have correct phrasing even if you didn’t follow the rules. Everybody’s voice is different and what works for some will not always work for you. If you want to know more about musical terminology then check out my recent article ( All 256 ) Musical terms explained in plain English.
As a singer it is extremely hard to judge your own singing, this is why it is important to get feedback from others. The quality of feedback will depend on where you get it, if you trying to get some constructive feedback on social media than it will be kind of hard. On the other hand, if you get feedback from people who you actually know then they might give you some valuable information about your singing.
Generally speaking, the best kind of feedback you can get is from other singers, most singers have already an idea of how good singing sounds like and they will let you know in an instant if you are a good or bad singer.
You are having the impostor syndrome
A lot of good singers who landed a couple of nice gigs feel like they are impostors and they aren’t that good of a singer to have those gigs. This happens in every industry and it is a normal feeling, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you do not belong in the good singer’s category. All it means that a whole other world has opened up in front of you and you have learned so many new things about singing that you feel overwhelmed.
Every successful singer gets hit by the impostor syndrome sooner or later. On the other hand, if you have a clear reason to know that you are not a good singer like altering your voice with specialized software than you will have an extremely hard time to get better at singing and eventually to be considered a good singer by your peers.
Regular singing jobs
Even if you do not consider yourself as a good singer, but you get regular singing jobs than this is your best sign that you are a good singer. Most people will not spend money on something that they do not like, and this is the same for singers, why would a company or an event organizer pay you to sing if they wouldn’t love your singing.
Having a good or a bad voice is extremely subjective, I mean just take a look at some of the most famous singers, some say that they are good singers while others say that they are bad singers. If you are a beginner singer then you will often hear advice which has nothing to do with the quality of your vocal technique. My personal recommendation is to keep on moving forward with your singing and aim to get better every day.