We have all heard by some random person that in order to be a good singer you have to have good genes while having good genes will, in fact, make the journey of becoming a singer a lot easier, but it isn’t necessary. There are a lot of singers who do not have singing in their genes, the major difference between the two groups is that the ones that do not have the singing genes will have to work a lot harder to become singers.
Yes, scientists tend to agree that singing is genetic, mostly because the genes will determine the length and strength of a person’s vocal cords. The longer the vocal cords are the easier it is to sing especially higher notes. This is why so many singers struggle with singing higher notes, they have shorter vocal cords due to their genes which makes it extremely hard to sing higher notes.
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A lot of people think that good singers have simply won the genetic lottery, although this is far from the truth, there are a lot of singers who do not have singing in their genes and they still made it as a successful singer. While there are some people who do have a genetic predisposition for singing, but this alone doesn’t guarantee for them that they will become a successful singer. The problem is that a lot of people think that singing is genetic mainly due to the fact that they see children of famous singers making their own successful careers.
For singers with famous singers as parents it is not their genetics that makes them successful singers, but their parent’s knowledge of the industry and of the people who will open a lot of doors for them. Singers with no parents working in the music industry know how hard it is to get their first big break, but for singers with singer parents this barrier of entry doesn’t exist, and it gets even easier for them.
By the simple fact that they are children of famous singers will, in fact, make it fairly easy for them to become singers, especially if the parents are well known in the industry and they also invest a lot of money into their children’s singing career. Believe it or not but even singers who had everything offered to them on a silver platter they still didn’t manage to become a professional singer for one reason or another.
The truth is even if a singer has a predisposition to be a good singer, that still doesn’t mean that they are guaranteed to succeed as a singer, in fact, a person who doesn’t have singing in their genes but is working hard will probably have a better success of becoming a singer. If you are interested in what actually means to be a good singer, scientifically speaking then check out my recent article What makes a good singer scientifically? ( Top 10 Facts ).
Vocal cords are genetic
People who tend to have good genetics for singing are often considered to have great vocal cords for singing, although this also depends on the kind of music they are singing. There are a lot of people who have to force themselves to sing higher notes, the problem for them is that they simply can not stretch and lengthen their vocal cords, simply put that is how they were born and they can not alter their vocal cords without surgery.
Singers who have good genetics for singing, oftentimes they will have almost no issues singing higher notes, in just a few exceptions where the main problem seems to be that singer can not breathe correctly while singing and not that their vocal cords can not produce the higher notes. Although you can teach virtually anybody to sing in a matter of months, the problem is that no matter how hard they try to hit certain notes, they will never be able to do so because it is not physically possible to do so by their vocal cords.
In addition to this, being born with great vocal cords for singing will make the person born with it actually love music and singing, as they seem to be able to sing almost effortlessly. In my opinion, this is by far the biggest positive of being born with good genetics for singing, the easier the road towards becoming a successful singer the higher the chances of actually becoming one. I have written recently an in-depth article about vocal cords and how you should take care of them, if you are interested then check out my article How to take care of your vocal cords for singing? ( In 10 Easy Ways ).
Natural singing talent due to genes
When people think of natural singing talent, they only think of how well the person can actually sing. Naturally talented singers are not always good due to their genes, since an early childhood they have probably listened to somebody in their group of friends or family singing and this is what most likely took them down the path to become a singer. What is the most amazing part about the natural talented singer is they love to sing, and how they can make singing any song fun and almost putting no effort into it.
A lot of people will tell you that in order to become a singer you will either have to be naturally talented or that you should have singing in your blood. This is far from the truth, people who are naturally talented or they have singing in their genes are just a small percentage of people in the singing field, the vast majority are singers who have worked hard to get where they are at. There are far too many variables that come into play as to what makes a good singer, other than their talent or their genetics.
There are singers who are both gifted and talented, who choose not to follow down the path of becoming a singer due to one or more reasons. Simply put no matter how talented or how good of genes you have for singing, this alone doesn’t determine how good or famous of a singer you will be in the future. As I have mentioned in some of my previous articles, hard work beats out talent at any time.
Scientific studies of genes that make good singers
There have been a lot of scientific studies done to determine if singing is genetic or if in fact do their genetics matter at all. The problem is that talent is fairly subjective and it is kind of impossible to quantify and measure correctly. What researchers in the field of genetics are doing to determine if singing is in the genes of somebody is by measuring their absolute pitch, by measuring I actually mean that the test subjects are actually giving a score on their absolute pitch.
If you are a singer then you probably already know what an absolute pitch is, if not then continue reading. The absolute pitch is the ability of a singer to reproduce the pitch of a note after only hearing it once, this is also called the perfect pitch, do note that the actual process is fairly simple and I just have simplified it without complicating the matters further. The study made by Elizabeth Theusch, have determined that there are 4 chromosomes that might, in fact, prove a genetic predisposition to singing.
The study is fairly in-depth so I will try to simplify it, their main goal was to eliminate other factors that might come into play and only focus on a small number of families, 73 exactly, which all had singing in their genes. What most of the studies done on this subject matter have in common is that they found that at early childhood, upwards of 40% of children around the age 4-5 do have an ability to make the perfect pitch, however in just a few years most of them will simply forget how to do it, ending up with around 3% of children being able to have the perfect pitch only just a few years later.
Nurture vs good genetics for singing
A lot of people think that someone has good genes, or it is simply talented for singing. Although this is true in some cases, however the early ages in childhood can have a massive impact on what kind of singer they become later down in life. This is the never-ending debate of genes vs the environment, the truth is that everybody is shaped by both of them. Singers who have good genes to sing but are not nurtured in a way that they will love singing, then their chances of actually becoming a singer or even wanting to become a singer are fairly low.
On the other hand, singers who do not have singing in their genes, but are nurtured in such a way that they start loving music from an early age, then they have a fairly high chance of becoming a singer. Simply put, most of us do what we love, even if we are talented in something that doesn’t mean that we do have the interest to pursue it. In some cases either of these actually matters, this is mostly for people who have found their love to sing at a later age, these people have probably never been nurtured to singing and they do not have singing in their genes.
In my opinion, nurture is far more important than nature, as with good nurturing you will make the child love to sing, and if they love singing then there is a far higher chance of them becoming a singer. However there are some parents who take this way too seriously, let us not forget that the early ages are childhood is just for learning and having fun, you will only end up making a child hate to sing if their entire life is revolving around singing.
On the other hand, children who are not nurtured towards singing but do have good genes to sing might never discover how good they are. In some lucky cases, they will eventually discover that they do possess a huge potential of becoming a singer, the problem is that the later they discover their ability to sing is that it will actually become a lot harder to focus on singing later down in life.
Genetics for singing between genders
The gender of a person is extremely important, even if they have singing in their genes. Females tend to have the same tenor voice for all of their lives, this makes for them a far easier time to learn how to sing and actually to improve their singing. On the other hand, young male singers do also have a tenor voice, until they hit puberty. Some male children who were considered talented singers at an early age, once they hit puberty they are no longer considered talented singers, and this is mostly due to the hormonal changes that they go through during puberty.
These hormonal changes will actually alter the voice of young male singers and make it a lot deeper, while some of them can adjust to their new voice, but this is not the case for all of them. Imagine yourself being a good singer with a good voice for a couple of years, and all of a sudden, in just a few short months you lose your voice and you will probably never be able to hit the same notes which you could with your tenor voice.
Singing can be genetic, although this doesn’t mean that you will become a successful singer. The problem is that it is extremely hard to accurately measure talent, on the other hand, success is also fairly subjective. Most of the studies revolving around if singing is genetic tend to focus on the absolute pitch, this is a fairly narrow perspective, as there are soo many variables that could end up making anybody a good singer.