Being considered a good singer is fairly subjective, some might think you are an amazing singer, while others will consider you a mediocre singer at best. Luckily there are some scientific outlines which help us identify good singers, just keep in mind that what science says is a good singer, isn’t always a successful or a famous singer.
What makes a good singer scientifically is their vocal cords, vocal range, pitch, the strength of their voice, breathing technique, ability to sing in tune, age, gender, genetics, and the size of their mouth. Although even if someone is scientifically considered a good singer that doesn’t mean that they will actually become a successful singer, it simply means that they do possess the right qualities to be a good singer.
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Generally speaking, almost anybody can be taught to sing, although not everybody is a good singer, no matter how much they practice. The truth is that there is scientifically proven evidence that some singers are actually better than others, although the difference between a good and a bad singer is not that obvious at first glance. A lot of people would say that being a good singer is subjective which means everybody will have different opinions on the performance of a good singer.
This is even more obvious when you go to an audition, you might come across a couple of people with amazing voices with whom you can not simply compete. Only to learn later that they didn’t get the audition as the producers didn’t really think they had a good voice. The problem is that most producers have a vision, and they will hire people who they know they can work with, even if their voice isn’t the best they see a lot of potential in them, so if you get rejected at an audition it doesn’t mean you are a bad singer.
There have been numerous studies made on what makes a good singer, most of them are focused only on the vocal cords, while others are focused on broader aspects of singing such as breathing techniques and how the singer actually uses their voice. A lot of scientists have tried to make a formula of what exactly makes a singer good, while some claim to have succeeded, the truth is that in singing there are so many variables that will impact the singer’s performance that it is kind of hard to make an exact formula.
There are plenty of successful singers who shouldn’t be good singers according to science, although this has never stopped anybody from singing. This just proves that even if you do not have the scientific quality of a good singer, you can still be a good singer. What scientists tend to agree is that with enough practice anybody can learn to sing, all it takes is to train your voice the right way, if you need more information then check out my recent article Can you train your voice to sing? ( In 6 Easy Steps ).
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The major difference between good and bad singers is mostly determined by the vocal cords, and the singer’s ability to use them. Singers with short vocal cords tend to have a lower voice, on the other hand, singers with longer vocal cords tend to have higher-pitched voices. Scientifically it would be advisable for people with shorter vocal cords to sing songs that mostly consist of lower notes, not that they can not sing higher notes, but most of them do struggle with them.
On the other hand singers with longer vocal cords are far better off for singing higher notes, generally speaking, most of them do have the capability to sing high notes. The ones that can not sing high notes and they do have longer vocal cords, in this case, the main reason might be the singing and breathing technique. When it comes to the vocal cords, it is also important how the singer actually uses them, and scientifically this is one aspect that does make a good singer.
The vocal range can be measured fairly accurately, generally speaking, the higher the octave vocal range the singer has the better he is as a singer. At this point, the highest vocal range is of 10 octaves by Tim Storms, although scientifically this would make him the best singer in the world, but very few people have actually heard of him, outside of singing circles. On the other hand, there are singers with smaller vocal rangers who are extremely successful, one of the recent ones is Dimash who has 6 octaves vocal range,
It seems that what makes scientifically someone a good singer doesn’t really guarantee that they will become a successful singer. Generally speaking there isn’t a big difference in the vocal range of a good and a bad singer. The truth is that the trained voice stats around 3 octaves and some of the most successful singers are around 4-6 octaves. If you want to know who are the most successful singers with the highest octaves then check out my article Singers with 6-octave range ( Do they even exist? ).
Having a good pitch should make someone a good singer, however, there are a lot of singers who do not have the perfect pitch but they still are considered great singers like Bob Dylan. There have been numerous studies made about how someone even with an average pitch can still be able to sing fairly well. So if you do not even have the perfect pitch you can still be a good singer, you just need to compensate in some other way.
As I have mentioned above, singing is fairly complex, and excelling at one thing doesn’t always guarantee success. It might put you in front of the competition, but if you can not capitalize on it then you will be just another singer. The problem with pitch is that while it can somewhat be measured by instrument to how good the pitch is, but the results will be different when asking vocal coaches as each has its own opinion on how a perfect pitch should sound.
Strength of the voice
The strength of the voice will impact any singer’s ability to sing, generally speaking, the stronger the singer’s voice is the better singer they are. If you have ever been to an opera house to watch a performance then you might be surprised that the singers do not actually use any microphones. Most opera singers have a strong enough voice to fill an entire opera house, and they manage to do this without any microphone.
Scientifically speaking a good breathing technique is extremely important for any singer. Although there is no such thing as being the best at breathing but do let me know if I am mistaking. Singing needs proper breathing techniques, while most scientific studies do not focus on breathing directly, the results of any study made on singers will probably impact the results if the difference between the singers who can properly breathe and the ones who can’t, is not taken in consideration.
On the other hand, what scientific studies look at is the ability of the singer to actually control their breathing while singing. By far this is one of the most aspects of singing and it is normal that scientific studies should take it into consideration.
Singing in tune
Singing in tune is what makes a voice beautiful, and this is true for singers who do not even have the perfect pitch. Scientifically speaking the singers who can sing in tune are simply better singers. We have all heard plenty of singers who can not sing in tune and we all know how they sound. Luckily, singing in tune can actually be learned, although not a lot of singers actually focus on it.
While some singers are naturally talented to sing in tune, others are not so fortunate and they have to actually learn how to sing in tune, which might sound a lot easier than it truly is. The problem is that if you do not have an ear for singing, then you probably have an extremely difficult time singing in tune.
Yes, believe it or not, scientifically speaking your age does matter. The older you get the more likely your vocal cords will get injured while singing, and this is why so many singers retire at an early age, although there are some exceptions. The singer’s age is extremely important especially for male singers as if they are fairly young when they start singing, mostly because once the boy hits puberty his voice will change dramatically.
While most children generally speaking have a tenor voice, but at around the age of 12, the boy’s voice will start to change to a deeper one like a bass or baritone voice. In some cases young boys who were good singers before puberty simply lose their ability to either sing high notes or to sing entirely. The main issue seems to be that once puberty hits the body goes through a lot of changes in only a couple of months, and what sounded good before will not sound good anymore.
Scientifically speaking the two genders are not the same when it comes to how good of a singer they can be. Generally speaking, most male singers have a baritone voice while female singers have a tenor voice. While female singers keep almost all their life their tenor voice, but male singers who start out as tenor singers in their childhood will be most likely baritone or bass singers due to puberty.
There are some female singers who try to sing with bass or more baritone voice, even if they have a tenor voice, and this isn’t doing them any favors. In addition, a lot of female singers have been categorized in the wrong voice type category as a lot of people still do not think that there is such a thing as the female falsetto, although there have been numerous studies that have proven that the female falsetto does exist. If you are a female falsetto singer, then my recommendation is to read my recent article How to sing falsetto female? ( In 8 Easy Steps ).
There is a big debate if singing is genetic or learned, scientifically speaking a singer who comes from a singing family should have an edge in front of the singer who taught himself. There are plenty of singing families and most people just think that singing is in their blood, the truth is that people who were born to singing families have a massive advantage. Not only they probably will inherit all the necessary physical attributes to be good singers, but they also have very talented people to learn from.
These singers’ ability to sing might have been directly correlated to genetics, although not in all cases. There are some people who were born to singing families and they still can not sing, or they simply do not have the passion to sing as their families do. Currently, scientists can not agree if is the ability to sing hereditary, as some studies show that it is while others contradict it.
Size of the mouth
Believe it or not, the size of your mouth will make you a better singer, although we could argue on the subject matter for a long time as there are plenty of people who have big mouths and can not sing at all. Logically thinking the bigger the singer’s mouth is the better of a singer he or she should be, as the big mouth actually allows for better and easier singing. There is an age-old saying “big mouth better singer” which in most cases it is true.
There are a lot of factors when it comes to what makes a singer good scientifically. The problem is that even if a singer is considered to be scientifically a good singer, that still does not guarantee that they will be a successful one. The music industry is always shifting and adapting to new trends, what makes scientifically somebody a good singer, is not always what is trending at the moment and most importantly what is actually marketable.