Most dedicated singers practice a lot, they know that practice makes perfect, but there are plenty of singers who find that their singing is getting worse with time. This generally happens to singers who are teaching themselves as most singing teachers would instantly notice why they are not improving and guide the singer to get better instead of getting worse. On the other hand, this can also happen even if you have a singing teacher, and at that point, it is time to look for a new teacher.
The reasons why you are getting worse at singing are because you do not have any consistency, practicing without a goal, changed daily routine, not hydrating yourself, singing too much, focusing on the wrong things, picking up bad habits, forcing yourself too much, not listening to advice, you are getting older, and due to a medical condition.
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It can be extremely frustrating for singers to practice for months or even years only to find that they are even worse than when they had begun to practice singing. Every singer’s improvement scale should be steady, with a slight incline, and once they find their voice they should notice a significant improvement in the quality of their voice and their singing. When you are not getting better at singing after several months or even getting worse at it, that is called hitting a brick wall.
This brick wall can be one or multiple problems that are holding you back from singing at your full potential. Most singers are an uncut diamond, at the beginning, they are just a piece of carbon and after years of polish, they turn into a beautiful diamond. Most singers do hit a brick wall sooner or later, even established singers can find that they are getting worse at singing, although they are not as affected as they have already built their brand and with some magical software they can make their voice sound as they want.
If you have hit a brick wall in your progress, or you even find yourself only getting worse at singing, then don’t worry I got your back. Below I will show the most likely reasons why you are not getting better, but remember, the most important thing which you have as a singer is time, so use it wisely. If you want to get better at singing, then I highly recommend you to check out my recent article How to sing better ( Top 47 Tips and Industry Secrets ).
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Getting worse at singing due to the lack of consistency
The main reason why you are getting worse at singing is that you have no consistency in your singing practices. Singing is just like diet and fitness, you will have to be consistent with it or else you won’t see any results. A lot of singers claim to practice every month, but what they are really doing is practicing once in a while, like 3-4 times a month and they are simply waiting for time to pass and get better.
This is not how singing works if you are serious about singing then you have to practice every day, or every second day if you don’t have more time for it. With enough time everybody can learn to sing, and some will be better than others. But this won’t mean that you do not have to actively practice singing. Time is only valuable if you do something with it, if you just wait for time to pass and expect to become better at singing, then you are just wasting your time.
Practicing without a goal can make you get worse at singing
If you are practicing with consistency, like several times per week, and you are still not improving or getting worse then the most likely reason is that you are practicing without a goal. All dedicated singers have a daily routine, and most of them practice every day. The problem is for some singers who do not set specific goals while they are practicing. Your main goal with practicing is to get better at singing, sooner or later you will find yourself in a routine and you will practice just for the sake of it.
If you are a self-taught singer then establishing a goal can be difficult, you most likely will have a hard time criticizing your own singing. On the other hand, if you have identified your shortcomings like singing high notes then you should actively practice getting better at them. If you want to know how much practicing every day is impacting your voice then check out my recent article Does singing every day improve your voice? ( How and Why? ).
Getting worse at singing due to having changed your daily routine
If you have significantly changed your daily routine you might find that your singing is only getting worse. One of the main things which impact your ability to sing is how well-rested you are. By rest, I do not mean simply resting but sleep as well. If for some reason you have changed your daily routine in such a way that you are going to bed later or waking up earlier then this could be one of the causes of why your singing is getting worse.
Not hydrating yourself can make you get worse at singing
Hydration is extremely important for singers, without proper hydration you will notice that you will struggle to sing even the easiest songs. Think about what you are drinking, if you started to drink more sodas recently just try to quit and stick to drinking water, you should notice a significant improvement in your voice in just a couple of days. On the other hand, if you have decided to have a “healthier” lifestyle and you got on a diet then this also could be one of the causes.
If you are trying to lose weight and you are drinking diet teas then you should probably know that these directly affect your singing voice. Diet teas, tend to dehydrate your body, this is why you are losing weight, the problem is that your body needs this water, and without it, your voice will change for the worse.
Singing too much can make you get worse
Practicing singing is a good idea, but there is such a thing as singing too much. Singing is fairly stressful to your boy, especially if you are a beginner singer, and if you do not allow your body to rest and to repair all the damages then your singing will only get worse. There are a lot of extremely determined singers who practice singing no matter what, but if you are at a point where your throat hurts while you are singing then you are probably overdoing it. After you sing too much you will notice that you sound flat, for more information check out my recent article What does singing flat mean? ( How to get rid of it? ).
Getting worse at singing because you are focusing on the wrong things
Singing is a fairly complex activity and there are a lot of things contributing to your singing. The problem is that the more complex a task is the more things there are which can go wrong and this is the same for singing. A lot of singers are obsessed with singing high notes, but high notes are just one small part of what you should know as a singer. There are plenty of singers who are successful who do not use high notes because they can not sing them.
Try to identify the problem, by going back to the basics like breathing, posture, and vocal technique. Odds are that there is something that you are doing wrong and this is why your singing is only getting worse.
Getting worse at singing due to bad habits
Picking up bad habits is just a part of life, however, singers who pick up bad habits find it extremely hard to eliminate them. Generally speaking, if you as a singer have picked up some bad habits are either because you are teaching yourself how to sing, or your singing teacher is simply clueless. Bad habits can be related to vocal technique, breathing, posture, and so on. Try and sing in front of a mirror to see if you are doing everything correctly.
Forcing yourself too much can make your singing worse
A lot of singers think that the more they force their voice the better they get. The problem is that singing is not like bodybuilding, the more you force your vocal cords the more prone to injury they will get. Sooner or later you will get a throat infection if you are forcing your throat and vocal cords too often. Singing should not be painful, although as a beginner singer you will experience some discomfort in the first weeks of practicing singing, but there is a big difference between pain and discomfort.
Getting worse at singing due to not listening to advice
Take this one with a grain of salt as not all advice is good. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t consider the advice of people who are not singers, most of them are well-intentioned but they do not know what it takes to be a singer and how even the smaller things can also impact the quality of your voice. As a singer, you should listen to constructive criticism, but you should mostly listen to advice and criticism coming from industry veterans.
Getting worse at singing because you are getting older
Age does play a big part in how you sound, although this doesn’t mean that you should get worse. Singing can be done at any age, as long as you have the necessary stamina and the correct breathing technique you should still sound good. With that being said it is not unusual for your voice to change through the years, and the main reason why you are thinking that your singing is getting worse is that you are not used to your older voice.
In certain situations you can develop medical conditions like vocal cord nodules, this is mostly related to singers who use their falsetto voice frequently, but any singer can get them if they force themselves too much. If you have tried out everything on the above list and none of the above applies to you then you should make an appointment with your physician. Odds are that you do not have any medical condition which is making your singing worse, but you should probably rule out a health-related problem by going to your physician.
As you can see there are a lot of things which can make your singing worse. My personal recommendation is to go down the list one by one and start eliminating the possible causes. Once you have figured out why you are not improving at singing, then start thinking on how you can fix the problem. Give it some time, at least a couple of weeks and you should see significant improvements in your singing.