#1
Honestly, I am an awful singer, to the point that when I try to sing it's pretty much a joke. This isn't even a limiting belief, I'm really that bad

The problem is, I'd love to be able to sing. What pointers would you give to a TOTAL beginner?

Cheers,
Fraser
#4
Firstly I'd get used to the sound of your singing voice to get over it. Record yourself and play it back. Then cringe. It'll take a while to get used to the sound of your own voice, and it's best to get it out of the way early.

Secondly, start with songs that are easy to sing that you enjoy listening to and have a familiarity with.

Thirdly, if it hurts, stop. You are doing it wrong. Like many things when done correctly, singing is effortless and painless.

Fourthly, your voice is unique to you. Don't expect to sound like your idol, it's not going to happen. You'll get close with effort (if it's in your range), but you'll never get the perfect emulation.

Fifthly, don't expect to improve overnight. Like any instrument, there's a part at the start where you won't be very good. Unfortunately for singing, this part goes for a long time because it employs a lot of techniques where you have to act against what you would ordinarily do while speaking.

Sixthly, when it comes time to gig expect a lot more criticism than a beginner guitar player. Everybody knows what a good voice sounds like, and they'll offer their advice whether they can sing or not.

Seventhly, singing to me is the most important instrument in a band, and the most satisfying to learn. A good singer will be praised by all and you will recieve a lot of work. Most people will never even have the guts to attempt singing because they don't like the sound of their own voice (see first point). However, if you can overcome the initial hardness of learning such an instrument, your confidence will rise significantly and you will score those groupies who never quite appreciated your sweeping skills.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
#6
Geez... not much to add here. I was in your shoes before I started lessons. I was really unlistenable. I have absolutely NO natural ability. The only reason I can sing *anything* is because I learned.

One thing that really kept me motivated, though, was taking those recordings that Alan talked about and archiving them, and using them as bench marks to measure your progress.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#7
Quote by axemanchris
Geez... not much to add here. I was in your shoes before I started lessons. I was really unlistenable. I have absolutely NO natural ability. The only reason I can sing *anything* is because I learned.

One thing that really kept me motivated, though, was taking those recordings that Alan talked about and archiving them, and using them as bench marks to measure your progress.

CT


I'll definitely second that. I sounded like absolute ass when I started singing. Really, to the point where I'd get sideways looks at birthday parties during the "Happy Birthday" portion.

I think the only thing I could add to everyone's suggestions is that it takes a lot of confidence. I think this is probably more important than any technique. I still have a very hard time singing in front of people who aren't there to explicitly hear me sing, and when I make mistakes, it's usually then.