Hey I am new here, and I am also new to singing. I am 15 years old and not 100% tone deaf but there is just something about my voice that just doesn't sound right. Any help is greatly appreciated!! The song I am singing is "After Hours" by the Velvet Underground. Also I recorded this in one take so you can say about my guitar playing (I play much better not singing, and I know I messed up a bit) but I am really just looking for singing help. Thanks!!

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practice. practice makes near perfect. but don't over practice.

i practice by singing along with challenging songs, then sing along with a karaoke version to not get used to the original version controlling my pitch.
When I was 13, I took a chorus class at school. The teacher had a machine, a bit smaller than a toaster, that showed if you were hitting a particular note. Some of the time, but actually not that often, he'd pull it out and have us try to hit a particular note after he played it on piano. I was not very good at this. In fact, I sucked. However, though I never said it at the time, I always thought if I just had that machine, or one like it, at home and could use it at my leisure, it would enable me to train myself to hit the right notes, because it shows you when you are above or below the note, and you just need to alter your voice till you get it right. Over time, I figured it was a sure fire way to learn to sing.

Fast Forward 20+ years, and I find this ITunes app called ClearTune that basically does exactly what that machine did. Now I can try to hit a note, then when I get it, try to jump up a tone or semitone or octave or whatever. It renewed my interest in trying to learn to sing (which I'd never tried since that class long ago). All of which is a long-winded way of saying some kind of tuning app that can hear your voice and show you how far off you are from a note, may be a good and fun way to practice. I enjoy it. No singing teacher or singer told me this is a good idea, and I have no credentials in that area, but it's something you could try.

For putting up with all that, here's a second tip: There's a book called "Set Your Voice Free" that comes with a CD. I bought it very recently myself after doing a lot of research on whether there was any good way to teach yourself to sing. This book seemed to be the most recommended for this purpose. I have just started with it and am learning the basics about singing from the diaphragm & all. From the intro, I get the idea the main tricks are (1) breathing correctly (not as easy as it sounds) and (2) keeping the relevant muscles relaxed, not tensing like a lot of singers do when they try to hit notes or belt out songs. But, anyway, I'm still plowing through it.

I'm hopeful between ClearTune, this book, and just generally practicing, I'll get a decent singing voice. Oh, I think just being a musician of any sort helps. Before I took up guitar, I had absolutely no ear and if you cannot HEAR the right note, how can you expect to SING the right note? After a little over a year playing guitar and some piano on a daily basis, I have a pretty good ear. I can't name what note is being played, but I can tell when notes are in key, and to some extent where they fall in the key (do re mi fa so la ti do). When I hear a singer or musical instrument out of tune, even somewhat, it really bugs me. This somewhat happens when I sing myself, I can hear that I'm not on the right note and adjust. So that helps, just having a better ear. I do think to avoid the step of starting out singing slightly off and then adjusting to hit the right note, it is important to just start with the right note to begin with, and I think that is where it is important for repetitive practice (doing scales hitting one note through all vowels, aaaaa eeeee iiiiiii ooooo uuuu and stuff like that) But if you don't have an ear, I think all that practice is like putting water into a bucket full of holes, it won't matter or help when you go try to sing something not already memorized.