Do You Sing?

marlinealcott

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I thought I'd make a thread about this because it's been bugging me.

All my life, I've always told people that I can't sing. But the truth is, I can sing. I can sing really good actually. I don't have a super strong voice that can go up high like an opera singer or anything, but I can belt it out pretty good within my range. And I LOVE to sing. It makes me feel alive, spiritual, vibrant, free... When I'm alone, I will sometimes sit here for hours, singing song after song. I always feel so cleansed afterwards.

The problem is, I have a lot of trouble singing in front of anyone. Every time I try, I get extremely nervous and my throat feels like it is closing. And then of course, I can't sing well.

A year or two ago, I was in a particularly strong mood and I ended up singing for my boyfriend and a group of our friends. To my surprise, they all began crying! They said I had the most beautiful voice and it moved them. Having someone cry at the sound of your voice is very flattering, and I know I should have been happy, but now, their emotional response to my voice has made me even MORE nervous! Now when I sing, I imagine people are going to think I'm good, and it messes me up. I freak out and my throat closes again and I sabatoge myself, almost every time.

I've been trying to rid myself of this by singing in front of people more, but so far the response hasn't improved. I did some songs in front of people yesterday, and my whole body was trembling and dripping with sweat within a few seconds of starting. The level of emotional and nervous system response that I have amazes me. I could barely hold a key because my throat was shaking so hard. It just makes me so mad that no one can hear me as good as I actually am because of this reaction I have.

I wonder also if this comes from something that happened to me in high school. I auditioned for a play and we had to sing a song. I knew that the song was beyond my range as a singer but I tried anyway. When it got too high for me, I choked, standing up there trembling for a minute and then running off the stage in tears. I told myself I would never sing again after that.

And I didn't, for probably the next 10 years. I always just told people "I have a terrible voice" and pretended that I couldn't hold a tune. I would whisper along when people sang "happy birthday" because I was scared of someone hearing my voice. I wouldn't even sing along to the radio in the car if someone else was there.

Then a few years ago I began watching Glee and I was just so moved by their performances. I've always been moved by great singers but something about that particular show unleashed something in me and I decided that I wanted to sing again.

Ever since then, I've been working on this block. I'm just not doing very well. I can work up the guts, but my nerves are so fried afterwards that I often feel like I'm going to puke. It's just crazy. It's just singing. Millions of people do it every day. Why can't I?

Ugh. Frustrating.

Anyways, that's my story. I was just wondering how many of you sing, and if you feel free to do it in front of other people without nervousness or embarrassment? If you sing well, do you still feel nervous to perform? If you're only a so-so singer, are you embarrassed to try in front of other people?

Any tips on working through this block? I just don't want to be on my deathbed one day and look back feel sad because I had a good voice and chose not to use it.
 

Jessi

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Have you ever considered recording yourself? Sing in front of a camera, as though you're singing in front of people. If you mess up, no big deal. If you think you did okay, how about sharing it with some friends or even YouTube to get some feedback? Then you can work up to doing it live.
 

marlinealcott

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I've been wanting to try that, but I'm so scared! I may try it sometime soon though. For a while I didn't have a good video camera but I have one now that works okay.
 

Jessi

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So then go for it! The good news is, you don't have to share them at all! If you chicken out, then just keep them to yourself. One day in the future, you may want to look back at them and realize how nervous you were back then...or how good you were, etc. Even if you don't share them *right now,* some day you may want to.
 

R. Paradon

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The best way to overcome you fear of singing in public is to go to a karaoke club! Everybody present is there for one reason only and that is to have fun! I used to be so shy that I would only sing as long as there was a friend singing the same song with me! Now, you almost have to fight me to get that microphone back! I think that I am just a mediocre singer but I have sang at the old Barbary Coast casino in Las Vegas and actually stopped the poker game! I don't think the pit bosses liked it but it was a thrill!

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zararina

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I think you should try to just enjoy singing and not think of others would say.
I could say I could sing and I enjoy singing with friends. Although I experienced singing in front of lots of strangers, I rather enjoy singing with friends for fun. I do know people who can't actually sing good (some of my friends LOL) but they do not have a problem singing with their groups of friends. Singing in public might be something to be nervous of but singing with your loved ones or friends should not, cause it should not be an issue if you can sing well or not but rather if your enjoying.
 

marlinealcott

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I'm more freaked out by them thinking I'm good than if they think I suck. It's the emotional reaction people have that makes me mess up. I start thinking about emotion and then I just freak out! I guess it will just take practice to get used to it.
 

Dorothy

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I sing to my kids or when I am in the shower sometimes, but I can't sing that good, but I love to sing, I always have. You got a couple of good answers already, that might work singing at a karaoke club or maybe recording your voice, those are two good ideas that were given to you. If that don't work maybe just take it slow and sing in a group maybe for now until you get a little more comfortable with it, or maybe you can leave your webcam on and just be your self and that way you can go back and see the video of yourself singing and maybe that will help you to want sing in front of others little by little. I am very shy about singing in front of others too, but I don't sing very good, but you beings as you sing good should go for it!
 

KarenYvonne

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I actually cant sing and I completely mean it lol. I agree with the first response... try youtube... Continue to do the thing you fear and it will lose its power. Action is the only solution :) Good luck!
 

R. Paradon

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Singing is the same as talking in different pitches! Or as my Thai neighbors would say, "Same-same, but different!"

Just do it and have fun!
 

Jessi

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I'm more freaked out by them thinking I'm good than if they think I suck. It's the emotional reaction people have that makes me mess up. I start thinking about emotion and then I just freak out! I guess it will just take practice to get used to it.
Yep! It will! You could also try branching out into different genres of music for now. If the ones you sing currently are really powerful and filled with emotion, then maybe try something a little less....emotion-inducing? Then, even if the singing itself 'moves' them, at least it won't be tacked on top of the song emotions, too?
 

Peishan

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I like singing and I love KTV! Do you sing in KTV? I think it's a good way to practice, you can sing with your closed friends and ask for their opinion. I believe true friends will give honest opinion and help you improve.
 

Sophia G

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I think it's wonderful that you have a talent like that. Posting a YouTube video is a really good suggestion because you can take your time and get it just right. I really admire people who can sing because they have the power to make other people happy for a little while. I really hope you can find a way to share your talent. Good luck!
 
S

Sam Eddy

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Hey marlinealcott,

I think the key is with your boyfriend.

Let me explain:

First, you need to be involved in what people call deliberate practice. You are shy about singing in front of a crowd, and if you want to get out of that hell hole, you have to deliberately put yourself out there.

Second, there is nothing wrong in feeling vulnerable or emotional about what you do. In my experience, it is what will get people to rave about you.

Third, most times, deliberately sing for your boyfriend and ask him to record you. Ask him to record you when you are aware of it and when you aren't.

And ask him for a honest feedback every time. If you do well, he'll praise you. If you don't, well ... he'll criticize and laugh at you. But that is a good thing because you get better every time you try.

Then every once in a while, whenever he asks you to sing for a couple of people, don't object. Go out there and do your thing. Because you have to realize one thing:

What you do and how you do it matters.

So what are you waiting for?

Get started today.

Sam Eddy
 

marlinealcott

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I like singing and I love KTV! Do you sing in KTV? I think it's a good way to practice, you can sing with your closed friends and ask for their opinion. I believe true friends will give honest opinion and help you improve.
What is KTV? I've never heard of it.
 

marlinealcott

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I am still working on my singing! I think my voice is getting better, but I still break out in sweat everywhere every time I do it. Even when I'm alone, which is weird. I'm thinking maybe it's just because of the way I'm breathing harder than usual--like exercise.
 
A

artistry

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Singing at a karaoke club is a good idea, if you want to get over your fear. Once or twice to experience it, you will be fine. Go for it. I sing a lot at home by nyself. I used to sing in a group with my cousin and a friend at church, I lead a few somgs as well in other groups. It was fun and people commended me, so I guess they enjoyed it. Singing is good therapy. Just do it.
 

marlinealcott

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I kind of avoid doing the karaoke thing because I'm a recovering alcoholic and don't feel comfortable going anywhere they serve alcohol. I've yet to see a karaoke place that isn't a bar. But if I ever find one, I will definitely give it a try.