I Hate My Singing Voice, Help!

Have you ever listened to your own voice and just thought, “I absolutely hate it. Even frogs sing better than me!”

I know a lot of you have been there. You love to sing, but feel like you suck. So what do you do if you hate your own voice? And how do you get over that?

Here is an 8-minute video to help!

Everyone can shape their own vocal tone! We all have vocal folds that are of a certain thickness, that we genetically inherit. But there is a ton you can do to shape the way you sound! Think of yourself as a vocal chameleon, and feel empowered to know your voice is much more versatile than you might think.

Love yourself and love the process of change. Working on your singing and working on your body means learning to love yourself the way you are now. But if you’re constantly sending negative thoughts to yourself, progress is impossible. So be committed to the path, but do it out of love for your voice, your singing, your instrument, and your body.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Identify any negative beliefs that are limiting your growth. So often, hatred of our voices is a symptom of something else — most likely a larger pattern of limiting beliefs or negative thoughts. Step back and reflect. What greater limiting beliefs do you carry about yourself? Write them down and start to dismantle them.

Being the best is not always the most interesting! Take it from Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming: “I sing how I speak and how I am. I have a nice voice, but you don’t come to see me to hear the sound of an incredible instrument. You come to hear someone interpret songs in an interesting way, and to get to know someone better.”

The goal isn’t always technically amazing singing, it’s how you tell a story and connect with others.

Be YOU, boo!

Can you relate to this topic? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!

xo Fel

AUTHOR

Felicia Ricci

All stories by: Felicia Ricci
57 comments
    • Kris
      REPLY

      Great way to start my day! I'm just starting to play around with my belting voice and finding it super uncomfortable since I'm such a quiet person. I don't really like the way it sounds yet but when I sang with a friend last week he was shocked because he'd never heard me sing like that. He said it sounded great! Thanks for the kind words of wisdom, encouragement, and support. Love your videos!!

      • Dana
        REPLY

        Hi Fel! Thanks for your insight! This video is a terrific reminder to be kind to yourself and love yourself. Great advice! Keep doing your thing because you help so many people. Thank you!!!

    • Xavier Bascho-George
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      I went through this self-dislike of my voice. I'd sing, record myself singing and listen back to it and be more or less happy, content with what I would hear. Then as time went on, I would dislike it. And I got into a habit of really disliking my voice. Then as of 13th July 2014, I told myself that this wasn't helping with my progress and growth as a singer. It was preventing me from truly getting better. I changed that and now, I like my voice and have learned to appreciate what I have and to move forward. July 13th is actually a holiday for me. It wasn't easy to get to this point but I'm sure glad I did. It really makes a world of difference in how I'm improving.

      I'm not saying this will work for everyone but I feel it's important to accept what you have, be happy with it and work from there. you'll only get better if you put in the effort 🙂

    • Laura
      REPLY

      I literally cried seeing this.
      Fel, I really have to thank you, I don't hate my voice but I don't like it as much as I want to, and I hadn't realized I can shape it, I took singing lessons a while ago but I never thought of it and it makes sense... I really think you are a great teacher: you talk to people not to instruments!
      thabk you so much!

    • Jannira
      REPLY

      Wow! Thanks for the fear video. Thank You for opening up to us. I'm definitely going to start mediation. I love all your videos. Keep them coming. ????

      I wanted to know if you had a video of staying in the tone? Or how not to get out of tone. Thanks

  • Martine
    REPLY

    Ho, I hate my voice! I kept being bullies about it all my life and actually it came that far, I wasn't able to speak anymore because of that. I started stressing when I had to open my mouth, which caused so much anxiety on me, that I kind of lost control and had a feeling my voice was just living a life of its own. I know I have a unique voice, hear it once and you never forget it. I kept hating myself for it, but now I am at a point that I start to accept it. I came to terms that I actually do not like the voices of some singers either. It might be just a matter of taste. Now I also realize that for all my life, I kind of encountered teachers that had this idea that women should sing higher than men. Well, there you go! I tried my best, but I just have to say that if I start finding the lowest point of my voice, I am a contralto and I sing lower than many men. Now, I can go hating myself for it, or accepting it and giving up on trying to become the soprano I am not and will never be. I do sound horrible when I really go high pitch, most likely, because I do not sing in my natural register there. Now, I know my grandmother was the leading soprano of the chuch choir. She told me I could better shut up. I just wonder because she was a huge fan of a famous singer from my home town, who was also a contralto and I can sing that songs in the right key, while she sounded pretty funny there, because she could not go deep enough. Remembering that day, makes me realize that I should not hate my voice. I think I ruined it most of my life trying to be something or somebody I am not. If you listen to Shakespeare's Sister for exemple, I sound more like Siobhan Fahey, than why on Earth should I try to go for Marcella Detroit's sound? They both have great voices, but they are so different. Now I am at a point that I feel that if you want a high pitch soprano sound, let a high pitch soprano sing it, but not me, because I sound odd that way. If you need a deep, dark contralto, I am in. Because that is my natural sound and that is how I love it and I might improve it, but I rather torture people's ears than my vocal chords, instead of both. Other people's ears is relative. Vocal chords not.

  • Seema
    REPLY

    Love this message Fel! As a personal development coach, limiting beliefs comes all the time with my clients (and myself!!) and I am so grateful you made the link for how it shows up in my singing (and my opinion about my voice!). Thank you! Now - time for some tapping on those! haha!

  • Glau Almeida
    REPLY

    You know Fel, you just nailed how I feel about my voice. I love singing and I get great feedback from people, but lately I've been feeling like my voice is not good enough, that I'll never be able to control it, that I'm always a potencial, but never a finished thing. I lost confidence in my singing voice and that's been a huge torment to me. Thank you for your video, I'll try to put thngs in perspective.

  • Mark Boyd
    REPLY

    Hi There - That's nice advice. I wouldn't say I hate my own voice, but I certainly don't like it (or love it). Your final piece of advice from Alan Cumming rings very true. I grew up with punk rock, and I love the voices of early Bob Dylan, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Stephin Merritt, among other more conventionally tuneful singers, and it is their originality rather than their tonal range or technical expertise that hits home. But I have only just come round to recognising that perfect and best aren't the same thing, so having your video to reinforce that is reassuring. I also like your saying that my dislike of my own voice may be symptomatic of other feelings of unease about myself or performing. I'll work on that. Thanks.

  • Gustavo Martins Segunda
    REPLY

    Thanks Fel.. your vídeos (teaching) Always add up something good or productive some how..It is very nice of you. I am looking forward to the next 360 voice course opening.. ps: sorry for any linguage mistakes. Hugs and love from Brazil \@/

  • Calo
    REPLY

    I love this topic, Fel! I have always felt that way about my voice and have really struggled with those feelings. I have friends who tell me that I have a good voice, but I don't hear it when I listen to a recording of myself. I recently learned that some of it has to do with self esteem and that has made a huge difference for me... The rest is practice. There is a cycle... I practice... I record myself... I don't like what I hear... I stop practicing... That cycle has haunted me for years. Somehow singing calls me back. As I improve my self-esteem, singing (and life in general) has become a lot more fun. I can listen to myself now and enjoy things I hear and smile at stuff I think needs work. It is refreshing to know that I can play with and shape some of my sound. Thanks for this message! I think you are spot on! 🙂

  • Vin
    REPLY

    Hey, Fel!

    Have you seen Jessie J perform live? Or maybe some of her live performance videos on YouTube?
    I think she's also a good example of how a singer connects with people. The way she belts and the energy, the vibe she's giving off to the audience. Her voice is just ---- AHHH!!!
    For me, it felt like I had a shower...melting iron shower... Well, you get the picture, of course.

    Tell me what you think about her, too! Will 'ya?

    P.S: Remember when you said (in your other video) that we have to find an artist who we like to copy or simply put, our "voice peg" (I forgot the exact word you said)?

  • Susan Grey
    REPLY

    Thanks, Fel!

    I've been distracted with thoughts of being "one of the millions" lately - there seem to be so many singers out there.

    I do need to refocus on loving my own voice for me again. 🙂

    SGrey

  • John Sheehan
    REPLY

    While I don't hate my voice, I can definitely relate to your thoughts on tone shaping, and the Alan Cummings quote. I sing in a tribute band where I must try to emulate the singer as closely as possible, so tone shaping is pretty critical to achieving that goal. On the other side of the coin, I also sing for a band that does a variety of classic rock tunes, and that's a whole nuther animal. In that case, it often comes down to interpretation over emulation. I know my limitations and try to work within them (and expand them with your great advice!). For example, I know if I try to emulate Steve Perry, it's gonna blow big time because I'm basically a baritone. I can however, sing a Journey song in my own voice and within my range, while incorporating some of Steve Perry's vocal mannerisms, and it works. So I would say, never hate your voice. Find what you like about it, try to fix what you don't, and start loving it! I mean, even Edith Bunker can be entertaining...

  • iustaknow
    REPLY

    I asked you about this about two years ago and was artfully dodged, ignored. I find it interesting, as time proceeds to then see a number of elements of challenges I would have liked addressed then. But, "that", being dodged, that didn't "help" --was more of the "same" I was getting everywhere else.

    However, since this is about, doing it anyway, self satisfaction, self belief, and is how I ever found you anyway, with many others doing "this" anyway, I did proceed.

    As I said then, I remember the exact time, and context this issue of voice, and therefore, then, stagefreight came up --I won't reitterate since likely not authentically cared for. However, the "work" of the explanation of your quote is, --- for, oneself, yourself to "do", to realize just how critical, in general people are --know your audience. There are many ways to know "them", and what "that" means.

    Pick your material based upon who may be listening, is always a good thing to remember --not everyone, just "loves" music, as I do, --all of it. A harder lesson to realise when very young. And, too, that you likely *do have an audience. You need to know it, see it when it's there, or not.

    The bottomline realization I had was that, I received no "feedback", generally speaking. --What's that mean?, -- Well, "they" all figured I *knew I was "good", and why I was there to begin with. That was a big revelation for me. When I asked directly, put folks on the spot, I got confused response of, "why are you asking me that". It was not ego stroking, seeking, it was, --feedback of being relatable, improvement. Applause, is somewhat patronizing, --not feedback, not today. Heck if "Willie Nelson", with his voice may be who he is -- it's gotta be about the whole package and authenticity of the original work, --he was, is.

    What can one do, what did I do?:
    I put myself in a "Busker" context, of total strangers -- and finally made my return to my former self, of at age 14yo (which was, --being, on stage, like at the bathroom sink at home, alone--just didn't care!, so to speak). It was not that folks thought I was bad, or "sucked", rather, --there were many that really enjoyed me, some that liked the moment, and others that just didn't give it/me a seconds thought. Moreover, a "Goth, Metal, Country, Rockabily, et al. "like" that only, narrow band audience --will think that anything but their "stuff" is good. That' does not make "me", not good.

    Last night I just watched a docu-movie on James Brown -- arrogant, wierd, nuts...? No. Not at all. Not really. When you think about all the people who insisted he was nothing, at all -- it's nothing less than a Miracle, he made it out of the "South", alive, let alone, worked 'till his 70's. One of many "genius" in many ways, self-worth, *business innovation, leadership, and what music is. Willie Nelson, another one, --his "look" did him in, until later (but kept doing what he loved, if even for himself and his 4 walls). Who else? How about Hendrix, whom once the UK said he was good, we took him back as "great". The old "blues-men", Jazz folks in the "Village" said he "sucked"... hmmm, like a painting on the Museum wall has value, because it hangs there. Put it on the side of the road, sidewalk --then what's its value? What is art. What is good. Why.

    As you advocate --anyone can learn to make sure they are on "pitch", then provide texture, tone, sing in their natural range... and authentically interpret a song their way and love singing it, as they do. Yes indeed. Your udemy course is a great no frills consolidation --I'm the person who redid your doc with color coding :~)

    I realize you like short, "love you" comments... and usually only respond to them. However, too, you know, those are not what Curriculum Development is based upon. Engaging my TLTR, critical, yet with intent to improve feedback is. I'm still here.

    A, last part, of something I learned, --with some of my almost famous friends, (like you?), when I asked them a question, --they were as "scared" as anyone else is here, about "stuff". But, *we, figure *they KNOW (it all? :~), that, their good and know it all when we ask "stuff" --now I realize that's not fair to them since not true, either. Like with you, too. -- This is why I remain engaged. If not for the cohort, it would have not value. Know your cohort.

  • Lisa
    REPLY

    Wow, I feel as if you were speaking only to me. You hit it all. I have no self confidence in any aspect of my life. One of the hardest things for me to do is to feel worthy of anything, vocals included. I have a lot to think about and learn. Thank you so much for this video. You made my day.

  • Laura
    REPLY

    I'm just getting started with your videos and I'm really starting to enjoy being able to work with my voice and not feeling 'stuck'! There is hope after all.

  • Neil
    REPLY

    I used to hate my voice. Then I took the Belt Your Face Off course. Nothing in the last 15 years to trying to improve my voice has made such singular change in my voice. Thanks Fel.

  • Dermot
    REPLY

    Thanks Fel you have confirmed for me what I believe that it is important to interpret the song. I also agree with you about not hating your voice.
    i have a further question and it is how and why does my voice seem to change from one day to the next without any apparent reason?
    Dermot

  • Nalia
    REPLY

    Thank you so much but I'm still having an issue with opening my throat due its size and the norm to tense when I hit certain notes. May God continue to bless you and keep up the excellent work. Oh and I'm just not good at lip trills.

  • Lorrie
    REPLY

    You hit on a key topic today and the quote from Alan Cumming. Loving ourselves and the journey is so key in everything we do and, of course, that would apply to our singing as well. Thank you for opening up that perspective for me! I appreciate the fresh viewpoint on a topic so helpful!! I'm going to go check out the beltingcrashcourse.com too. Thank you!!

  • Paola
    REPLY

    Thanks Fel, what you said really resonated with me. There are people in my family who sing far better than me, but I m starting to learn that this is my voice and I know I've come a long way from not being able to sing at all not that long ago. You have motivated me and helped me grow my singing confidence. I hope to get to the point where I not only accept this is my voice but actually learn to love it.

  • Lisa
    REPLY

    There is magic in the air today! Just been rehearsing for a show and have hit THAT point.... "why did I ever think this was a good idea?" "I totally should resign. ... I suck" etc etc etc!!...... and your video chat flies into my inbox.
    THANK YOU for such generous and thoughtful advice and reminders.... I am so glad I found you and your wonderful work.
    Cheers! Lisa from Australia xxxx

  • Tim
    REPLY

    Thanks Fel!!!
    Needed this right before audition next weekend. I can do this! Just get out of my and sing from my heart and belly button...Lol!

  • Tom
    REPLY

    Great topic! I am glad enough people asked about this to get a response from you. I am working with a vocal coach and we are doing a lot of "reshaping". I don't think it's something I can do alone. It's a tough thing for me to break old "bad habits" that keep popping up. Maybe I can get to where I like how I sound. For me it is absolutely essential that I like how I sound, a self confidence issue.

  • Naomi
    REPLY

    So funny that I recently found this out and you made this video. The effect of self love affects your voice a lot. It's only not always easy to change your thougts. But I really liked that you confirmed my experience in singing with self love and non self love.

  • Jan
    REPLY

    Hi, I had writen to you about how I hated my voice and you replied by sending me a link to this video. THANK YOU! Although I still feel I have a ways to go, You helped me to understand how to just be me and tell my story while I am singing. I sing in a barbershop chorus and just started singing another part in a quartet..
    I love your tips and am hoping to take some of your courses. Keep them coming and I do feel like I click with your personality.

  • Kevin
    REPLY

    Hey Fel. ^^ Thank you so much for doing this video. Honestly this is something i struggle with a lot. Being confident in my ssinging voice can sometime seem so elusive because i tend to be a little on the hyper critical side of the thought bubble. I need to realize that that can stunt my personal growth as a singer to get past it. Thanks a lot Fel. ^^

  • Lyndell Smith
    REPLY

    I compare myself to myself. The reason I hate singing now is because back in 09 for some reason my ability just diminished greatly and this was like 3 years after puberty so it wasnt just that. I have never recovered my abilities in full and on some days my voice seems near what it used to be and then I go back to breaking and overall sucking within the next day because my vocal chords are so weak that I guess if i sing today then my voice is out for the next 5 days or so really hell to me ive basically given up hope 2-3 years ago

  • Ed
    REPLY

    Hello Fel

    Here is one for you. I have been singing and playing guitar since I have been 19 and I am now 65. I love singing and playing period. But everyone who hears me says that I suck big time. And my answer is always to them if you don't like it you don't have to listen to it. I have tried all different things and nothing works. All that I want is just a decent voice so people would at least like it some what. When I am playing and singing I sound good to my self but when I tape I can see what people are talking about . I suck. I have tired different things and nothing works. Also I am not afraid to belt out something like Unchained Melody to going completely opposite to something like Blowing In The Wind . So what kind of suggestion would you have for someone like me. Or anyone else for that matter. Ed

  • Susan Tuzzolino
    REPLY

    Thanks, Fel! Now, let's talk about how to create tone, or change tone, or brighten, or darken. You did some very interesting things when you talked about "color"; I'd love to know more about that ~ how to move sound around in your head.

  • Carol
    REPLY

    Even though I can carry a tune and do not sound "flat", I do hate my tone so this video has given me encouragement. Yes, I have a tendency to compare myself to others. I sing in a worship band. I feel like my voice stands out more than everyone else's. I am an alto but I feel like no matter how far I stand away from the microphone, my voice is more dominant. With no professional sound person to adjust the vocals, I find myself barely singing because I do not want the congregation to only hear my voice. I know a lot of it has to do with having a more experienced sound person but perhaps if I didn't hate my voice so much, I wouldn't care if my voice was more dominant. Bottom line...how do I improve my tone to the point where I don't cringe when I record the service? Thanks Fel! I have watched MANY of your tutorials and I do see myself improving but I still don't like my voice. I love to sing. help!

  • Philip Morrison
    REPLY

    My question for this lesson.

    I use self-deprecation when describing my singing voice to others. Should I stop this behavior? I don't really think my voice is that bad, and my joking about my voice ("I'm doing my best alchemy trick, turning lead into gold") might be reinforcing any negative, subliminal thoughts about my voice I might have.

    My singing question of the month.

    I have trouble finding the balance between singing loudly enough (un-miked) to be heard over my own piano accompaniment and being able to emote through the use of dynamics while singing. Should the microphone be my friend or should I work on strengthening my voice to where I don't need a microphone to get the emotions of my songs across to an audience using a wide range of dynamics?

  • Dino
    REPLY

    Awesome video, Fel! So true, really struck a note (pun not intended) with me. 😀 The tip of becoming a vocal chameleon is something I have actually used as a vehicle to dare singing in public - I was just not able to word it so beatifully.

  • Patty
    REPLY

    Thanks, Fel. This brings to mind a few years back when I attended a week-long singing immersion course. My challenge that I'd shared was that I have an okay voice, but I live in the beautiful Hudson Valley of NY (near Woodstock/Kingston/New Paltz) and there are PLENTY of pros and semi-pros that sing around here, so I feel voices like mine are a dime a dozen (or even a nickel a dozen!), and that nothing about me stands out. Though we had a great week, it wasn't the workshop that helped so much as something one of the attendees said to me over lunch. He said, "You know, Bob Dylan is not a great singer. Neither are Neil Young, Tom Petty, etc. It's not really their voices that made them great, but how they made people feel when they sang. For all you know, the way YOU sing a particular song could change someone's life!" That comment is really why I keep getting out there to open mikes and small gigs, and why I will always work at improving. I figure half the work is doing the exercises for muscle memory, and the other half is learning how songs can express themselves through me. And, of course, getting out there and doing it! 🙂

    Thanks for your guidance and encouragement. Cheers!

  • Kayelamity
    REPLY

    Fel, great points! I used to be, and when I want to sing a song, only a soprano can do well, it was exacerbated. I LOVE singing SO much, I have always been thicker skinned in this area. As time has passed, and I started displaying the musical gifts at around 2-3 yo.: I have learned from those who listened to me, and I was not practiced and in shape some of these moments, but they come back with wow, you have a lovely voice or you play that thing pretty well! And then I started crossing paths with accomplished vocal/guitarists, I MEAN, GOD DID THAT< i thought! And each time they reprimanded me by saying, it was a downright SIN to waste a gift like that. So I am thinking, what do they have , that I need to develop, discipline, of course, hard work, and VOICE lessons. I LOVE LEARNING! I just pray, i can watch the cues from Maestro, lol, have my emergency rough spots visible, breath right, esp, my marked, big breath spots and do a fish face , combine breathing with feeling and harmonize in higher octave , all at same time!? A bit like juggling knives at first feeling, easy to start, but how do i get rhythmn down to be safe! lol Once again, BRILLIANT, Have a good un, chicky! XX

  • Bridget
    REPLY

    Thank you Felicia
    This is something I have been struggling the whole time I have been singing and I'll keep this close to my heart.
    I love how down to earth your videos are!

  • cm
    REPLY

    This video was really useful as it gave me pause to reflect that I feel simultaneously negative and positive about my voice. I also liked the bit about sounding interesting and not perfect as I can be harsh on myself and always want perfection which makes it difficult to see progress. This is odd as rationally I know perfection is mostly an illusion. It's finding that spot between rationality and feelings which gives us balance and it's not easy.

  • Ken. Bramley
    REPLY

    Hi fel. I am a great admirer of your enthusiasm and video. My problem is that I have asthma and my singing is not good, and I cannot always get the last word in a long line,out. One a fortnight I play in a group of 12 for our own amusement I play banjo and guitar. I am e mbarred. by my performance. We sing country pop rock and roll. Can you help me please.

  • Kevin
    REPLY

    Your videos not only help me physically, and vocally, but they really help me mentally. I believe it's my own thoughts that holds me back, and you helped me realize that. Thank you for your daily magic and assistance. Love you, Fel!

  • Anna
    REPLY

    Hi Fel!
    I love your videos and I really appreciate everything you do. This video really resonated with me, and my negativity towards myself is something I'm working on in terms of improving my voice and my own attitude about singing. My question is this: you mentioned that everyone can control their tone. Do you have any tips or tricks for doing this? Thank you so much!

  • Jelena
    REPLY

    This video was really helpful, because I definitely dislike...not hate, but dislike my voice because I feel like even when I am on pitch my voice is thin and weird and sad...ti's just not bright and resonant and pleasant. But I DO KNOW I CAN hit some notes very well and I think what I lack is consistency in the feeling of connecting breath with my voice and having control and knowing/finding sounds that I probably can make and like. So I have to work hard. What you said about loving the process makes perfect sense. I do...I do care about how I sound ultimately, but I love the process, although it can get frustrating when you are trying very hard and being dedicated and feel like you aren't getting results.

  • Julia Q
    REPLY

    Fel, you are totally awesome! I am such a fan, and you have helped me so much. I have a vocal coach that I absolutely adore, and your technique syncs with hers so nicely. She has told me that even tho I am not the world's greatest singer, I can put myself into a song and that is what people want to hear. Still, sometimes I hate my voice. It just spurs me on to work harder, and it usually means I am coming onto a huge breakthrough. Thank you again so much. PS -- Am loving Belt Your Face Off!

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