3 Reasons Your Voice Sounds Bad

Lisa Witt  /  UPDATED Apr 10, 2023

If you think you’re voice doesn’t sound as good as it should… well, I’m here to help!

Because today we’ll be diving into the 3 reasons why your voice might not wound the way you want it to. Or, in other words, just BAD. 

And I’ll teach you 3 easy tricks that instantly make you sound better. Let’s dive in!

Reason #1: Your voice is underpowered.

Certainly, there is merit in performing with a breathy, soft voice. But even when singing softly, a voice without energy behind it will fall flat and sound feeble. 

But don’t worry! There is an easy way to fix this.

A S.O.V.T. (Semi-occluded vocal tract) exercise is the perfect tool for this task.

Simply fill your cheeks with air and blow out as you sing. Almost as if you were trying to put out a birthday candle with your singing voice.

Pick any song and go over the melody like this. You should find it a little difficult. Almost as if you’re running out of breath. This will force you to put the right amount of air, balance and power behind your voice. Give it a try.

And, may I say, you make a very good-looking puffer fish!

A good way of knowing if you’re doing it right is by pinching your nose with your fingers. Whether your nose is blocked or not, it shouldn’t change how your voice sounds.

After practicing the song like this once or twice, try actually singing it. This time, you’ll find your body much more comfortable putting energy behind your vocals.

You will feel and hear an immediate difference. 

Reason #2: Your vowel shapes are wrong.

Vowels are the secret ingredient of singing. They can quite literally make or break a vocal performance.

The shapes you make with your mouth when you sing vowel sounds. And they make an incredible impact on the sound quality coming out.

It’s simple…

Change the shape = change the sound!

The easiest way to explain it is through this amazing diagram:

You’ll sound a little silly if you try to speak with singing vowel shapes.

But understanding shapes and how they can impact your sound is one of the most important things a singer can learn.

Experiment with your songs and pay attention to how sound feels (in your head or chest) as you practice.

This only scratches the surface of the topic. If you want to dive deeper, you can check “The Singer’s Secret Weapon.”

Reason #3: You don’t believe in what you’re doing.

This is probably the MOST common reason why singers don’t sound as good as they could.

Either you’re stuck in your head and lack confidence in yourself, or you’re not invested in the emotions behind the song being performed.

A great example of this is Josh Daniel singing in X-Factor:

He’s singing for his brother, who’s passed away.

Although it’s not an absolutely perfect vocal performance, his conviction does all the heavy lifting. Don’t get me wrong; he is an amazing singer. But what took his performance from 100 to 1,000 is the emotion behind it. There’s love and purpose.

When you sing, you have to connect with something meaningful. What story are you telling? How is it believable?

It’s a little like acting. If you’re singing a happy song, do you look happy? Does your facial and body language reflect that?

If you’re singing about heartbreak, do you look heartbroken? Do you look devastated?

Use your personal experience and project them onto the song to help you achieve this. That will make you go from ‘good’ to ‘great.’

Take your singing to the next level.

If you enjoyed working on your voice with Lisa this week, you’re in luck! As a Singeo Member, you have access to practice guides in different keys, the ability to transpose or repeat certain sections, get personalized reviews of your progress, and so much more.

Not sure if you’re ready for a full membership yet? Give it a try! Access our full gallery of songs, the Singeo Method, and all our coaches for free: