Do you go to Karaoke bars or watch some of those TV singing shows like “American Idol”, “The Voice”, “The X Factor”, “The Sing Off” or “Glee”? A new study has found that most people, as many as 62%, can’t sing. Wow! Wake the kids and call the neighbors!
This might be news to researchers who studied this phenomenon, but it’s hardly a revelation to guys like me who’ve been backing up this 62% for years in bars, on shows and in studios. No, you don’t have to naturally be in the coveted 38% to get a record deal because ProTools can put you there. Makes you wish Shure would get restraining orders against 100% of the 62% to keep them from abusing any more innocent microphones.
An excerpt from the article on MSNBC:
In a series of five experiments, researchers compared small groups of people with or without musical training. They tested participants’ accuracy at matching their voices to various pitches, to a target vocal or musical tone, or to other singers.
The study found that anywhere from 40 to 62 percent of non-musicians were poor singers, a rate much higher than shown in previous research.
It also found that roughly 20 percent of people can’t sing accurately because they don’t have good control of their vocal muscles. Another 35 percent of poor singers have trouble matching the pitch of their own voice to the same sound heard in other timbres, such as when it’s coming from a trumpet, piano, or a person of the opposite sex. And 5 percent of lousy singers lack the ability to hear differences in pitch or discriminate between two different sounds.
To be sure, some aspects of singing are influenced by genetics. “There are certainly people who are more natural singers, and the physiological shape of their vocal tracts can give a more or less pleasing natural sound to the voice,” Hutchins points out. But he says, the best singers just like the best athletes will be those who are blessed with natural talent and have devoted a large amount of practice to their craft.
However, it’s the poor singers of the world who are the least likely to practice. And that’s what’s necessary to get better at it.