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Have you struggled lately with the idea that you’re not a real singer? You are not alone. Even the most talented singers fall victim to imposter syndrome. 

No doubt, there really are people who lack even the slightest ability to produce a musical sound with their voice; However, most singers that feel like frauds are actually better than they think.

So what makes someone a real singer?

Being a real singer boils down to sounding consistently musical when you sing and nothing else. You don’t need to have heard a calling from the heavens or have been singing since you were in the womb. Additionally, you don’t need to sound like Whitney Houston or Steven Tyler. Shockingly, to be a real singer you don’t even have to love singing or feel like you can’t live without it.

However, there’s no doubt that there are different levels of talent with regard to singing. There is a spectrum of vocal ability that ranges from Bob Dylan to Beyonce. But remember, just because you don’t have the skill that you want to have, doesn’t mean you’re a fraud. In fact, your desire to be better reveals that you are someone who cares deeply about music, which is an essential quality of a good musician. 

The Myth of Awareness

Some very talented singers feel like they aren’t real singers because they’re singing by instinct and not by knowledge. However, this line of thinking is flawed. If you’re creating a desirable musical experience for your listeners with your voice, then you are a real singer. This is true even if you can’t explain with technical jargon what you’re doing.

Often a lack of technical knowledge is actually an advantage for singers because it keeps their music pure. Instead of engaging in singing as a mental exercise, they simply go by what feels right, which is ultimately what matters most.

In that way, the uneducated singer is wiser than the most formally trained vocalists. Ultimately, music is about expressing emotion, and emotion is most purely expressed as an unfettered outpouring of the heart, free of premeditated clutter. 

But what about X, Y, and Z?

Many real singers feel like imposters because they can’t sing exactly like they think they should. They lack the range, timbre, dynamics, dexterity, and so on, that they think they should have.

While those factors are important, they’re not necessary in order to be a real singer. Those are all skill sets that you could develop over time, while still enjoying and sharing the talent that you currently posses. You’ll be shocked how good your voice actually sounds when you remove those chains that you’ve placed on yourself.  

So are you a fake?

So have you fooled your listeners into thinking that you know what you’re doing when in reality you have no idea? No. You created a real musical experience for them that they genuinely enjoyed, which confirms you are a real singer.


Benny Meza is a Master Associate at Brett Manning Studios in Nashville, TN. He’s taught over 7,000 vocal lessons and has worked with clients from Warner Music, RCA, Universal Music Group, and many others.

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Benny Meza

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