Home Psychology of Singing

Never sing in front of anyone?

Hi! I’m new here, and I’m so excited! Anyway, I’ve been singing for about three years, and I can’t bring myself to sing in front of anyone. Not even my mom! Is there even a chance of it getting better if it’s that severe?


  • cwcwcwcw 2.0 PRO Posts: 412
    Hi, RosieG.

    Yes, you can overcome the "fear" of singing in front of others. Is it easy? Only you can answer that, but regardless, it will take some work.

    Just curious, do you have a general fear of presenting or talking in front of a group? I'm trying to understand whether this a general fear or whether it's specific to singing.

    What do you fear about singing in front of others?

    I don't have a magic wand for your here, but here are some things to think about.

    It is much easier for me to sing in front of non-parents and family than to sing in front of family. I'm just wired that way, even to this day, when it comes to singing in front of my wife and kids. I have plenty of experience singing experience in a gigging band, church, etc. The small family settings just aren't a fun place for me to sing. :) So, perhaps that's the same for you.

    I also happen to be a perfectionist, so putting myself "out there" and open to criticism is particularly hard for me...until I perfect whatever it is I'm doing. However criticism, or should we say critiquing, given out of care and concern for the other person is a good thing. That's one way we grow. But it's still hard to hear "bad criticism", especially when it comes to something so personal as our voice. I had a lot of struggles with that when I was middle school.

    Looking back, I suppose I overcame my fear through time, having supportive friends, and really working hard at improving my skills so as to create something pleasing for myself and others to hear. Keep in mind that a "pleasing" sound varies with age and skill level. For example, a 5 year old may make his violin sound like a cat is being skinned, but if he's genuinely working hard at learning the instrument, then that sound is "pleasing" given his skill level - as hair raising as that might actually sound. :)

    You need to start somewhere with coming out of this performance shell. Perhaps start with recording yourself, and then asking others who genuinely love you for feedback. I'm guessing mom would love to do that. :)

    Perhaps my friends @Sophia and @LoneWolfRogue can share their experiences.

  • DogMeatDogMeat 2.0 PRO Posts: 437
    @RosieG i think the only way to learn that (too) is to start small, and go from there. It something that you really need to get used to, if you're like most of us. Confidence comes with experience. The more you do something, the less you think about it and trust yourself.
  • RosieGRosieG 2.0 PRO Posts: 26
    @cwcw Thanks so much for the response! I’m generally ok with talking in front of a lot of people. I have a background in theater, so that was never a problem. I think I might be like you in that my family makes me nervous!
  • LoneWolfRogueLoneWolfRogue 2.0 PRO Posts: 265
    First of all welcome to the group second of all when it comes to singing it's okay to be totally nervous but that's why Ken always says a singer is only a singer if you have the guts to be one and in this case for you to be taking the course proves that you got guts so right now best thing to do is to just start small try singing in front of yourself for a while that way it'll be like you're singing a person but really you're singing to your reflection in the mirror. Then take the next step sing in front of your pet or a very close friend and then slowly build up from there you're talking to the queen of low self confidence so you are not alone when it comes to feeling this way but I am here to guarantee you that it does get easier with time, patience and your confidence will slowly grow.

    I've grown a lot since I started this course and you will too.

  • samw2019samw2019 2.0 PRO Posts: 285
    Hi I started training recently in KVTA but I've been singing untrained before that and think it's OK to be nervous before singing in front of anyone. For me I'm definately more nervous to sing in front of family than anyone else for some reason. I've done one or two open mic nights singing in a band and sang backing vox at gigs proper and the nerves reminds me of a roller coaster ride. Waiting in the line to go on and getting nerves thinking "why did I sign up for this, terrible idea!" then the nerves before the first big drop on the ride after getting on, like the first song, then adrenaline kicks in and it's a thriller. Then afterwards I want to go straight back on and do it again. It's the same for playing an instrument live but singing especially.
  • RoddyBRoddyB 2.0 PRO Posts: 21
    Hi Rosie
    Definately start by singing in front of a mirror. Look at yourself doing it. And even lightly talk to yourself. And look into your own eyes as you are singing. Slightly confronting, but it is confidence building.
  • BarbieLynnBarbieLynn 2.0 PRO Posts: 56
    I have to agree with @CWCW. I also am quite shy about singing in front of my husband, who tends to criticize without support when I am my own worst critic, and can take a hint from a mile away.
    Anyway, I am also shy in front of small groups of folks I know.. give me a large room or banquet hall in front of a bunch of strangers and I'm fine.
  • Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,362
    LOL @doc_ramadani

    for me, it took years to even try singing again, i stopped around 12. it was enough thinking the neighbours could hear me, to discourage me. i think i was round 25-26 when i started being able to do it ON MY OWN again. at 33 or so, i had a few songs written, and played them to my band. they seemed to like it, or at least were not shocked, so i worked my way up from there , jamming with friends, more and more regularily. i formed another band, and had my first singing gig this March. i started KTVA almost a year ago in preparation for that show. i am 39 now. so it is possible, take small steps, and you will get there (i believe it can be done quicker than i did it, i think i was a bad case maybe)
  • WendyJaneWendyJane 2.0 PRO Posts: 100
    Hi @RosieG , I'm pretty new on the course, about 17 weeks I think. When I posted my scales and a song I was singing with my husband on guitar, on the forum, it gave me more confidence. The critique was really helpful and pointed me in the direction of what I had to work on. After having people who 'know their stuff' listening to me, I didn't find singing to family so daunting, they might have though! :D
    I'm finding that by working hard on the exercises is helping me learn to trust my voice more, which takes away some of the fear too.
    Good luck, you're in the best place here at KTVA. :)
  • bentkbentk Moderator, Pro, 2.0 PRO, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 1,650
    Such nice comments here, very nice to see.

    I agree that it comes with experience and skill. You will notice yourself when you get better. This is why you should record yourself now and then. You will get used to hearing yourself, and be able to judge your own singing. Don't try to be too harsh. For me, i am my own worst critic. So listen carefully, and be constructive. There is always room for improvement, that never really stops.

    I have gained the confidence to sing with other people as well now. I didn't even like to sing with my wife nearby at the start. Now i can even do my singing in the same room as she is in. She even likes it when i do that.

    I definitely know how it feels. But you will improve.
  • RosieGRosieG 2.0 PRO Posts: 26
    Thank you everyone for your kind answers. I definitely feel less alone now.
  • DonniDeVilleDonniDeVille 2.0 PRO Posts: 25
    @RosieG I used to say two things I'd never do, is to sing on stage or to serve drinks behind a bar.

    I had only been playing guitar for a few weeks when I was asked to join a band because their guitarist had dropped out, but the worst thing happened. The singer had a tantrum and left the stage part way through! I had no option but to sing the only three songs I knew all the way through, with the other band members following me and my guitar. As it was also my first time on stage playing guitar and my fingers were knotting themselves up every now and then, I had two things to worry about and singing was the one I did better at the time! It got me over my fear of how I sounded coming through the mic to an audience. Luckily, the singer came back in time to take over.

    After that, each time I went to a gig, for a long while, I could not remember a single word of any song I was supposed to be singing! It took courage, but I still went on stage hoping the words would come back. When the music started, I was okay because I had practised enough to get past the 'barrier' and was subconsciously remembering the lyrics. After those first times, my main worry was whether or not the sound from my mic came over well to the audience.

    When out with a duo, for the first times, we sang comedy songs before the real set started and this broke the ice. I always reminded myself that I was not there to be judged, but to perform songs the audience would like, and hopefully, would sing along to. Some people have said to picture your audience naked to get over nerves, but I think that would have made me more nervous visualising such a thing!

    It takes a bit of courage the first times singing in front of others. All of us feel anxious, but perhaps it's more important to only do this when you are satisfied you are doing the best you can, at that time anyway. If you don't feel ready or good enough, maybe you need to do a lot more practise first... No other way to get the confidence to get out there.

    I have not served a drink from a bar though and never likely to, lol!
  • KenfromCZKenfromCZ Member Posts: 43
    You can doubt the meaning of life. You may doubt the meaning of the universe. But never. You must never doubt yourself. And good results will come by themselves.
  • MikeyParentMikeyParent 2.0 PRO Posts: 42

    The singer had a tantrum and left the stage part way through! I had no option but to sing the only three songs I knew all the way through, with the other band members following me and my guitar.

    Dear god what a nightmare!
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