Just Explain It: Why Are Some of Us Horrible Singers?

Not everyone has a voice like Whitney Houston, and there are plenty of YouTube clips to prove it.

Over the last decade though, we’re seeing more and more amateurs get a shot at stardom than ever before.  Shows like American Idol, The Voice and The X Factor, have provided a stage for wannabe pop stars.

Some are talented, but others… let’s just say, should keep their day jobs.
 
In today’s Just Explain it, we’ll explore why some of us have voices of angels and well, others don't!

When we listen to professionals, singing might seem easy, but it’s not for most of us.  At it's most basic level, experts say singing is a complex act that involves good coordination between parts of your body like your brain, ears, throat and lungs.  To be a successful singer, you need to accurately perceive a note and match it using your vocal muscles.

But good coordination alone might not make you a great singer. 

The physiological shape of your vocal tracts can determine the quality of your voice.  That means it’s possible that you can be born with a great set of pipes, but what will eventually separate you from the pack is practice.

However, research hasn't proved that genetics play a significant role in vocal ability.

So how would most people do on a singing test?

Probably not well.  A University of Montreal study found that 40 to 62 percent of non-musicians in Canada are poor singers.  It broke down the three areas of deficiency within the group.
 
Twenty percent couldn't control their vocal muscles.
 
Thirty-five percent had trouble matching the pitch of their voice to tones from something like a piano or another person.
 
And five percent were unable to distinguish between two sounds or hear pitch differences.

Across the border in the United States, researchers are also trying to pinpoint why people have trouble singing.  A recent SUNY Buffalo study suggests, “poor singers have trouble imaging what music sounds like. That means they can't play a song in their heads as well other people do, which may relate to problems in planning what they should sing," according to Peter Pfordresher, Ph.D., a co-author of the study.
 
So, in the end, what makes someone a bad singer? The answer is, for most of you the sounds get ‘lost in translation’…it’s hard to take the music in your head and translate those sounds into the correct tone and pitch.

But all hope isn’t lost.  Most people can probably be trained to be better singers.

So when you hear someone singing off-key in the shower or in church, there’s hope.  With a little practice, they could be the next American Idol.

Does singing come natural to you? Let us know what you think. Give us your feedback in the comments below or on Twitter using #JustExplainItNews.

Loading...
  • Nasdaq stocks posting largest percentage decreases

    A look at the 10 biggest percentage decliners on Nasdaq at the close of trading: QLT Inc. fell 13.1 percent to $5.39. PDL BioPharma Inc. fell 12.1 percent to $8.48. Repros Therapeutics Inc. fell 10.5 percent ...

  • Boko Haram blamed as 13 die in Nigeria college shooting, blast
    Boko Haram blamed as 13 die in Nigeria college shooting, blast

    Kano (Nigeria) (AFP) - Boko Haram insurgents were blamed on Wednesday after at least 13 people were killed during a shoot-out between police and suspected suicide bombers at a teacher training college in northern Nigeria.

  • South Korea detains American trying to swim to the North
    South Korea detains American trying to swim to the North

    Seoul (AFP) - South Korean soldiers detained a US citizen trying to swim across the river border into North Korea -- reportedly to meet leader Kim Jong-Un -- the South's defence ministry said on Wednesday.

  • Doctor says Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cancer
    Doctor says Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has cancer

    TORONTO (AP) — Toronto's embattled mayor has a rare and difficult cancer that will require aggressive chemotherapy, his doctor said Wednesday, days after Rob Ford's dramatic announcement that he was pulling out of a re-election campaign.

  • Prosecutor may release audio of Brown grand jury
    Prosecutor may release audio of Brown grand jury

    ST. LOUIS (AP) — A prosecutor says he'll immediately release transcripts and audio recordings of a grand jury investigation into the death of Michael Brown if the panel doesn't indict the suburban St. Louis police officer who shot him.

  • Strong quake hits Japan
    Strong quake hits Japan

    Buildings in Tokyo shook Tuesday as a strong quake hit Japan, AFP reporters in the city said, but there was no immediate risk of a tsunami and no damage was reported.

  • HUSBAND'S 'EDUCATIONAL' DVDS GET FLUNKING GRADE FROM WIFE

    DEAR ABBY: I am a full-time mother of three young children and have been married for nine years. Since the beginning, my husband has pushed to have things "his way." He struggles with his temper and has yelled at me over little things. We have met with a counselor and were showing improvement in our marriage -- or so I thought -- until he started pushing me to watch explicit sex DVDs and read sex books. I feel very uncomfortable doing this. He claims he wants us to watch them for "educational reasons. ...

  • US to welcome India's Modi with open arms
    US to welcome India's Modi with open arms

    The United States and India have turned the page on a bitter row which soured ties earlier this year and Washington is eager to welcome new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a top official said Wednesday.

Follow Yahoo! News