Bruce Springsteen Cover (Ghost of Tom Joad)
As a voice coach myself, Springsteen has always been a bit of an anomaly in terms of singing technique. Funnily enough the first cassette I ever owned was Born in The USA (which proudly sits in the tape deck of my Jeep), and I was just in awe of how powerful his voice was, and how he didn’t sound like some boring ‘classical’ singer, but still hit all the notes and did so with confidence and consistency. I’ve been lucky to see Springsteen live many times over the years and his iron-clad voice simply amazes me – there is something just magic about The Boss and how his voice has held up over all these years, even with all that powerful belting and gruff delivery he is so well known for.
I recently performed a number of Springsteen vocal covers from the perspective of a vocal coach looking to better their student’s technique while learning to sing like Springsteen.
While my voice is literally miles away from Bruce’s natural roar, these covers show you just what CAN be done with proper vocal technique and how building healthy vocal technique really allows you to sing anything, yes, even Bruce Springsteen.
Springsteen is known for the character and tone of his voice more than range or finesse, so make sure that you’re in control of your voice first before trying to sing Bruce Springsteen songs – your vocal health is paramount. You can change a broken guitar string, but you can’t fix a broken voice! Sometimes singing isn’t so much about ‘sounding’ like a particular singer, and more about how you can efficiently hit the same pitch and articulate and interpret the song in the right way for your voice.
As you can see, my low baritone range doesn’t permit me to sing in the same breathy, cracking way that Bruce originally sang My Hometown. It’s important that you sing with YOUR voice instead of trying to mimic your favourite singers. The best way to sound like your favourite singers is to sing naturally – after all, Bruce Springsteen wasn’t TRYING to sound like Bruce Springsteen, he was simply singing.
As I often remind my own students, their voices are only ever going to be as strong as the foundation they lay first – so make sure you set up your posture, breathing and vocal placement first before “running” when you’re at the stage of walking. A great place to start is the free foundations short courses available at Bohemian Vocal Studio, and then when you’re ready to take your voice to the next level you can book a Skype Session and we’ll get started developing your high range.
If you have any questions about learning how to sing like Bruce Springsteen, feel free to leave any feedback or questions below!
Kegan DeBoheme is Bohemian Vocal Studio’s resident vocal coach and voice expert. He teaches professional singing and voice technique to students all around the world and enjoys providing tutorials like this one on how to improve your voice.