This simple trick will help you learn
HOW TO SING LIKE PAPA EMERITUS
I recently released a cover of Ghost’s classic song “Ritual” – you can watch it here.
But the real reason you’re here is because you want to learn to sing Ghost songs yourself, right?
Now, I’ll tell you – I’ve done Chris Cornell covers, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and my original albums with DeadSpiritCommunion are known for the challenging vocals, all really crazy stuff; but I have to say I was surprised at how much of a challenge it was to sing Ritual, and let me tell you why;
My first impression of Papa Emeritus’ voice when I first heard their first album not long after it was released, was that Tobias Forge really wasn’t much of a singer.
*cue shocked ghasps*
Sorry, I’m Aussie – we’re honest to a fault.
His voice was weak, light and kinda monotone – not to mention often switching to weak falsetto on higher notes.
But I absolutely LOVED it – just like you do.
It wasn’t about theatrics, high D5’s, grit and gravel or even a great tone.
Ghost is all about a vibe, and Tobias’ voice really fits the band perfectly.
So with 20 years of vocal technique under my belt, insane original songs wailing into the 5th octave at will and the ability to sing pretty much whatever the hell I want these days – I’ve gotta say, I really was knocked down a peg by how challenging it was when I first started seriously learning the song.
Part of it is how naturally high his voice sits (I’m naturally a low baritone) – so there’s a “speechy” element that Papa gets away with in his singing that just doesn’t fly in my voice, so immediately I really had to make a choice about how I was going to approach the song – do it “my way”, or try to get as close to the original as possible.
As always, the better choice is really the former.
I’m personally influenced by a lot of the bands that influenced ghost – Roky Erickson, Blue Oyster Cult, Pentagram; so, I really went a touch in that direction as though Bobby Liebling was singing the song instead, and it really came out in a way I was super happy with;
Now, the second reason this song was such a challenge is partly my own fault.
I’ve literally spent almost two decades building a powerful resonance machine – with a crazy range, distortion on tap, “one voice” from top to bottom and freedom to sing riffs, runs and intricately fluid passages in any register.
But Papa Emeritus doesn’t sing with a wild range, grit, and often just sings in falsetto in the upper mid range that I’ve so carefully developed in my own voice, and this is really where you separate a great singer from someone who just “sounds pretty cool” to begin with.
I’ll be upfront with you – I wasn’t a great singer to begin with.
I didn’t have a good sounding voice.
I’ve worked incredibly HARD to get to where I am.
I’ve had to build my voice from the ground up, day by day, week by week, year by year.
But there’s something incredibly important to learn from this;
Most people out there teaching others how to sing were just naturals who already sounded good from day one, and really didn’t have to lift a finger to become great sounding singers.
So they’re really not in a position to share any wisdom with you other than the simple lip trills and scales that they casually worked through to build their range.
And you’ve been working day in, day out busting your chops trying to squeeze out one, two, maybe even three extra notes if you’re lucky.
And there’s a good reason for this.
You’re not doing it correctly.
^ And I can relate, because I spent YEARS doing scale after scale ‘hoping’ for more range… that never came.
Until I learned the one simple but POWERFUL technique I’m about to share with you in this video;
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