How to sing like Chris Cornell
Wanting to learn how to sing like Chris Cornell was actually one of the very first reasons I started taking vocal lessons myself some 15 years ago – that incredible high range, the control, the power, he really had it all! I realise now that my approach from day one was askew, and it’s taken this many years to now attempt the kind of range and power he was able to achieve so easily. The #1 tip for how to sing like Chris Cornell as a professional vocal coach? Release your vocal registers!
I really wish someone had told me that/showed me how to do this from day one – that belting, crazy sound he sang with wasn’t due to a ‘pushed’ Chest Voice sound, it was actually due to a powerfully built MIDDLE voice trained over many years with the right techniques.
Releasing your registers as you ascend allows you to keep a connected, and ‘zipped’ vocal chord coordination that sails way up into your high range with all the power you associate with ‘chest voice’, but without any of the tension or strain you’re currently experiencing.
#1 – Learn how to sing in middle voice
If you want to learn how to sing like Chris Cornell, releasing from your Chest Voice into your MIDDLE voice is absolutely paramount. It’s important to understand how your vocal chords come together to create ‘chest voice’ and ‘head voice’ first, and secondly you need to learn how to connect and bridge the two by using what is commonly called Middle or Mix Voice. Here’s a super simple tutorial on releasing into middle voice:
#2 – Learn the right vowels
If you’ve ever spent time trying to decipher the actual vocal technique behind that magical Chris Cornell vocal range, you’ll notice something rather peculiar about his vowel sounds – he’s singing with specific vowel sounds! That’s right, singing actually requires a particular tongue shape, and throat aperture to create a powerful vowel sound – here’s another super simple tutorial on building your vowel sounds:
#3 Tune your vowels
Even with these special singing vowels, you’re likely to run into trouble with voice breaks here and there – that’s why it’s SO important to tune your vowels as you ascend in range. Basically, everyone’s vowels require a different character, or different ‘width’ as you ascend in range, due to physical differences in the vocal tract, vocal mechanism and of course – level of vocal technique. Tuning your vowels does require some professional help from a vocal coach and a little patience (lots of practice, too!), but it’s a simple concept at heart and really is the cornerstone of any POWERFUL singing approach. Here’s another tutorial on tuning your vowels:
#4 Learn how to sing consonants sounds correctly
Singing isn’t just about crazy range and special vowels, learning how to sing consonant sounds is also a very important part of a healthy singing voice. Every accent, voice type and native tongue approaches consonant sounds DIFFERENTLY, so it’s important to get your consonant sounds correct with the right tongue shape and airflow required in a powerful singing voice. Chris Cornell was a master of singing powerful consonant sounds without strain, so if you want to learn how to sing like Chris Cornell – you have to MASTER your consonant sounds! Here’s a great video on building your consonant sounds in the right way:
Have you built your middle voice, developed a powerful approach to consonant sounds and learned how to sing the right vowel sounds for a healthy singing voice so that you can learn how to sing like Chris Cornell? If you’re ready to power up your singing voice and learn how to sing songs like Jesus Christ Pose and Black Hole Sun, you can book a session with me personally and I’ll SHOW you how it’s done!
Feel free to leave any questions or feedback below!