If I had to pick only two singers to have used as vocal inspiration while learning how to sing, it would have to be Chris Cornell and Paul Rodgers (ed: I’m absolutely shattered at the loss of Chris, I wish him peace at last – his voice and songs have been with me for almost 25 years now). Seemingly different in style, Chris Cornell being the father figure of 90’s grunge with a monster range and Paul Rodgers a soulful product of British and American blues of the 60’s – surprisingly, you’ll actually find alot in common with their singing technique. Sure, Cornell had a crazy amount of range and grit at his disposal, and Paul Rodgers was more of a ‘golden tone’ kind of singer, but both had extremely powerful air control, immense resonance and most importantly, sang without strain and were relaxed, even if the sounds they both achieved had weight and depth. Soundgarden and FREE really are my two favourite “how to sing better” case studies and have been a constant in my own singing journey from an unconfident pub singer to international vocal coach here at Bohemian Vocal Studio.
Something I found very surprising when I first started learning how to sing better is how deceptive a good singing voice can be – the trick is healthy singing technique and a powerful approach. Chris was actually releasing the weight from his voice when singing with the crazy highs and gravelly screams, and that super bluesy and heavy tone that Paul Rodgers had was actually just super open resonance and a relaxed delivery – far from the strained yelp I started out with by emulating these guys before learning how to breathe using my diaphragm, modify my vowels, ‘release’ into my high range and develop techniques like open consonants, vocal placement, resonance and so much more.
The number one piece of advice I wish I was given from day one while learning how to sing? A relaxed and resonant voice is what makes a powerful sound!
Check out the below video for a simple way to ‘release’ into your higher range without straining:
Coincidentally, how to sing like Paul Rodgers and how to sing like Chris Cornell are the two most common influences and requests I get from students at Bohemian Vocal Studio – How to sing Audioslave, How to sing Soundgarden and How to sing Bad Company are almost a daily occurance in my Skype singing lessons – of course, healthy singing technique can be used for pop and more modern sounds too (I do have my fair share of Whitney Houston, Adele and Ed Sheran fans as students too!). Fortunately, I’ve spent almost a lifetime deciphering how to sing with the range of Chris Cornell and the tone of Paul Rodgers, it truly IS possible to sing with the range and power of these amazing singers – so if you want that range, that golden tone, than powerful belt or even just a few more notes in your range, you can book a session with me now!
Feel free to leave any questions or feedback below!