Rock Singing Lessons
Learning how to sing Rock Music takes time, dedication and the right vocal approach. This tutorial will show you everything you need to know so that you can learn to sing rock and reach your singing goals sooner and more efficiently! Great singing technique is great singing technique, and the only way to sing Rock music with a powerful and consistent voice is to build a strong and steady foundation, and develop control over the various elements of your singing voice – from onsets, to the middle register, resonance, twang and more.
If you want to sing ROCK, this is the guy! (Mau – Australia)
Rock singing technique is just like any other vocal technique and requires you to keep your voice trained, healthy, consistent and strain-free. That belting, bellowing rock sound we all love comes from dedication and training, not pushing and straining. Lets get started with Rock Singing Lessons!
Rock singing starts with your foundation
Setting up a strong foundation is paramount to building a powerful rock singing voice, so it’s important that you’re using the right set up before attempting those soaring highs or booming lows. Your voice is really only as tough as the foundation that you build it on, so set up your posture, develop control over your diaphragm and be sure to place your resonance. Here’s five steps you need to take if you want to sing ROCK with an extensive range and impressive tone that is free of strain and is as consistent as it is confident:
Step 1 – Posture
I know, posture isn’t that Rock ‘n Roll, right? Well, if you look at a GREAT rock singer like Chris Cornell, you’ll notice that his singing posture is immaculate and very strong. Your posture starts with:
- Head up
- Shoulders back
- Chin Parallel with the floor
- Ribs OUT
Learning how to sing with a wide rib position, often referred to as appoggio singing technique, is the secret key to powerful breath control. Setting up your posture in this manner allows you to be in total control of your breathing via engagement of the diaphragm rather than contraction of the ribcage. I like to set up a steps-based approach to singing for each of students so that they sing well every time they sing – if you follow these intuitive steps, then your voice will build and grow into a strong and seamless rock machine!
Step 2 – Diaphragmatic Breathing
Now that you’ve set up your posture correctly, it’s time to engage that diaphragm! Engaging the diaphragm is super simple, try one of the following methods to engage this powerful breathing muscle:
- Imagine breathing low and sharp through a drinking straw
- Lie on your back with a book on your navel – try to move it with your breathing only!
- Hold your arms out as though you are ‘shooting an archery arrow sideways’ before you breathe
- Pant like a dog, getting slower but still keeping the depth of your breath
A great way to find out whether you are breathing properly is to stand in front of a mirror while you breathe. Basically, if your breathing occurs ‘in the belly’, it’s diaphragmatic – your shoulders and chest won’t move. But if your chest DOES heave when you breathe, then you are doing so intercostally using the muscles between your ribs – a huge no no in singing!
Step 3 – Vocal placement
Learning how to place your frequencies is another powerful aspect of a strong foundation. Now, I do realise that it’s not possible to ‘place’ or ‘move’ your voice – but it IS possible to encourage the creation of a specific band of frequencies that resonate efficiently, effectively ‘placing’ your voice in a specific resonance chamber.
I prefer to have my rock singing students think of placement as a process of elimination – if you remove any excess frequencies that aren’t vibrating and resonating in an efficient manner, vocal placement will be as natural as setting up your posture and taking your first break. Here’s a practical tutorial I’ve put together for you to show you how to PLACE your voice:
These three points alone will get you more of a true ROCK sound than all of the pushing and shouting in the world, and when you start developing your advanced techniques like the ones below, you’ll realise that all the fun and power in rock singing comes from that foundation up. When we’ve built a super healthy foundation, we can then work on the more advanced techniques that will increase your range and build your power!
- Vowel modification
Step 4 – Balanced Onsets
A vocal onset is simply how and why your voice starts resonating and making sound. There are healthy onsets, and there are unhealthy onsets – a healthy onset is known as a balanced onset and requires you to coordinate your airflow with your chord closure so that your resonance is strain free and instantaneous. Developing a balanced onset takes time and dedication, but will allow you to sing with the most intense and gnarly sound while also staying relaxed, in control and keeping your voice safe and healthy.
If you’re singing with aspirated air, then this is known as a breathy onset and will harm your voice while effecting your intonation. On the flipside, if your vocal chords are slammed shut before you allow resonance, then this is known as a glottal onset and is often heard in singers who strain and singers who pull chest voice and yell high notes.
Balance your onset to sing with a clear and powerful resonance EVERY time you sing.
Step 5 – Tune your resonance
Vowel tuning, or resonance tuning as I prefer to call it, is the art of matching the shape of your vowel with the width of your vocal tract to ensure the greatest resonant sound with the least amount of effort – in essence, allowing you to sing naturally and free throughout your full vocal range in a controlled and easy manner. You might be surprised to learn that while we often pronounce our vowels and sounds in speech using the articulators, singing differs wildly in the application and process of your vocal mechanism and requires you to shape your tongue in a specific manner to allow each of your vowel sounds, and tune the width of your vocal tract to the various resonant spaces that coincide with the ever changing frequency patterns that we know as singing.
Resonance tuning requires you to develop control over your soft palate, the root of the tongue, the shape of your tongue itself and of course learn how to release your registers. After all, singing is simply a sustained resonance of frequencies that bounce and ‘ping’ off various parts of the vocal tract and our internal resonators, and words and vocal lines are simply articulation of this sustained resonance and ultimately an illusion created by spectacular singing technique.
Not all voices are built the same
This is what I realised after many years of Classical singing lessons, my voice just wasn’t built like other people’s voices, and certainly not built the same way as my Tenor and female singing coaches. With my naturally low baritone range, classical voice training was great, but what I needed was specially designed Rock Vocal Training that catered to my individual and unique voice.
Every voice is different, and hence every approach to singing needs to be unique and individual – we all struggle with different issues and have naturally varied resonance chambers that require a different approach and coordination to resonate with effectively. Make sure the singing approach you follow is designed for your voice specifically and caters to your unique issues and unique voice type .
Where can I get Rock Singing Lessons?
Since launching in 2010, Bohemian Vocal Studio has consistently and steadily grown into the premier vocal studio for online singing lessons and rock vocal technique. Helping students all around the globe reach their singing goals sooner and more efficiently is second nature to Kegan at BVS, having helped touring professionals and beginners alike reach their goals!
See how easy it is to build your voice with the RIGHT approach? When it comes to Rock Singing Lessons, Bohemian Vocal Studio has become one of the top vocal studios in the world for developing a powerful ROCK singing voice, and you can see from my approach that it’s simple, makes sense and most importantly, really works. Check out some of my other free YouTube singing lessons and try it for yourself!
Who are the best rock singers?
It’s up to your personal preference, but there’s a HUGE amount of great rock singers out there, some with amazing singing technique, others with dubious technique but killer delivery! For good technique and amazing tone, I love Paul Rodgers, Chris Cornell, Eric Burdon, Ray Charles, Layne Staley – tons of 70’s Rock singers like the guys from The Eagles, John Fogerty… the list goes on! In more contemporary terms Myles Kennedy is also incredible. I also love a ton of other singers that fall outside ‘rock’, like Adele and Florence Welch, and my all time favourite Jim Croce.
To me, a great rock singer can either be someone who has incredible vocal technique and powerful control over their voice like Chris Cornell, or on the flipside someone with TONS of personality and raw delivery like Iggy Pop.
Let me know in the comments below which rock singers are your favourite!
YOU can become one of the top rock singers out there by learning proper vocal techniques like diaphragmatic breathing, compression and vowel modification through Bohemian Vocal Studio – Teaching my students how to sing ROCK and work out how their favourite singers are “hitting that note” or “Getting that tone” has become my speciality, and I work with students of all nationalities with all manner of accents and voice types. I’ve coached professional touring singers and beginners alike – no matter your level of singing experience, your voice will benefit and grow with Bohemian Vocal Studio.
How can I start Rock Vocal Training?
You can book a session with me personally by clicking on the booking calendar to your right in the sidebar – simply purchase some credit and lock in the Skype time of your choice and we’ll get right to it! I’ll show you how to:
- Breathe using your diaphragm
- Sing using resonance
- COMPRESS for POWER
- Tune your vowels for increased range
- Control your frequencies
- Sing your favourite songs
- Sing like your favourite singers
- Learn to self diagnose issues
- Warm up correctly
- Build your voice exponentially with my simple steps-based approach
- Tons and TONS more!
Learning to sing well and learning how to sing rock music is a simple process of coordination between the various elements of your singing mechanism, and a process of elimination where improper frequencies and bad habits may be occurring.
If you’re ready to start building a killer voice with Rock Vocal Training, you can Book a Skype session and start building a powerful voice today!
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.