Rock Singing Lessons
As a professional vocal coach here at Bohemian Vocal Studio, I’m often tasked with helping my students learn how to sing better, and specifically showing them how to sing rock music. But what really makes rock singing lessons different? Why is learning how to sing rock music so difficult, even when most of our favourite rock singers may not have been trained clasically themselves? Let me share with you the secret to POWERFUL rock singing.
Step #1 – Build your foundation
Even Rock Singing Lessons start with a foundation – notably your posture, breathing and resonance. I like to take the following steps to set up a healthy singing posture:
- Head up
- Shoulders back and down
- Chin parallel with the floor
- Sternum ‘up’ so that your ribs are ‘out’
Step #2 – Engage your diaphragm
Learning how to enage your diaphragm so you are using the correct singing breathing technique. A fantastic way to learn the feeling of diaphragmatic breathing is to first set up your healthy posture like I’ve shown you above, and then secondly to imagine breathing ‘through a straw’, very low and sharp into your belly. Can you feel how you are actually breathing using the diaphragm rather than using your chest and lungs like you likely do usually? The more you practice this motion, the better singing breath control you’ll maintain – leading to better singing breath support and a more POWERFUL singing voice.
Step #3 – Build your resonance
Building resonance in your voice starts with how you control breathing when singing, and involves the proper release of pressure rather than airflow (think about that for a moment!) to allow for vibration and resonance. Two important aspects of singing with resonance are first PLACEMENT, and then how you tune your vowels (we’ll get to that soon!).
Sure, it’s not physically possible to ‘move’ your voice or actually ‘place’ it anywhere, but it IS in fact possible to encourage your voice to create a specific band of ‘good’ frequencies that vibrate and resonate in a super efficient manner with very little effort – this is called placement. A fantastic way to build placement in your voice is to practice either an “N” or an “NG” sound, and focus on limiting the amount of frequencies which sit below your top teeth. This is often confused for ‘masque’ singing, but is unrelated. We’re not trying to ‘create’ a buzz behind the nose, we’re simply trying to limit the creation of excess frequencies instead. The more you practice your placement, the more natural it will become as your voice improves.
Tuned vowels –
Now, vowel tuning is definitely not something that simply happens ‘overnight’ in an instant, it takes practice, perseverance and proper guidance to tune your vowels properly. You can try this yourself by singing a “Lah” sound up towards your vocal break, then very subtly allowing a change in the vowel towards an “OH” sound – can you feel how this frees up your resonance and removes alot of strain from your voice as you ascend towards this ‘tricky’ area? Congratulations, you just tuned a small portion of your AH vowel. Now, this is obviously a gross oversimplification, but this is the essence of what some people call vowel modification – a subtle change in the character/width of your vowel to allow for the most efficient use of resonance.
Step #4 – Consonants
Learning how to sing consonants is what turns a ‘scale’ into an actual vocal line. Without a proper approach to consonant sounds, and an understanding of how your native accent differs to your singing voice, your voice will simply not translate into songs, no matter how high you can sing, or how well you can form your vowels. With extensive experience coaching singing students all over the world with so many varying native languages and accents, Kegan has become one of the world’s top singing teachers to specialise in tricky accents and non-standard voice types like the baritone voice range.
The secret to consonant sounds is separating them from your onsets – each word should either have a pure onset, or simply a vowel change, puncuated with a consonant sounds created in the correct manner. Check out the following tutorial for a super practial introduction to forming your consonant sounds in the correct manner:
Step #5 – Vowels
Another important aspect of singing is your vowels, we’ve spoken about tuning your vowel sounds to make the best use of your resonance, but how do we create our vowels in the first place? Strangely enough, our vowel sounds come from the shape of our tongue, plus the width of our vocal tract. A great example of this is an “EE” vowel, similar to the word “feed” – you create the EE by raising the back section of your tongue and narrowing your vowel tract; you can try this yourself by singing a very small and sharp “EE” word or even just the vowel itself – can you feel how your vocal tract narrows, and your tongue rises at the back of your mouth? It’s the same concept for EVERY single vowel sound, your “AH” vowel is a low/concave tongue, and a classical “OO” vowel involves moving the bulk of your tongue BACK in the throat, and moving your lips forward – once you learn the concept of shaping your vowels properly, which I often refer to as ‘vowel mechanics’, almost any word will become easier and possible to sing with resonance, and easy to sing without your natural accent showing through in any way.
Step #6 – Coordination
The previous 5 steps might seem like ALOT of work when you first start taking rock singing lessons, but the best way to build your voice is to practice each concept and technique separately and gain control over each muscle independently, and then simply coordinate the sensations when you sing, rather than trying to melt everything together, likely forgetting important steps along the way;
- Posture (head, shoulders, chin, sternum)
- Vocal tract (Soft palate, vocal chords, vowel shape)
- Tuning (Vowel width)
- Register control (Middle voice)
- Rinse and repeat!
The more you practice in this manner, the easier it will become to coordinate your singing voice in a natural and POWERFUL way.
How to improve singing
No doubt along the way, you’ll find that there is particular techniques, or a particular aspect of your singing voice that you struggle with – that’s why it’s so important to make an informed choice about which singing classes and singing teacher you take singing lessons with. Online singing lessons with Bohemian Vocal Studio will allow you to learn from the absolute BEST voice teacher and learn the top vocal techiques with professional singing tuition – not just ‘whoever’ is available locally.
Booking singing lessons on line is the fastest and most efficient way to learn from the BEST, and get tailored vocal techniques and rock singing lessons designed for YOUR unique voice. If you’re ready to power up your singing voice, you can book a session with me today and I’ll show you how it’s done!
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.