Learn Rock Singing Technique With These
ROCK SINGING LESSONS
I’m a rocker.
Always have been, always will be.
I grew up in a household where CCR and Zeppelin were always repeating on the radio.
I also grew up listening to Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Faith No More and Soundgarden care of my older brother, and increasingly sought out the next heaviest thing as the 90’s progressed during my highschool years.
But I’ve gotta be honest – learning how to sing rock was a total nightmare.
LITERALLY impossible; there was no “rock voice lessons” back then, and it was pre YouTube days.
So, I went to see my local classical teacher.
In fact, I went to a LOT of different classical and pop teachers – because that’s all that was available in my area.
Half an hour there, a half an hour session, half an hour back home with a few minutes of walking in between – so almost two hours spent for only 20 or 30 minutes of uber classical training with an Opera singer.
Needless to say, I absolutely sucked at singing rock.
The second I stepped up to the plate to sing an Alice in Chains or Metallica song – it would all just fly out the window and I’d be yelling and shouting, red faced and embarrassed at just how BAD I sounded, and frustrated at how PAINFUL it all was; literally, my voice was sore, hoarse and tired.
So I didn’t really sing rock for a long time, because I just didn’t want to torch my voice.
But, I hated classical singing – that hooty, heady sound just wasn’t for me.
I wanted to sound like John Fogerty.
I wanted to sound like James Hetfield.
I wanted to be just like Chris Cornell (I’m about a foot to short to pull that one off though…)
I absolutely loved extreme metal too, and would just choke and grunt my way through anything with even the slightest grind in the vocals.
Basically, it was hard times for my voice, and I just didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Until I learned these four absolutely POWERFUL rock singing techniques that turned everything around for me as a singer.
Let me first show you where I’m at as a rock singer now using the tips I’m about to share with you;
Let me show you how I went from a total zero as a singer, to the freedom, power and crazy range I now enjoy – yes, even as a natural baritone.
#1 – Powerful rock singing isn’t yelling
Sure, there’s plenty of rock singers out there that just shout and yell when they sing – hell, there’s even a famous voice teacher on YouTube who basically just yells, red faced and straining just like I used to do, and everyone seems to love it for some reason anway.
But I’m not talking about “that” kind of singing, I’m taking about REAL singing; guys like Layne Staley, Myles Kennedy, Chris Cornell, yes – even James Hetfield. I loved all the 70’s guys too like Fogerty, Steve Marriot, the guys from the Eagles, Robert Plant, Ozzy.
You know, singing with RANGE, and POWER and CONTROL and a killer TONE.
THAT kind of singing.
If you’re serious about singing rock, you need to stop shouting, belting and yelling right this very second if you’re ever going to have a chance to take your voice to that next level.
The essence of all great singing is the idea that you are “open” when you sing; which in actual fact really refers to excellent CLOSURE with no constriction within your vocal mechanism – hence why you get so many people shouting and yelling with their mouths open the size of a watermelon; they’re taking a figurative, and poorly translated instruction LITERALLY. You don’t “open” your throat when you sing with Open Throat Technique – while you do raise the soft palate and alter your resonant space; the truth is, Open Throat simply means “singing without strain”.
Ergo, stop straining when you sing and learn to do it properly.
Watch this video to learn how to sing with Open Throat Technique;
#2 – Clear enunciation isn’t pronunciation
Want clear words when you’re singing rock to really hammer your point home with your vicious lyrics?
Learning to articulate your sounds correctly while maintaining the premise of a correctly sung vowel takes time, practice and training.
“Vowel” in singing really refers to a resonant overtone that ‘pings’ within your vocal tract when you master the right tongue shape and position, the right fold coordination, and also the right resonant space within the vocal tract.
I suggest watching this video to learn exactly how to master your vowel overtones: Big Dreams? You Need a Big Voice To Match [Video]
#3 – Brightness is POWER
I used to hate bright sounds in my voice, because I had a fear of sounding “nasal”.
But, if you listen to guys like Hetfield, Layne Staley, John Fogerty, Chris Cornell; you’ll notice that they are REALLY bright, and I mean paint-stripping-brightness within their tone.
That’s because they’re using forward placement to bring the voice out of the throat and up into the bones of the face.
If you want to sing with distortion, then forward placement is your new best friend.
Check out this tutorial to learn how to sing with Forward Placement – How To Sing With Forward Placement
#4 – Support isn’t pushing or grunting
Ugh, this one drives me nuts.
There’s a guy out there on YouTube, with MILLIONS of followers – and one key instruction that is in almost every single one of his training videos is that support is “like going to the bathroom”.
It’s so wrong that it’s funny.
But kinda sad at the same time.
Sad – because there’s thousands of singers out there literally busting a nut trying to “support” their voice like it’s a ton of bricks, without realising that Appoggio, aka “Support” really refers to the manner in which you exhale when you sing, not how you hold the air in.
Yes, compression is exactly how it sounds, compression of the air held within the diaphragm in many ways, from how you support to how you hold and limit the airflow through your vocal tract to increase vibration and resonance in various ways.
But, it’s STILL not pushing, straining and grunting.
If you’ve been pushing, belting and yelling your little heard out trying to sing high notes – do yourself a favour and a touch of “sigh” to your sound as you ascend up to that high notes.
No, not a breathy, weak “hhhh”, I’m talking about the subtle intention of allowing a release of air just before the point of constriction in your range. Lah-ah-ah-hhhah for example as you ascend up a major scale – making a point to stay resonant and not actually allowing that “h” to sound breathy and aspirate.
Support is all about the EXHALE – I want you to remember that above all else as a singer.
Now, there’s a common thread here in these Rock Singing Techniques I’ve been sharing with you – they all form part of your FOUNDATION as a singer; The Four Vocal Fundamentals.
If you want to learn more in a <10 minute training video than you’ve probably learned over years of trawling YouTube for “the secret” to great singing, watch this next video to have your mind absolutely blown by just how singing singing can, is and should be: