Vocal placement – The powerful secret to rock singing

Placement is an often misunderstood, ignored, or misappropriated singing term that can truly make, or break, your voice. Why is placement so oft misunderstood? Well, for starters – it’s not actually possible to ‘place’ or ‘move’ the voice in a literal sense. The reality of placement is that a figurative adjustment in your approach translates to a physical change in the weight of, and frequencies created by your vocal chords.

It’s not possible to actually ‘move’ or ‘place’ your voice

Like many parts of singing, the mechanism and muscles involved are often involuntary, or not easy to control without adapting your approach – hence where placement comes in. I’ve heard placement described as a ‘childish’ or ‘boy/girlish’ sound – but how does this translate into real terms, and more importantly, how do you keep a powerful and pleasant tone if you’re singing with a ‘childlike’ tone? It’s easy – my approach to placement is largely illustrative and works with any voice type or native tongue, and when you’ve trained your voice correctly with diaphragmatic breathing, modified vowels and an open approach to consonant sounds, placement works as the final ‘cherry on top’ of powerful vocal technique and ease of control and range.

Check out the quick video below for an easy way to modify the placement of your voice!


If you’re ready to start building your voice and developing the powerful approach of vocal placement, modified vowels and an open throat, book a session with me now!

Feel free to leave any questions of feedback 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.

3 thoughts on “Vocal placement – The powerful secret to rock singing

  1. I am writing to you for vocal lessons from the U.S. I am interested in a long term commitment for training, minimum 1 year. Please contact me so we may discuss this. If you require a skype 15 min consultation fee please let me know.

  2. I’m a big fan of rock and I’m often sad that my voice doesn’t sound nearly as cool as some of my favorite rock singers.

    I love the growl that James Hetfeild had, probably around the time of the Load album. Do you have any tips for how to make your voice do cool stuff like that?

    1. Hey Dustin! Absolutely – I especially dig the ‘Load era. At the time I preferred the 80’s metal stuff they did, but as time has going by I seem to grab Load/Reload rather than Ride the Lightning these days.

      His grit was a little risky, but you can achieve a similar sound by over compressing somewhat, so, holding back your air and creating more pressure by extending your diaphragm down while adducting your chords further. It should feel ‘full’, but not pushed or strained in any way.

      Let me know how it goes!


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