Voice Lessons Online –
Skid Row -vs- Chess Musical(Style contrast)

how to sing rock

Hey guys

One consideration I usually have to address in my voice lesson is that when you are developing rock singing techniques it is useful to have an understanding of the underlying style that is the foundation of the final sound.

I recorded this video to try and address some questions about resonance and tonal placement when singing rock and how it differs at times from more traditional sounds. I have chosen ‘Anthem’ from Chess and ‘I Remember You’ from Skid Row as examples of two contrasting styles of songs. Can we dramatically adapt our tonal resonance to accommodate the style of music which we are singing?

[S3_embed_video file=’how-to-sing-rock-skid-row.mp4′]

You see, although the resulting end tones are very different – the core of their foundation is still the same. Good rock singing techniques are based on a solid, clean vowel sound with excellent support and breath control.

In a more traditional style of singing such as classical and musical theatre it is quite common to use a strong breath flow and this, accompanied by a low larynx position, helps to produce a very rich dramatic tone in the voice. For contemporary singers who prefer to be able to sing with a lighter approach in the upper register it is necessary to hold back a lot of that breath pressure in order for it to correctly regulate against the pressure of the thin folds in the larynx – this is one of the essential rock singing techniques.

Learn rock singing techniques with online voice lessons!

14 Comments

  • Gary

    Reply Reply April 7, 2013

    Hi Tony, an interesting and natural demonstration (as always). I prefer the stripped down approach

    At 8:28 you say “…it sounds pretty convincing and like a full ranged chest voice, but it’s not, it is the tilt with resonance…”.

    Having watched your videos and read ‘singing and the actor’ I think I have a good overview of some of the techniques you are using to get your great sound. I have also studied aspects of another approach that uses the actual full ranged chest voice, paired down , with vowel modifications etc.
    What advantages does using Vocal Power have when compared to KTVA? I like both approaches.

    • Tony

      Reply Reply April 7, 2013

      Hey Gary

      Thanks for the comment and the very good question πŸ™‚

      Ken Tamplin is a fantastic singer and has excellent technique which I believe is based on the Bel Canto school of singing. One of my old bands opened for him at the Marquee in London and he was really nice. My pedagogy is based on on a mixture of sources with particular credit going towards the Estill method. I don’t think that you necessarily have to choose a definitive ‘method’ (if there is such a thing) – it’s horses for courses. I have always wanted to be able to produce a very high tone either cleanly or with powerful distortion and I believe that the thyroid/cricoid tilt movement is the most effective for me to do that.

      I have had some interesting discussions with people as to how these sounds are produced and have been able to demonstrate full blooded (controlled) screams on Bb5 that even my own ENT (who is a classically trained tenor) was baffled as to what was going on. I have always been a fanatic for detail so I look for scientific explanation and I think that is what is so fascinating about vocal research – you should never stop learning.

      Hope I haven’t confused you
      Tony

  • Craig

    Reply Reply April 7, 2013

    Hey Tony, I think this vid is informative and quite helpful. It takes guts to do these raw type videos but one of the things about your teaching style that makes it friendly and accessible is that, for me at least, I can get a good sense of the techniques in use and it doesn’t feel distant and unnattainable. It’s real ’cause its just a guy sitting in a room like most people watching and learning will be. I’ve gotten that feeling from all your videos that I have seen and that’s an encouraging feeling actually. More videos from you the better I think, always been beneficial to me. Thanks.

    • Tony

      Reply Reply April 7, 2013

      Thanks Craig

      I am glad that you appreciate the approach. I like the ‘nuts and bolts’ approach and will happily produce videos like this as long as people understand the reason for them. Some YouTube visitors like to be critical of technique without seeing the big picture πŸ™‚

      Best
      Tony

  • Gary

    Reply Reply April 7, 2013

    Thanks for the informative reply; I have read a bit about the Estill method, mainly through the Gillyanne Kayes book. In the end I guess it’s about finding what works best for your own voice. Keep posting the great videos. The fact that you are giving actual singing examples to demonstrate your technique is what sets you and Ken Tamplin apart to most other vocal coaches. I’ll keep watching and learning!

  • David

    Reply Reply April 7, 2013

    Hi Tony. Thanks for that. Great singing. I appreciate you singing it raw too because I don’t think I learn much from something that’s been cleaned up and corrected. I find your mechanical explanations of the physiology of the voice really helpful because I have the type of mind that needs to know why I am doing a certain vocal exercise.

    • Tony

      Reply Reply April 7, 2013

      Thanks for the post David πŸ™‚

  • David

    Reply Reply April 8, 2013

    You sound great, Tony. I love the clarity of both your demonstrated technique and explanations, and you’re one of the few singing teachers I’ve found who sounds both technically healthy and stylistically right when you sing rock. Keep the videos coming…

  • Fran Carbonaro

    Reply Reply April 8, 2013

    Hi Tony,

    I found you and your videos through Linkedin. I am voice teacher, but don’t teach rock styles, so I’m passing your videos on to friends and former students who are going in this direction (mostly men). Are you working with women as well? I find your approach very accessible on every level. Thankyou.

    ~~Fran

    • Tony

      Reply Reply April 8, 2013

      Very kind words Fran and than you very much for spreading the word

      Best
      Tony

  • Mike

    Reply Reply April 10, 2013

    Hi Tony,

    It’s very interesting to hear you break all the different techniques down and explain the core tone. I really like how you explain about adding to the core sound and making things sound big like the record.

    Thanks sharing

  • BiBi

    Reply Reply May 31, 2013

    Hello! First of all. I’m really a big fan of you and I hope you will answer on my stupid questions.
    I’m a 15 years old girl and I would like to have this “rock sound” when I sing but I just can’t be loud. I can’t sing loud. I don’t know why, am I just afraid to let the voice out or I just really can’t sing loud? And please could you do a tutorial on voice of Axl Rose?
    Oh and I also like your voice ”shaking” at the 2.30 is there maybe any technique to improve this because I can’t to this voice shaking either. πŸ™
    I just don’t know how to do those “over layers” or something like this….
    Well… I just want to say that you are an amazing singer and I really respect you.
    I wish you a great day.
    BiBi

  • Paule

    Reply Reply November 21, 2013

    Hi Tony
    I am a rock singer, from New Zealand I have been studying voice for over twenty years now.
    I truly appreciate your down to earth explanations and how-to examples.

    Your technique is spot on, smooth and almost effortless, and great tone production.
    Have you always been able to connect up your voice between chest and head registers?

    Like i say i have been singing for twenty years, but I could never connect up the two areas of my voice into one.
    Finally I had a tonsillectomy at 41 years old and after three months recovery I have been using your techniques to connect up my registers and i am happy to say that I know what a fully connected voice feels like.

    Needless to say I am working the connection safely at low volume as often as i can each day to build the strength to be able to sing on it.

    Thanks for the great videos please keep them coming.
    Also I am not a natural diaphragm breather can you do another video with additional exercises to create the right feelings of diaphragmatic breathing support.

  • Adam M

    Reply Reply November 28, 2013

    The video is very informative and collectively hits all the things needed to learn to get great sound.

    Adam M
    http://singingmethods.net

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