How to Sing Rock Music – 5 PRO Tips🥇(Nov 2023)
In this article, we’re going to be talking about how you can go about learning to sing rock!
For those that are maybe less aware of this particular genre, you can take a listen to some iconic bands like Queen, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Journey to name only a few.
The typical attributes associated with rock singers is an edgy, raspy timbre, with the heavy use of vocal distortion. Additionally, most rock singers are known for their wide vocal range, with the majority of them being high baritone or tenor range singers.
So, how can you learn to sing rock music?
Well, without further ado, let’s discuss the top tips!
How to Sing Rock
1. Listen to and study your favorite rock singers
The first step to learning how to sing rock is to study and learn from the rock singers that you aspire to sing like.
Now, this doesn’t just mean that you should only look at their live performances… But try to understand everything about the performer, and look further into their past, to see their true level of experience:
- Look into their background – Did they have formal singing tuition, who were they taught by, how long have they been singing. Answering these questions will provide you with a good indication as to how they have achieved what they have, in terms of singing experience and general musical aptitude.
- Check out behind the scenes videos of the artist in the studio – Behind the scenes videos offer organic insight into the artist, and if you can find these videos showing the artist singing in the studio, you can see glimpses of how good their vocal takes are, what their pre-studio vocal exercises/rituals are, who else is in the studio (vocal teachers/producers), and you may even see concerns/worries that the artist has about their vocals, with them often showing this both directly or indirectly with the communication with the producer/engineers.
- Look at all of the artist’s performances – To get a good representation of the artist’s vocal consistency, you’ll want to look at all of the artist’s performances, we mean everything from festival performances, TV performances, live concerts, acoustic sessions, etc. This will provide even more insight into the difference between the studio-polished album version against live performances.
- Take note of the specialists who work with the artist – As we hinted at above, it’s useful to know what industry specialists the artist has had contact with, both on a frequent and infrequent basis. This can help you in being able to answer questions that only they would know about the artist. For example (without naming the artist), I was adamant that one of my favorite artists was using pitch correction in his live performances, and yet it sounded so natural and fantastic, I wanted to know exactly what program/technology was behind it. So I found out who the Front of House engineer was for that particular tour that the artist was doing at that time, and I messaged him on Facebook… He then told me that my observations were correct, and the singer was indeed using Antares Autotune for his live performances, which was working to keep the singer in tune. I hope that you can now see how valuable these contacts are.
2. Try not to strain your voice
If you ask any singing teacher, or you indeed learn from any of the popular online singing programs, then you’ll almost immediately learn that straining your voice is one of the worst things that you can do. It not only gives you vocals a very thin, forced sound, but it also can eventually damage your vocal cords, leading to physical defects like nodules and horseness. Not something that any singer wants.
Additionally, for touring acts, this problem could actually lead to a tour being canceled, so it’s more crucial than most singers realize.
With all of that being said, each singer is different, in their physical, mental, and vocal capacity. Therefore it’s important to take this into account when you’re studying and comparing yourself to the rock singers that you aspire to be like… Try to sing within your limits, and do your best to minimize vocal strain. With enough practice and dedication, you’ll be able to bridge the gap between your current singing ability and your aspired singing potential.
3. Build and Maintain Adequate Breath Control
One of the most important aspects of singing rock is to understand and put into action, the act of singing from the diaphragm instead of the throat. This means using your abdominal muscles to engage the diaphragm when breathing, as breath support, which is especially important for higher notes.
Here’s a workout that you can try, to help engage your stomach muscles and begin building muscle-memory:
First, you want to lay down on your back whilst keeping your knees bent. Then place one hand on your stomach and inhale through your nose as deeply as you can, letting your stomach expand. As you breathe out you’ll begin to feel the abdominal muscles contract.
You can then practice singing whilst lay on the floor, and you may notice it’s quite difficult at first, but as you train and develop your abdominal muscles, this will get easier over time.
4. Assume the proper singing position
In addition to singing posture, you should focus on assuming the right singing position too.
The first step is to open your mouth wider. When your mouth is wide open, there will be less tension in your jaw and tongue, which is the most common culprit of vocal strain. Aside from that, it will be a lot easier for your sound to flow from your vocal cords.
Most male singers make the mistake of turning their heads up to hit high notes. The lifting of the chin will make it harder for the sound to flow through your throat.
Third, press your tongue down. When you are singing high notes, you may notice that you tend to produce thinner sounds. This is because our throat tends to close when we are singing higher. One way to avoid this is to press your tongue down on the back of your throat to prevent it from closing.
5. Sing to your strengths
This relates to tip 1 & 2. As you begin studying the artists and bands that you want to sound more like, vocally speaking, it’s important to assess your own natural abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
For example, if you have a very wide vocal range and you’re looking to sing more like Steve Perry (now Arnel Pineda), then you may be able to get away with not reducing the musical key that the song is in. However, if your range is currently more limited (remember you can work on this), it may be useful to lower the key by a semitone or two.
This exercise will entirely be a judgment call on your behalf, and you’ll be able to see how well you’re doing this, but the progress you’re making whilst singing, and the level of strain or fatigue you’re feeling.
We hope that this article has been extremely useful for you, and if you have any questions or comments, then please leave them below.
Additionally, for those singers who haven’t had vocal training, you may want to look at taking an online singing course, and one in particular which we recommend to beginner and intermediate singers is 30-Day Singer, who has a 14-Day Free Trial of their program and even provide a 30-day money-back guarantee for those who decide to buy it after the trial is over.
None-the-less, with there being no risk involved, we wanted to at least mention it to you aspiring singers wanting to speed up your learning.