How to Learn from Other Singers

Learn how to learn from other singers from vocal coach Cari Cole in this Howcast singing tutorial.

Hi I’m Cari Cole. I’m a celebrity vocal coach and artist development expert. And I help artist find their voice, craft their music, and create successful music careers. I’ve worked with Donald Fagen from Steely Dan, Courtney Love from Hole, I’ve worked with the band Journey. I’m going to teach you how to be a better singer and performer

So I’m going to teach you today a few tips about how to learn from other singers. The truth is that every singer out there learned from other singers. We listen to singers and we copy them, we emulate them. We learn their phrasing, their tone, how they use their vibrato. And these are ways that we start to use their techniques with our own voice. So I recommend it in the beginning.

Ultimately, we don’t want to copy another singer. But there are these great songs and these great voices out there that we have so much to learn from. So in the beginning I always have singers sing along with a lot of songs that they love, and their voice will get better because you will learn a lot by copying them.

So what do I mean by learn from other singers? I mean by listening to their phrasing and studying their phrasing, how they’re approaching delivering their lines. What is the emotional interpretation behind what they’re singing? Like don’t just listen on a surface level, listen on a deeper level and tear it apart. What are their vocal textures? What are their dynamics? You know if you just sing along with them and sing on top of them and you don’t really listen, you’re not really going to learn that much. So it’s a combination of singing along with them and listening that’s going to give you those inside secrets to how they’re making their sound happen.

The trick is understanding that your voice is going to be always different than those singers you’re listening to, but you have so much to benefit from listening to them. And then once you’ve got it down, then practice with an instrumental track, find one on Youtube of that song. Sing through it, sing it down a few times like that singer did but then try to ad-lib a little bit and add some of your own voice. Try to let their voice sort of fade into the background in your mind and bring forward what your voice wants to do and how it wants to move and try some things.

One of the things I suggest is play the instrumental track and just ad-lib over it as if you were a horn or a guitar soloing you know. Even just sing on a vowel and try to make up some notes and stretch your ear outside of the notes that are within the song. Then go back to the melody and try to add your own twist to it.

So these are some of the ways that you can learn from listening to other singers.