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Gsoul82

What’s Needed for Different Styles?

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The biggest things I've noticed is accent, or rather where vowel resonance is anchored in the soft palate and shaped by the tongue. The overall formant/vocal-tract shape is a big factor in that, but the basis of different styles starts there. E.g. Roomie's "1 guy 43 voices" video example I've posted a couple of time before.

Then there are characteristics beyond sound color, conventions or expected "flavors," if you will. E.g. specific types of vocal runs in R&B and Jazz, certain styles of verse vs chorus depending on the time period being represented, gang vocals in hair metal, song structure in general. What types of details are you looking for?

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each style has its own approach but there is also lots of crossover. For example someone like Chaka Khan would be called a "soul" singer but she could EASILY sing straight up rock. Most any strong Gospel flavored singer could easily sing rock

 

Lets say we take "rock" as an example. Okay thats a pretty broad category that can be broken down and each subdivision might have a certain expected vocal style.

 

Good basic 80s style rock . Lots of dynamics and energy. Plenty of soul since its derived from blues. Generally there is an expected large vocal range with some high notes in there somewhere. Plenty of grit and distortion and whatever else makes for powerful expression

 

 

Sort of modern "punk" style. which I loath but anyway here it is. Vying with country to be the dumbest vocal style

 

 

Then you have sort of "NeoClassical" which is sort of opera styled. Big round tone. A little more on the beat so not as much of a "soul" element displayed. Also not as "blues based" so it will draw more on full major or minor scales or classical chord progressions.

 

 

Rock song with singer leaning over more towards a "soul" style. Lots of dynamics and melisma etc. Almost dead opposite of above song until he kicks it in on the chorus

 

 

Thats just a few samples from one basic genre.

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Talk about a broad scope eh? hehe

I like to think of it all as a form of language. Each style has its particular points that are important, if you want to sing Grunge for example, you will want a more raw/on your face approach, metal, probably you want to be more technical and polished, on Big Band Jazz you will be using a very high intensity pretty much all the time, open and strong, rhythm becomes very important, both paying attention to the signatures and the *swing*.

And being western music, there will be plenty of aspects that are similar, 12 TET, tonal, rhythm figures, legato, clarity of lyrics, and so on. Even if you open up and include music of the whole world on it, you still have rhythm and legato as core elements of singing.

But the most important part: as with all languages, if you trully want to learn you listen to *natives*, and talk to them, PLAY with them :). Contact with musicians that perform that specific style (on high level) is as important as the technical side itself.

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