Sign in to follow this  
Gsoul82

Brian Mcknight's Tone/Technique?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

https://app.box.com/s/5bbr8gdrtkzshhgz19askfsi3pzpbn86

 

There's my attempt, I find it harder to keep the breathyness in there.

 

The still part was hard as well, not had time to warm up.

 

You're definitely the closest of us. I would have imagined you would be knowing your vocal style.

 

I don't know if I've ever heard a white guy who sounded like Brian McKnight so if worst comes to worst I'll just raise my white flag in surrender to you guys.  :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha thanks. GSoul you have me going through Brian's tutorial videos he posts on his Youtube and trying to mimic his voice.

 

If I can describe anything that I'm doing it's really just emulating that type of soulful pulling back, if that makes sense, if I can reference any other person it'd be MJ when he sings softly.

My main problems is either keeping the compression to stay in that area or swelling to make it louder in places or gaining volume and swelling on a higher note.

 

 

 

KillerKu, someone who I'm really adoring at the moment is a kid called Stanaj. He's burst onto the scene and has a amazing soulful crying voice which mesmerises me. I can get the medium volume and cry he has down yet. He's not as airy or silky but there's just something there that I envy.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're definitely the closest of us. I would have imagined you would be knowing your vocal style.

 

I don't know if I've ever heard a white guy who sounded like Brian McKnight so if worst comes to worst I'll just raise my white flag in surrender to you guys.  :D

Ha ha! I was sing along with "Kiss" by Prince today and not sounding like him but having a lot of fun stretching my voice in a different style.

 

"Act your age not your shoe size ..." - that's an awesome quip.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha thanks. GSoul you have me going through Brian's tutorial videos he posts on his Youtube and trying to mimic his voice.

 

If I can describe anything that I'm doing it's really just emulating that type of soulful pulling back, if that makes sense, if I can reference any other person it'd be MJ when he sings softly.

My main problems is either keeping the compression to stay in that area or swelling to make it louder in places or gaining volume and swelling on a higher note.

 

 

 

KillerKu, someone who I'm really adoring at the moment is a kid called Stanaj. He's burst onto the scene and has a amazing soulful crying voice which mesmerises me. I can get the medium volume and cry he has down yet. He's not as airy or silky but there's just something there that I envy.

 

 

 

The way that you described it as "pulling back" tells me that we seem to be talking about the same thing.

 

It sounds like the guy in these videos you posted has the same placement, but he's not making it airy. The "crying voice" is something you can hear in a lot of 90's R&B. Dru Hill, Jodeci and those guys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ill sing some brian for you hes one of my favs i know alot of tunes by him!!

 

I was hoping you would!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you could always Skype with me ill give a you a couple songs live

When? I think you told me you were going to show me a drill before but I forgot to come online

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi D.Starr... great to hear from you... 

 

I'm just giving you a "thought equation" here... versatility... Hmm?  Can Brian do this?

 

 

Im not wanting to be argumentative or take anything from Brian... he is brilliant!  But... in this sample, Geoff Tate is also singing with an open glottis, windy configuration in the opening sequence and then goes on to compress notes for 5 minutes above A4 and sounds frickin amazing... !  This has balls!  ... and believe me is NOT easy... it takes a lot of strength and belt training to do this... and understanding vowels... Could Brian sing like this?  Im just big on muscle and power I guess... 

Different style, but yes, same ridiculous power and range if not more. check out 4:50-8:23 !!!

 

One of the things I'm finding crazy about this - is how LONG Brian can hold these notes above C5 with such a full throttle intensity

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember seeing Brian back in the 90's live in new haven ct. During the concert I was saying to myself " well the only thing he hasn't done vocally is the big operatic c5 sure enough last song he ripped our heads off. He sang clean, raspy, softly, strongly, high, low and everywhere in between. At least 2 hours .A true crazy vocalist/ musician

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I'm just giving you a "thought equation" here... versatility... Hmm?  Can Brian do this?

 

Comparing Brian McKnight to a rock singer is like comparing apples and oranges...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Different style, but yes, same ridiculous power and range if not more. check out 4:50-8:23 !!!

">

One of the things I'm finding crazy about this - is how LONG Brian can hold these notes above C5 with such a full throttle intensity

Jesus. This dude's amazing. And.. The biggest thing in singing, the thing that sets real talented singers apart from the rest of the also rans is melismatic execution. It's like the holy grail of singing, and this guy absolutely nails his licks.

Sure, power is fun, but Brian seems to have a crazy amount of control to go with his vocals. Not a lot of singers could follow those licks and runs.

It's what impresses me most in formats like Voice and Idol and Talent, that thr ending phrase of the song isn't the tired, overused flute hold, but a complex melismatic run with every note being so in tune you'd think they're messing with you. That, to me, is the hardest thing in singing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus. This dude's amazing. And.. The biggest thing in singing, the thing that sets real talented singers apart from the rest of the also rans is melismatic execution. It's like the holy grail of singing, and this guy absolutely nails his licks.

Sure, power is fun, but Brian seems to have a crazy amount of control to go with his vocals. Not a lot of singers could follow those licks and runs.

It's what impresses me most in formats like Voice and Idol and Talent, that thr ending phrase of the song isn't the tired, overused flute hold, but a complex melismatic run with every note being so in tune you'd think they're messing with you. That, to me, is the hardest thing in singing.

 

Yeah, melismas are something I've spent a lot of time thinking about, and I'm finally at a point where they're nearly how I want them. Brian comes from a gospel background, and I find that singers that have that influence can do it with ease, though sometimes, they do overdo it a little, lol. Look at Sunday's Best auditions. Damn near everyone who auditions can do it beautifully. Even some of the people they don't let through.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus. This dude's amazing. And.. The biggest thing in singing, the thing that sets real talented singers apart from the rest of the also rans is melismatic execution. It's like the holy grail of singing, and this guy absolutely nails his licks.

Sure, power is fun, but Brian seems to have a crazy amount of control to go with his vocals. Not a lot of singers could follow those licks and runs.

It's what impresses me most in formats like Voice and Idol and Talent, that thr ending phrase of the song isn't the tired, overused flute hold, but a complex melismatic run with every note being so in tune you'd think they're messing with you. That, to me, is the hardest thing in singing.

 

Yes guys... the agility of the melismatic run is really special and I am growing in my appreciation for it. I "get it"... its cool and not easy. Requires a lot of finesse' and its worthy of study... Also, seems to be trendy these days as well.

 

At the same time, I have to agree on another point... when I hear it, I sometimes say to myself, "... over singing".  It can easily be over done and just become a bunch of vocal riffing that quickly isn't an embellishment anymore, but is just showing off. Its like the metal guitarist that won't stop playing Ynqwie Malmsteen arpeggios over and over again... I guess there is a lesson in this. It doesn't matter what genre your in or what instrument you play, if you "riff-out" too much, the riff looses its "cool-factor" and just becomes an egoist expression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can relate to Rob. I hated melissma when I first started started paying any attention to it. This mainly happened on American Idol, where people would talk about 'vocal runs.' For me it sounded like the perfect description, like the vocalists had 'the runs,' so to speak, squirting sounds from bodily orifices and the like. ;) There's definitely a showing off element that isn't very appealing to me and isn't often helpful to compositions.

 

But when I heard early soul (Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, Motown, Stax, etc), I started hearing it sound very appealing good, very passionate, raw, primal and like it wasn't an ornament sprayed to impress or suit a genre, but like it was a natural and meaningful connection with the singer's identity and a meaningful way for them to portray a song.

 

I traced it back to the church, particularly in black communities and to gospel music, where the passion was very raw and did not originate for commercial or showy purposes. They were poor and couldn't sell their music for much as they faced oppression through racism which limited their opportunities, but they had each other and passionate music to share. I'm not religious, but having a passionate subject like God to sing together was artistically valuable.

 

I think in some ways it just developed intuitively in the vocalists, kind of like a jazz musician will improvise away from an existing melody, the extra syllables allowed emotional alteration of the words but also more melodic opportunities in general than per syllable singing when composing.

 

Once I could trace the passion that was being expressed, I could understand and appreciate the artistry of it. Guys like Stevie Wonder sound like they are singing straight from the heart and not showing off at all to me in spite of the complexity of the melodies. He has that album called 'Music of My Mind' and I'm pretty convinced that's exactly what I hear, that he is trying to express the most passionate sounds he hears in his head to me.

 

Over time, I could feel passion when including multiple notes per syllable too so as a singer and a writer I could include elements of it. Like Rob though, I don't listen to guitar shredders or noodling very much. It has a similar messy, spraying quality, like it is ornamenting, showing off, or meeting a genre expectation. But when I listened back further in time to earlier players who would play fast, I could find a similar phenomon in jazz, where John Coltrane is a lot like Stevie Wonder in that I think he was legit in spite of the complexity and sometimes inaccessible nature. 

 

Thats pretty much what attracts me a lot of times with music, no matter how skilled someone is, is they this kind of raw passion that compels them and they have to try to find a way to express this passion somehow. It comes out in so many ways. If a singer with 1 octave of range is struggling to stay in tune, and is trying to express something as sincerely as they can to me, I can find it lovable. If a singer has 5 octaves, fancy melissma, super accurate pitching, and approaches music with the same attitude, I can find that lovable too.

 

It's when music sounds like showing off, pandering, or attempting to coldly calculate a desired response from an audience that I often lose interest in the artistry. When I sense an earnestness and urgency for a singer to express something sincerely, almost anything can go technique wise in the right circumstances.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/18/2015 at 3:32 AM, D.Starr said:

https://app.box.com/s/5bbr8gdrtkzshhgz19askfsi3pzpbn86

 

There's my attempt, I find it harder to keep the breathyness in there.

 

The still part was hard as well, not had time to warm up.

wow man! in the "feel your kiss" part did you use mix voice? because it's high.. also what resonance you using is that what they call mask? or twang hehehehe

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/8/2019 at 12:49 PM, BrokeGuitarist said:

wow man! in the "feel your kiss" part did you use mix voice? because it's high.. also what resonance you using is that what they call mask? or twang hehehehe

Hi Broken Guitarist.

 

Wow, totally forgot I even recorded that back in the day. Much has changed!

If I remember rightly, yes I would say it's my mixed voice. Roughly around G4 for the "still feel" F4 for the "your kiss". Best way I can describe it is a slight cry, to keep the vocal cords together. To me it's that yawning hold feel that people describe in that area. 

Thanks,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this