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Muddy Waters Tone

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mikelunsford
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I've been taking voice lessons for 3 months now with a classically trained teacher. As a supplement to my lessons (all classically based), she's offered to work on a blues/rock tone with me (at my request), with the caveat that she does not have experience in this type of singing, and that she would have to do some research on producing the darker tone. We settled on trying to emulate Muddy Waters' "I Just Want to Make Love to You". Do you have any tips on getting this tone? Even if I don't understand some of the more technical details you might give me, I plan on printing off any good answers and bringing it to her. Thank you!

<Edit>Most of the stuff I've found on the internet has been classically focused or "vocal fry". After looking up what vocal fry is, I can say that this is NOT the sound I'm aiming for.

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This is an interesting question. I'm not sure if that is a technique so to speak. I'm very into blues and most of what I sing is blues or blues related. I think that the phrasing and the feeling/emotion of the song is what drives the tone. How the notes are handled; less about hitting the "big' note (which is usually a high one) and instead focusing on strength in the vocals and a more midrange emotional delivery. At least imo, that pushes or causes a lean toward a certain tone. By singing these types of songs and really understanding them and feeling them, you end up just becoming that. Muddy has a little grit to his vocals at times but this is common in blues. Although not necessary it does add a little texture.

I don't think it is a developed tone as much as it is just singing the blues. That is its own thing man. Something special and something I have been trying to master for a long time :)

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Going on from what Tommy said, I think it's important to LISTEN to the kind of music you want to sing and focus on what is really happening. The kind of music I listen to dictates what I want to do when I wake up each day. If I'm going through an RnB phase then I'll even dream about licks, runs, bending, "curbing" etc. If I'm burning my favourite rock CDs then I'll want to jump on the drums or guitar and scream along. So I'm crazy and I haven't found my voice yet, that's cool.

My question to you is, do you really want to pay for vocal lessons from someone who has outright admitted they can't teach you what you want to know? They had the honesty and courage to admit their faults; maybe you would consider that if you really want to perform in this style, you need someone who teaches it. Just a thought mate

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I started my education with a classical teacher. Now there is the distinction right off when you start between classical and modern singing. And that is the mouth position. Classic singers try to imitate having a hot potato inside their mouth thus the air flow bends at the roof of the mouth producing a gentler warmer sound. On the other hand non-classical ones, don't do that. They try to push out the air flow directly and making a brighter and rawer sound. Your teacher may be able to help you get rid of breathing stuff, but she may not be able to help you perfectly well with the second problem every singer faces which is mouth position.

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