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Timberlake Technique

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Let's talk technique here, one of the most well-established singers in the music industry is Justin Timberlake. Now I am not saying he has perfect technique... saying that he completely covers his sound would be a fallacy. However... in terms of stylistic elegance and vocal genius he is hard to match!

Now the thing about Timberlake is that he can get away with falsetto very easily being a natural light tenor BUT he still has that unique "belty" sound that gave him success early in his career (NSYNC). He also has a decent "low falsetto" which he also uses stylistically for his song "Suit & Tie." What really amazes me however was that in his most recent song he combines all of his technical skills together... INSANELY good breath control... belting... falsetto and even rapping.

Now the 2 parts of the song that are of particular interest to me are the "rap-singing" part and the main-chorus where he starts belting.

Regardless of what people think about Timberlake he definitely knows how to impress his audience! Now you don't have to listen to the whole song (its 8mins) but it just goes to show how much he can get away with.

Now here is my question, when you listen to the rap-singing part (aren't you something, to admire...) and the belting part (I don't wanna lose you now...) and the falsetto that is semi-present throughout the song. The one thing that strikes out is not the fact that he doesn't even need to bridge... it's that he is so vocally DIVERSE!

How can my breathing and singing become THIS diverse? His belting sounds do not sound "twangy" actually more nasal imo. Please state your technical interpretation of this song and how one would achieve this kind of sound seamlessly if possible. Are any TVS concepts applicable to this song?


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In terms of breathing and hooking everything together to seem seamless, you have to take into consideration the working environment. How does he sound live? Can he blend them as good as what you perceive?

In the studio you have several takes on something and you and the sound engineer pick out the best cuts and piece them together. You also have punch-ins where you may have glitched on a certain part or feel just a certain area needs work, so you punch in a line, fresh and then it is blended in to seem seamless.

As for breath, you just need to do a lot of singing and pay attention to the amount of air you need. A few songs that are average to "rap" to are the verse's from "Till I Die" Wiz Khalifa's verse and Lil Wayne's verse in "Look at Me Now". Notice I didn't say Busta Rhymes? That's more dictation and annunciation than breath management. Even set out some lyrics and try to sing them but be natural, don't set ot a huge sentence and be out of breath every time you get there just because you want to be able to do it in 40,50,60 seconds.

As for singing. Just sing the parts he's doing going from light to belting, it's the only way YOUR voice is going to learn to switch and take a different style. Started to learn this for myself. No book, exercise or video is going to explain how to do it. Listen to Justin with your headphones on and try and hear what he may be doing. Singing is imitation.

Like you said, Justin maybe a light Tenor so those notes will be easy and light for him, where as your voice maybe different. I know my voice definitely is. I tried singing the "Cause I don't wanna lose you now" it sounded slightly shouty and trying to back off volume only meant I strained, so I just basically need to work on singing like that in that area. The opening rap verse is easy though. The feeling I go for is I feel I'm singing from my soft palate, extremely hard to explain, feels like I'm singing from my nose but it feels edgy. If I can I'll upload a video.

The other thing that I would work on if you're not already is getting rid of the gripping and strain on certain notes. It's helping me a bunch, as well as arytenoid muscle exercises so they become better prominent that muscling up to produce a note.


- Hooty Wee/Woh 5 tone scale. Make sure you stay connected even if the middle notes are slightly hooty and airy. No flipping, if you flip go back over that area to you can feel a smooth transition.

- Messa Di Voce.

- Hooty/Heady OOs and EEs from Ab down into chest. Make the transition from head into chest slightly airy but smooth, hold it there until you feel you can take more chest rather than clunk into chest (This is helping me a lot).

- Edge exercises that aren't hardcore edge if that makes sense.

Don't particularly like this cover because of the rasp. Not a massive fan of rasp.

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Haha thanks :D

I think he holds back a lot of the air and volume and goes to a cryish format, kind of like Bruno Mars. He employs a lot more heady charateristics. Tried to find a live version of him but only found these two.


Other than that, I guess it's down to the good old "His voice is lighter so the higher notes are slightly easier" I think.

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I agree but also he knows how to get decent resonance with a forward and slightly nasal sound BUT with a stable or low larynx.

Maybe we can get some more input on how he is normalizing the "cry" and not sounding overly yelly? Is he just yelling well? lol!

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