It is very difficult to adapt to a style of music if it is not the style you like. It’s not impossible, but it’s much more difficult.
Luckily for me – I absolutely love the blues and so getting into learning how to sing the blues was easy.
Well, sort of…
Working With Genres
Some people are extremely versatile and can sing different genres of music or even inculcate different styles of music in one song.
If you want to as versatile in blues and in singing blues songs, then you have to listen to a lot of blues music and practice what you hear.
First emulate, then innovate.
How To Sing The Blues Properly
The best way to learn to sing any genre of music is to get trained by someone who sings in that genre.
Simple right? Not so much…
It can be hard to find someone (i.e. a vocal coach) that can sing the blues authentically. Most vocal coaches and online singing lessons are not blues singers.
But you need training to sing the blues properly so what are some other options?
The Shortcut To Learning To Sing Blues
If you have proper control over your voice – something that only comes with training and practice – you will be able to pick up any genre of music in a matter of days.
If you don’t have professional control of your vocals, then it can take weeks or months to even start picking up a particular genre of music.
So what’s a prospective blues singer to do? Get training and exercises that give you full control of your voice.
What’s Your Best Bet to Start Singing Blues?
There aren’t many online singing lessons available that specifically cater to the blues. The closest thing you could come to is the program offered by Hear and Play called Vocal Mastery.
They sing a lot of gospel music and teach jazz/blues instrumentation. It’s probably your best bet at learning how to sing the blues properly.
Is There Any Other Way?
It is very difficult to say whether there is any particular way to train someone to sing the blues. But one thing is for sure.
You HAVE to have proper control of your voice so you can use it the ways you want. This is key to singing the blues. And the best way to do this is through vocal training lessons online.
Why? Because each blues singer had a different way of singing – and with proper control of your voice, you’ll be able to emulate their styles.
Of course, when you write your own music, you can innovate. But to really get the style of blues, you have to first emulate the greats.
Once you’ve learned how to control your voice through a program like Vocal Mastery, you will have to listen to a lot of blues music and eventually develop your own style of singing.
What’s Blues Music All About
Blues has a very long, drawn out style of singing.
Before that you have to understand what blues is all about. Blues is almost feel music, which means that you have to understand the lyrics and feel the song within you when you are singing.
It is the only way to get the blues style right since the songs are generally very deep and often dark.
You have to feel the pain to sing it properly. Your voice has to flow with the mood of the song.
Who to Listen to?
Listen to blues music by some of the best blues artists that have ever lived – B. B. King, W. C. Handy, Bessie Smith, Charles Brown, Albert King and others.
You have to stock on your collection of music albums. A good way is to download MP3’s to your computer and listen whenever you get the chance.
Remember to understand, feel and criticize the music. Try to select a few songs which you like and include them in your daily practice sessions. Sing along with the singer.
A very good exercise for the blues style of singing is singing in Legato.
Take any note and sing in a continuous but increasing or decreasing order of a music scale.
It is as simple as singing “Ti..ii..ii…”
You will get a better idea if you see some instructional videos of vocalists teaching how to sing Legato in a particular scale. Practice singing the Legato at least an hour every day and do this before moving onto singing your favorite blues song.
As a last word, try to get a few friends who are interested in playing the blues – especially a guitarist – and practice singing with them.
Singing to the blues scale of music will help you understand the music better.
Of course, learning how to sing the blues is not easy, but if you really put your heart and soul into it, blues will flow out of you naturally.