Do Rock Singers Take Voice Lessons?

Vocalists that can cover a range of octaves are essential for any Rock band, and some Rock singers just have the pure, unadulterated talent for falsettos, screaming, and everything in between that separates a good vocalist from a great vocalist. But do Rock singers take voice lessons to learn how to sing with perfect pitch, tone, and in perfect key?

Voice lessons (and vocal training) are essential not just for learning how to sing but for maintaining a singer’s voice and taking care of it. Like athletes who exercise in the off-season, most professional Rock singers simply have to take voice lessons to keep performing at their best level.

Many artists won’t admit to taking voice lessons, but if they haven’t done so before becoming professionals, it is more than likely that they have after becoming successful. It’s a fallacy to consider voice lessons as an exercise in learning how to sing, but rather it’s simply common practice in the music industry for maintaining and strengthening an artist’s voice, trained or not.

Why Rock Singers Take Voice Lessons

It’s certainly true that there are one-in-a-million voices out there that can reach a range of pitches and octaves without formal vocal training, and there are certainly chain-smoking frontmen in Rock bands who don’t look after their voices, but the industry standard for professionals is to take voice lessons throughout their careers.

This is because if you’re a Grammy Award-winning singer, for example, recording albums for several hours a day in the studio or touring around the world, you will be using your voice a lot. So many record labels will include clauses in contracts that require singers to take voice lessons simply so that they can learn and practice techniques that will help them improve their vocal stamina.

Some artists are also guilty of common vocal faults, such as tongue tension, throat tension, nasal, pitchey, or off-key singing. So, to take their singing to the next level, they pick up helpful techniques to help with their breathing, using their chests and diaphragms to sing, and other useful hacks that help them perform at peak level.

Some people are just bad singers, and no amount of vocal training will help them become elite vocalists, but there’s no doubt that voice lessons can help most voices improve, focusing on key aspects like generating more power, which a singer may need to work on. And there are countless artists out there that have used voice training to take their careers to a new level.

Which Famous Singers Have Taken Voice Lessons?

Kylie Minogue, Brandon Boyd, Axl Rose, and Nelly Furtado have all testified to the benefits that voice lessons have had on their careers as students of Ron Anderson, a renowned vocal coach. They admitted that, when they started with Anderson after singing for years, his lessons changed their careers and even helped them gain an octave.

Seth Riggs is another famous vocal coach who has been credited with making a huge impact on famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Josh Groban, Stevie Wonder, and Joe Bonamassa.

Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato, Adam Lambert, Katy Perry, Adele, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Hudson, and countless other more Pop-orientated artists are examples of famous singers to have taken lessons to improve their voices.

You can’t teach someone to stay in key or hear pitch, so there is a baseline for how talented you need to be to become a good singer. But then there have also been some truly spectacular voices that have taken the music industry by storm that required no formal training whatsoever.

Famous Singers Who Never Took Voice Lessons

Voice lessons have been developed to improve a singer’s ability to breathe, increase their range, improve tone, among other techniques, but there have been a few artists throughout history that required no voice training whatsoever and just have god-given talent. They sing with perfect technique naturally, but they are few and far between.

Perhaps the most notable of them all is the late Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of Queen who was never vocally trained. His mother, Jer Bulsara, once said that Freddie would sit in his room and simply sing along to his vinyl records and learn how to sing along to them by himself.

He was able to sing from the diaphragm, allowing him to sing from his “chest-voice” and for air to travel through his vocal passages effortlessly. Analysts and scientists also believe he was a throat singer – something that requires a singer to have complete control of the amount of air sent to the vocal cords. This creates a vibrato, the unique vibration that makes one’s voice stand out.

Mercury himself claimed that the additional incisors in his mouth gave him the voice of a generation. More than 30 years after his death, he is considered one of the finest singers of all time, despite his lack of formal vocal education.

Other prominent singers that were completely self-taught are Eric Clapton, Noel Gallagher, Dave Grohl, Prince, Kurt Cobain, and Louis Armstrong.

It’s not entirely clear why some singers who have never taken a single voice lesson before becoming famous have been able to get so good, but it’s widely accepted that it’s a combination of genetics, involvement in music from a young age, and one’s language centers being innately developed to be compatible with the key, tone, pitch and extended vowels required to be an exceptional singer.

Rock Singing Techniques & Bad Habits

One of the key techniques taught to prospective Rock singers is the “vocal fry”, which helps them achieve that “healthy husk” voice, a gritty and raw sound. Rock singers are also taught to sing with their diaphragms, to use another technique called the “glottal attack”, a strong attack on notes achieved by hitting vocal cords together.

We’ve already mentioned how singers are taught to use their “chest-voice”, which blends both the chest and head voices using the strong diaphragm that singers have been working on in other exercises. Finally, vocalists learn to become great rock singers when they learn how to connect their feelings and their emotions with their singing.

Throughout history, some of the artists that have pulled off these various techniques to perfection include Chris Cornell, Ann Wilson, Pat Benatar, and Ronnie James Dio.

There are also Rock singers whose techniques have a lot of room for improvement due to nasal sounds, screaming, weak vocal cords, and tongue tension. Some examples include Billie Joe Armstrong, Eddie Vedder, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen.

Can Vocal Training Make You A Better Singer?

There is no question that voice lessons can take a Rock singer a long way on their quest to becoming a better vocalist. Learning how to breathe properly, annunciate, project their voices, and any number of techniques will elevate their ability and will help them to maintain a healthy voice, particularly when they’re using it a lot and it’s under a lot of strain.

However, a bad voice, a singer who doesn’t know how to stay in key, will always be a bad voice. And now and then, you do encounter a once-in-a-generation talent that requires no vocal training whatsoever to drive audiences wild.


What rock/pop singers had formal vocal lessons? | Quora

4 Rock Singers With Great Technique – And 4 Without | Take Lessons

15 Famous Pop Singers Who Have Taken Voice Lessons | Molly’s Music

Will taking singing lessons make me any better at singing? | Quora

Rock Singing Techniques Let There Be Rock Singers! | Sono Music

How Do Singers Who Have Never Taken a Voice Lesson Get So Good? | Ramsey Voice Studio

13 Famous Singers With Surprisingly Bad Vocal Habits | Take Lessons

15 Famous Musicians Who Are Totally Self-Taught | Joy Tunes

12 brilliant musicians who are completely self-taught | Gigwise

Similar Posts