How to Sing Like the King of Rock N’ Roll

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For something fun and different, this week we feature a guest post by Rudolf Quisten:

Among all the singers in rock n’ roll history, Elvis Presley is one of those voices that is as iconic and distinct as they come. Rolling Stone ranks Presley at number one in their list of “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” using terms like “otherworldly” to describe the quality of his voice.

Famously and simply referred to as “The King”, Presley’s range is close to unbelievable. The Telegraph praised Presley’s talent, specifically in his 1955-recorded original album The Sun Collection: “Elvis’s voice is a living instrument, one moment deep, low and confident, the next high and trembling, bouncing and hiccupping all over Baby Let’s Play House and whooping like a locomotive on Mystery Train.” His voice is so inspirational and influential that its cultural impact has arguably been unrivalled by any artist.

Such is Presley’s place in pop culture that he continues to inspire to this day. In fact, in various modes of media and entertainment, his legacy is still very much alive, even in places you may not initially expect. Case in point: the online gaming landscape and how it has been a willing recipient of the Presley effect. Elvis The King Lives featured on Slingo, is proof that the Mississippi legend continues to shape the modern world despite passing more than 40 years ago. That’s why it’s without question that a lot of vocalists, in and out of the rock and roll genre, aspire to belt out notes like the man once known as the “Hillbilly Cat”.

In a previous post here on Spencer Welch we discussed the key things you should focus on during practice. From the importance of being mindful, to focusing on frequency rather than duration, there are a number of methods to fine tune your vocal techniques. To be able to croon like “The King”, don’t forget to include these points.

Clarity Is Key

While Presley has the sheer ability to curl and inject a lot of inflection on the notes that he sings, he also makes sure his delivery is as clear as can be. Conveying the message of the song by allowing the audience to understand each and every word of the lyrics is another crucial responsibility of any singer/performer. The BBC notes that to pin down a good standard clarity you can sing the tune of “Do, a deer” from the Sound of Music and practice consistently singing each word. Maintain clarity as you sing the vowels and consonants evenly.

Make Them Tremble

In almost any one of Presley’s songs, you can spot him executing a form of tremble in his voice. Throughout his years under the limelight-from music records, live stage, and even film, he has made this a trademark quality to his voice. This form of vibrato is actually not that difficult to achieve as long as you put in the adequate time and effort to make this part of your vocal arsenal. In an interview with Voice Council Magazine, London’s Academy of Contemporary Music singer Jono McNeil stresses the significance of knowing the difference between diaphragmatic and laryngeal vibrato. Plus, the imperative contributory effects of being comfortable and confident when you actually sing.

The Presley Attitude

When “The King” steps on the stage, he simply commands. He embraces bright lights and delivers every performance as if it were his last. You should adopt the same showman mentality. Presley always goes for the big notes and does so with zero fear. Doing the same does not only bring you closer to honouring this rock n’ roll great, but you allow yourself to sing better by enjoying the performance.

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SpencerHow to Sing Like the King of Rock N’ Roll