How To Sing Any Song – Voice Lessons – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy


Hey guys welcome back again to Ken Tamplin
Vocal Academy, where the PROOF is in the SINGING! I’d like to discuss how to sing any song,
and this is really important because what you’re going to find is that you think you are
hearing certain vowel sounds, when in fact you’re actually not when you hear a really
great singer. Here’s what I mean by this. A lot of times we think of singing like we
speak. SLS, singing like we speak. In fact, we really don’t sing like we speak. We sing like we sing. Like we should sing well. And here’s what I mean by that. If I were to sing a line in a song, and let’s
say the line was “I’m sailing a-way, set an open course for the virgin sea.” It’s an old Styx song, right? What you’re going to learn is, now I’m
going to sing it like Dennis DeYoung would’ve sung the song: I’m sailing away, set an
open course for the virgin sea. Right? He really pushes the sound in mask into the
front of the face. He’s a phenomenal singer, by the way, and
still out there doing it today, killing it, which is awesome! But I bring this up because there are what
are called vowel transitions. Now what I like to do is I like to get my
students to start off working up their songs with vowels only first. But how do we work up songs with vowel only
first, if those vowels – and we don’t understand their relationship to each other, and we’re
just going through and singing a song, we can over-sing those vowels, okay? So let’s say, let me speak that line to
you. I’m sailing away. Set an open course for the virgin sea. Now I wouldn’t go: “I’m sailing a way. Set an open course for the virgin sea…” Right? Maybe in theater we might want to do that
because we’re trying to accentuate the lyrics and we want the last person in the row, in
the last row to understand what we’re saying. But for the most part, we want to break this
stuff down a vowel at a time. And we want to actually eliminate consonants
altogether. So what I encourage my students to do is to
take a song that they love, whatever that song is, and eliminate the consonants altogether. And then we’re going to talk about vowels
in a second, so… (singing in vowels only) Okay. Now, there is what I call vowel substitutions. Now, these vowel substitutions vary, and they’re
not constant. In fact I just saw one vocal coach put out
something here recently, it’s “how tosing any song”. I’d like to make some adjustments to this
because there’s some incorrect information in that, and if she’s listening, hopefully
she’ll benefit from this, because this is 30 years of experience of doing this for a
really long time. And those vowel substitutions are as follows:
In the English language, we have somewhere between 12 and 16 different vowels. In Bel Canto or in Latin, and Italian, there
are five. Ah, Aa, Ee, Oh, Ooh. Now, I’ve studied Bel Canto most of my life,
and I like to use that first as a premise by which all other vowel sounds happen. However, it falls very short of, the traditional
vowels of Bel Canto fall very short of contemporary vowels that we use in the English language. So if I go La, Ah, Ah, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Aye, Ee,
Ee, Ee, Eeeee… This is called, I’m going to show you something
called Vocal Tract Shaping, where we actually shape the vowels themselves to morph easily
from one vowel to the next. So we want to take the path of least resistance,
or from one vowel into the next vowel so that when those vowels join, or are married together
to each other, you can actually have a smooth transition, keeping the maximum space in the
back of the throat, the least amount of jaw movement, the least amount of tongue movement,
and the least amount of over – exaggeration of the vowel. Now, the higher up we go, and this is where
this other coach has given out some information – good information, by the way, there’s
some good info there for sure, absolutely… It sounded like she, we somehow crossed paths
with the same information. But within this, the higher up we go, the
smaller those vowel sounds need to happen. So if I were to go to do this really high,
instead of when I just went Lah, ah, ah, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Eh, Ee, Ee, Eeeee… You know, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Eh, Ee? If I were to go really high, Lah, ah, ah,
Ooh, Oh, Ah, Eh, Ee, Ee, Eeee… Did you notice that there was almost no change
in the vowels themselves? They were super-subtle. So the higher up we go up this food chain
of these vowels, the more compressed, or the smaller spaces that we get within the vowel
structures themselves. And we take the path of least resistance from
one vowel to another. What do I mean by that? Well, this is far more than just a simple
quick tutorial here. But there’s something called the Family
Of Vowels, and the vowels, how they relate to one another when we sing. So as we go up, we convert these vowels. So if we were to sing “I” for example,
and this is where this other coach is correct. “I” converts to Ah, but not in every case. So if I go, I don’t go “I-eee”. It’s just kinda weird, right? And, by the way, we talked about diphthongs
and some other stuff. You don’t necessarily go “I-eee” and
close the vowel there, you go “I-e”… at the very end you can add just a little
bit of the EE and I, or Ah. The Ah vowel and I-Ee, right? Now, the higher up we go, if I sing “I”
then all of a sudden, it takes on the Persona more of an Aa, or Aa-Aye in the sound. So these vowel shift. And I know this sounds complicated, and it
is a little bit, but these vowels shift, and they change the higher up we go in the food
chain, depending on what we’re singing, and the intensity of what we’re singing,
and also the vowels themselves. So I would never sing a pure EE. Now let me demonstrate this in a different
kind of way. We talk about a vowel holding its shape, right? The shape of the vowel, and then having a
quick diphthong at the end, and then curving into the “speaking level sound” of the
vowel, but actually there’s vowels as we go up top we don’t ever sing in the purity
of the vowel itself. I don’t go (high pitch) “EEEEE”. I go “Aye” quickly, like A-y-e, “Aye-eeeee”,
and I can gently roll into the Aye-EE, into that vowel, and then all of a sudden, I’m
making you think I sang EE the whole time. Buy I used “Aye” as the portal, or the
tunnel, the portal, the bridge to get to that. This is true for “ooh”also. If I’m on the bottom and I sang “Oooohhhh”
I could do that on the bottom, but the higher up I go “Oh-oooooh” I go “Oh-oooh”
and the higher up the food chain I go even than that is “Oh-oooooooo”, right? I don’t go pure “Oooh!” I could never get there. So I use oh to get to ooh, and I roll into
ooh. And I don’t wait to the very end to give
a diphthong at the end, it’s: “Oh-oooooh” because I want to get to the purity of that
vowel, and I want to find that placement of that cool little amphitheater that we hit
that perfect little pocket in the back of the throat, right? So this becomes really important, how we relate
these vowels. So let’s get back to how we can sing any
song in any style, is we start out, again: I’m sailing away. Right? We started with just the vowels and no consonants. As we translate those vowels from one vowel
to another, we find vowels that have the path of least resistance. So an excellent way, and I mean an excellent
way to practice this is to practice ooh, oh, ah, aye, and EE, as transitional vowels, and
I’m going to do a scale here in a minute, how you can practice this. And reverse those vowels in a different kind
of way and sing aye, ee, ah, oh, and ooh. Now what we really need to remember is EE,
as we continue to go higher, can be translated to eh, like “led” or Aye-EE, like the
number Eight. This other vocal coach says to sing “ih”
on certain vowels. That is patently false, and absolutely dead
wrong. In the lower registration you can do that. The higher up we go, we actually avoid “ih”
like ih, like Lid. Or oo like hook, if we go up too high. “Ih”, goes to “eh”, e-h, like “ehhhh”. I don’t go “ihhhhhhh”… ih,ih,ih,ih! It pulls too much tension. So if I sing “I’m gonna flip my lid”…
“gonnah fl-ehp mah L-ehd” You hear the Aye, Aye-EE, like the number Eight come in? I didn’t go “I’m gonna flip my lid”,
right? It’s too much tension, in fact you’ll
start to notice that your larynx will start to want to raise on you. So there’s a lot of little nuances. I cover all of this in my singing course. But there’s a lot of these little nuances
that will help you like crazy when you’re going to sing your song. But I want to do just a couple of quick scales
where you can identify how closely these vowels are related in the throat, and how we can
build this vowel structure. Now, there’s a lot more to it than this
but this is an awesome start. So we’re going to start by going lah on
the bottom, like the Doctor wants to see your tonsils, keeping the maximum space, remembering
the breath and the engine that drives your car, and were going to go Ooh, Oh, Ah, Aye,
EE. Lah, ah, ah, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Aye, Ee, Ee, Ee,
Eeeee Now, the higher up I go, the smaller the spaces. Now, the space is the big in the throat, in
that we want to create the most space as possible, but we actually want to compress the vowels
to make them smaller, the higher up we go. Lah, ah, ah, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Aye, Ee, Ee, Ee,
Eeeee Hear me doing it smaller? Lah, ah, ah, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Aye, Ee, Ee, Ee,
Eeeee Do you hear the higher up the food chain it
goes, the smaller I make the space? Now, the higher I go up from here, the more
I bring mask into the sound, and I push the sound into the front. Lah, ah, ah, Ooh, Oh, Ah, Aye, Ee, Ee, Ee,
Eeeee So I’m not carrying so much girth or mass
up in the throat with me, and I compress the sounds and make them smaller. When we combine this with the songs that you’re
singing, you’re going to notice that all of a sudden you’re going to have all of
this freedom in the throat that you never knew you had, and then gently, little by little,
you start to reintroduce the consonant sounds as you can, to keep that throat open. Now there’s something called glottal stops,
which are “guh, guh, guh…” Any time that the glottis closes down and
air stops the flow. So, Um, buh, things that close down. “Maybe”. You can substitute those consonants with different
consonants. Like, instead of going “maybe, maybe, maybe,
maybe…” You can use small things like a ”v”. “vavy, vavy, vavy, vavy…” Until you can force the throat to stay open,
because in the back of the epiglottis is closing across the trachea and allowing air to come
up, and in the case of diphthongs that we talked about a minute ago, it’s trying to
differentiate airflow coming out of the mouth or out of the nose. And the back of the throat’s going “Hey
could you make up your mind, here? Do you want air to come out of the mouth,
or do you want it to come out of the nose? Or a combination thereof? Now I’m going to cover this again. That’s actually in a whole other subject
that has to do with called glottal stops. We’ll get to that in another subject. I cover all of this in my singing course,
guys. If you like what you heard, please like and
subscribe to my channel. Please come check out my singers forums. Gosh, we have almost 10,000 people in there
now. It’s just insane, it’s growing like a
weed! So you can get a ton of this amazing information. You can click here and check that out. I have a singing course out called How To
Sing Better Than Anyone Else, and I go through step-by-step how you can build muscle memory
for all of this stuff, to put you guys in the fast track for awesome singing. Okay? Thank you for joining me. Until next time… Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy. Peace. Out.

100 comments

One of the things I really like about your videos Ken is that you're able to do it all in one take. You see all these other "creatives" relying on the jump cut, and it drives me crazy. Your dedication to the single cut shows just how much expertise you bring to the subject of singing, and I'm a fan of what you do! Keep rocking always m/

so it like learnin do 're mi far so la te do. and do it on guitar as well same way how you doin it with just doing it with them letter your useing ?right all wroung .and do the alphabet in major scale

i write stuff but never really got a chance to really sing well or produce my music. even if its for my gf. but i love watching people like him giving advice for those who dont have enough money to be instructed. thank you very much fromthe bottom of my heart

How does a person who absolutely loves to sing, but can't sing, learn to. This Gentlemen has a beautiful voice. My Family used to ask me to sing "Down in the Valley" and "Far Far Away". I got the message. LOL Some People are just gifted, and there are others who can at least carry a tune and then have lessons that improves their voice.

I can't sing, but I can clearly see this guy knows his shit. I wish I had vocal lessons growing up. Great video

Ken, Clint Eastwood once said "A man's got to know his limitations." I have come to realize that when it comes to my singing. I am now going to be singing backup. So like in the song Sucker by the Jonas Brothers I will be singing the words "yeah" and whistling at the appropriate times. Fortunately for me when I listen to Ennio Morricone western soundtracks I can whistle along.

Love to subscribed this channel,
I've got Manny technic to sing..
Feels like had personal vocal coach.. 😁

I just uploaded new video performance, and absolutely Love your feedback..

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCoYE-ZLAlXxuW6gEAalLH9w

Good info, well presented, but… HOLY CRAP DUDE! What is that falsetto?!! Freakin STUNNING!! Bel Canto, indeed! You've got another career as a dramatic soprano if you ever decide to pursue it!

Hey Ken rhank you for all the great videos and yoyr voice is also amazing.I thought that yoy maybe can do a video about what a vocal coach will ask you or tell you when you decide to go for singing and maybe help some of us finding our voice with different types of songs like ….i have nothing-whitney houston and then maybe go something like helloween-forever and one and all that goof stuff that shows some of vocal skill

Ken taught me how to sing, the proof is in the singing. Check my channel for a whole range of old covers, I am not famous. But I love the voice he's helped me hone, thank you Ken — Jeremy

If I were in your country…I should hv sent my daughter to take singing lesson in your academy.

All the best😃from Indonesia

Ken I practice everyday can do imitation style of singing as i can match certain vocalists voices. I am having trouble practicing my higher notes without cracking what would you suggest for higher range practice? I practice Ozzy Bon scott and the doors the most still do other stuff to keep learning tho

Dude you are legit awesome and all my hestiance and fear of trying to learn to sing has evaporated. Liked and subbed! will be picking up your course as soon as I get paid!

I think this might be very useful for the high pitched bits in Where Is My Mind? by The Pixies. I was finding that song a million times harder than I expected it to be, and I'm pretty sure it's within my range. It's only slightly higher than Jeremy by Pearl Jam, and I can do those bits easily, I think the problem is that in WIMM they're held much longer.

Jesus dude! I’ve been a singer most of my life, singing choir, lead vocals, karaoke, and I’ve never heard a more useful analysis of vowels on singing. Thank you for this. Can’t wait to get enough money for your course.

thank you for a gud advice 😊
knowing your voice is the most important thing. especialy the chord that you're capable of. no matter how high or low the note u do, the important there is you're not sound trying hard or pressured while singing..

Sir, This was my first video watching you and my jaw is really dropped … I'm from India and as I've heard you sing amazingly, can you please make a video explaining "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa" ?

Wow!! I hope I can do this!
Will it take a little bit to learn or shod I pick it up immediately?
You have an AH'mazing voice btw!

This is fantastic! I think I've been straining for years, and I may have damaged my vocals. I cannot reach those high notes I used to years ago.

I can’t carry a tune in a bucket!!! I love listening to you. You open your mouth and a heavenly sound coming out. Love you

Hello sir, I really do learn a lot from this video. I also realized that I tend to force my voice singing the vowels and it strains my vocal chords. I applied the technique and I see changes with it. It lessens the strain and I can sing higher notes now with lesser problems. Thanks a lot! You're a genius.

By the way I'm from the Philippines.

Can u put a subtitle in ur vid..:(..I'm from malay..I'm not good in english..but im still watching ur video and share it to my freind..

Hey im new to your channel. Loving how different your videos are to other vocalists here on youtube. I just wanted to say something about over singing vowels. This sounds especially funny when singers sing with that very "american" accent. But say for Australians or Brits we have a very strong accent where we naturally over speak our vowels, i find personally i sing a lot stronger and clearer when i sing with more open vowels. 😁 i just subscribed

I’ve always wanted to expand my singing resume to have professional training. Living in a very small town, teachers are non existent here.

From playing lead guitar transitioned to vocals very informative.. I was having a difficulty to find my voice but your videos helped me. From Philippines

Any chance you could do a video of Snakes in the playground era vocals of Dale Thompson? I just don’t hear many things rivaling that record for that style of singing. How did he get those high notes so scratchy and piercing?

How does Elvis do it with the wicked range he had and without the benefit of internet and vocal experts and still kill it with extraordinary ease.

Hi Ken! I found your videos about a week ago and was very impressed how you teach.
My question is are your videos in a certain order if you are just starting? I want to learn enough to see if I want to pursue it more.

Leave a Reply