How To Sing R&B Music? 6 Techniques You Must Know

how to sing r and b better

When you click on this article, the surefire thing is that you’re a sucker for r&b music and at least once question how to sing r&b songs as touching as your fav singers.

Apart from consistent practice and a full intention, you need to start by familiarizing yourself with this musical form’s fundamental lessons and concepts.

Here are the six things a novice must know before embarking on the r&b style:

  1. Analyze and understand the song’s lyrics
  2. Use riffs in your singing
  3. Don’t forget about emotion
  4. Take advantage of the right vibrato
  5. Create a unique style
  6. Sing with the right trills

Why do we call this article a beginner guide? Because we’ll walk you through the most fundamental knowledge of this genre and help you start the journey correctly. Let’s check it out!

Basics of R&B Singing Style

R&b stands for rhythm and blues and is a colorful part of the music world, whose subgenre combines gospel, blues, and jazz. African-American musicians were the first to introduce this musical form.

Initially, Jerry Wexler used this term for marketing. Then, people substitute the phrase “racial music” with this term. However, this funk genre didn’t include r&b alone but combined jazz and soul genres.

You may ask, “can I distinguish the genre from others?” You can, of course. To know whether the song playing belongs to the Rhythm & Blues style, listen to its tempo.

Generally, you can determine the genre of a song based on various factors, enlisting the sound type, the temp, and the pattern. Tempo is a speed measure used for long bars. You can use a keyboard or metronome to measure a song’s tempo.

The common tempo for most r&b songs is between 60 and 80 beats per minute (BPM). We often use a metronome to manually measure a song’s tempo – the most widely used method. 

If you utilize a DAW, it’s unnecessary to use a metronome since the software already includes it.

Professional singers typically vary their voices to convey the entire message through the lyrics. The lyrics play a vital role in r&b renditions.

While opera singers don’t use the mic, r&b singers usually use microphones that enable them to vary and project their voices’ tones effortlessly.

The distinctive characteristics of those vocalists include great versatility. They can reach the top keys of a high range and sing riffs without struggling.

Also, the flexibility in balancing head and chest voice utilization is imperative.

Besides, they have to balance different tones and attempt to convey the message to the audience without over-articulating or overemphasizing every line simultaneously.

How To Sing R&B Music? 6 Tips For Beginners

Rhythm and blues is a distinctive music genre. Don’t feel depressed if you find learning how to sing r and b a real challenge since you’re not alone.

Though it might not come naturally to you, frequently listening to skilled singers and practicing the correct technique will surely improve your ability.

#1. Internalize and Understand the Song’s Lyrics

A crucial technique to help you better your r&b singing is internalizing the song’s lyrics. To perfectly internalize the lyrics, you’d better choose a track that interests you and touches your heart at the beginning.

Because this style thrives on improvisation, your emotion can flow freely, and you can deliver a passionate, soulful performance with the improvisation naturally coming out of you if you fully feel the song’s meaning.

Plus, this technique can make your rendition very emotional and meaningful to you and your listeners.

It’s essential to read and analyze the lyrics thoroughly and figure out the composer’s message. Is it a romantic love song? Is it about heartbrokenness? Ask yourself and answer questions like that.

Other than suiting your range, the best song is one you can relate to. Once you finish reading and analyzing the lyrics, try to link them to the same moments and emotions in your past.

For example, if you’re going to sing about heartbreak, think about your heartbreak to catch the theme of emotion.

#2. Use Riffs in Your Singing

The types of riffs the r&b singer introduces into their rendition are what distinguishes them from singers of other genres.

A necessary skill you need to learn is to embellish your rendition with your distinctive vocal riffs.

In essence, riffs are added melodic notes. A singer will infuse these notes into their performance to promote a singing line.

Additional riffs play a vital role in the unique aspect of an r&b performance. Therefore, you should learn to add vocal riffs right and master this skill.

One of the ways to do it is by hearing the song’s lines thoroughly and determining when is the correct time to infuse additional riffs for extra nuances.

If you dig a bit deeper, you’ll notice that professional singers often rehearse and employ similar riffs repeatedly. Thus, there’s no need to be copious or elaborate with riffs.

All you have to do is incorporate some vocal riffs into your rendition to make it unique. Keep practicing to promote the ability to discover where to add riffs in a song and master it.

Constant practice will gradually give you the sensitive feel when it is perfect for highlighting a part or line of your song.

We recommend adding vocal riffs to the emotional highlight when you first practice this method to make it easier for you.

It’s also possible to add riffs at the moment the performance tends to express great poignancy.

However, please keep in mind that you should never overdo it, or else you’ll sound awkward like you’re parodying this music style.

The audience expects a singer to start improvising or riffing because that’s when the singer shows off her distinctive character.

Thus, it may result in considerable disappointment and ruin your rendition if you overdo it. Scats and riffs should only characterize your performance. So, don’t play with fire.

#3. Put In Your Emotion

Another unique staple of this musical form is emotion. A successful singer can make her emotions and feelings resonate in her voice – a vital technique to learn.

Different songs convey different stories and emotions, so the first and foremost step is to discover the meaning and theme emotion behind your song. You can express the feelings through your rendition only when you’re sure about that.

Of course, it would be challenging if you have never experienced heartbreak or tear-apart, and you might need time to indulge in the emotions of the songs.

In this case, a helpful tip is to think about sad moments in your life or a movie you watched before and capitalize on that emotion based on your memory.

#4. Take Advantage of The Right Vibrato

The proper utilization of vibrato contributes significantly to improving your Rhythm and Blues performance. And the decisive method is to determine the perfect time to employ vibrato in your song.

Another small yet imperative tip is to highlight some harnesses when using vibrato. That means you need to control the utilization of vibrato effectively while singing.

Female vocalists can employ fast vibrato since it usually lends their rendition an appealing charm. Whitney Houston’s renditions are a good example.

Besides, slower vibrato applies best to male vocalists, making their renditions sexier.

It’s necessary to have a clear idea about your vibrato capabilities and range. Should you can either control or harness your vibrato, you’re on the way to evolving into a well-liked r&b singer.

#5. Create A Unique Style

It’s hard to become a revered singer if you don’t have a unique style. After all, what makes your performance go into the audience’s heart and mind is your exclusive voice and characters.

Today, most popular singers are adept at singing fantastic r&b runs, and beginners strive to do so. The reason is that once you can master runs, you’re free to show off your unique aspect.

So, do you want to develop your charisma to be a one-of-a-kind singer with a distinctive presence on stage? Time to master r&b runs.

You can depend on this video to have a fundamental understanding of how to apply this skill: 

It will be even more excellent to complement these runs with touching emotion. Once you succeed, you’re sure to be a hit singer.

#6. Sing With The Right Trills

A unique singing style is critical to becoming a popular artist. One of the ways to develop a distinctive style is to employ the correct trills.

A trill is among the special techniques in this music style. It’s common to sing part of a word or phrase of a song with a stylistic trill. You can string notes together that you sing together rapidly to create a trill.

Trills are simply a few keys appearing at the end of a phrase or word, yet they can play a considerable role in forming your unique style. We recommend listening to Usher’s performances to understand how good trills should sound.

Unfortunately, there is no short-cut formula for using trills effectively and quickly. Patience and consistency will contribute to your success.

A saying we always tell our readers is that practice makes perfect. And it’s never wrong for anything.

Final Words

In summary, the most exclusive aspect of the r&b genre is the tendency to vocally riff and improvise songs. This feature is partially the reason for the unique appeals and charisma of r&b artists.

Should you dream of becoming a fascinating r&b singer, it’s time to learn how to sing r&b from the very first steps. We’re looking forward to seeing you as a new, potential, and charming singer on stage one day.

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