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Pop vocal style/technique

ragnarragnar Posts: 410Pro
edited February 2012 in Ken Tamplin's Corner
Hi Ken. Everyone is of course welcome to join in with their input here, but I was hoping you could give me some quick insight into the following:

What kind of technique are singers like Thom Yorke/Chris Martin/Joni Mitchell using for their very light type of singing? Is it an extension of the whole raised larynx debacle?
I'm thinking in particular of when they sing through their mix and head voice registers.

Best Answers


  • ragnarragnar Posts: 410Pro
    Yeah definitely Koko, but my question is more in regards to whether they are using open throat at all or if it's all done by raising the larynx, or something different altogether.
  • KokonuhtKokonuht Posts: 658Member, Enrolled
    edited February 2012
    IMO, raising the larynx is just to achieve a certain type of froggy sound but if you're gonna go higher, you're gonna have to drop the larynx and keep open throat. Some of the singers may have open throat some may not. Open throat is like the basic..? It's like the bread and the butter is the type of genre you're gonna sing in :D
  • andersanders Posts: 77Enrolled
    Thom Yorke is a great singer in many ways. I love Radiohead. He does not use open throught but it works anyway. Quite raised larynx.
    Chris Martin is more on the natural side. Definitely not a low larynx  on high notes but quite natural.
    Joni Mitchell a fantastic singer. I really do not understand the female voice but in my opinion she is raising the larynx ultra high for high notes. You can even see it in some of her videos if you look close enough. These three are fantastic examples of great singers who work with what they have. Warts and all. The result is true art. For the rest of us. People like me and you. We really need to pay atention to what Ken is saying.
  • GuevaraGuevara Posts: 140Enrolled

    @anders and @ragnar

    You make an excellent point anders about singers who make do and work with what they've got and the result being true art. These kind of singers always make the most of what they have and even excentuate the quirks or flaws in their voices. They may or may not have had any formal voice training, but they all work to get their own unique sound through expressing an original idea, vision or emotion while being authentic and true to themselves.    

    Joni Mitchell is a great example of this; If you listen to her voice from the last 10 years, you will notice it has dropped in pitch dramatically; and she has just rolled with it and incorperated it into her unique sound. Kate Bush has done exactly the same thing.

    But don't be fooled into thinking that these singers don't work on their technique or use any technique. They are professional artists and professional musicians and they take what they do very seriously. But they understand that it is something that develops and grows slowly over many years of living as an artist and musician.

    Now here is something interesting; I could be wrong but I bet that if you actually asked Thom Yorke, Chris Martin, Joni Mitchell etc. etc. what it is that they are actually doing technically when they sing in a certain way, they would probably have a tough time explaining it logically in words, because they probably don't fully understand it themselves:-)   


  • Ken TamplinKen Tamplin Posts: 432Administrator, Moderator

    Thom definitely sings with predominantly a raised larynx position. He also uses quite a bit of air when he sings. This is a fine sound if it is the only sound you want to aspire towards. But this sound will never grow "girth" to the voice or any kind of belting power. You can learn to belt and sing like Thom, but you can't learn to sing like Thom and belt should you decide to want to do that.

    (there are several Chris Martin's I assume you meant Cold Play) with that said he too is very much like Thom in his approach and the same thing applies. (guys like Jack Johnson would fall into this camp as well as many others)

    Joni Mitchell on the other hand is more like an Irish folk singer. She does use brigter timbre to her voice and weaves in and out of breathier sounds for texture.



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