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Chris Cornell, "Like a Stone"

Cornell's death has just wrecked me. I already listened to the dude 24/7. Now I'm gonna need more hours in the day...

I used to struggle to sing above a D4. I had just accepted that I'd never, ever be able to sing Cornell's music. But now, out of the long, long list of gifts KTVA has given me - in this time of mourning, I can sing along with a singer who has meant the world for me, and use it to help me move through my grief. Truth be told, I'm still in the Denial stage. I genuinely keep expecting to find out his death was a hoax. And then reality sets in...

Anyway, I want to do this song justice, so thanks in advance for ya'll's help getting it right! I chose Cornell's acoustic version because I think the melody and his vocal are far, far superior to the electric album cut.


  • blondiewalesblondiewales Posts: 224Pro
    Hey. I've been a Cornell fan for a long time, but only recently started vibing on this song. Good job so far.

    Your journey about coming to acceptance with your assumed vocal range is one I've seen from a lot of singers. If it helps, I'd say you're almost certainly a tenor (or high baritone, whatever), so you have the capability to go far beyond D4. Eventually, for any phrases of power, you'll prefer to sing in the E4-D5 range.

    When it's a song we know very well, we feel tempted to just sing along. This is good sometimes, but recently I've discovered the benefits of really honing in on every line. Sing a single line along with Chris and listen back, even on your phone. How do you sound? Is your pitch off? Your phrasing different from his? Correct what you feel like you need to correct and try again. After you can get the line pretty well, move on to the next. This way, you're practicing perfection instead of mistakes. You may have heard the parable of the basketball coach observing an aspiring athlete practice free throws for an hour and misses about half his shots. The coach asks him what he's doing and the young athlete says "practicing." To this, the coach responds "are you practicing making the shots or practicing missing them?" Learning just about any skill revolves around this principle.

    In addition, this way you really absorb the "influence" of the artists you love, and you're able to represent this in your own voice. The idiosyncrasies that make our favorite singers sound like they do can sometimes be pretty subtle. Chris has a lot of them. Feel free to send me your experiments with his songs.
  • KaiEllisKaiEllis Posts: 212Pro, 2.0 PRO
    @blondiewales Thank you for your feedback and your advice! You have a unique into how to practice. I'm gonna be ruminating on your suggestions for a while!

    I figure your take on my vocal type is right on. These days I wail in chest up to A4#, and I'm working working working on a strong B4. Maybe one day the elusive C5 will grace me with its presence too. But nbd either way! I DREAMED of just singing strong G4s, so anything above that has been an incredible blessing!

    Do you have any particular nuances of Chris's voice that you can verbalize?
  • blondiewalesblondiewales Posts: 224Pro
    @KaiEllis Sorry it's taken me a while to get back to you. Busy week.

    Keep going on the path you're on and you'll get a chesty C5. Remember there are multiple stages to learning a note. First we can barely touch it on the top part of a scale. Then we can sustain it. Mastery of a note starts to happen when you can belt multiple notes on it, I think. Then there's the tonal stuff on it. You'll be able to wail an A#4, and then you'll be able to really chest it and the will seem nice and fat. Less like you're doing a cartoon voice and more like you're speaking. However, this is not and does not imply speech-level singing.

    Chris is an interesting study. He puts a lot of soul into his voice and then he turns the gain up to at least 3 on everything. Pay attention to the ends of his phrases. He often changes the vowel or adds in a run.
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