Home GENERAL SINGING - Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy Forum

What is tubular sound?

Hi dudes and divas,

I think I don`t fully understand this term Ken is using to describe the tonal quality of some great singers. For example, he mentions it few times in comparison between singing in the style of Mickey Thomas and Bobby Kimball, also Steve Perry and Sam Cooke. These are my favorite singers, so I`m trying to incorporate their style into my singing.
Is it a relation between pharyngeal spread with lot of mask and brightness, and overall roundness of the vowel sounds?

Thanks, Sam


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,353
    Hi, Sam. Do you have any specific videos you can point to where Ken is saying this?

    I know he has often said that if you want to see where Steve Perry got his sound, just listen to Sam Cooke. I'm not recalling anything referring to similarities in Bobby Kimball and Mickey Thomas, but all four of these dudes are known for great singing and great range.

    This is an interesting topic that might be fun to look into a little more... maybe some video clips to show the various qualities...

  • SemiSemi Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 153
    edited September 2015
    Hi @highmtn,

    it`s mentioned several times in video "How to sing like Bobby Kimball", in PRO videos section with Adam Spizzo. Ken starts to use this term from 2:08. He mentions how Lou Gramm has his way of spreading the sound and Bobby has rounder and more "tubular" sound.

  • Ken TamplinKen Tamplin Administrator, Moderator Posts: 446
    edited September 2015
    Hi Semi, what I meant by "tubular" is this. If you notice in my personal vocal demonstrations, and now with my new ones with students like Gabriela Guncikova, you will notice that no matter where we are in our vocal range or timbre of sound, it always sounds like there is an engine coming form our core (stomach) and it drives a smooth "open" sound that is even, end to end. (meaning that nowhere in the range does the sound get pinched or "closed down". It always sounds open and even like a sound getting shot through a large even "tube". This is equally true for when we distort or compress the voice. If you notice when most all heavy rock singers belt, it's sounds extremely pinched and squeezed. The genius of great open throat technique is that even while distorting the voice it sounds open and phat. I hope that makes sense to you :-)
  • SemiSemi Pro, 2.0 PRO Posts: 153
    Yes it makes, thank you @Ken Tamplin!
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