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Rock vs r&b (and pop) singing-difficult for different reasons? - jordancmusic17 - 06-18-2017

Hey guys,

my initial main vocal influences/inspiration were metal guys like Tate/Halford/Dickinson as well as some other rock guys like Mercury, Lou Gramm etc.  Now those guys and hard rock/metal songs was like the main stuff I'd attempt/want to sing, but after talking with Phil Mourffarege and Martell Sample they seemed to almost have an attitude of "r&b and ballads is where you find the best singers and singing, stuff like Queensryche is easy by comparison".

Now after taking their advice and starting to practice R&B songs predominantly it definitely is more difficult and complex in terms of phrasing, dynamics etc, at least in my opinion.  Like I couldn't just "karaoke" sing songs a bunch of times haha.  But then when I started going back to the rock songs, the phrasing might be easier but it seems like  they are waaay more difficult in terms of stamina and power, like trying to learn an Iron Maiden song in it's original key the hardest part for me is to sing them the whole way through unless there are frequent longer instrumental sections.

I was just wondering if anybody else here has had the same experience?  Like the comparison I'd use is playing guitar vs lifting weights.  Playing guitar at an advanced level is a lot more "complex" than even singing and I'd argue probably takes a lot more hours to master (as evidenced by a lot of the greats practicing for like 10 hours/day, which you physically can't do with singing) however it seems like if you put in those hours you are almost guaranteed to be able to play regardless of "natural" ability. Compare that to lifting, where you can only spend a limited time per day/week on it but also being really good at it is still a "simple" function but you have to have properly built yourself up physically (and with singing it would be stuff like support, range, and stamina) and also there is a genetic factor in terms of being able to lift the heaviest.

Now I personally don't think there's necessarily people who will NEVER be able to extend their range to a certain level, but I might be "Survior biased" and genetically blessed since even when my only singing practice was in high school choir and I only considered myself a guitarist, I was the only kid who was listed as a "bass" in the show choir and a "tenor" in the regular choir.  But I could probably only sing up to like an E4 at best without really pushing and straining, but I could falsetto to like maybe an E5?

RE: Rock vs r&b (and pop) singing-difficult for different reasons? - poochypooch - 06-18-2017

Forget about vocal classification. Forget. About. It. Unless you are a basso profundo who can do B1's all day long, you can almost certainly produce high rock vocals. I sing rock, which has different challenges than pop. I have friends who have marvelously practiced voices for singing r&b (whatever the fuck that even means these days) and pop who can't even begin to attempt to sing the stuff I do, and vice versa for myself and their music. For me, the challenge is getting good breath support for sustained belts, finding good vowels to use, and practicing distortion so that it sounds decent. Many of the challenges are the same between the two genres, and I feel that your analogy isn't valid, as rock vocals aren't as much strength as you make them out to be. It's more like comparing sprinting to distance running, where one emphasizes technique and finesse much more than the other. I have no idea which type of singing is harder. It probably depends on the person. Find out what you sound better at doing, and go that way. Or you can ignore what you're naturally better at and learn to sing whatever the fuck you want. Chances are you can become decent at most any type of singing.

RE: Rock vs r&b (and pop) singing-difficult for different reasons? - ronws - 06-19-2017

Yeah, and quit worrying about what others think is difficult singing or not. For those who think r&b is the most difficult and a sign of great skill, I would like to hear them one time hit the high note in "To Hell with the Devil" by Stryper. Just once.

When people talk about how their preferred style is so more challenging, giving them more kudos, my bullshit detector pegs at the top.

Like in an older thread in another forum where someone said that singing songs like Justin Hawkins does in the Darkness was not very challenging. Three times, I ask and dared the guy to do show us. And he refused and implied that I was bullying.

I may not be from Missouri but show me. Step right on up to the mic and prove your stuff.

RE: Rock vs r&b (and pop) singing-difficult for different reasons? - Bassolyricspintolighttenorino - 06-20-2017

I think you're right. Physically its harder to sing rock stuff because of the range you have to sit in and sing... But to successfully sing r&b and pop music, you need to get the timbre right and imo that is waaaaaaaaaaay more difficult. I cannot sing r&b and pop stuff the same way I would sing a rock song. It just would sound bad...

Rock doesn't have to be pretty and beautiful. You just need a powerful.voice and good control. Amd the genre is more forgiving of imperfections in tonality. Because of that, its easier for me. When the standards of tone decrease, I do better. Maybe its reversed for others. Where they can sing really pretty in a range that works for r&b and pop but not for rock. And their struggle is that they don't have the range and coordination to sing higher stuff and sustain it. Imo, most teachers and students of voice that were not natural students, have the same issue as me. They get range, they develop coordination, but they don't sound good singing pop and r&b type stuff. Something just sounds off and not good. But they'd probabaly be great singing rock though.

Imo, its because they don't play to there voices strengths... They try to make it do things it doesnt sound good doing. And they stubbornly don't try to do anything different. I'm not sure if they're in denial or if theyve become so indoctrinated in there way of thinking and looking at singing that its caused them to be unable to accurately guage what sounds good for the genre theyre singing.

I had to stop trying to use my voice how I was... I let go of the stubbornness and started trying different things that soumded better for my voice. Thats how I made improvements in singing r&b and pop. And its been really challenging. I think most people that try and learn to sing and build range and stuff like that are like me, and struggle singing pop and r&b better. I think more people would have a easier time sounding good singing rock.

RE: Rock vs r&b (and pop) singing-difficult for different reasons? - ronws - 06-20-2017

I think a lot of people like to believe they are the most skilled and whatever genre they prefer has the most difficulty, so they can pat themselves on the back and feel like the biggest kid in the sandbox, or the biggest monkey in the forest.

We are monkeys fighting over bananas and flinging shit at one another.