There’s no easy way to say this…

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#linkinpark #chesterbennington #bono #u2 #mickjagger #sing #mixedvoice

The cycle is a difficult one to break:
You follow vocalists you love and who you think have really 'made it'. You study and try to emulate qualities in their voices and fail to measure up in a big way (in your own mind)…

And as this keeps happening, you hear this voice in the back of your mind: "Some people just don't have it and I am one of those people… I'll never be able to sing well!"

And, you might be right! BUT… You're also looking at the situation that got you to where you're at in the completely wrong way!

We need to stop looking at 'goodness' in the singers we love and start looking at the freedom they display in their performances!

They got where they got not from longingly looking up to their heroes wishing they could be like them. They achieved greatness be being truly free and OK with who they are from the beginning, and then stumbling upon things that, over time, made them great!

65 thoughts on “There’s no easy way to say this…”

  1. It’s worth mentioning here that, about a year ago, Bono publicly stated that he was ’embarrassed’ by U2 and the music. It’s clear that he’s looking backwards and feeling regret about the legacy he has left. Chester IS, even now, one of those singers that seemed to have stardust of unexplained God-like ability and talent, and yet, that wasn’t enough to leave him fulfilled. This is difficult to discuss, and I think better addressed in the comments for discussion rather than take the video in a direction I didn’t want to take it…

    But I used these examples because BOTH have been looked at historically as incredible talents. Both have had ‘endings’ in ways that we would both not expected and absolutely not want for ourselves!!

    The lesson is this: STOP trying to be your idols. They will fall!!! Be YOU… Be FREE… Abandon into freedom and discover the truly unique greatness inside of YOU.

    1. I’ve been taking your advice and my voice is definitely growing. Not quite where I want it yet but it’s getting easier to just be me instead of emulating others. Enunciation of words is the key. Thnx for everything you do! ?

    2. @Steven Grant Of The Gift Shop only the realization that you will never sound like them. You may use the same techniques but you will always sound like you. Practicing with a mic and headphones and then listening back to what you did is the best way to develop your voice. Eventually if you really want it you’ll get it.

    3. @Jeremy you arent out of your shell not caring if your alone. That’s the point. I went to a karaoke bar the other day and most of the people really couldnt sing. Did they or anyone really care? No. You have to get past the nerves or it wont happen. My studio is in my basement so when I record vocals the whole house hears just me singing with no music including everytime I fxck up. Doesnt bother me in the slightest. Why? Because I’m human and humans make mistakes. Being embarrassed by that is the road to failure. Also if it’s the middle of the day be as loud as you want. If the neighbors are mad who cares. Its day time. They can run chainsaws and lawnmowers and whatnot all day but you cant make music? Even if they call police, they wont do anything. I used to record in an apartment. Lol. The neighbors didnt like me but I didnt break any laws so……????

    4. @Dok Nox I’m in an apartment building bro. And of course I care if my neighbors are bothered by it. Being considerate of other people is a good thing. You sound pretty self absorbed tbh.

  2. fightinandirish

    I saw the thumbnail and knew you were gonna bait and switch with some serious wisdom. IMO, this idea is something that every performer needs to seriously dwell on.
    Another gem of a video from the singing sage. ?

  3. Yea Bono has definitely improved over time. In very early stuff of U2, there are some class songs, but if you look at him singing the same songs in recent years, it’s so much better.

    1. Mikael Sjöberg

      I beg to differ. He was better before he became the “stadium man”. More personality, better art. We already have the Stadium singers – and more than enough of them.

    2. @Mikael Sjöberg I agree with you 100% Bonos early live performances were amazing, live at red rocks and live aid for example are so full of raw energy.

  4. Love it. I feel that from Jack Black so much, dude has a great voice but he is really just having some good fun and that’s what makes him addictive and just amazing haha.

    1. He’s my go-to example of someone who is comfortable in his own voice. He’s explored all the nooks and crannies of it, and doesn’t feel shy about using whatever he feels is right at the moment, because he is just having fun and being free with the music!

  5. Elbanti Music

    Thank you! This is what’s been missing for me, getting off my chair, away from the screen, rolling out my mic cable from it’s neatly wrapped coil and spreading my wings and voice to find the fun, play, freedom, step into my own power instead of aiming for the impossible perfection of my idols. Thank you!

  6. Unknown Character Music

    I would absolutely love to see your reaction to Elliott Smith’s vocals. Perfect example of someone who had an amazing ability to communicate and hold your attention despite not being a ‘virtuoso’ type of singer (although obviously I love his tone and delivery.)

    1. tiny little blood shovel

      One of my favorites. I think the vulnerability of his soft weak voice helps to carry the emotion of the lyric in a way that a conventional flawless voice couldn’t pull off.

    2. Never understood the thing with Elliot Smith solo stuff I dug a couple of his Heatmiser stuff but never got the solo stuff.

  7. S. Kane's Superbia TV

    It really all boils down to creating a character that fits your voice. The best example I can think of is Alice Cooper. His voice is rough, ugly, and by no means a pleasant singing voice. But he crafted a character and world that FIT that persona: its ugly because he’s playing a villain. Most people would be surprised to hear how unpleasant their favorite singer is outside of the musical environment designed for them. Mariah Carey wouldn’t sound good in Enter Sandman and James Hetfield would sound bad singing All I want For Christmas. You don’t have to be a universal singer: just the best character for your story.

    1. you’re right. I’m a singer with no standout ability besides a lot of natural resonance (fancy way of saying “nasally”). When I layer it and harmonize, it sounds like a pipe-organ, so I lean into it and it sounds kinda neat. bingo, there’s my “sound”. Only works well on certain kinds of melodies and songs, so I stick in those lanes.

    2. @donrogg exactly! especially if used his signature “eeeeuuuuuggghhh” at the end of every phrase. “Underneath the Christmas Tree-eeeeeeeuuuuugghhh”

    3. In the name of contract, lend me mora, please?

      Your comment reminds me of that video where someone mixed For Whom the Bell Tolls vocals into All I Want for Christmas is you.

  8. Kevin Andrews

    A game changer for me was when I realized that my voice is not a tenor. Furthermore, my notes don’t have to map to any particular range on the piano in any manner. My voice is it’s own unique instrument and the only way to unlock it is to work with what I want it to be AND what it already is.

  9. I actually had the opportunity to ask a singer in a somewhat successful band what his secrets are. He said when he goes on stage he rarely thinks about technique and just lets loose. I don’t think he’s the greatest singer or anything but he’s so entertaining to watch, and ultimately that should be the goal.

    1. Yup – you get to that place once you get proper muscle memory on your singing style (through lots of training and practice). you no longer have to think about it and can just let your body do what it knows how to do, and you can have fun and play with it. It’s really just like any other instrument. it was amazing as a drummer when I finally realized I don’t have to plan-on-the-fly in my brain any longer because my arms and feet just knew what to do, because I practiced so much. being loose was the key at that point, because any active “thinking” was actually “overthinking” which causes errors or lapses.

    2. DinoNuggies

      That only works when you have the muscle memory tho. If you dont have that and try energetic or distorted vocals “not thinking about technique” you might not keep being a singer for very long lol

    3. @DinoNuggies dude, I’m just yelling as loud as i can and it feels like warm honey dripping down my larynx and cascading onto my folds…

      Just kidding ?

  10. Aaron Bandt

    Robert Smith and Billy Corgan are two great examples of frontmen who are far from excellent singers but fronted huge acts. It’s far more important to be expressive and distinctive than it is to be technically “perfect”.

    1. ComeFlyNx2Me

      THANK YOU. I disagree with everyone here; I think Robert has the most God-awful singing voice and I cringe for looking up to him as a vocalist when I was a kid. That said, he’s a hell of a songwriter/musician, so I can look past his voice. Ian Curtis didn’t have the greatest voice either, but he knew how to use it and put his heart and soul (forgive the pun) into his music. I like Corgan’s voice (Dad used to play TSP when I was a baby to get me to sleep) but ay-yai-yai does his ego make him think he’s got the voice of an angel!

    2. ComeFlyNx2Me

      @Ren Musical He def doesn’t have a great voice, but I gotta give it to him, being thrust into the position of frontman after Ian died and finding his place pretty quickly, even if it was because he had no choice. Esp. early on when he relied so heavily on his falsetto range. But his writing/playing abilities more than make up for his voice.

    3. ComeFlyNx2Me

      @Alex Logan I think a lot of more modern rock vocalists want to copy Layne’s singing (or their egos get to them and they think they can sing/sound like him so they just stop trying). Layne gets a lot of crap for his addiction problems, but there’s no arguing his voice can’t be replicated. He wasn’t nicknamed the Angry Angel for nothing!

    4. @ComeFlyNx2Me Man had the best tone I’ve ever heard, his distortion and vibrato mixed together is the chefs kiss ?

  11. darryl mcintosh

    Chris, thank you for this! If there is ANYTHING I am, it’s a ring leader. At times, life gets in the way and I forget how much fun I can have because I have worries, or failures, or deadlines or obligations, or other people that get in the way. So that’s a statement about life. And because of all those heavy things we all can be faced with at times, I just want to have fun! And I think you’re telling me to get into that mind set. I’m a member of two of your courses and I have been holding back (I’ll explain when I introduce myself.). I’m so glad I’m the three available minutes I’ve had today, I watched this video. Thanks so much!

  12. Adam Fox aka Rip Tanion

    Mick Jagger is by no means a great singer but he is one of the greatest frontmen of all time. His energy and attitude have helped him create a unique vocal style that makes his voice instantly recognizable and which many have tried to copy. It’s only rock’n’roll. It’s ain’t opera.

    I’ve seen both the Stones and U2 in concert. Mick and Bono both definitely know how to work the crowd. I’ve also seen VH, and the same goes for David Lee Roth. They’ve all got charaaazzma.

    1. jbiscuits84

      I’ve watched the Rock n Roll Circus dvd countless times because Mick Jagger and the boys just looked so cool. Attitude and showmanship goes a long way, indeed.

    2. I’ll always remember a concert I went to in 88. Aerosmith and Guns n Roses. GnR had more hits at the time, but performed them only like a really good local band. Axl basically just cussed into the mic for banter, and slash just kinda stood there. Then Aerosmith took over and it was night and day – they put on a proper show. Tyler had the entire crowd in the palm of his hand and Perry was running around like a loon and absolutely slaying. even on doofy songs like Love in an Elevator. (and Tyler was obviously a stellar vocalist still able to hit every note he hit on every recording)

  13. One of my favourite albums of all time is ‘In The Aeroplane Over the Sea’ and Jeff Mangum doesn’t have the most perfect voice, even going off pitch in places, however the emotion and imagery he portrays in his lyrics and the passion through his delivery, really makes for a captivating performance!

  14. Anthony Sclafani

    Seen U2 for years, Bono is like 60 and still absolutely KILLS it live every time. Whole band is crazy talented

    1. @drummersinger5324  You clearly don’t know what you don’t know. It’s sad. 55 years? And to have learned so little. What a waste.

    2. @Drummersinger
      So how do you know how good of a drummer he is,
      and what he can do with a pair sticks, if you have only heard him play in U2?

    3. @drummersinger5324  Dude I have friends who play with Steve Gadd, Keith Carlock and Denny McDermot. I have drummer friends playing with jazz legends. And by legend I mean Top 5 of all time level. And there isn’t one of them who could fill in for Mullen. Again. You clearly don’t know what you don’t know. After 55 years you likely never will. It’s sad.

  15. Jabulani Harvey

    Bob Dylan, Bob Geldof, Bono, Mick Jagger,…..content and interpretation always trumps pure operatic ability

    1. True. Except I wouldn’t put Bono in there. He is a very good singer and a vocal gymnast compared to the other three.

  16. Logan Chitty

    Tom DeLonge is a great example. Dude can barely sing, and yet his voice has become so iconic because of his pronunciations of certain words (enter “yead”) and he embraces it! Plus, blink just have so much personality on stage that it just makes their shows fun. Love them and I’m glad Tom’s back in the band!

  17. The Noble Rot

    Great message Chris. I’d like to think that I have a pretty decent singing voice or at least the best in my family, but I never harnessed it or learned to maneuver it professionally. I eventually came to the conclusion I’d have to do it by myself. Like you I’m a die hard Chris Cornell fan, I can definitely hit his more lower register, his belts, and yells. When it comes to his high notes though, I can’t really get there unless I use falsetto. After trying for years I kinda just made peace with the fact I can’t match that talent. Your video explains this predicament perfectly. You’re awesome man keep making these videos!

  18. I think a great example of a singer who doesn’t have a technical and pretty voice is Lemmy Kilmister. Most people would consider Lemmy to have one of the most iconic and badass voices in rock and metal, Lemmy like you said didn’t care about technique he was there as he would say “to play rock and roll” and that’s why people resonated with him and loved going to go see Motörhead. He brought the ferocity and intensity to their music both on bass and on vocals and that’s why, along with being good friends with a bunch of other legendary musicians, is considered one of the S tier members of rock and metal icons like Freddie Mercury, Dio, Jimi Hendrix and many others.

  19. Nicky Waters

    Inspiring message. I’ve been trying to incorporate this “free” way of thinking into my songwriting and it makes my music feel more original & expressive.

  20. tutsy bassista

    Maynard James Keenan’s voice is so soothing. He should be on the list of the greatest IMO!

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