Vocal Course Lesson 11

Overview"what this lesson is about"

Styling With R&B

Many R&B singers use licks in their singing: where a simple melody is changed into a more complex one, giving it the R&B style. In order to get good at licks you’ll need to master Vocal Agility and Air Control


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Vocal Agility and Air Control

Practice singing Let’s Stay Together with all the outer muscles relaxed. You should not see any movement in your neck, jaw, or tongue, but instead control your pitch using air and vocal cords.

The skill we’ll use to practice vocal agility is called the tremolo. A tremolo in this method means that you are changing pitch slower than a vibrato, like a slow wave pattern. Most licks are sung with a tremolo mechanism, so you’ll want to practice using a tremolo on scales and songs.

Styling and Improvisation

The two rules for volume and styling are:

• Put the weight of the phrase on the anchor notes, not on the licks
• For every lick, the high note should be the loudest
• Avoid too much weight or heaviness in your voice for good style
• Experiment with changing your vocal melodies to keep them your own


Practice Routine

Practice Time : 7 days, 15 – 30 minutes


Practice Scale 1 with a tremolo with all the vowels:

• Ah (father)
• Eh (let)
• Ee (feet)
• Oh (no)
• Oo (boot)


Scale 1

Scale 1


Practice Scale 2 with a tremolo using the same vowels.


Scale 2

Scale 2


You can advance to Scale 9 and Scale 10 if you feel ready


Scale 9

Scale 9


Scale 10

Scale 10


Practice Let’s Stay Together with these concepts in mind:

• Keep still in your neck, jaw, and tongue
• Put the weight of the phrase on the high note
• Maximize your dynamics, or change in volume

Study your favorite R&B singers and notice the way they style, then work on creating your own original style for the songs you’re working on.