Who wouldn’t want to be called a “once in a generation” voice, like Adele?
Audiences hang onto her every word, while her soulful voice floats over the crowd.
How can you command the attention that Adele does?
Here’s the thing:
It isn’t just Adele’s powerful voice that makes crowds go silent.
It’s her authenticity, her vulnerability, her use of her entire vocal range, and her soulful dynamics.
So let’s cover some important tips to command attention just like Adele does. Only we’ll be listening to YOUR unique voice, and YOUR unique story.
Bonus: Download The 8 Secret Singing Tips by clicking here - Plus receive a 3 part video series which gives you the key steps to improving your vocals instantly.
What Makes Adele’s Singing So Awesome?
What makes Adele so appealing?
She is authentic.
In a world of over-produced pop stars, we can grow weary of seeing and hearing flawless production. We hunger for something more real. Adele’s singing gives us what we crave.
She’s been described as having a “primal sound”, her voice a “gust of wind that’s picked up some grit”.
Avoiding the typical pop stars’ need for elaborate production, Adele has two poses on stage: sitting, and standing in front of a microphone.
Her vulnerability, and the emotional journey she takes on stage, is the only entertainment we need.
As legendary producer Rick Rubin, who worked with Adele on her album 25, states:
It’s not a pose or a stance. When someone bares their soul, it resonates.
But does authenticity and vulnerability alone earn you 15 Grammy Awards, 18 Billboard Music Awards, and an Academy Award to boot?
Of course not. After all, if she didn’t have the pipes to back up her emotional intensity, no one would want to listen.
But, of course, she does!
Adele’s mastery of dynamics, her soulful style, and the sheer power of her voice keep us coming back for more:
She uses both her chest voice and her head voice powerfully, and seamlessly transitions from one to the other and back again.
This makes for dynamic singing.
Consider the chorus of “Rolling in the Deep":
Adele sings: “we could have had it all…” at a full belt, then comes back and hits the very same note:
“Rolling in the deep…” but this time in her head voice.
Interesting choice, right?
She doesn’t particularly need to flip into head voice for that note, she just sang it at a full belt.
But she chooses to flip into head voice, and continues that pattern throughout the song.
What does this do for the audience?
It keeps the ear guessing. It doesn’t get “comfortable” hearing the same note, sung the same way.
It makes the next line, when she comes back at a full belt with “You had my heart inside your hand…” even more powerful.
Who doesn’t want that? An emotionally evocative line made even more dramatic by the careful dynamics leading up to it? It’s a brilliant choice!
Imagine what would have happened if she just belted the whole thing out? She would sound like an over-eager American Idol contestant, desperate to prove she can belt.
But since Adele is more concerned with making an interesting artistic choice, she made that chorus way more magical.
So, how can you replicate some of that magic?
How You Can Sing Like Adele
We’ve identified the key components of Adele’s awesomeness:
Authenticity and vulnerability, using the full voice, and soulful dynamics.
Adele is interesting because there is no one else making music like hers right now.
Adele claims her biggest influences are Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald.
These first ladies of jazz were at the height of their popularity 60 years ago, people.
Adele found their records in the bargain bin when she was 15 years old and fell in love.
There were probably not many 15-year-olds she knew who shared her passion. But she has based a phenomenal career off what she learned listening to those jazz greats.
So, who do you love? Who do you listen to when your friends aren’t around? There is a lot of great music out there, and there’s not just one “right” source of inspiration.
Take a chance learning from someone just a little different. Who knows? It might be the magic mix you’re needing to find your own sound!
When Adele is singing, we don’t feel like we are watching a performance.
It’s as if we are watching her feel, in that moment, what she is singing about.
Watch Adele singing Someone Like You at the Royal Albert Hall. It is an exquisite example of vulnerability.
There’s no easy formula for learning how to be vulnerable.
It takes a huge amount of bravery. It takes practice letting your guard down.
Ultimately, it takes a connection to your music, a knowledge of the story you’re telling and a deep need to communicate it.
So, think through the story your song is telling. What is your personal connection to the piece? Why is it important you tell this story?
Use Your Full Voice
Get comfortable switching from chest to head voice.
Too often, singers who want to be known as powerful singers get stuck in a very narrow range where they can just belt loudly for a whole song.
Imagine your voice like a keyboard. What happens when you only use one octave of that keyboard? It gets boring. Why would you limit yourself like that? Use the whole thing!
We all know Adele can belt, but it’s most interesting when she uses the entire keyboard of her voice.
Incorporate Soulful Dynamics
Adele is no lazy singer.
She thinks through every moment of her song and finds little ways of adding interest.
Consider her early hit Hometown Glory. In the second verse, she sings “I like it in the city when the air is so thick and opaque…”
With the words “thick” and “opaque”, she hits the “K” squarely and on the beat, almost making it into its own syllable.
It’s a small thing, one not very many artists would think of. But it makes that line extremely memorable.
Look for your own ways to add unique dynamics. Your audience will be hanging on your every word!
This is one of many ways a voice teacher can be helpful. They can be an extra ear to help you with dynamics, and may have some ideas you haven’t thought of.
Practical Tips for Singing Like Adele
Remember that Adele is so special because no one else sounds just like her.
No one else sounds just like you, either. So, if you want to be as memorable as Adele, work on finding out what your strengths as a singer are, and invest in those strengths.
Working with a trained voice teacher can help you get to know your voice a lot better. You’ll be challenging your voice in a whole new way, so you’ll likely learn you’re capable of doing things vocally you never dreamed of - you just needed someone to show you how to get there.
Of course, life is busy and it can be hard to fit one more thing into our busy schedules. That’s why online vocal lessons can be a great solution. They offer a lot more flexibility, as well as privacy, as you can do them from your own home. Find out more about this solution here.
Working with a vocal teacher will help you build a more powerful voice like Adele, but how can you work on the more emotional aspects… that authenticity we all love so much?
The most important thing is to develop an emotional connection to your music. Adele writes or co-writes most of her songs, so the emotional connection is already there. But what if you don’t have the time - or the interest - in writing your own material?
Ask yourself, if you were going to write a song, what would it be about? And then look for pieces that match the story you would like to tell. When you find a perfect piece, make sure to treat it like it’s your life story.
Get Ready to Be Your Own “Once in a Generation” Voice
Remember, we love Adele because she is unique.
So, go ahead and use some of these tips to add some of Adele’s soulfulness to your singing:
Always stay authentic, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Use the whole keyboard of your voice, and get creative with your dynamics!
But then, find out what your strengths are, and be the best version of you.
And soon, your audience will be hanging onto YOUR every word, just like Adele’s.