How to Learn Singing “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” from Steely Dan

Learning to sing “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” by Steely Dan

Steely Dan’s “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” rewards anyone goal-oriented enough to master the distinct style of this jazz-rock masterpiece. One vocal technique that stands out is the use of Twang, which creates a bright and focused sound. This technique is also common in songs like “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon and “I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles.

Discover Your Voice

To get started, take a vocal range test. This will help you understand your voice’s ability and how it aligns with the song. Our blog post on analyzing your voice is another great resource for this step.

Mastering Twang

Twang requires the epiglottis to narrow, creating a special resonance chamber. This results in a unique ‘nasal’ sound. You can learn this with the How to Twang Exercise. Songs that use this technique are typically characterized by catchy, memorable verses and choruses.

Practicing the Song

Break the song into chunks and practice each segment thoroughly. You can use our guide on learning a song effectively to help you. Sing along with the Beggars Bounce for improving your vibrato technique, which is a key component of this song. To practice singing in tune, use our pitch accuracy test.

Performance Tips

Articulation is key when singing “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number”. Each word must be clear. Our article about articulation can help you. When you’re ready to perform, check our performance tips. There’s also a great exercise called Stage Tips to get you all set!


Mastering “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” takes patience and hard work but using these tools and tips will greatly simplify the process. Musical exploration is a lifelong journey – take your time and enjoy the process.