Singing Guide: Wilson Pickett

Vocal technique, exercises, tips and relevant resources

Are you a beginner or advanced singer?

Wilson Pickett was an American singer and songwriter, known for his soulful and dynamic voice that blended gospel and R&B influences. He was a major figure in the development of soul music in the 1960s. In this article, we'll explore Wilson Pickett's unique vocal style and how to emulate his singing technique.

Wilson Pickett's Vocal Technique

Wilson Pickett had a powerful, emotive voice that conveyed a wide range of emotions. His vocal style was characterized by its grittiness, melismatic phrasing, and dynamic range. Pickett was known for his ability to infuse his performances with raw energy and soulfulness, which made him one of the most iconic soul singers of all time.

To learn to sing like Wilson Pickett, it's important to understand the key elements of his vocal technique. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Emphasize Phrasing

Wilson Pickett's singing style was defined by melismatic phrasing, which means that he used multiple notes to sing each syllable. This technique emphasizes the emotions conveyed by the lyrics and allows the singer to add their own personal touch to a song. To emphasize phrasing like Wilson Pickett, try singing each syllable of a phrase with multiple notes and experiment with different melodic variations.

2. Use Dynamic Range

One of the most distinctive features of Wilson Pickett's voice was his ability to use a wide dynamic range. He could effortlessly transition between quiet, intimate moments and loud, powerful sections of a song. To emulate this technique, practice moving between different volumes when you sing. Try starting a song quietly, increasing the volume as the song progresses, and then pulling back again for a more intimate moment.

3. Sing with Grit

Wilson Pickett's vocals were also known for their grittiness and intensity. He often used a raspy, growling tone to convey emotion and add texture to a song. To sing with grit like Wilson Pickett, experiment with pushing air through your vocal cords while singing. This can create a slightly rougher, more textured sound that can add depth and power to your vocals.

Songs to Showcase Wilson Pickett's Vocal Technique

If you want to learn to sing like Wilson Pickett, it's important to study his repertoire and listen to how he uses his voice to convey emotion. Here are a few songs that showcase Wilson Pickett's unique vocal technique:

  • In the Midnight Hour
  • Mustang Sally
  • Land of 1000 Dances
  • Don't Let the Green Grass Fool You
  • Hey Jude

Relevant Singing Carrots Resources

Singing Carrots offers a range of tools and resources to help you improve your singing and learn new techniques. Here are a few resources that can help you learn to sing like Wilson Pickett:

  • Vocal range test: Take Singing Carrots' vocal range test to find out where your range falls compared to famous singers. Link
  • Pitch accuracy test: Practice your pitch accuracy with Singing Carrots' pitch accuracy test. Link
  • Vocal Pitch Monitor: Use Singing Carrots' virtual piano to monitor your sung notes and improve pitch accuracy. Link
  • Pitch Training: Explore Singing Carrots' pitch training tools, including interactive warm-ups and exercises. Link
  • Song search: Use Singing Carrots' song search tool to find songs that match your vocal range, difficulty level, and preferred genre. Link
  • Artist vocal ranges: Browse Singing Carrots' database of famous singers and their vocal ranges to get inspiration for your own singing. Link
  • Singing course: Take Singing Carrots' singing course to learn more about vocal techniques, performance tips, and other aspects of singing. Link
  • Breathing basics: Learn the basics of active and passive breathing to improve your singing technique. Link
  • Chest voice/voice registers: Explore Singing Carrots' resources on voice registers and the chest voice, which are important elements of Wilson Pickett's singing style. Link

As you work on mastering Wilson Pickett's vocal technique, remember to take your time and practice consistently. With dedication and effort, you can unlock the power and soulfulness of this iconic soul singer's voice.

Learn more about this artist vocal range, voice type and repertoire.