How to Learn Singing “Blue on Black” from Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Learning to Sing “Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd

“Blue on Black” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd is a prime example of the blues-rock genre. Singing this song effectively requires a good understanding of two main vocal techniques: Growling and Breathing.


Growling, as used in this song, adds a raw and emotional element to the lyrics. It’s a delicate technique that must be done carefully to avoid damaging your vocal cords. Attempting it without proper training can lead to a strained voice. Learn how to safely add growl to your singing style with this How to Growl Exercise. It can also be found in songs like “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin and “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner.


Developing strong breath control is crucial in maintaining the growling technique throughout the song. Consider the Farinelli breathing technique which is a way to control your inhales and exhales for optimal singing performance. Try the Farinelli Breathing exercise for more.

How to Approach the Song

Before starting, perform a vocal range test to check if the song’s range fits yours. If it’s higher or lower, consider using a program to adjust the key.

Next, start off by humming the melody using the Vocal Pitch Monitor. This will help you identify your pitch accuracy. Once the melody is well ingrained and your pitch accuracy improved, find the lyrics and work on your enunciation. Read more about it in this Articulation article. Now add the growling technique in parts where you feel it fits and practice with the growling exercise video.

It’s also crucial to learn about vocal health, as maintaining a balance between the roughness of growling and keeping your voice healthy is very important in this style of singing.

Finally, using the song search tool, you might want to find other songs similar to “Blue on Black” with similar techniques to expand your repertoire and keep practicing.

Final Thoughts

Most importantly, express yourself and the song with authenticity. Enjoy the process, keep practicing, and see the progress you’ve made with the Singing Carrots 21-lesson program which covers singing theory and practical tips.