How to Learn Singing “Helpless” from Neil Young

How to Learn Singing “Helpless” by Neil Young

If you’re a fan of Neil Young and eager to learn how to sing “Helpless,” you’re in the right place. This iconic song showcases unique vocal techniques that are worth exploring. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of mastering this song, providing practical tips and utilizing relevant Singing Carrots resources to enhance your learning experience.

Understanding the Song and Vocal Technique

“Helpless” is a classic folk rock song by Neil Young, known for its emotional lyrics and beautiful melody. As you dive into learning this song, pay attention to Neil Young’s distinctive vocal technique.

One notable aspect of Neil Young’s singing style in “Helpless” is his use of falsetto, which adds a unique and ethereal quality to the song. Falsetto is a vocal technique that enables singers to produce higher-pitched and lighter-toned notes. It creates a sense of vulnerability and adds to the emotional impact of the song.

Learning to sing in falsetto requires control and practice. To develop your falsetto voice, Singing Carrots offers a helpful exercise called “Chest Voice/ Voice Registers.” This exercise will guide you in exploring different vocal registers, including falsetto. You can find the exercise here.

Effective Learning Strategies

Here are some strategies to effectively learn and master “Helpless”:

  1. Listen and analyze: Start by listening to Neil Young’s original recording of “Helpless” multiple times. Pay attention to his vocal nuances, phrasing, and emotional expression.
  2. Break it down: Divide the song into sections and practice each section separately before putting them together. Focus on mastering the tricky vocal parts, such as the falsetto passages.
  3. Analyze your voice: Understanding your vocal range is crucial for singing any song. Use Singing Carrots’ Vocal Range Test to determine your own range and compare it with Neil Young’s.
  4. Breathing and posture: Proper breathing technique and good posture contribute to better vocal control and tone quality. Consult Singing Carrots’ articles on Breathing Basics and How Posture Affects Your Singing for valuable insights.
  5. Practice regularly: Consistency is key to progressing as a singer. Set aside dedicated practice time and make use of Singing Carrots’ Pitch Training tool to improve your pitch accuracy and overall singing abilities.
  6. Expressing Emotion: “Helpless” is an emotionally charged song. To fully convey the essence of the lyrics, work on expressing the emotions through your singing. Learn how to connect emotionally with the song by following Singing Carrots’ tips in the article on Singing with Intuition, Skills, Emotion, and Thinking.

Other Songs with Similar Vocal Technique

The use of falsetto is not exclusive to “Helpless.” Many other popular songs include this vocal technique. Here are a few examples:

  • Kansas – Dust in the Wind: The ethereal falsetto in this iconic rock ballad adds an emotional touch to the song.
  • Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive: The falsetto passages in this disco hit give it a distinctive sound.
  • Prince – When Doves Cry: This Prince masterpiece features falsetto throughout the song, showcasing its power and versatility.

By exploring other songs with similar vocal techniques, you can expand your repertoire and discover new ways to incorporate falsetto into your singing style.