How to Learn Singing “I Can’t Turn You Loose” from Otis Redding

How to Learn “I Can’t Turn You Loose” by Otis Redding

If you’re a fan of soul music, chances are you’ve heard of Otis Redding. Known for his powerful voice and emotional delivery, Redding has left an indelible mark on the music industry. One of his iconic songs, “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” is a great choice for singers looking to hone their skills and add soul to their repertoire.

The Unique Vocal Technique

One of the keys to performing “I Can’t Turn You Loose” is mastering the art of vocal grit and rasp, also known as vocal distortion. This technique gives the song its raw and gritty feel. It’s achieved by adding a controlled roughness to your voice while maintaining good vocal technique.

This vocal technique is not only used by Otis Redding but also popularized by other soul and blues singers like James Brown in his song “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and Ray Charles in “What’d I Say.” Learning this technique will not only help you in this song but also expand your vocal range and versatility.

Practical Advice

Here are some practical steps to help you learn and perform “I Can’t Turn You Loose”:

  1. Listen and Analyze: Start by listening to the original song multiple times. Pay close attention to Redding’s vocal style, dynamics, and emotional delivery.
  2. Warm-up Your Voice: Before diving into the song, warm up your voice with vocal exercises like the ones in the Singing Carrots’ How to Twang Exercise or the How to Growl Exercise.
  3. Breath Control and Support: Use the Singing Carrots’ Breath Support article to enhance your breath control and support. This will help you maintain power and control throughout the song.
  4. Work on Vocal Distortion: While singing, experiment with adding a controlled vocal distortion. You can refer to Singing Carrots’ Vocal Distortion & Growlingarticle for guidance.
  5. Practice Vocal Runs: Redding’s melodic embellishments and vocal runs add flair to the song. Work on them slowly and gradually increase the speed using the Singing Carrots’ Pitch Training – Educational Singing Game.
  6. Focus on Emotion: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” is a passionate song, so let your emotions shine through. Sing with conviction and really connect with the lyrics.
  7. Record and Evaluate: Record yourself singing the song and listen back critically. Identify areas for improvement and keep refining your performance.

Remember, learning a song takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey.

Relevant Singing Carrots Resources

Singing Carrots provides a wealth of resources to support your vocal development and assist you in learning “I Can’t Turn You Loose.” Here are some recommended articles, videos, and tools: