How to Learn Singing “In the Ghetto” from Elvis Presley

Learning to Sing ‘In the Ghetto’ by Elvis Presley

‘In the Ghetto’ by Elvis Presley is a profound song with a unique vocal technique that, when learned, can enhance your singing. It demands a low, resonant voice, mixed with a tender expression of emotion. This technique is also present in other songs like Johnny Cash’s ‘Hurt’ and Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’.

Understanding and Adopting the Vocal Technique

Elvis sings ‘In the Ghetto’ in his typical Baritone voice but with a hint of the Chest Voice, reminiscent of the old-school gospel singing. Such a technique supports his low to mid-range vocal delivery, helping to produce the raw & resonant tonality. Learning about Voice Types and Voice Registers can be helpful to understand this better.

Another characteristic is his use of Articulation to create a unique style. Elvis adds a slight growling effect, especially on the lower notes to convey more emotion, which can be practised using: How to Growl Exercise.

Learning the Song

Initially, analyse your vocal abilities. Determine your vocal range using the Vocal Range Test. This will help you decide if you need to adjust the song’s key.

Next, practice the melody line. Break the song down into smaller sections and work on each part separately: verse, chorus, and bridge. Pay attention to the pitch and rhythm. The Vocal Pitch Monitor can provide real-time feedback and help improve your accuracy.

While singing, always maintain your natural vocal quality to avoid strain. Good Breath Support and an Open Throat are essential to achieve resonance and avoid constriction.

Elvis’s interpretation is filled with emotion that powerfully conveys the song’s message. Study his phrasing, dynamics, and vocal nuances to grasp his emotional connection with the song. Singing should engage both technique and emotional intuition.


‘In the Ghetto’ challenges you to incorporate many elements of singing. Practising this song helps not only broaden your vocal range but also narrate a moving story. Therefore, while learning this song or any other, remember to blend your technical prowesses with emotions to create a distinct vocal style.

For more handy tips and exercises, check out the Educational Singing Course provided by Singing Carrots. You can also find more songs that match your vocal range here.