How to Sing ‘Just the Way You Are’ by Diana Krall
‘Just the Way You Are’ by Diana Krall is a fantastic example of the jazz vocal style. A good portion of this song resides in the middle voice register. Therefore, it’s essential to understand your voice registers and develop your middle voice, which offers a mix of resonance from both chest and head registers. The Mixed Voice exercise can help you with this.
In this song, Krall’s vocal style incorporates breathy onsets and Jazz vowels. You can encourage breathiness in your singing by gently using your vocal fry at the start of phrases. It’s important to manage breath control when using this technique. Check our Breath support resource and practice the Farinelli Breathing exercise.
Jazz vowels differ from classical in that they’re more relaxed. This can be achieved by maintaining a sense of openness in the vocal tract, for which you can review our Open mouth & throat article.
Furthermore, Krall uses a lot of back phrasing in her performances – a common jazz technique where the singer delays the arrival of the lyric, creating a laid-back feel. To master this, you need to know the song impeccably. Using Song search, find ‘Just the Way You Are’ and carefully study the sheet music and lyrics.
A noticeable feature is her exquisite use of dynamics, demonstrating both soft and loud passages with ease. This requires great breath control. You might want to work on Sustain Vocal exercise to improve.
Despite the song’s seeming simplicity, the emotional depth Krall brings to her performance is vital. We suggest reading about Singing with intuition, skills, emotion, and thinking to learn how to convey a song’s emotion effectively.
Once you’ve mastered the techniques used in this song, explore other Jazz standards like ‘Fly Me To The Moon’ by Frank Sinatra or ‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone, which employ similar stylistic techniques.