How to Learn Singing “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” from Billy Joel

How to Learn Billy Joel’s “Say Goodbye to Hollywood”

Learning to sing a particular song can be an exciting and rewarding experience, and one of Billy Joel’s iconic songs, “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” is a great choice to showcase your vocal skills. In this article, we will guide you through the process of learning this song, highlighting the unique vocal technique used by Billy Joel and mentioning other popular songs where this technique is employed.

The Unique Vocal Technique: Belting

One of the standout features of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” is Billy Joel’s use of belting, a powerful and expressive vocal technique commonly found in rock and pop genres. Belting involves singing in a loud and resonant voice, often with a higher laryngeal position and a controlled chest voice.

This technique allows Joel to convey a strong emotional intensity in the song’s climactic moments, making it a standout performance. By learning to belt correctly, you can add this dynamic and captivating element to your own singing.

How to Learn the Song

To effectively learn “Say Goodbye to Hollywood,” it’s essential to follow a structured approach. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you master this classic Billy Joel tune:

  1. Analyze Your Voice: Before diving into the song, take some time to analyze your voice using the Vocal Range Test available on Singing Carrots. This will help you understand your vocal range and find the most suitable key for this song.
  2. Warm Up and Practice Vocal Techniques: Begin your practice session by warming up your voice with vocal exercises and techniques that focus on breath support, posture, and vocal resonance. Singing Carrots’ Pitch Training tool provides interactive vocal warm-ups and exercises that can help you improve your vocal technique.
  3. Listen to the Original Song: Familiarize yourself with the original recording of “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” by listening to it attentively. Pay attention to the melody, phrasing, dynamics, and overall performance. This will help you understand the song’s structure and musical nuances.
  4. Break Down the Song: Divide the song into smaller sections and focus on learning them one at a time. Start with the verse, then move on to the chorus and other sections. Sing each section repeatedly until you feel comfortable with the melody and lyrics. Singing Carrots’ Song Search tool can assist you in finding songs that match your vocal range and difficulty preference.
  5. Focus on Belting Technique: Identify the parts of the song where belting is prominent. Practice these sections separately, paying attention to your laryngeal position, breath support, and vocal resonance. Singing Carrots’ Contemporary Vocal Techniques article provides valuable insights into belting and other vocal techniques.
  6. Refine Your Performance: Once you have learned the song, focus on refining your performance. Pay attention to dynamics, expression, and emotional connection to the lyrics. Use Singing Carrots’ Song Book feature to create your performance set and access linked lyrics, sheet music, chords, karaoke, and YouTube audio for “Say Goodbye to Hollywood.”

Other Songs Utilizing Belting Technique

The unique vocal technique of belting is widely used in many popular songs across different genres. Songs like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” are notable examples featuring belting. By exploring and studying these songs, you can further develop your belting skills and expand your vocal repertoire.


Learning Billy Joel’s “Say Goodbye to Hollywood” is both a challenging and rewarding experience. By mastering the belting technique and following a structured learning plan, you can successfully perform this iconic song and enhance your singing abilities. Remember to utilize the resources provided by Singing Carrots, such as the Vocal Range Test, Pitch Training tool, and Song Book, to support your learning journey.