How to Learn Singing “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone
“Sinnerman” by Nina Simone is a powerful and iconic song that showcases the depth and range
of her vocal abilities. Learning to sing this song requires a solid understanding of vocal
technique and a willingness to embrace the intensity and emotion of the music. In this
article, we will break down the process of learning “Sinnerman” and highlight the unique
vocal technique used in the song.
Understanding the Song
“Sinnerman” is a gospel-inspired folk song that combines elements of spiritual and blues
music. It features a strong driving rhythm, powerful lyrics, and dynamic vocal melodies. The
song’s message revolves around redemption and the consequences of one’s actions, making it a
compelling and emotional piece to perform.
Unique Vocal Technique in “Sinnerman”
One of the standout features of Nina Simone’s rendition of “Sinnerman” is her incredible
vocal control and use of vocal dynamics. Throughout the song, she effortlessly transitions
between soft and gentle passages to powerful and intense sections, showcasing her ability to
convey different emotions through her voice. To master this technique, singers should focus
on breath control, vowel placement, and articulation.
Practical Tips for Learning the Song
- Analyze Your Voice: Before attempting to sing “Sinnerman,” take the time
to analyze your vocal range and voice type. Singing Carrots offers a vocal range test that can help you
determine your vocal range and compare it with famous singers.
- Warm Up and Practice Technique: Start your practice session with breathing
exercises and vocal warm-ups. Singing Carrots provides a pitch training tool that includes
interactive vocal warm-ups and exercises for range and agility.
- Study Vocal Technique: To fully master the vocal technique used in “Sinnerman,”
it is essential to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals. Singing Carrots offers
several articles that cover topics such as breath support, voice registers, articulation,
and more. You can find these resources here.
- Listen and Learn from Nina Simone: Take the time to listen to Nina Simone’s
rendition of “Sinnerman” closely. Pay attention to her phrasing, dynamics, and subtle nuances
in her performance. This will help you develop a deeper understanding of the song and its
unique vocal style.
- Practice, Practice, Practice: Learning any song takes time and patience. Dedicate
regular practice sessions to “Sinnerman” and focus on specific sections that challenge you.
Recording and analyzing your practice sessions can also be beneficial in identifying areas
Other Songs with Similar Vocal Techniques
The unique vocal technique used in “Sinnerman” can also be found in other popular songs.
Some notable examples include:
- “Feeling Good” – Nina Simone
- “I Put a Spell on You” – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
- “River Deep – Mountain High” – Tina Turner
- “Rolling in the Deep” – Adele