How to Learn Singing “The Bare Necessities” from Phil Harris

How to Learn Singing “The Bare Necessities” by Phil Harris

Learning to sing a song can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. In this article, we will explore how to sing “The Bare Necessities” by Phil Harris, from the classic Disney movie “The Jungle Book.” This iconic song is known for its playful and laid-back style, making it a great choice for beginners to practice their vocal skills.

Introduction to the Song

“The Bare Necessities” is a delightful song that captures the spirit of carefree living. It is filled with catchy melodies and charming lyrics that convey a message of simplicity and contentment. The song is performed by Baloo, a lovable bear, who teaches Mowgli, the main character, the importance of enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Unique Vocal Technique in “The Bare Necessities”

One of the unique vocal techniques used in “The Bare Necessities” is the use of character and storytelling through the singing. Phil Harris, the original performer of the song, showcases his ability to bring Baloo’s laid-back and carefree personality to life through his vocal delivery. He emphasizes the playful and relaxed nature of the song by incorporating subtle vocal inflections and expressive storytelling.

In addition to the storytelling aspect, another notable technique in this song is the use of swing rhythms. The song has a jazzy feel, with syncopated rhythms that give it a lively and energetic vibe. Pay attention to the rhythmic patterns and try to emphasize the swung notes to capture the essence of the song.

Practical Tips for Learning “The Bare Necessities”

To effectively learn and sing “The Bare Necessities,” here are some practical tips to keep in mind:

  1. Listen to the original version: Familiarize yourself with the original recording of the song by Phil Harris. Pay attention to the nuances in his delivery, the phrasing, and the overall feel of the song.
  2. Study the lyrics: Read and understand the lyrics of the song. Make sure you know the meaning behind the words, and focus on how they contribute to the storytelling and characterization.
  3. Practice vocal techniques: Work on your storytelling skills by incorporating expressive techniques into your performance. Experiment with vocal inflections, dynamics, and phrasing to bring out the playful and carefree nature of the song.
  4. Work on swing rhythms: Practice singing the song with the swing rhythms characteristic of jazz music. Pay attention to the emphasis on the offbeat notes and strive for a relaxed and laid-back feel.
  5. Use Singing Carrots resources: Take advantage of the Singing Carrots vocal range test (link) and pitch accuracy test (link) to assess and improve your vocal abilities. The Vocal Pitch Monitor (link) can be a helpful tool to visualize your sung notes on a virtual piano.
  6. Explore other Singing Carrots resources: Utilize the Pitch Training program (link) to improve your pitch control and agility. The Song search feature (link) can help you find songs that match your vocal range and difficulty level.
  7. Consider vocal techniques in other songs: “The Bare Necessities” is not the only song that uses swing rhythms and storytelling techniques. Explore Singing Carrots’ collection of vocal ranges of famous singers (link) to discover other songs that showcase similar vocal techniques.


Learning to sing “The Bare Necessities” is a delightful journey into the world of character-driven storytelling and swing rhythms. By incorporating the practical tips mentioned in this article and utilizing Singing Carrots’ resources, you can enhance your vocal skills and bring this charming song to life. So, grab your microphone, relax, and let the bare necessities of singing guide you on an enjoyable musical adventure!