Learning to Sing “What About Us” by Pink
With Pink’s emotional power ballad, “What About Us”, learners get the chance to explore a wide range of vocal techniques. Pink combines strong chest voice with a bit of vocal raspiness, allowing the singer to tell a story of pain and strength through her voice.
“What About Us” uses heavy modal voice and a bit of raspy quality. The heavy modal voice is typical in rock and pop music, providing a robust, powerful sound. The raspy quality, or vocal distortion, adds depth and edge to the voice. Similar techniques are used in songs like “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele and “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi.
To get the raspy effect, try out this Growling exercise. But remember, forcing your voice to be raspy can lead to vocal strain or damage, so it is important to use this technique sparingly. Maintain vocal health.
Understanding the Song
Before diving into the song, make use of the Song Search tool to ensure it fits within your range. If it’s a bit high or low, don’t worry. Focus more on getting the emotion and the story across, even if you have to adjust some notes to make it more comfortable for you.
As you get into the nitty-gritty of learning, take note of key elements like the melody, articulation, and rhythm. The latter is particularly important in “What About Us” as there are several syncopated rhythms present. Using the Pitch Training tool can help you perfect your pitch and rhythm.
Bringing the Song to Life
Interpreting the lyrics and invoking emotions are critical for songs like “What About Us”. Take some time to decide what Pink’s lyrics mean to you and how you can express that sentiment in your singing. Consider where in the song you might want to add a growl or some rasp for emotional emphasis, or when you might want to hold back and be more vulnerable and soft.
Practice with the Vocal Pitch Monitor for instant feedback on your pitch and to visually see how you’re shaping the melody. Integrating your own authentic voice helps in creating a compelling performance.
Practice and Performance
Like any song, getting “What About Us” down takes practice. Regularly warm up your voice with exercises like the 3 Minute Exercise, and breaking the song down into small sections can make the learning process easier. Incorporate practices of good posture, and breathing, using techniques from our breathing basics guide.
Singing “What About Us” is an emotional journey and an excellent opportunity to experiment with and refine your use of the heavy modal voice technique.