One of the most iconic singers in history, Chris Cornell is hands down my all time favorite vocalist.
Not only do I admire the power he sang with and his songwriting, but I admired his ability to sing those soft notes.
So throughout the years, I have studied and injected many things from Chris’ voice into my own.
It’s taught me a great deal about how to sing those high notes with power and distortion.
In this article I’m going to tell you exactly how to sing like Chris Cornell (not imitate) so you can improve your power, your range, and sound like a classic rockstar.
BUT FAIR WARNING: If you want to sing like Chris Cornell, it’s important that you make sure you understand and have the foundations of singing. Without proper support and technique, you could damage your voice.
If you haven’t developed proper support and technique, here’s a free vocal course you can enroll in that will help you to develop those fundamentals:
Alright so now that you’re ready and your voice is ready, let’s get started.
The Dying Cat – The Key to Singing High With Power
So several years ago, before I had figured out how to expand my range, I remember reading this article.
In the article, there was a comment by someone who recently attended a Soundgarden concert.
He must not have been a big fan of Chris or Soundgarden because he mentioned that at one point during the concert, Chris had sounded like a dying cat.
This made me laugh a bit, but it also made me think. So I began making loud cat noises.
And when doing so, I realized that I was using a different voice. A voice that brought power in the higher pitches. It didn’t feel like chest resonance or falsetto. It was this “blended” feeling of the two.
And so I began trying to hit sustained pitches while sounding like that dying cat… What I felt and heard surprised me!
I pushed a little more from the diaphragm, still sounding like that dying cat, and I began creating distortion just like Chris does!
This was very exciting! Who knew that sounding like a dying cat could unlock all these new possibilities within my voice?!
And with practice, I began to polish that sound and make it my own.
So how can you start to sing like Chris Cornell?
It’s simple. You’re going to start just like I did.
Begin by making cat noises and make sure that you’re not dropping your larynx. Pay attention to how it feels.
After doing that a few times, begin trying to hit controlled pitches. You can even sing along to one of your favorite songs while sounding like this dying cat.
And if you really want to take this sound to the next level, you can push with your lower diaphragm a little more. You’ll notice that when you do this, your voice begins to break up.
This is good! It’s the same technique Chris uses to get his iconic sound and with practice, you can develop your own type of distortion.
So that’s how I discovered how to inject Chris Cornell’s sound in my own voice.
I encourage you to try it for yourself. I know that making those dying cat noises seems ridiculous, but the worst thing you can do when experimenting, is to judge yourself.
You have to forget about sounding perfect and remember that the goal is to feel and discover new things about your voice.
And don’t worry, you won’t be sounding like a dying cat forever. This is just a tool you can use to help you hit higher notes with controlled power.
If you want to watch the video I made about this topic and listen to how I use this technique to sound like Chris Cornell, check out the video here:
Helping you discover your voice,