How To Sing Like Hank Williams (5 Brilliant Tips)
Hank was an American country singer and songwriter.
He is regarded as the father of country music and also considered the best country singer of his time.
Hank is popularly known for his song “Cold, cold heart”. Hank was a master at releasing heartfelt lyrics.
Though his reign was short, he was a great singer and, his impact is still felt today.
Are you interested in learning how to sing like Hank Williams? Then search no further!
Here are some singing techniques that will not only help you singer like Hank but will make you a superb singer.
What Are The Steps Needed To Sing Like Hank Williams?
1. Develop a yodel
This is a common technique every aspiring country singer should learn and build on.
Yodeling involves the rapid alteration between high falsetto and low chest notes. In other words, yodel is more like a mixed voice.
This singing technique is accomplished by the enunciation of open and closed vowels on the low and high notes of wide intervals.
Here are some guides that can help you yodel;
- First, you have to determine the transition between the chest and higher registers. Yodeling necessitates switching between your chest register (regular voice) and your higher register (falsetto).
There will be a silent gap in your tone where your normal voice switches to falsetto. The silent gap occurs where your normal voice transitions up to a breathier, shriller, non-chest vibrating tone, which is your falsetto.
- Second, you must recognize the silent gap in your voice. Your voice will have a distinct silent gap.
If you can’t find yours, steadily lower your voice from a high-pitched siren-like “Aow” until you feel the tone resonate in your chest.
- Try switching from your chest voice to your head voice. This has to be done repeatedly to be mastered.
2. Do a bit of nasal singing
You may have noticed that country singers sound a bit nasally and, Hank Williams also had a remarkable nasal tone.
The truth is, to get that country feel, you will need to do a bit of nasal singing.
Nasal singing isn’t usually encouraged in other genres of music because it can remove the beauty of your voice. However, when it comes to country music, this technique is highly welcomed.
Here is an exercise that can help you develop a country style nasal voice;
- Hold your nostrils with your fingertips, or pinch the sides of your nose together. Make sure no air can escape out of your nose.
Say or sing a chosen phrase over and over, and notice whether you can feel your nose vibrating under your fingers.
A good way to develop a nasal voice is by adding ‘ng’ sound to your voice. Start by saying ‘ng’ as in the end of the word ‘sing’. You will notice all the air is coming out of your nose. You can check this by holding your nose closed with your fingers and saying ‘ng’ again.
- You can take a step further by singing a sustained ‘ng’. You will notice that the airflow and sound are coming out of your nose. You don’t need to push the air down, it will flow out of its own accord.
Now, very gently and slowly, keep the airflow coming down your nose, and drop your tongue to sing a vowel (‘eh’ or ‘ih’ seem to work best). The movement is tiny, and you should end up with air and sound coming out of both your nose and mouth.
You will hear a vowel sound, but when you do the rapid nose-pinch test, the sound alters without cutting out. The pitch may also change, even though you are maintaining the same note inside.
- And finally, the third position. You want to raise the soft palate to close the doorway into the nose so that all the sound is coming out of your mouth.
3. Develop a vibrato
Hank’s voice had a fantastic vibrato. Vibrato is a quick, minor change in pitch when singing. Every vocalist should be familiar with three types of vibrato.
They are as follows:
Vibrato is essential for singers in all kinds of music genre. Here are some exercises that will help you develop your vibrato;
- Place your hands at the bottom of your chest and feel where your ribs come together in the middle. Now move your hands slightly below this point.
- Now sing a note on one pitch in your easy range. Any note will do.
- As you’re singing this note, push in gently with your hands. The key is to push in, then pull out, and push in, then pull out, and so on. Try doing this at a rate of around 3 to 4 cycles a second.
What Voice Type Does Hank Williams Have?
Hank had a baritone voice type, which is most prevalent amongst male singers. That is to say that his vocal range lied between the bass and the tenor voice types.
The typical baritone range is from A2 to A4 and might extend down to F2 or up to C5 sometimes.
Some other popular baritone singers include John Anderson, Phil Anselmo, Charlie Applewhite, etc
What Makes Hank Williams’ Voice So Unique?
Hank was a country singer with a country accent to his voice.
Due to this, his voice is very easy to spot. Hank had a nasally sound to his voice, which is very common to country singers.
His yodel and fantastic vibrato singing techniques also makes him stand out.
Here is an article I wrote on how to sing like Tom Delonge
Can Hank Williams Actually Sing?
Yes, Hank Williams could sing. He was considered the best country singer at the time. Even after his death is he is still considered the best country singer.
Asides from his singing, he was also an amazing songwriter. His lyrics are so heartfelt that it was impossible not to be carried along when he sang.
He had a well-developed yodel which shows a level of professionalism.
How Did Hank William Start Singing?
Hank started singing when he was about 8years old.
At the time he was gifted a guitar by his mother and he started learning to play the guitar as well.
However, Hank started playing the guitar professionally in his early teenage years. He came into the limelight in 1951 when he released his song “Cold, cold heart”.
He has since then been regarded as the father of country music.
Though his music career was very short, his impact is greatly felt even today. Hank is indeed a legend.
Also check out this article I wrote on how to sing like Demi Lovato
What Is Hank Williams’ Vocal Range?
Hank’s vocal range based on the songs he sang and his live performances is F2-D5. This is a 2.5-octave scale.
This range is significantly higher than the average for an inexperienced vocalist. Experienced singers may be able to reach a 3-octave scale.
What Is The Highest Note Hank William’s Can Sing?
The highest note Hank ever sang in his songs and live performances was F2.
He usually did the majority of his songs on high notes. His lowest note ever was D5. It was very rare for Hank to sing on his lower notes though.
What Are Some Classic Hank William’s Songs To Practice?
1. Hey good looking
2. I’m so lonesome I could cry
3. Cold, cold heart
Hank was of no doubt a legend when it came to country music. He had a nasal sound that adds to make his country songs sound beautiful.
Hank’s musical career started when he was 8years old after his mother gifted him a guitar. The singer had a terrific baritone voice type which ranges between F2-D5.
Although Hank wasn’t in the limelight for long, he sure left a great impact with his songs.