How To Sing Like Maynard James Keenan (5 Brilliant Tips)

Published Categorized as Singing

Maynard James Keenan is a songwriter, singer, musician who is also an actor. He is a popular face from the band “Tool” of which he was a lead vocalist. 

The fascinating thing about Maynard is that he has incredible singing skills for a rock singer. This is pretty much why lots of people love him and aspire to be like him. 

If you’re interested in acquiring singing skills, Maynard has so you can learn from to be a better singer.

And, this article covers techniques of Maynard’s voice that can you become a better singer. So, search no further.

What Are The Steps Needed To Sing Like Maynard James Keenan?

How To Sing Like Maynard James Keenan

1. Develop good articulation

Maynard has a clear vocal expression which is known as articulation. Being able to communicate your lyrics to your listeners is a definite necessity. 

A lot of persons make the mistake of associating articulation with just speaking. However, articulation is not only necessary when talking, but it’s equally important in singing. 

In case your articulation needs a bit of work, here are some tips that can help you;

  • Proper articulation requires the development of good breath control. Articulation is easier if you already have a good breath control as a vocalist. If you don’t, you can do exercises that will help you establish effective breath control.
  • Proper posture is required for articulation. To achieve the maximum results from articulation, your posture must be correct. Standing up straight is the proper posture. This posture has a lot of advantages for your voice.
  • Vocal warm-ups improve articulation. Exercise is often done to maintain a healthy body form and tone. This also applies to the voice. Here are some warm-up activities for articulation;
    • A good exercise that can enhance articulation is the “Hum” exercise. To do this, you have to inhale and then begin to hum while slowly exhaling all of your air. You can do this about five times or more.
  • Another exercise that can help your articulation is the “Ha” exercise. This is an interesting exercise. This involves standing upright and placing your hands on your abdomen. Then, breathe in deeply from your diaphragm. Then “ha” as you exhale, pushing in your abdomen with every syllable. 

2. Work on your breath Control

This is a basic requirement for every singer. The importance of breath control while singing can’t be over-emphasized. It helps you hit high notes, develop clear tones, as well as protect your voice from possible harm.

Good breath control requires inhaling quickly and exhaling gently while singing, as well as maintaining proper posture.

Maintaining proper breath control, then, includes more than just your breath; it also involves your posture. This method of breathing gives you the breath control you need to sing successfully.

However, because controlled breathing does not come naturally to you, you must educate your body to breathe for singing. So, lots of practice is required.

The goal of breath control is to exert control over the amount of air released from the lungs while singing. It is also vital to keep an even flow of air.

Breath control typically needs some level of support to work perfectly. Now, support in this scenario is a technique that involves employing other areas of the body, such as the muscles, to sing longer phrases and sustain notes for long periods.

Support operates by constricting the abdominal muscles, increasing pressure in the belly and thorax, and allowing the diaphragm’s relaxation to be more precisely managed.

Because there is less control in relaxing a muscle than in contracting it, support allows artists to manage their sound or phonation.

3. Develop vocal distortion 

Vocal distortion is essentially a type of roughness. It is caused by a blockage in the vocal tract, which results in uneven vibrations.

Singing with distortion is possible and safe for anyone who knows how.

To get distortion, sing at a low volume and relax the vocal folds so they faintly rub against each other, which is where the distorted sound comes from.

Maynard has a slight distortion in his voice which gives that rocky feel when you hear him sing.

Distortions aren’t always a positive thing, especially when they’re used throughout a song. It’s fine to include it in a line or two of a song.

4. Work on developing a good vocal tone

A good vocal tone is a combination of a good pitch, volume, tone, enunciation, articulation, and timbre. Maynard has a good vocal tone for this definition.

Developing a good vocal tone is pretty much easy; however, hard work is required. Some practice you can take up for this purpose includes;

  • Engage in more breathing exercises. When practicing breathing exercises, pay attention to your breath flow and ensure it matches your vocal range. 
  • Before singing, be sure to do some vocal warm-ups. This ensures that you’re not putting too much strain on your voice.
  • Practicing by singing your favorite tunes also helps to improve your vocal tone. It helps you know if you have a vocal tone for that song.
  • Imitating your favorite singer will help you in adjusting your tone.     

5. Consistency 

With all the characteristics above, it’s important to sing with consistency. If you sound good for a few notes but then terrible after that, the overall impression will be a bad one.

Having a good voice means having a good voice throughout a song, not just now and then. It means having consistent volume, tone, pitching, support, and style at all times, and it will also help you know what singing conditions are most conducive to consistent singing. 

To improve your singing voice, aim for a consistent sound when you practice. 

Here is an article I wrote on how to sing like Post Malone

What Voice Type Does Maynard James Keenan Have? 

Maynard is a perfect description of a high baritone singer. There are three male voice types which are bass, baritone, and tenor.

A baritone is a classical male singing voice that falls between the bass and tenor voice categories. The baritone voice is considered the most common male voice type.

A lot of persons get confused when it comes to his voice type because his range is quite high. Not all baritone singers sing on low notes. 

However, there’s also a high baritone voice. It is simply a baritone who’s higher on the spectrum. There are different types of baritone, there is the dramatic-baritone and lyric-baritone.

A dramatic baritone singer has a low range while a lyric baritone singer has a high range. 

What Makes Maynard James Keenan’s Voice So Unique?

Maynard has an articulation that is very rare amongst rock singers. This is one feature he has that is very outstanding. 

He has desperation in his voice that almost sounds too distinct to replicate. Another amazing thing about Maynard’s voice is how he can move from a heavy voice to a soft one. 

Can Maynard James Keenan Actually Sing?

Yes, Maynard James Keenan is an excellent vocalist. 

His lyrics are expressive, his intonation is spot on and his vocal timbre is very clear. He rarely screams or growls when he sings. 

Maynard’s voice isn’t just record-friendly, he also sounds good when he performs live. He makes use of pre-recorded backup vocals when performing live.

Regardless Maynard is a good singer. 

Also check out this article I wrote on how to sing like Travis Scott

How Did Maynard James Keenan Start Singing?

Keenan started his music career soon after leaving art school. He rose in to fame when he formed a band in 1990. He formed a group called “Tool” alongside Adam Jones. 

He was the lead vocalist of the “Tool” and he has remained relevant since then till date. 

Maynard was always known for standing at the back of the stage when singing with the Tool. His aim for doing that was to focus more on his singing and less on entertaining the audience visually. 

In addition, at the back of the stage, his microphone receives less noise from the stage equipment so he feels the overall sound is better.

What Is Maynard James Keenan’s Vocal Range?

Maynard’s vocal range from his songs so far is between C#2-F#5. This range is just based on the songs he has sang so far including his live performances. 

There’s every possibility that he can go higher or lower than the stated vocal range. 

What Is The Highest Note Maynard James Keenan Can Sing?

The highest note Maynard has sang so far is F#5. He did songs like “Jerk-Off” on F#5. His lowest key so far is C#2.

What Are Some Classic Maynard James Keenan Songs To Practice?

1. A perfect circle 

2. Passenger 

3. Early sober 


Maynard is an amazing rock singer. This backstage baritone singer is musically skilled. He is very articulate when singing, which is kind of rare amongst rock singers. 

His ability to manage his breath and his slightly distorted voice also makes him stand out.  

He is popularly known for being the lead vocalist of the band “Tool”. He is a baritone singer with an amazing vocal range which is between C#2-F#5.

By Sophie Collins

Hi my name is Sophie, I am a Singer, Producer and Instrumentalist. I also love to bake and get creative with my hands. When I am not strumming my guitar, you can find me reading a good book with a glass of wine in my hands.

Discover Your VoiceLearn To Sing Like A Pro

Sing with power and confidence