Adele was a big hit at the Grammy’s this year. OK. That might be an understatement.
Now I’ll say that I am not a huge Adele fan, but it isn’t because I don’t like her songs. As a voice teacher with many years of training and quite a few excellent teachers, her voice makes me cringe. The obvious vocal damage makes my throat hurt just listening to her. Here’s hoping that the surgery and maybe some good lessons on preserving those vocal chords will help the girl out. Adele’s signature sound is largely caused by the vocal damage. It could be from over use, vocal abuse, smoking, drinking, poor breathing technique or any combination there of. However, when you try and listen beyond the squeaks and glottal fry there is a nice voice under there that has an very good range.
Voice teachers usually see an uptick in calls about lessons after an event with as much exposure as the Grammys. Not to mention that Adele is all over the news. So since I was at the music store, I picked up a PVG copy of Adele’s latest album 21. PVG stands for Piano, Vocal, Guitar. Unlike many pop albums the accompaniments in the book are good and make sense with the vocal line. They aren’t just duplicating it.
After looking at the arrangements, my conclusion that many people could sing from this book/album and learn a lot. For example, the song Someone Like You covers a 2 octave range. You aren’t going to find many pop songs that do that. This is a perfect opportunity to learn about crossing the passaggio. Many of the songs are in a range that beginners would feel comfortable singing in.
So my answer is yes. Go out and buy the PVG copy of Adele’s album 21. Find a voice teacher that is teaching proper singing technique and not just coaching students to create a copycat sound. With proper training you can sing just about anything.