While developing your own sound is important, singing like another singer comes with its own benefits, especially early in your career.
For one, it can lead you to eventually finding your own voice and it can also bring you listeners who may mistake you for another artist who is more established. Whatever the case, learning to sing like another artist can be a true testament to your actual vocal ability – just check out Jimmy Fallon’s Wheel of Musical Impressions.
Besides, many artists of today started out by copying the singing styles of other big names that came out before them (Ariana Grande, for example, is often compared to Mariah Carey). The important thing is not to try and sound exactly like the other singer. Here are some dos and don’ts to consider if you want to sing like another artist.
Do try to emulate artists with whom you already have a similar sound. Trying to sing like Christina Aguilera when your natural singing voice is closer to Macy Gray’s is almost impossible.
Do choose songs from the artist that match your natural voice and are simple enough to sing. Even if you already have a similar sound, the singer may have a wider range and is probably trained to hold certain notes that you are not yet comfortable to manage, so choose wisely.
Do practice singing a few bars at a time. You will need to listen and sing along with each part of the song several times before you will be able to sing a song like a particular artist. Patience is key here, as well as paying keen attention to your sound compared to the artist you’re imitating.
Don’t become obsessed with sounding exactly like the singer. At the end of the day, you will still need to maintain your own identity. Plus, listeners will start thinking you’re a fraud if you don’t evolve into your own voice once you start getting noticed.
Remember, when singing like another singer, it is more important to copy how they use their voice so that you can become better vocally, rather than how they sound.