R&B, which stands for Rhythm and Blues, is a combination of different styles of music such as gospel and jazz. In this tutorial, Coach Tara and Coach Jeremie go over the quintessential vocal elements found universally in R&B singing: riffs and runs, rasp, and vocal slides.

Riffs and Runs

When singing R&B, a four-note run is what is most often used with a tail-off at the end of the notes. To prevent muddiness to the notes, hold the top note for a second and then point to and emphasize the second note before moving down the rest of the run. If you set that second note like jello, the rest will be on pitch every time.


To bring raspiness to your tone, add more air or breathiness to the notes you are singing. If you are struggling, over-exaggerate the breathiness and then tailor it back until you find a good blend. Keep in mind the tonality of the rasp will differ from person to person. For some singers, the tone will have a breathier quality while others will sound grittier. Accept the natural bent of your own voice so you don’t push too far and cause strain.

Vocal Slides

A vocal slide can be found in other genres but for different reasons. In pop, it’s more about showcasing talent, whereas in R&B, it’s more about conveying emotion. Adding the slide or vocal cry to your voice allows it to become a vehicle of expression to draw the listener in even more.

For vocal coaching help (lessons and courses): https://tarasimonstudios.com/vocal-coaching/