To fully explore the commonly used vocal techniques in R’n’B, we first need to understand how the larynx works. The licks of R’N’B use the pentatonic scale. The agility required for this scale is already less familiar than the major scale. On top of that the singer needs to nimbly stretch the vocal folds to different pitches extremely fast.
Now is really a great time to start thinking about developing the accuracy of what you can do already. To my mind, the greatest singers are the greatest listeners, so is there any way you can listen more attentively to the vocal to enable you to make good notes on the lyrics?
My suggestion to you would be to actually note down the shape of licks using a system of dots as a memory jog. If you know which note you are heading for next, it makes it a whole heap easier to ‘chunk it down’ and actually digest the musical phrase that just happened!