How To Scream Vocal !
Steps for Screaming
Tips for Scream
- Be patient. Learning to scream safely can take approximately a year, and for the first many months, often times, it simply sounds bad. Don't give up, it will get better.
- Don't scream too much. This can damage your vocal cords. If you do, rest your voice after!
- Having an understanding of what head resonance is and how to use it is very helpful when you are learning to scream. The easiest way to learn this is Melissa Cross's method: put a pencil in your mouth and practice singing over it and under it. Also think of singing over the pencil and projecting your voice toward a wall in the distance. This should teach you what head resonance is. (Melissa Cross also has instructional DVDs that that can be bought that explain everything about "harsh" vocals)
- Scream alone for a while, it can be embarrassing to scream around others who already know how to scream. Once you are ready show them your scream and let them honestly critique it.
- DO NOT scream each scream with all of your air. Moderation is the key, if you use everything you have, it'll hurt very badly and not sound good at all.
- This is the most important thing for getting the scream sound rather than a shout sound; you need to drink lots of water before, during, and after screaming to ensure that your vocal chords are well hydrated at all times for the sound that you want and to not cause any harm. Always drink room-temperature, or warm water. Adding a little bit of lemon may stop mucus from forming.
- If you prefer something more flavored, try some weak (heavily diluted) squash/juice concentrate. Although it's not entirely bad for your screaming, water is a better recommendation. Honey is also very good for your voice before singing and screaming and for vocal healing if you damage your voice.
- The more you practice, the easier it gets and the longer you'll be able to scream without grasping for water. You'll be able to talk normal right after screaming over time as well.
- To avoid some harm to the vocal chords, add a slight 'yeh' sound before each dangerous inner-word vowel. So, 'attack' would sound like 'attyack,' etc.
- To avoid some more harm to the vocal chords, scream nasally. Imagine that the sound is going up and out of your nose. This helps with both health and sound.
- If you do hurt your voice, either from screaming, or just yelling too much at a party There is always the option of vocal rest. Don't scream for a while, don't sing. Don't even talk or hum, and especially don't whisper. When your voice is hurt any form of vocalisation can delay the healing process. Whispering is the worst, as it closes your vocal cords together, causing a similar effect to screaming with improper technique. If you must speak, use your full speaking voice. It still isn't great, but it's the least damaging option. Most times, your voice should, and will, come back after implementing vocal rest for a day.
- Warm up your voice before AND after screaming. This will prevent vocal damage.
- Skill in death metal singing can be a great jump start for learning to scream, especially for metal screaming.
- If you are interested in more tips, purchase The Zen of Screaming. It is a DVD by Melissa Cross on how to scream.
- Screaming is 30% skill and 70% confidence. You have to be thinking "I am the best screamer in the world!!" at all times. Nervousness shows. So just relax.
- Listen to certain screams in different types of metal. Like listen to the screams in Deathstars, then listen to the screams in Lamb Of God. See what style you would be able to work with the best.
- Try holding a scream for as long as possible without it wavering. The intro screams in some Atreyu songs would be good practice, but be warned, the screaming style used in Atreyu is very harsh and takes a LOT of practice. Also, try screaming as high as you can without hurting your voice. The song "Spirit Crusher" by Death is a good song for that.
- Before screaming, hum, then push, so your screaming whilst humming then open your mouth. This will help if you have difficulties screaming.
- If you have trouble breathing through your diaphragm, put your hand below your belly button and push whilst screaming, this should help a little.
- How your hands are placed on your microphone can define your sound. If you cup your hands loosely at the top of your microphone as you scream, the sound will not only be louder, but deeper. Cupping the mic head also helps deliver lower screams more effectively.
- Practice with different mouth shapes. If your mouth is looser and hanging open like a fish mouth, a deeper tone will come out.
- If you don't drink water your throat can feel very dry and damage your voice. But, also remember to only drink warm or room temperature water for moistening your throat. The reason for this is that when you drink cold or near freezing water, you, in a way, "stiffen" you vocal cords, and while screaming or growling, can cause damage or pain, or both.
- Make sure your voice doesn't hurt too bad after you scream. This means that you are stressing your vocal chords too much. Loosen up and let it out. When you first begin to learn how to scream and growl, your throat will slightly "ache": this is okay, and it is natural. After a while, if you have been careful along the way, you'll be able to go for hours without hurting your throat.
- You may have some jaw-cramping if you are not experienced with screaming/growling. Do not continue a scream if you get a cramp! You won't be able to scream/sing/growl for weeks afterwords.
- When screaming, make sure you use good diaphragm support. Exhale with your diaphragm and tense your abs. As Melissa Cross explains, you need to balance the air pressure you use with the work your false chords do so you don't put too much stress on the chords. As mentioned earlier and in several other screaming articles, do not slouch or let your body hang limp, even when not performing or practicing. An example of how to hold yourself up would be those inspiring band group photo's, the ones that show the entire metal band standing (usually) side by side. Most of these photo's depict the band members with bad ass or menacing frowns, and this is just a minor aspect of metal, though if you look closely at their posture, you can see them standing straight and tall. This is how you should be whenever you can help it.
- Make sure you constantly breathe, as screaming can take a lot of breath. Over time, you'll develop stronger and more powerful lungs, it is simply a beneficial side effect of this amazing art (screaming and growling).