I remember growing up and watching Bon Jovi and The Killers and those sure knew how to belt a tune.
And this always got me thinking… How do they sing metal without hurting their voices?
Well you are in luck because I will be sharing that with you here
The truth is that not everyone can just open their mouths and start to scream sing
If you do so without the proper training, you just might permanently damage your throat.
Without wasting any more of your time, here are screaming techniques to help you properly sing metal without hurting your throat.
1. Do your breathing exercises and warm-ups
Imagine a boxer who steps into the ring and does not do any warm ups, what do you think will happen?
Let me tell you my friend… he will get knocked down flat on his bum
Same thing it is with singers and musicians.
Before you get started trying to sing metal or learning how to scream as a beginner, the first thing you want to do is to do your breathing exercises and vocal warm-ups
This practice will warm up your vocal range and ensure that you are well prepared to get on stage and scream as loud as you want without any issues
Do this for at least 30 and you will be more relaxed and confident for your set
2. Plan your set
Most people step into the booth or step on stage without any plans whatsoever
See singing metal takes a lot of work and practice behind the scenes
If you know that a particular song or session is going to be full on screaming, then what you can do is to plan the next session to be low screams.
This will ensure that your throat and vocal cords at least have some time to rest and recuperate before the next session
3. Make sure you do your cardio and core training
Like i said earlier, any type of metal or rock singing usually tests the vocal limits of the artist or singer.
As a result you want to make sure that you have a ready workout plan scheduled
Things such as cardio exercises will help to increase your lung capacity while core strengthening exercises will give your body support and balance when you go for those telling notes
4. Drink plenty of fluids before and during your performance
Nothing causes more harm and injury to your throat than a dry vocal cord
So you want to make sure that in rehearsals, warm ups and on stage you have adequate supply of fluids to keep your vocal cords hydrated
Make sure they are either at room temperature or hot as cold drinks tend to constrict the throat causing more damage
5. Know your notes
Another important factor is to ensure that you know your notes
Even if you are screaming a note in a song, you need to know what note it is so that you can scream in tune.
Screaming in tune will help your band sound cohesive — it is just as important as tuning the guitar and bass for keeping your sound musical.
Plus the added confidence in knowing where to aim your voice is essential for keeping your voice in good shape.
6. Avoid alcohol and only take it after your session
Pretty explanatory right
Alcohol is too drying for your voice and will magnify any effects screaming does to your throat
So if you must have a sip of that alcohol, make sure you do it after your set or session
You need your vocal cords hydrated properly to scream successfully and consistently
7. Make sure you stay healthy
Lastly, you want to make sure you stay healthy
Do your best to eat a balanced diet and get plenty of sleep
Your body and your vocal cords are your “instrument” after all and they will only function properly if they are well taken care of
Also you can also work with a singing coach or a specialist who will ensure that you do the right thing
He or she can help you develop your screaming technique and personal habits to ensure you a full lifetime of singing and screaming well.
Rob Halford of the heavy metal band Judas Priest, for example, studied singing technique and he is able to successfully scream sing after decades of constant touring.
8. Breathe right
For starters, when learning how to sing metal it is necessary to breathe right – when you inhale, puff out your stomach.
This is termed breathing from your diaphragm and you sing when you exhale.
Once you have mastered this method of natural singing then you can continue to add metal singing techniques like vibrato.
A great technique is to push and not force air from your lungs in order to make that raspy voice that sounds like the death throes of a lion!
Any of the techniques that metal artists use must not be simply copied by you but practiced consistently to perfect how to sing metal.
If you want to learn how to sing metal without destroying your vocal chords, follow these short steps each day:
- With a relaxed throat, allow your mouth to hang open slightly.
- After a deep breath, push the air up from your diaphragm so that it sounds like the sound of wind. Do not involve your vocal chords when doing this.
- When exhaling, slowly introduce some raspy gurgling sounds from the bottom of your throat.
- To give make this sound more evil, place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
10. Use the right Microphone
Lastly, you want to use the right microphones.
This is especially true when you consider the fact that most microphones start to clip and distort with high volume.
Here is an article I wrote reviewing the top 5 best microphones for screaming, which you can check out.