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snizzle 06-30-2004 12:56 PM

Screaming Questions: Bring ALL screaming discussion here.
So, as I'm getting increasingly more and more agitated with the fact that the vocals forum has morphed into a screaming forum I was considering just pulling the screaming tips from the VAT. There is no way to scream 'properly'. As someone else stated, even singing poorly (or incorrectly) can mess up your voice. The more i pursue my voice training I realize how intricate the voice is.

My voice teacher (whom I normally don't agree with) had an interesting comment during my last lesson. "Learning to sing is about unlearning bad habits". Your voice is the only instrument that you already have experience with. If you learn to play trombone at some point you're going to have to figure out how to make a sound. We are born making sounds with our voices. That's what it's there for. The problem is that we pick up lots of bad habits.

I'm not trying to strictly rule out screaming. If you sing a lot and you have had no training this is for you as well. Let's take the lead singer of Audio Adrenaline. They're retiring. Why? The main reason is Mark Stuart can't sing anymore. After 10-15 years of being in Audio A and straining his voice by singing incorrectly, he's got to hang up his hat. I don't think anyone would think of him as a screamer, but the same lesson applies.

Get lessons. REAL one on one lessons. Not a DVD. Not some advice on the internet. After all..who am I anyways? Why should you trust me? Or anyone?

Every voice is different. Every voice is unique. Get an instructor that will help you understand how your voice works. And how you can get results you want with YOUR voice. Not some generic information on the internet or some DVD.

Closing thought: If you are going to scream (which, let's face probably will) use a microphone. If you can't afford/don't have a mic...DON'T SCREAM. You are not going to sound like any of the guys you're trying to emulate. They can't sound like they do without a mic. Do some of them use vocal effects (live and in the studio)? Yep. Probably most of them use at least some reverb. Do some of them just sing through the mic 'clean'. Probably. But they can't do it w/out a mic and a sound system. If you don't have one...don't do it.

I in no way indorse screaming. These are tips that I compiled so that if you are going to do it, at least you are doing it "right". Screaming WILL mess up your voice, it is only a matter of when. The tips are all listed below; i compiled them from different threads and websites about screaming technique. It is only here so that there won't be 10 new threads a day about wanting to scream. I take no responsibility for what you do with these tips. Screaming will injure your voice.

How can I learn to scream?

First of all, I want it to be known that most screaming will mess up your voice. The most frequent advice I have seen about screaming is this:

"Scream until your throat hurts and starts bleeding. After it heals it wont hurt so bad cuz you wont be able to feel it."

Sound safe and harmless to you? Didn't think so. This will mess up your voice. However, if after all of this you still want to know how to scream here is some good advice. I paraphrased and condensed a lot of this for here but the entire thread (which i recommend. VERY good advice) can be found at the bottom.

"Before you start: Just be carefull that reading this in no way can really prepare you in the way a proffessional instructor can. I highly reccomend singing lessons before you start screaming your head off so you can learn some proper form. But if you're impatient and think you can read instructions carefully err go ahead

Alright here goes:

#0 shut your door, or make sure nobodys home, this is pretty important because you can't be shy about this at all, if you do it half way its gonna sound like poop. Also your parents or whoever your living with is gonna think your psycho. .

#1 take a deep breathe and open your mouth, Nobodys gonna here you if your shy and have your mouth half closed. Practise your breathing every night put a book on your chest and lift it up with your stomach as you breathe in.

#2 stand up straight and put your shoulders back so your vocal cords are open--i cannot stress this enough, i realise that many singers on stage do not do this but that is because they are so well trained they think they don't have to well they're wrong, in the studio when they do it, I'm almost 100% sure they aren't crouching or jumping around. Since you are just starting make sure you do this so you don't mess up your voice.

#3 raise your cheekbones up so it looks like your kinda makin a stupid grinning face. I'm not really sure what this does, but it works, every vocal teacher I've had has told me to do this. If you want to do as little damage to your vocal cords as possible do this.

#4 Practise with a microphone, nobody can sound like they do without a microphone... its the distortion you get through the PA that makes the scream sound good. Plus when you practise with a microphone you get a feel for how loud you actualy have to scream. When you have a mic you'll find you really don't have to scream so loud... thus the reason why a singer can go do shows 7 days a week and not mess up his voice.

#5 (this is where some of you maybe leaving us) Ok, do know the difference between full voice and falsetto? You know how you can sing 2 ways, one with your full voice (gut) and one a little girly voice thats comming just through your throat... it doesn't have any power really but it can go really high. When you scream, you want to use this voice if you don't want to wreck yourself. For years i tried to scream with my diaphram and i kept hurting my throat and for some stupid reason i thought eventually it would get used to it... it doesn't. Please do not try to do this unless you are doing low pitched screams.

Anyways, into the mic, with your falsetto voice (i cannot stress enough that you use your falsetto voice and not your full) , and I know this sounds stupid but try to imagine that your singing out of the temple of your head... and push as hard as you can a scream. It doesn't have to be loud even, you are using a microphone, it just has to be pushed really hard from your throat.

#6 don't get discouraged if you don't get it right away... it takes time. I would sugguest if you haven't already take some vocal lessons... it helps a lot strengthening your falsetto. If you don't have a strong falsetto you'll never be able to scream.

STAND IN FRONT OF A MIRROR. This is important if you want to progress. Why? Especially since you do not have an instructor standing in front of a mirror will remind us about things such as proper form. Seeing yourself slack off and not doing the right technique will remind you to do it!

when you practise, practise just to the point of pain... meaning, practise until it feels like if you screamed or sang another note you would experiance strain. Once you start getting pain STOP immidiately take a break, either wait till the next day or wait a few hours before starting again. I sugguest drinking some tea afterwards yep thats ONE of the exercises you can do, there are others you can also do and here are 2:

Once you learn to breathe properly through your diaphram practise counting... remember to practise technique (cheek bones up, imagine singing through the temple of your face, shoulders back and standing up straight) and count from 1 to 25, then 1 to 30, then 1 to 40, then 1 to 60, and then so on. Try not to rush the count, try to announciate each number properly. Im not saying you have to go slow, but make sure you are saying the numbers and not just slurring them.

another exericise is practising sentances here is one, one of my teachers used to force on me:

"The Lemon tree is very pretty and the lemon flower sweet, but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

See how many times you can say it properly without taking a breath remember technique This is good for people who find that on stage they start to run out of breath and sound stupid breaking apart words with there breaths :P

And lastly, pick songs that have easier screams at first. Listen to the breathing of the screams, and try to breathe when they do. Go for quality over loudness, your scream doesn't have to be loud, you can turn the mic up, as long as it sounds hardcore. The loudness of your scream will come with time. I strongly recommend easy 1 sylable screams first..."

Here are the links to these forums. They are off-site and I had to edit a few words, but there's nothing too bad on here:

natedawg5280 08-29-2004 08:02 PM

Im freaked out about the bleeding thingy... am i gonna be choking up blood if i scream alot?

ekoside 09-03-2004 05:23 PM

i need help, i can do the sorta high itched zao type screams, but i cant do the low DH or living sacrifice screams.

j0s1ah 09-03-2004 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by natedawg5280
Im freaked out about the bleeding thingy... am i gonna be choking up blood if i scream alot?

don't push yourself too hard. drink water. you should be ok.

Phishstash 02-10-2005 04:01 PM

I am becoming very frustrated with myself. I am working on trying to get the more high pitched scream. Right now, it sounds like a growl and I can still hear my normal voice through it. It's disgusting. I've been working on it for a couple months. And haven't made progress b/c I don't know which direction to take. I read your thread and I'm practicing the technique. Any tips?

- Calvb

Thespia 02-20-2005 09:07 PM


Originally Posted by Phishstash
I am becoming very frustrated with myself. I am working on trying to get the more high pitched scream. Right now, it sounds like a growl and I can still hear my normal voice through it. It's disgusting. I've been working on it for a couple months. And haven't made progress b/c I don't know which direction to take. I read your thread and I'm practicing the technique. Any tips?

- Calvb

Screaming breaks down your voice. I don't see how I could give tips on doing something destructive to an instrument that God gives each one of us. :( I'm sorry.

Caitlin05 02-21-2005 06:57 PM

There are ways to scream without hurting your voice. I personally avoid screaming in my music just becuase i've never been able to produce a nice sounding scream. i dont really know how to help you with perfecting your screaming voice, but i do suggest taking a break from screaming for a while. give your voice a chance to relax. then start practicing the screaming again. dont push yourself too hard because you could ruin your voice permanently. if your throat starts to bother you at all, take a break from all screaming and singing for a day or two.

natedawg5280 02-26-2005 05:42 PM

Same here phistash, I want to scream like Linkin Park's "resident screamer" and all I can do is growl like a bit of Demon Hunter. Help me....

Phishstash 02-26-2005 07:02 PM

come on
Okay, that was 2 replies telling me nothing about technique.

By the way, I've already read a million and one posts that says screaming is bad for your voice. Obviously, I don't mind. I'm prepared to scar my voice in any way in praise of God.

Anyhow, TIPS!?!

How can I produce a higher pitched scream?


_maranatha 02-27-2005 07:14 AM

Calm down! haha. The reason nobody here told you how to scream properly is because I can't really think of anyone who does it on a regular basis... Have you tried googleing it?

Peace and love,

ekoside 03-18-2005 11:32 PM

i do it on a regular basis. i play guitar and am the lead vocalist in a christian goth/black metal band.

i have no clue how to explain doing it right, but ill try. for the higher pitched screams (like the agony scene, zao, or soul embraced) just try rasping your cords while in falsetto. i know youve probably heard that like forty times, but thats how you do it. sorry i cant explain it better than that. just do it like the low growls, but move it higher. thats about it. sorry.

Phishstash 03-20-2005 03:27 AM

It is starting to develop on its own I think.

The advice about not pushing it was good. I think I was trying to push it out and not allowing my vocal chors to heal completely before raising the notch. So, in that light, thanks for the advice.

Practice makes perfect.

God bless.

audioafan 06-20-2005 05:10 PM

hey what about jon micaha's (kutless) screams? with most of them it sounds like chest voice. how does he do that without dammaging his voice? i know this is kind of gross, but my friend said if there's saliva on the inside of your throat it will protect your vocal cords from being totally thrashed. makes sense to me. is that true?

audioafan 06-21-2005 01:03 PM


Originally Posted by snizzle
Heavy Bass- range from low E to E below high C (2 octave split). Lowest voice, dark and deep.

by the way, when you say "low E", do you mean the lowest string on an acoustic guitar (played while open) or an octave lower? cuz if it's the lowest string on a guitar, then i'm a heavy bass! cool, huh? i never knew that

aero! 06-21-2005 01:22 PM

Like I said in the other thread, screaming and singing really loud does not ruin everyone's voice. Could it possibly be that some people have stronger vocal chords? I know that I do. For one thing, I'm a girl with a too deep voice and I can scream and yell with a lot more force than the guys I know. If you don't see me, I can easily mistaken for a guy (it gets irritating, too) From the time I was like 5 years old, I was always put with the tenors. Anyway, like the other dude said...even if it does mess up your voice...oh well.

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