How to Properly Scream Sing

(Last Updated On: March 1, 2023)

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A musical performance screaming doesn’t mean to scream your lungs out, it actually refers to how to properly scream sing! Though it can sound like a singer, screaming loud and hard. The musical screaming makes you learn how to use your false vocal cords in order to produce some screaming sounds. On being practiced everyday, you can learn the art to scream better. Also, don’t worry about the damage of your voice as you scream in the band.

There different techniques to scream singing. This article should teach you the basic ways of how to properly scream sing without suffering from vocal strain.

What You Should Know?

The biggest thing to remember about scream singing is that it is not what it sounds like. You do not need to yell as loud as possible to scream sing. It may sound like you do, but it is simply not the case. It really requires that you use your false vocal cords. That’s why you can scream in a band without straining or doing any permanent vocal damage.

At the beginning stage, you need to figure out what vocal range you fit into. Are you a soprano, alto, tenor baritone, etc.? If you don’t know then you should research the subject. You could also try singing along to a musical instrument. That can help you to determine what vocal range is yours.

As you first start to learn scream-singing skills, you may also make some unusual noises. Some will be low, like a cat growling. Others will sound more nasal. The best thing to equate that noise is the voice of Marge Simpson. It is a sort of nasal, grating sound. The difference is that the cat growling sort of sound is made from deep in your throat and can do damage to your voice. The higher, more nasal sound is safer and more comfortable for you to produce. Once you figure out how to make scratchy noises properly, from the nasal region, you will have gone a long way toward learning how to properly scream sing.

You should also learn how to sing from your diaphragm correctly too. You should not hold all of your air in your chest when you sing. The air should fill your stomach area, instead of your chest. One good way to test that is to place a hand on your stomach. If you are breathing properly it should expand when you inhale air.

Additionally, using microphones that capable of handling the screaming vocal is one of the knowledge you should learn too.

Learn How to Sing “Screamo” Without Hurting Your Vocal

Singing “Screamo” or scream-singing can be dangerous to your vocal cords if you do not use proper techniques. It is also essential to know how your vocal system works. If you follow the incorrect method of scream-singing, then the vocal cords will undergo a lot of tension causing big or small temporary damage.

Building and strengthening your natural voice should be your priority before you started to learn “screaming“. If you try to use the screaming style of singing without perfecting your natural voice, your natural voice will get damaged beyond repair. Screamo technique and voice distortion come with long practice. This rough sound should come with an exact flow of air in coordination with muscular pressure in the lower diaphragm.

There are 2 categories of scream singers:-

  1. Singers who scream singing because their voice has already been damaged by abuse of drugs and alcohol and they cannot sing in their natural voice.
  2. Singers who have perfected the scream singing technique after they have developed their natural voice. These singers can sing either screamo or in a soft and melodious voice.

Be sure to fall in the second category or else you will wind up with a voice beyond repair.

Different Types of Screaming Techniques That Used By The Metal Singers

There are many screaming techniques you need to master in order to scream singing like a pro. The  techniques include:

  • Mid-range growl
  • Low growl
  • Kvlt scream
  • Pig squeal
  • Low guttural
  • Fry scream
  • Inhale scream
  • Tunnel throat scream
  • Walrus scream

My advice is that you should learn each technique once at a time, don’t rush. You have to master each of these techniques before jumping to the next. Unlike the classical singing technique, the vocal health condition is more critical in scream-singing. In fact, you have to be very careful with your vocal condition during your vocal screaming exercises and practices, practicing with the improper method will eventually jeopardize your vocal cords permanently.

Scream Singing Technique Tips

Let me give you some tips to develop the scream singing technique.

1) Choose your scream/distortion style singing: Scream singing is not limited to any particular style of singing. It can be done for hard rock, jazz, blues rock, pop or even Gospel.  Hence by discovering your comfort levels in scream singing in relation to the style of song, you can develop and fine-tune the technique without harming your vocal cords.

2) Find a good Vocal  Instructor: A good instructor will first help you to build and strengthen your natural voice. After that, the technique for scream singing has to be mastered with his help so that you do not damage your voice.

3) Focus on breathing techniques, resonance, volume, and articulation. This comes only with regular practice and determination.

4) Warm up the voice:  Before practicing screamo warm up your voice with natural singing for at least 30-40 minutes and ten minutes of breathing exercises. This is to relax and open up your vocal cords before you strain it for scream singing. Warming up is the next vital step to learning how to sing “screamo“. Scream singers such as Randy Blythe of Lamb of God, Byron Davis of God Forbid and Phil Labonte of All That Remains all do singing warm-ups before they scream sing. Singing warm-ups are exercises like scales, often done at choir practice sessions. Scream singers should use the same basic vocal exercises.

5) Drink warm water: Drinking warm water before practice or performance and at frequent intervals is a good idea to keep your voice clear and relieve your throat of dryness.

6) Avoid alcohol and drugs: They can dehydrate the body by affecting the brain which is responsible for muscular coordination while singing. Alcohol and drug abuse can also lead to breathlessness and lack of control over voice.

7) Avoid milk-based drinks and foods: (chocolate & ice cream)These can form a coating in your throat resulting in the decrease of the air passage. Since these food items are heavy they also tend to develop phlegm.

8) Avoid cold food: Try to avoid taking anything cold including cold water. Whatever you consume should be preferably warm and it is better to have a light stomach before singing.

9) Stop immediately you feel discomfort in throat: At any time you feel pain, burning sensation or irritation in your throat, stop singing immediately to avoid permanent damage. Rest your voice till it cures completely.

If you follow these simple steps, you can improve your voice dramatically. So, protect your vocal cords while still doing what you love. Once you know how to properly scream sing it is easy, fun and safe to do!

Extra Tips that Help

If you follow these tips on screaming, you can be sure that you’ll be doing just fine.  First, you should be aware that there’s more you can do in singing than merely screaming.  Taking care of your vocal cords should be your main concern, so, you should sing screamo in a proper way.

You should know how to do it properly, and what things you should do in preserving your vocal cords.  It wouldn’t really be great fun if you cause damage to your vocal cords just because you want to impress the audience.  There is no problem indulging in screamo; it really sounds awesome, but you should keep in mind that it should be done correctly.

What you should do about how to sing screamo is keep on practicing. In doing this, you may not be having the same sound just like those bands performing scream singing, but at least you can do it without damaging your vocal cords.

Remember that anyone using screamo has his/her own uniqueness in sound.  The most recommended way to begin it is by trying different sounds like loud, low, etc.  However, don’t push yourself too hard because each tone has a different sound.

Once you feel that your throat is starting to hurt or there’s already slipping in your voice, don’t hesitate to stop.  If you fail to do this, you’re facing the risk of hurting and eventually damaging your vocal cords.  Before you scream, take Gatorade, freshwater, or whatever available drinks you can have in between your screaming.

Taking a drink is highly recommended in order to moisten your vocal cords, and avoid drying it up.  When you practice screaming, make sure that you pause for some time, and avoid doing it continuously for so many hours every day.

In between breaks, and after you finished practicing, always take a drink.  Don’t try doing it if you feel that you’re having difficulty.  If you can’t do it now, perhaps you can do it later.

Daily Routines To Take Care of Your Heavy Metal/Screamo Voice

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8 thoughts on “How to Properly Scream Sing”

  1. I used to sing all the time, took a year of lessons from a vocal coach, and I was okay with my singing until I started trying to focus on being relaxed and my breathing. Now whenever I try and sing it feels like there is constantly a lump in my throat that feels like I swallowed a ball of phlegm. Do you have any advice? I hate that it’s uncomfortable to sing now.

  2. My throat strained & pain after I was scream singing for about 15 minutes. Is there something wrong on my technique? Please advise…

    • @ Saravana. I will be posting a detailed video tutorials on scream singing on this post. Stay tuned…

      You have to be very carefully while practice the screamo singing technique. Please don’t simply scream out. You have to scream sing technically without hurting your vocal cord.


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