How to Sing Metal Professionally

(Last Updated On: April 9, 2021)
Young singer is singing metal song.

Heavy metal music was initially established in Britain and American Regions as a sub-genre of rock music around 1970s period. It derived from the blues rock and the psychedelic rock which focus on very thick and heavy sounds with mixtures of deep guitar solos, emphatic beats, and loudness. The music lyrics and Heavy Metal singers always connected with aggressiveness and masculinity.

Metal singing is classified into different categories such as power metal, death metal, black metal and so on. The singing style is almost the same in all categories  except for certain nuances in the growling and screaming which is an essential part of singing metal.

Major Types of Heavy Metal Singing

Metal singing is classified into different categories such as power metal, death metal, black metal and so on. The singing style is almost the same in all categories except for certain nuances in the growling and screaming which is an essential part of singing metal.

  • Thrash metal
  • Death metal
  • Black metal
  • Power metal
  • Doom metal
  • Alternative metal
  • Folk metal
  • Gothic metal
  • Grindcore
  • Metalcore

Learning the Harsh Vocal Techniques Used In Heavy Metal

1) Screaming

Screaming is the most fundamental vocal technique that every heavy metal singers must learn. It involves low screams & high scream with the support of the “false chord singing technique”. You shouldn’t scream with your throat and chest. In fact, all the screamo voices must be projected from the diaphragm with your throat and chest relaxed. (You can learn more in detail in the video tutorial below or Scream singing tutorial here)

2) Growling

There are exhaled and inhaled growls with the low pitched-types of harsh vocal while singing metal. The growling is the most used technique in death metal. You have to train yourself to lower your larynx while doing the growls.

3) Pig Squealing

Pig squealing technique is the mostly used in deathcore metal genre. It’s the most difficult skill to learn as compared to the other screaming and growling techniques we have discussed earlier. You can learn it from the video tutorial below…

Proper Breathing for Scream Singing

When you are learning to sing metal, breathing techniques are important. There is a technique that allows you to breathe right while inhaling, puffing out your stomach. This technique is known as breathing from your diaphragm, and while singing, you should exhale. Once one has mastered this technique of natural singing, then one can add metal singing techniques such as vibrato. The best method is to push and not to force the air from the lungs. This helps produce that that raspy voice, which sounds like loud, roars of the lion!

Sing With The Relaxing Throat

Allow the mouth to hang open by relaxing the throat. To be able to make harsh and the guttural sounds of deep metal, one must let the voice originate from deep within the diaphragm. Mouth and throat should be allowed to relax as then you are only producing sound from your vocal cords and diaphragm.

Changing the shape of mouth has a significant impact on the way a sound is produced. Relax your mouth and hang on to generate those harsh metal vocals. 

Growling from the Diaphragm

For creating those deep growls of deep metal vocals, one needs to breathe from deep within the diaphragm rather than just from the lungs. Take a big deep breath and allow the belly to inflate. 

When you breathe to make sure of the fact that the stomach is filled up, if it does not happen, then it means you are breathing from the chest.

A tip to keep in mind: while breathing place a hand on the chest. If the hand moves more than the stomach during inhaling, then breathing is not done through the diaphragm.

How To Know Your Are Singing Metal Incorrectly

Rough vocals effects may not always sound healthy, but one should feel good during singing. However, there are several common signs and symptoms of throat discomfort that you can observe if you are singing metal incorrectly.

  • Dryness in the mouth or the urge to get relief by drinking anything.
  • Itching, ticking, soreness or pain.
  • The feeling of uncomfortable tension or strain.
  • Increase in production of mucus.
  • Urge to clear throat.
  • Coughing.
  • Tears in the eyes.
  • Hoarseness.

If any of the above symptoms arise, then it is the sign that something is not right. This is very important, as YOU are the only person who is experiencing it. Never ignore any symptoms and pay attention to them.

Additional Guides & Tips

  • If you are a fan of a certain metal singer, then try to get some tips by listening how he sings, growls and screams. You can practice the same but keep it to a minimum like perhaps a dozen times a day so that you do not strain your vocal chords and cause cracking. Similarly growling and singing dries up the throat very fast and hence drink plenty of water, preferably warm water to keep your throat hydrated.
  • You should take special care of your vocal health if you want to sing metal music because it involves intensive screaming (screamo) and growling. It is a little challenging and just like all genres of music metal is a favorite among one section of the public and the singers and it allows a singer to test and train his voice in singing high pitches, low pitches and the death metal scream. It involves a certain amount of forcible singing and if you are not careful about the proper technique it can cause strain to your vocal chords or sometimes even permanent damage.
  • For example if you feel any pain in your throat while learning to sing metal, stop immediately and rest your vocal chords. In metal singing, the voice comes from the base of the throat and not by the vibration of the vocal chords. There a  number of metal singing tips, methods and exercises to follow. The most important tip is to follow all instruction to the letter. You have to exercise patiencely while learning how to sing metal.
  • If learning to sing opera style is challenging, then learning to sing in a rasping and evil kind of voice is equally challenging in metal singing. The best option for you would be to train with a metal music specialist so that you follow correct training procedure as regards modulation for effective singing, vocal exercises, when to stop and rest your voice and how not to damage it. Usually metal fans are not found of any other genre of music and this applies to the singers too. However, what the fans do not realize is the amount of hard work and effort that the metal singers have put in to achieve their style of singing. They seem to think that just a little growling and screaming can make up for metal singing which is a misconception.
  • A trained singer in any genre of music can move on to metal singing by training himself with the help of online metal singing course. For such a person it will be an extension of increasing the range, singing from the stomach and through the base of the throat, using different kind of voice modulation. But for a beginner, it is better to train your voice for singing and then advance to learning how to sing metal.

Tips on Protecting the Vocal

Warm-Ups

Warm-up for at least 5 minutes with light, scale-like humming and vowels. Never start without your voice. Use scale-melodies instead of a song. One of the most effective exercises is to sing ‘ah’ on a medium-high note, and then gradually lower it to the lowest note that you can sing. Try to keep a consistent note throughout the entire warm-up. It should not be loud, but consistency is the key. Then move a little higher and repeat it.

Learn to use the Microphone

To preserve the voice, learn to make use of a mic. Let the mic provide volume. You bring energy and attitude. Many rock singers think that high volume is the key for successful metal singing. But this is so not true.

Final thoughts

If you are serious about metal rock singing, then work with a teacher who understands the requirements of this field and can train you accordingly without fear of any major injuries to the throat or voice. Singers in all genres can develop some problems related to vocals, but rock singers are more susceptible.

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1 thought on “How to Sing Metal Professionally”

  1. I want to be a proffesional metal singer but i dnt know how to use my diaphargm while singing.. Please train me by any means.. I can afford all ur cost..

    Reply

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