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Growls - can they harm your throat?

Discussion in 'Opeth (Archived)' started by FUBAR, May 22, 2005.

  1. ViCyniC

    ViCyniC Member

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    I heard you can develop throat cancer if you growl too much...
     
  2. steel102

    steel102 ________

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    so do you use your vocal chords at all? or is it all air-pushing???
     
  3. ViCyniC

    ViCyniC Member

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    I can't help what I "hear". :(
     
  4. Mantraschism

    Mantraschism Skáld

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    Just growl. Keep growling even after your throat is getting sore. And when it starts bleeding, then really fuckin' go for it. Just go to town on those roars. Then you can have blood coming out of your mouth, and have a picture taken and use it as a front cover or something. Either way, growling with a bleeding throat is the most br00tal method. Very tr00.


    =P


    Seriously, if your throat starts hurting, stop immediately for a day or two, if not longer. Make sure to keep your throat moist by drinking water or tea or something -- soda and other such 'unnatural' drinks should be avoided (I'm bad about this). For the lower growls, it's definitely all from the stomach. I tend to 'clench' my throat while growling -- I don't know if that's good or not, but I haven't had any problems. The higher you go, the more 'up' in your body the force should come. I mean, if you're going from a low growls to a window-shattering shriek, you should feel a physical upward movement from your stomach to your head. Also, with me anyway, the throat muscles relax the higher you go (unless I'm going for disgusting sounding black metal vocals). Just play around with different methods -- go with what feels the most natural, as that's also the least likely to hurt you. I would expect, though, to lose some part of your voice. Not your speaking voice, mind, but your singing or screaming voice. In the beginning, I was able to do really high screams, but now, I can only do them occasionally. I haven't noticed any adverse effects on my singing voice (which was never very good) -- if anything it's improved.

    Well, good luck there.
     
  5. umdebaba

    umdebaba Napoleon-theSinister{}

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    Umdebaba's Unofficial Guide to Growling

    The 'magic technique' you hear being thrown around in the talks of growling actually refers to a technique in actual singing called the diaphragm push. It is also referred to as "growling for your gut" or "growling from your stomach". What you want to do is first develop your lungs. Let me give an example of an exercise that will help you develop your lungs. NEVER BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE.
    Ex. 1 -
    Open your mouth into the shape of an O. Keep your throat open and relaxed. You should not feel tension in your throat during this exercise. Place your hand in front of the opening of your mouth. Position your parallel to your face as if you were about to judo chop your nose with the index finger side of your hand. Bring your hand closer to your face and make sure there is contact between your face and hand. Breathe in slowly but taking in air as much air as you can at a steady rate. NEVER BREATHE IN THROUGH YOUR NOSE. Your chest should not come out. When you are taking in air your stomach area should come out and your shoulders should not rise. If you feel pain you are doing it wrong. Now extend your arm away from you with your palm facing you and your palm should be in a straight line and same level from your mouth. Blow out all your air. If you do not feel the air hitting your palm you are not blowing out hard enough. After you get this slow proceed to doing it faster. It would help to do this in counts. In for 4 counts then out for 4 counts, Then 3/4, 2/4, 1/4. 3/3, 2/3, 1/3, 2/2, 1/2, 1/1.

    Doing that exercise will increase your lung capcity and help greatly in your vocal work. Now how do you apply that to growling? Well try to growl first. Notice what your face is doing, and what your throat and body is doing. You want to keep the O shape in your mouth. Make sure your throat is relaxed and not tensed or you will not get a low sound. Make sure your body is not tense. When growling make sure your shoulders do not rise not does your chest come out. You stomach is what should push out. Now onto the diaphragm push.

    Diaphragm push -
    The diaphragm push is basically the combining of all these techniques. When you are growling make sure you push your stomach out and you and not using your throat to generate the sound. You should hardly feel any pain if any at all. You might feel light headed at first getting used to pushing that much air. The key is to push much as much air as you can. The more air, the bigger and fuller the sound. This is why you need to do lung exercises. Keeping your mouth in the O shape and making your throat relaxed is the key to getting a dark, rich sound. Another thing you might want to try is dropping your jaw. The closer you keep your jaw together, the more pinched and bright sound you will have. So you want to try to seperate your teeth when growling. Adjust the distance to fit how you want to sound.

    When you growl make sure you growl at a volume where other people could hear it. If you can hardly hear your growls then that means you are not pushing air and need to reconsider your technique. Air blowing does not mean volume though. The more air you blow and relaxed and open your mouth is, the better sound you will attain at a good volume.

    Cheers!
    Umdebaba
     
  6. steel102

    steel102 ________

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    holy crap thanks I will practice that. btw nice sig :)
     
  7. Night Mare

    Night Mare Camberwell Carrot

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    Eat 17 raw eggs before each set.
     
  8. umdebaba

    umdebaba Napoleon-theSinister{}

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    :cool:ty
     
  9. deliverance

    deliverance ecnareviled

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    the most repeated threads in opeth forum history:

    1.growling threads
    2.PT theads
    3.melinda/SL questions/cough threads
     
  10. Night Mare

    Night Mare Camberwell Carrot

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    Oh I see... growling... well, try it anyway, it's awesome fun!
     
  11. AmirH

    AmirH meh

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    This comes up too often...

    Simple answer- yes, you can damage your throat if you push too hard in any vocal style. The one described from the gut is room level growling which is what Mike does according to Lee_B. It's not the only way to growl without hurting yourself though, and in my opinion it's best to know both styles. If you do room level growls in real life, people will laugh at you(no seriously, it sounds ridiculous out of the mix- at least with mine).

    Anyway, I JUST posted on this in the Andy Sneap forum yesterday so I'll just copy that instead of typing it all over.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    I'm gonna do all of you a big favor now and post a little guide I wrote up a while ago. The biggest problem with threads like this is no one ever explains how to get that feel in your throat- they just expect you to know and then people end up killing their voices. Everytime I've posted this people have been all "holy shit that WORKED!!!" and once you've gotten the feel for this then you can practice and get good at it instead of practicing damaging your throat.

    "The key is to feel the gurgle in your throat, as this is what makes the sound. The proper term, is "vocal fry." Yknow that rasp you hear in metallica style singing?(think sandman) THAT'S vocal fry.

    Start by talking like you've just gotten up in that morning, with a grog in your throat. Don't push much air out. Just groan, or say "oh I don't wanna get up." or something. Then use that to sing a bit. Don't push the air while your singing. The force of the air creates a clean tone, so by lightening this you make a pleasant rasp. You should really be able to get a feel for hard rock singing in a few minutes, I'm not saying you'll be in tune- but the rasp should now be there. If you do plan on singing this way, be sure to practice clean as well since many singers can't sing a clean tone if they sing this way too often. The growl won't affect that though.

    Alright, here we go- take that rasp and drop down a few octaves in your voice. This should REALLY give you a feel for the growl. From here, you should be able to feel it in your throat, and learn how to control it. If at first you can't do it automatically just refer back to "oh I don't wanna get up" with very little air, and drop right back into that growl. Practice changing tones, and experimenting with octaves. Find what's comfortable for you and make use of it. It's been my experience that people tend to be comfortable with some ranges and uncomfortable with others. I know my black metal scream is pretty crazy sounding, and it's consistent in that range. My younger brother, who I taught to scream, has a low brutal death growl and his voice is higher then mine in real life- so go figure. The point is that once you feel that gurgle you should be able to experiment and feel whats comfortable. Make sure to try switching to a high(black metal sounding) octave while maintaining the rasp at least once to see if you like it. Practice when you can and soon you will be able to go longer without dryness in the throat. You should IMMEDIATELY notice that you will no longer be sore back there like it can get if you just scream as loud as you can. As long as you don't push too much air(to the point where the tone almost becomes clean) it's unlikely that you'll damage your vocal chords. In fact, it should be no problem to switch from a growl to clean singing. Practice makes perfect though, so if it's possible- try recording yourself as well, and adjusting it to the way you would like it to sound.

    Remember, don't push your throat too hard. It won't make it any heavier sounding and you could hurt yourself."

    I hope that helps guys, just please don't rip the crap out of your throats. Here's a clip of me to show how I sound after a little over a year of knowing how to do this and practicing on and off. It's a shit song, but a decent vocal sound. Also(as if you can't hear it :p) I double tracked everything but the huge shriek near the beginning.

    http://elboardo.com/amir/cheddardeath.mp3
     
  12. AmirH

    AmirH meh

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    Weird... it didn't bump up the thread when I replied.
     
  13. Night Mare

    Night Mare Camberwell Carrot

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    So was that last comment just another shot at bumping it, or was there a point to it?
     
  14. AmirH

    AmirH meh

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    Yeah, was a shot at bumping it so it wasn't like I wasted my time posting :p The site was running all slow so that's probably why it didn't work quite right.
     
  15. Night Mare

    Night Mare Camberwell Carrot

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    Fair enough, I just bumped it again, so you don't have to bother. Don't thank me :)
     
  16. deliverance

    deliverance ecnareviled

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    BUMP! LOZL!!
     
  17. WhiteBeastofWotan

    WhiteBeastofWotan Apostitutes!

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    for the record, pussies use vocal pedals to produce their vocals.
     
  18. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    insert bukkake joke here
     
  19. drowssap

    drowssap Member

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    1. don't sing when your tired
    2. don't sing when your thirsty

    Best advice I ever got
     
  20. deliverance

    deliverance ecnareviled

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    it's true man.

    it's been said before, but i'll say it again: only after 17 black guys bukkake down your throat do you achieve excellence in the realm of death voxxx.
     

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