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Learning to growl/scream?

Discussion in 'Bar' started by Cacoph0ny, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Dexter_prog

    Dexter_prog New Metal Member

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    I'd rather take him to the hospital ASAP because it sounds like he's gonna have health problems real soon...
     
  2. Airborne

    Airborne 6 & 7 string guitars

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  3. Kool Dude

    Kool Dude Member

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    Hey!

    I got the Zen of Screaming part one and two... I didn't really teach me how to do it.
    It does give you some great exercises though! And it tells you what you will feel when you do it right and once Melissa explains it... it kinda makes sence, but actually doing is the hard part. You get the idea, "I can do this... I get it!" then you try... and then your vocals are tore up.

    Then surprisingly one day, I woke up. The sun was shining and I thought i would try screaming... And what do you know... I did it! I was pretty darn excited. I'm not sure how many failures I had to endure, how many soar throats... but I'm sure we've all been there!

    And when screaming it doesnt have to be loud... if you push too hard, you can get a headache or lightheaded... been there!
    Your scream could sound kinda airy and what you gotta do is play around until you can find a way to feel it up inside your head...

    Place your index finger and thumb on your neck. Start at a low note then raise your voice... not louder, but higher. You'll feel something inside your neck move up. What you want to do is get the same effect when screaming. When you scream it'll be like singing a high note

    Once its up there, tighten your stomach... ... push... let the air come out. The hard you push, the louder it'll be.

    If you pucker out your lips, you'll get some pretty darn low growls, but if you open your mouth wide then you'll get some shrieking screams!

    I dont think there really is a way to actually teach someone... you can only give them tips. They gotta figure it out for themselves cuz it's a hard thing to explain.

    But once you get, you'll think... "How on earth did i ever have a problem with this?"
    =P

    Good Luck!
     
  4. Benny H

    Benny H Degenerate

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    Not that I've put it in to much practice.. but the main thing I took from the zen of screaming is that you can do very extreme vocal sounds without fucking your vocals.

    And if you are hurting yourself then you're on the wrong track..

    That's it in a nutshell to me. You can find your own way to it. The video and others advice/technique approach might help, but ultimately you have to find your own way to it.
     
  5. The Unavoidable

    The Unavoidable jättebög

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    ...then pretty much every extreme vocalist out there is on "the wrong track". I mean, you're not supposed to puke blood after every show but a bit of soreness every now and then isn't a big deal. And it will hurt in the beginning, the point is more that it should hurt less and less as you improve with the end result being that you can do an 18 song set without to much hassle. (a la Corpsegrinder)
     
  6. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Exactly... saying it's not going to hurt at all is like telling a new guitarist they aren't going to build callouses.
     
  7. ParsonsMatt

    ParsonsMatt Alas, Tyranny

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    There is a difference between pain and soreness. Pain is bad technique, and if you are experiencing it, you ARE "on the wrong track" and will blow your vocal chords in short order. Soreness on the other hand is expected as with any exercise, and, as with other exercise, if you experience, stop or slow down.

    I can do harsh vocals, correctly, for hours without any sort of pain or soreness. But if my technique starts to slip, I start hurting myself, so I have to watch my technique.

    Interestingly enough, I have NEVER in 6 years developed callouses, despite my affinity for tense strings..
     
  8. Chryst Krispies

    Chryst Krispies Vanilla Gorilla

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    I'm callin shize figs on no callouses.
    I think that's an impossibility.
     
  9. Benny H

    Benny H Degenerate

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    #29 Benny H, Dec 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2015
  10. MegaMustaine

    MegaMustaine Member

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    I've been trying to learn to scream for about 2 years now, with no proper direction or success. I can sing fairly well..so you'd think I'd have the pipes if I learned the proper technique. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/1375672/Sever Ties Chorus-02.mp3

    but really can't find the technique anywhere clearly explain and broken down. Quite frustrating!
     
  11. Djabthrash

    Djabthrash Member

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    Sorry for necrobumping but i'm curious about the "learn how to scream/growl" thing and the "guitar player getting no callouses" thing :

    -the "guitar player getting no callouses" thing : i was surprised about this also, and i also read Eyal Levi (producer, Daath guitar player...) say this also...

    -"learn how to scream" : The Zen Of Screaming thing will not teach you how to scream, but how to master it/expand it/maintain it. It means you have to be able to scream a little (even if it kinda sucks and you don't master it) before watching it.
    If you wanna learn how to scream :

    1) as said before the biggest obstacle is the lack of direction and confidence when trying to sing with no loud music in the background, where you basically start screaming without knowing what sound you're trying to do, and then stop after 2 seconds because it sounded embarrassing.
    -> Just put some music with screams you like and want to reproduce, relax and try to emulate them and record yourself.
    Some will be in your range/comfort zone/tone of voice and be easy to replicate, and some won't and will take more work and time.
    Try to find the right balance (and use some air out of your stomach to prevent your voice from fucking up) between pushing a little to produce enough energy/volume and pushing too hard (where you just damage your voice). If it starts to really hurt, then stop practicing for a day or two and come back at it.

    2) before you practice those vocals, you'd better warm up. The Melissa Cross warm up exercises are awesome, and work for any type of vocals (clean, rap, growl, shriek, mid range scream....). Best would be to do them at least once a day, even if you don't intend sing for real that day.

    3) as with every instrument (guitar, drums), you need power but you should not tense up too hard because it will fuck you up.
    You should also relax and try not to thing too much about it when doing it, but just do it period.
    The "audiating" thing in the Melissa Cross DVD is a good point and helps a ton in that regard.

    I used to be able to scream a little (growls a la David Vincent, a little bit of shriek, and some mid range screams a la Burton Fear Factory / Jorge Merauder / Max Cavalera) when music was playing in the background and suck at clean vocals (mainly due to lack of practice and confidence), and i've been practicing (mostly warm-ups, clean singing (from low to high), rapping, and a little bit of pitched screaming/heat) for a few months and improved big time.
    I somehow lost my ability to be able to scream spontaneously (which i could do but it would hurt quickly after a bit) in the process, and right now i'm kind of relearning it on a clean basis (proper warm-up + trying to sound right without damaging my voice at the same time).
    I also learnt to imitate tons of different screams at very low volume, and getting them to sound right at real volume is another challenge and takes some work.

    One of the most important ideas in the Zen of screaming thing is the pitched screaming part, where she says that when you wanna sing a raspy part in a pitch, just think of the pitch, and sing it clean, and then try to yell it (without screaming), and then try to scream it. One of the warmp-up excercises is great for that.

    Also, something i wanted to master was really high crunchy vocals that ends up clean and high by the end of the vocal line (think most of the vocals in "best of you" by Foo Fighters, or the prechorus in Down's "Ghosts along the mississipi"), and i'm starting to nail it, by combining the "find the right notes first and sing it clean, then yell the notes individually, then try to scream while pitching it" technique + doing the "falsetto to high (non falsetto) note" warmup exercise (called "yee aa yee a yee a" or something like this).

    I stil kinda suck, but it might post something here when i feel i sound decent enough.

    Also, if you feel you can't go much further at screaming and get stuck, just be patient and also practice something else (clean vocals, rap...)... Cross training never hurts and allows you to keep things fun and fresh.

    EDIT : Trying to imitate various types of vocals/screams at very quiet volume helps a lot also, especially for figuring out what's being sung right (words, pitch, tone...) and for figuring out how to shape your mouth and stuff like that. On the other end, it's not the end of it all, and it's another thing to get it to sound right when you use full volume (which is not necessarily super loud). Also, when you you imitate super quiet, it can also hurt since you're tempted to not use any "dump" (stomach air "airbag" so to speak), so don't use it too or for too long.

    EDIT 2 : Growling is the type of scream that is more about nailing the right technique/intent and not going all out. It's about combining using a lot of air pressure (lot of air being pushed out), the right O shape in your mouth, and being able to go low (which takes some work/warm up/time depending on how low you wanna go) and sound raspy without pushing too hard. Growling is a lot about control of your voice, and not something that's natural and where you are letting things go. I'm pretty sure most growlers sound way quieter than screamers.
    On the other hand, mid range screaming is closer to regular clean singing/yelling in terms of volume and technique. This is a bit more natural and you have to let go more.
     
  12. ArnaudM

    ArnaudM Metalstasis

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    Take lessons first or STUDY. The main thing is to understand how your voice works. CVT is good (http://completevocalinstitute.com/). Or Estill. Or this : he is cool and knows what to do and how to do it. He's been my first teacher : http://www.extremevocals.com/
    PM him and take a couple of skype lessons. The Zen of Screaming is not that efficient and, I think, can be dangerous to practice without experience.
     
  13. ArnaudM

    ArnaudM Metalstasis

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  14. Djabthrash

    Djabthrash Member

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    Thanks for those links Arnaud !
     
  15. Terminus

    Terminus Member

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    Afaik, The Zen Of Screaming DVD will teach you how good The Zen Of Screaming DVD is.
     
  16. ArnaudM

    ArnaudM Metalstasis

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    @Terminus. I would not have said better.
     
  17. AntonioPetrole

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    I'm not great at vocals or anything, but I just lurked around those youtube videos that show you how to and found one that clicked. It seems that's what a lot of people do. The Zen of Screaming wasn't helpful for me until I was doing vocals for a bit, then everything started to click with that as well. Remember, if it tickles a little it's okay, but if it hurts, you're doing it wrong. Room temperature water and you will be good to go
     
  18. TheIllusionist

    TheIllusionist Chris Clancy

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    The Zen Of Screaming is really good as long as you understand it.

    I had the first DVD for a year or so and to be honest I thought I was doing it right, but I just didn't understand it. It's one thing screaming along to a DVD, but there's nobody there saying "hey, you're doing that wrong".

    I was a student of Melissa Cross for around 18 months, and was part of the 3rd DVD which has never actually seen release. She's a fantastic teacher and anybody who says the techniques are harmful to your voice is full of shit in my opinion. When I toured, I'd call her up and she'd advise me on any issues I had.

    That is your best bet, along with somebody who can listen to you every few weeks and say "you're doing this wrong". Nothing beats feedback when it comes to screaming.

    My advice is simple:

    If it hurts - you're doing it wrong.
    If you can't scream quietly - you're doing it wrong.
    If your voice breaks - you're screaming with too much pressure.
    Drink lots of water and relax. You may look like a maniac when you're screaming, but you shouldn't feel like you've lost your head.
     
  19. Metal Maniac \m/

    Metal Maniac \m/ New Metal Member

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    Yes, you can't really learn properly from just watching a video, you need a proper vocal coach. Here's a good one that teaches proper abdominal support, placement ant projection for belting and singing/screaming. www.VoiceMechanic.com You need to have proper breath support and make the sound resonate out of your face! \m/
     

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