If you’re a heavy metal fan, you’ve probably wondered how to sing metal. Heavy metal music is a subgenre of rock that developed in the late '60s, and today, there are many subgenres of metal. While not everyone appreciates the deep growl-like vocals characterized by metal, most would agree that mastering this style of singing can be a challenge. Follow these simple tips to start down the path of learning to sing metal without damaging your vocal chords.
- Use your secondary vocal chords. Many people are unaware that you have two sets of vocal chords. Your secondary vocal chords are deeper. You can practice using them by making a low “uh” sound and holding it. This should become your basic metal warm up after you have developed your voice.
- Listen to other metal vocalists. This will give you a good idea of the different sounds of metal vocals out there. Don’t try to imitate one person, but instead, use them as inspiration to find your own metal singing voice.
- Keep it up. Practice makes perfect when it comes to metal. You’re using a rang of sound you don’t normal exercise that often, so it will take practice to train your voice. If your throat hurts, stop immediately to let it rest.
- Listen to yourself practice. As with any singing, you need to know how you sound. Try recording yourself so you can listen to it later and find things you wish to improve on.
- Start to develop your range. After you have warmed up your throat by practicing on using your secondary vocals, you can then move on to finding your range. To do this, start by making that low “uh” sound but also breathe out from your diaphragm. This will make a deep growl. Then, you can start experimenting with how much to breathe out and how this changes the sound.
- Find your mid range. Mid range is the deep screaming kind of sound that most people think of when they think metal music. To do this, make the “uh” sound while breathing out, but then add your own speaking voice into it. Again, after you get this technique down, you can experiment with different amounts to affect your sound.
- Find your low range. Low range is more of the deep growl sound that you hear in metal singing. To do this, make the “uh” sound while pushing out with your diaphragm, but this time, make an O shape with you mouth.
- Find your high range. High range is usually the hardest for most metal singers to do. It is the highest sound you can make while still using your secondary vocal chords. To practice, warm up like you did in the beginning but this time make the “ah” sound. Now, push out from your diaphragm making the sound higher.
- Keep your voice lubricated and clear. The day of a performance or heavy practice session, make sure to drink plenty of water. This will help keep your vocal chords lubricated. You might also try drinking a soft drink (such as Coke or Pepsi) right before your performance. This will help clear your throat. Many also feel coffee works well for this.
- Sing those scales. Metal singing is still singing. Before a performance or prolonged practice session, you should run through a few basic scales before moving on to any metal warm-up.
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