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I just started screaming properly (i think i have no idea) a bit ago like a couple months and i just need to know if im doing it right

I will try my best to explain how i scream

When i scream i tighten my throat ( depending on how much i loosen or tighten ) it lowers or turns into a high scream.

I dont feel any pain, just the vibrations at the bottom of my throat and chest and feels like a popping sensation. i keep it at a minimal because before i used to try to do my screams really loud but they gave out after 10 minutes and turned into just airy weird noises. now i can scream for an hour or longer without my voice giving out or anything. i feel like i use my diaphram correctly and all i use to project them better. Right now im just focusing on getting my style and amount of distortion right before i start focusing on the loudness

i try and mimic vocalists such as alex koehler (Chelsea Grin), chris fronzak (Attila), chadwick johnson (Hundredth), ryan zimmerman (Greeley Estates) and Landon Tewers (The Plot In You). Am i using a good and healthy technique? do i just need to keep practicing? Any tips would be helpful Thanks!

(also when i do the popping lightly on my throat, it feels a little tender or delicate in a way but no pain, is this bad? & without tightening my throat it just sounds really airy nd a little rasp but it sounds like my voice is giving out?)

Please help ive looked all over the internet and i really need to know if im screaming properly because i dont want to ruin my vocal chords, Im going to get singing lessons soon

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Go to any high-energy scottish student ceilidh. There you'll learn rhythmic and accented screaming, if only by assimilation.. –  user2165086 Apr 29 at 12:44
    
Tightening the throat could be an issue. Since you can do it for an hour without pain, I think you are on the right track. How loud are your screams? Does your diaphragm feel well worked out after a prolonged "singing" session? I try to keep my throat relaxed, and make sure that the diaphragm is working a lot. In that way you can get pretty loud. I've been using this style for 16 years without issues, so it can be done. You shouldn't be hoarse for extended periods after singing, then something is wrong. –  Meaningful Username Apr 29 at 12:57

4 Answers 4

I think you will be hard-pressed to find someone willing to endorse screaming as a viable means of sustainable vocal production.

Screaming is hurtful to the vocal folds. The reason why your voice gives out is because your vocal folds are inflamed from the screaming and cannot continue to resonate properly enough to sustain vocal production. This is why you get "weird sounds".

Tightening your throat restricts airflow. Restricted airflow leads to improper resonance of vocal folds. Improper resonance in vocal folds means a reduced resonance and the quality of aural production. Tightening your throat also puts unnecessary strain on your neck and shoulder muscles, thus further sacrificing tone production.

Your diaphragm is involuntary. You cannot use your diaphragm to sing and more than you can use your stomach to produce a beat. Often when teachers discuss "using the diaphragm" it is used as a visualization to help improve breath support and air efficiency. It is better to think of your lungs as a gas tank that you fill from all directions simultaneously.

Mimicing artists who scream on recordings is an incredibly dangerous and destructive practice. There is editing and filtering that is added to their voice to enhance or create those effects outright. Even if seen live, those effects can be easily applied with contemporary technology.

Screaming over a prolonged period of time can cause permanent vocal damage, and can even render some with the complete loss of their voice permanently. As you can imagine, vocal fold surgery is not only expensive, but is not enjoyable to anyone.

If you enjoy singing and want to be able to do it throughout your whole life, then it is paramount to take care of your voice. You take care of your voice, it takes care of you.

Hope that helps.

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I think it is well established that this vocal style is a valid and sustainable way of performing music. There are people using this style who's been touring for decades, and they still have their voice. –  Meaningful Username Apr 29 at 12:49
    
@MeaningfulUsername: "valid and sustainable" is certainly true, but much in the way that it is valid and sustainable for a karate expert to punch a board until his finger bones get larger due to callus buildup. He can break ribs easily, but it makes it a bit tough to play guitar. Most of the practitioners of this vocal style have thickened vocal cords due to buildup of scar tissue. If they attempt to do something more Art Garfunkely, they will have a problem with it. So, it's a decision that's hard to undo; the OP needs to understand that. –  BobRodes Apr 29 at 18:50
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@BobRodes: OP is aware that there are risks, hence the question. The answer comes off like this vocal style is the heroin of music in terms of damage potential. This is not the case. –  Meaningful Username Apr 29 at 20:39
    
The answer is a bit strong perhaps, but I'm also concerned that yours understates the risk. While I grant that it's possible that there are those who "scream" for many years and still have their pristine voice to use when they will, I also find that most people who "still have their voice" can't do some things with it that they could before developing this style. I also find it most unlikely that people who sell technical information on how to "scream" without damaging their voice can demonstrate the claim with evidence. Therefore, I am skeptical where you are not, and say so to the OP. –  BobRodes Apr 29 at 22:45
    
Since we're necro-commenting - legitimizing screaming by saying "yeah, but other people do it" is like saying that smoking is okay just because some people smoke for 60 years and are fine. There are always outliers, but smoking is still harmful to your body, and so too is screaming. The answer is strong, but for good reason: I have a strong opinion supported by education and life experience. –  jjmusicnotes Apr 30 at 3:08

For goodness' sake, get thee to a voice instructor! Rock/blues stars who appear to be screaming and shredding their vocal cords have taken many lessons in how to produce that sound structure without actually stressing their throat. (or their career is less than a couple years long :-( ).

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We may not be referring to the same genres of music...

Most screamers, growlers, (talking most modern metal) etc whom I've met that do this for a set or more frequently are singing at a much lower level surprisingly than one would imagine. A loud system backing up your vocals plus some EQ, maybe a bit of smooth distortion on the mic and you've got a gnarly sounding voice for that specific genre required of "vocals".

For shorter bursts of emotion (say, the "Yeah!" in "Don't Get Fooled Again" - classic rock by today's standards) the artist is singing at a much more expected volume level for said outburst. Screaming in this fashion is noticeably destructive to your vocal cords.

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We'll see whether what you say makes a difference in 10 or 20 years. Nobody was talking about permanent ear damage in 1980, either. –  BobRodes Apr 29 at 22:52
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It does - David Coverdale has needed multiple surgeries on his voice because of this. We know for a fact it does damage. –  Jasmine Jun 17 at 16:26

You may want to check out Melissa Cross’ The Zen of Screaming series of instructional DVDs https://www.melissacross.com/vocal_training_products.php

I haven’t tried much of the actual “screaming” parts of the DVDs (there’s little use for cookie monster vocals in Jazz), but she seems to have fairly sound ideas about fundamentals, and appears to have worked with numerous professionals in the field.

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I'm highly skeptical of the assertion that it's possible to make this sort of sound without damaging your chords over time, although of course it's possible. She may also have ways to mitigate that damage, but that's sort of like saying that there are ways to redline a car without blowing the engine. There are, but not without engine wear. –  BobRodes Apr 29 at 22:56

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