So let me explain my situation. I used to be able to sing Rock/Hard Rock songs and even sometimes used to growl. I've entered an pop course in uni as a vocalist, that course kind of "banned" constriction (what it mainly used in these types of singing) because it's on the long run unhealthy. I've tried again singing as I used to for my band and When I do it, especially on words that starts on vowels it just sounds wrong and awful. If i had to describe my voice it would be an Alto, warm ,quite breathy and broken at time. I am wondering if it's only the lack of practice (I am done some for a few months and it's just not coming out as before or right at all) or if it's me that learnt "the wrong way" in the first place. Anyways, if anyone has tips for this or techniques I would be forever grateful. Hope i was clear enough, sorry I am not quite understandable. Hope you all have a nice day/evening!

  • I don't know very much about singing so I can't post an answer. What I do know is whether it's music, or athletics, or any other endeavor that requires practice and skill, the rule is "use it or lose it". If you haven't done that sort of singing in a while, work gradually to teach yourself again how to do it. You probably won't be able to just snap back into it after a fairly long period when you consciously avoided it. I wouldn't worry about it - just go slow and work it through.
    – Stinkfoot
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 14:45
  • Have you listened to a recording of your voice or just listened to your voice as you sing?
    – empty
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 17:41
  • That's quite interesting, there's a question outstanding going in the opposite direction music.stackexchange.com/questions/61465/…. From the experience you narrate you're probably quite qualified to help that chap (wouldn't you try an answer at his question?). Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 21:00
  • You should add both how old you are and how long you've been singing since those can be factors. Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 4:56
  • Also, I see lots of amatuer singers trying to have a certain kind of voice because it fits their favorite genre. I never like those kinds of voices. Imho the best singers don't change their voice to fit what they think they want, they discover their unique voice by singing in a relaxed and open and honest manner. The idea that you can't sing hard rock or metal with a pure voice is destroyed by Tool/A Perfect Circle, Evanesence, and others. Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 5:00

2 Answers 2


If you have been following rock music for a while, you have inevitably witnessed the trend where a relatively obscure band will put out a hit rock song and go from nobodies to famous people in a short while. They go from playing relatively few shows to suddenly being on tour for the majority of the year. It is shortly after than a few bands dreams will come to a screeching halt when the lead singer loses his voice and announces that he has done serious damage to his voice. It's such an issue now that some labels will immediately provide singers with a vocal coach that teaches them how to sing "properly" in such a way that protects their voice for the long haul. It can be done.

The thing that you are looking for as an answer to your question is a private voice teacher or voice regimen that you can pursue outside of your academic studies. You school's vocal teachers will likely not want to encourage your style in favor of a more broadly accepted style of singing.

I wish I could remember the name of the most used vocal coach for rock singers, but I believe this lady may have some information that could be useful to you: https://www.melissacross.com

  • I was thinking of looking for a private tutor on the side, that is specialised in rock vocals but I haven't found one in Edinburgh yet and I have not that much of an income so it might get complicated at some times. The reason why my tutors in uni won't teach me is that for them vocal health is main priority and that for them again, rock singing do not have any way to do it safely which I don't believe is true! Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 9:49

This is not a proper answer as I don't have any experience in "rough" singing, but perhaps I can give some useful ideas and I was not able to condense them into a comment, so here goes.

I agree with Stinkfoot that practise (as in many things in life) is surely the way, but such practice must of course be guided by a strategy. I believe your main difficulty (much like in the case of this question stating the reverse difficulty) has much to do with conditioning: you have taught your body to work in a certain way when you sing and when you enter into "sing mode" your body takes control and does it "its" way.

Perhaps catching your body "by surprise" will help. What I mean is, work gradually as Stinkfoot suggests, but look for some strategies so that you don't instinctively and uncontrollably assume the singing mode your body is now used to.

Since I don't know the technique of "rough" singing I cannot give very specific advice, but some possible suggestions are:

  • Practice not singing: isolated syllables, or even speaking or reciting a poem (if that makes sense for the specific technique).

  • Try new and very simple songs, that do not require great effort. That way you don't need to concentrate on singing in tune, or expression, and can concentrate on the required body behaviour.

In "normal" (sorry for the singing technique chauvinism :-) singing we strive to relax the larynx and make all sorts of exercises to stretch the limits (high/low pitch, volume, expression, continuous note duration) while making a focused effort to maintain the larynx relaxed and low in the throat. What would be the parallel "focus point" in the specific technique you're trying to achieve? Try to devise some exercises that help you train that "focus point" while the other singing component don't get too much in the way. Look for tutorials and tips for newbies in "rough" singing that may give you some ideas to devise your own drills.

I hope this helps, but would be very much interested in more knowledgeable answers and feedback from your future experience.

  • Personally, I think if you're making an educated guess, it's probably not a good answer. Either experience or research or both are grounds for answering, just intelligent thinking about it isn't nearly as good. Commented Sep 14, 2017 at 4:57
  • Thanks for that answer José, it was more than helpful, maybe if I manage to achieve the voice that is mine but is how I like, I shall share a recording with you, it'll make more sense than words on this one! Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 10:06
  • Todd, I agree. I hesitated a lot to post, but since no one else did (at the time) I decided to share my thoughts, with the appropriate caveats. Commented Sep 16, 2017 at 19:00

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