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Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am
Posts: 263
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2021 3:27 am 

So I think I can somewhat do Metal vocals and have worked out a style for myself that I like a lot. This is what I am capable of:



One of the biggest challenges I came across was projecting my Metal vocals loud enough so that it could be picked up by the mic during recording; however, it seemed the louder I tried to project myself the more it hurt

So while recording those two songs I linked, on two separate occasions, my throat gradually started to feel worse and worse. After I was done recording the
songs I literally felt physically ill to where it felt like I had a cold. It also hurt to speak for the next couple of days

Anyone have any advice for how I can pursue my chosen vocal style without injuring myself? I've done a lot of research on this online and nothing seems
to work. Should I revisit that Zen of Screaming documentary? I'm thinking maybe I wasn't approaching that documentary the right way earlier


Joined: Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:41 am
Posts: 925
Location: Russia
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2021 10:01 am 

I'd say that you should start with classical singing foundations. Especially for the style you've got there, which is still based on your modal voice.
There are quite a few concepts and "tricks" from classical singing that are super useful in "harsh" vocals - dealing with breath support and pharynx/larynx "alignment" to maximise resonance.
If you don't plan to sing "clean", you won't need to focus on pitch, but figuring out which muscles to relax and which to use so as to get volume without "pushing" is a must. And warming up, too.
Some people can just randomly scream their lungs out for years, but you aren't one of them, and it's actually good because you now have a chance to develop a more efficient technique.

Mallcore Kid

Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:56 am
Posts: 28
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2021 7:44 am 

I don't want to be a bastard, and maybe you really can improve with the proper kind of practise, but I found that your tracks were really cool...aside from the vocals. They didn't fit the music so well, and generally sounded like someone who isn't really able to deliver (irrespective of whether or not it actually hurts you to do this). It could be worth just looking for a dedicated vocalist.

Prigione Eterna
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:43 pm
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2021 7:05 pm 

Don't listen to the guy above, your vocals work very well for the material. They kinda remind me of Bathory.

Anyway, I'm not Maria Callas, but here's what helped me with screaming/grunting/whatever vocals so far.
First of all, not writing parts that are too hard (crammed to the point of leaving you out of breath, impossibly long/sustained screams etc.). If holding "notes" too long hurts, it's better to use delay/reverb to achieve a similar effect.
Not trying to be loud, unless you're going for "shouted/yelled" rather than death metal-type vocals; if it sounds too quiet, just get closer to the microphone or add volume later in the mix. With today's digital technology, a quiet recording isn't much of a problem unless it's very very quiet. Also, like with guitars, layering lets you get away with less grit, but unlike guitars, with metal vocals you can compress/saturate/distort them afterwards to make them more brutal.
Warming up a little is pretty much a must. Singing something very easy, while strumming along or whatever, usually works. Something like, I don't know, Solitude by Black Sabbath, the chillest metal song ever.; or just doing a couple of warm-up takes before.
Not 100% sure about this, but I think being in reasonable physical shape can help. Nothing crazy, but if you get out of breath after walking up the stairs, I don't think death metal singing gets any easier (well, unless you live in a skyscraper, I guess). Also obvious things like not eating like a pig/drinking a lot before singing etc., but I don't think that's your problem.
Last, although extreme metal screaming doesn't really have a pitch, it sort of does. I'd suggest trying to find one note/tone/register, or more than one, that you feel are easier for you. For example, really high-pitched screaming can hurt if you don't have the right voice.
Perhaps mine is the lazy approach to it, but I think with this type of vocals (maybe singing in general), you kinda have to work with the "hardware" you have. If you try imitating a singer or pursuing a style that don't go well with the character of your voice, that can hurt. So I guess the advice there is not being too stubborn and learn to compromise.
https://prigioneeterna.blogspot.com/ Lo-fi, somewhat experimental, slightly weird metal.

Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:04 am
Posts: 236
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 12:33 pm 

I've been a metal singer since the late 80s. I've seen tons of styles come and go, tons of ways to do it come and go and tons of ways other singers approach it. In the end, the only thing that's always been true and always will be is breathing and projection technique.

First things first, you need to work on your breathing. Begin by checking if your inhale/exhale technique is correct: are you lifting your shoulders when you inhale (wrong), or solely moving your diaphragm? Once you get that sorted, begin doing exercises where you hold your breath in for longer and longer periods (see how long you can hold it now, then add 5 seconds each time you increase - in my prime, I was sitting just over 3 minutes - YMMV). Then begin seeing how long you can exhale. From there, split your inhales and exhales - i.e. inhale in one burst, then two equal bursts, then three, etc. - then do the same with exhales.

The feelings you describe of pain, "cold symptoms" etc are all from improper technique. And, if you really have to strain to be heard while recording either A) your recording setup is totally wrong or B) metal may not be your thing.

However, some guys (Dave Mustaine, David Vincent, the aforementioned Quarthon, etc.) are not naturally very loud. Whereas other guys like Mille Petroza can scream on stage with full band volume and have a microphone 5 feet away pick them up perfectly - I fall into this camp. The breathing will help increase your volume, but if you don't learn to sing from your gut vs your throat and nasal cavity the newfound power will just hasten the damage and ultimately lead to throat cancer...
So heavy if you breathe it your lungs will collapse.

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