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How To Scream for Metal, Hardcore & Screamo
March 13, 2007 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Learning to scream safely as a metal, hardcore or screamo vocalist can "take approximately a year", apparently. Handy tips offered here include "practice screaming into a pillow", and "scream along with music, especially songs in which screaming is already taking place." Bizarrely comprehensive, and probably useful, if you're into, uh, screaming.
posted by rhodri (32 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
These death metal guys have no idea how much they owe to Janis Joplin.
posted by psmealey at 6:24 AM on March 13, 2007


How to properly stress your vocal chords without hurting yourself and sounding good.

Heh.
posted by jokeefe at 6:24 AM on March 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Melissa Cross has been doing this professionally for a while now. Melissa on All Things Considered.
posted by The Straightener at 6:35 AM on March 13, 2007


From the related link "How to be Metal":

If you like to wear the pants of a girl, fine. If you like for your pants to be held up by a string, or belt, thats cool too. Just make sure that you don't draw too much attention to yourself, and wear as many band shirts with like angels and swords and stuff on them.
posted by chinese_fashion at 6:49 AM on March 13, 2007


One of their tips:
Drink lots of water before, during, and after screaming.
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:57 AM on March 13, 2007


Creaky voice, a.k.a. "glottal fry," is what they're up to here. The funny thing is, in normal English speech creaky voice is a sign of boredom or apathy. The growl these metal guys use to show they're Really Into It is the same as the gravelly voice we use to show we don't much care, just raised to a louder volume.

These death metal guys have no idea how much they owe to Janis Joplin.

Actually, from what I've heard, Janis Joplin had pretty poor screaming technique until right around Pearl, when she finally had someone teach her how to do it right. Before then, she'd just been pushing her voice until it broke every night.

Anyway, if we're looking for early influences, shouldn't Louis Armstrong get the credit?
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:58 AM on March 13, 2007


on a related note - "Cookie Monster"!
posted by the painkiller at 6:59 AM on March 13, 2007


These death metal guys have no idea how much they owe to Janis Joplin.

Well, she did die and all...

I suppose this really is strictly for death metal types, though, and not for those who just wanna let out a good rock n'roll scream every now and again. From the site, under "Warnings":

"...be prepared to have a hard time singing correctly again."

There are vocal coaches who teach singers to scream without damaging their vocal chords, knowing that most singers don't want to just scream.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:00 AM on March 13, 2007


Also related, once you've got your metal scream down:

Metal by Numbers
posted by Mikey-San at 7:01 AM on March 13, 2007


Is this tutorial Jim Gillette approved?
posted by chillmost at 7:03 AM on March 13, 2007


James Brown didn't need a damn tutorial, he just let it loose.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:12 AM on March 13, 2007


38 years of smoking has helped.
posted by Goofyy at 7:21 AM on March 13, 2007


My friend who's been screaming for like 15+ years, always says you should never use your throat. The screams should be coming from your stomach. I never bothered to ask exactly how that is done.
posted by xmattxfx at 7:29 AM on March 13, 2007


Dude, I like to belch the national anthem as much as the next guy, but you've gotta recognize that's a whole 'nother thing.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:42 AM on March 13, 2007


My daughter (18 mos.) is a natural at this.
posted by Mister_A at 7:58 AM on March 13, 2007


I was thinking the hardcore scene owed a great debt not to Janis, but to Tom Waits.
posted by eustacescrubb at 8:32 AM on March 13, 2007


Interesting, but I hope this doesn't open the floodgates for a bunch of single-link wiki-how posts.
posted by TedW at 8:46 AM on March 13, 2007


Sure, this may be how Anaal Nathrakh, but what if you want to do it how Blood Fart does it?
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:56 AM on March 13, 2007


I was thinking the hardcore scene owed a great debt not to Janis, but to Tom Waits.

And Tom Waits to Howlin' Wolf.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:57 AM on March 13, 2007


And Tom Waits to Howlin' Wolf.

And Howlin' Wolf to howling wolves.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:44 AM on March 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Last two links in the "related" section:
* How to Make a Box With Sheet Metal Equipment
* How to Make and Throw a Metal Shuriken

Sweet.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:44 AM on March 13, 2007


If screaming into a pillow is a valid way to practice screaming without disturbing your neighbours - do you think I could apply this technique to learning the harmonica, too?
I'm serious - I get very shy about my volume, since I'm not very good, and therefore I don't practice enough.
posted by Tbola at 11:07 AM on March 13, 2007


Practice your harp with pride, Tbola! Harmonica is virtually the only instrument I can think of that doesn't sound half-bad even when a beginner is playing it (everything's all in the same key, isn't it?).
posted by psmealey at 12:24 PM on March 13, 2007


I scream into my pillow at night, too. But for other reasons.
posted by jasonsmall at 1:08 PM on March 13, 2007


I'm just happy there's a musical form known as "screamo".
posted by skammer at 1:27 PM on March 13, 2007


What psmealey said. If Bob Dylan and Beck can get away with that crap (he said, lovingly) then so can you.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:33 PM on March 13, 2007


How to properly stress your vocal chords without hurting yourself and sounding good.

Untintentionally very funny.
posted by inconsequentialist at 2:35 PM on March 13, 2007


Hard to take anything seriously or consider this good advice when they use "chord" for "cord". yikes.

Anyway, consult your local SLP or voice coach because either way chances are good you'll be seeing them sooner or later if you do this kind of screaming for long periods of time :)
posted by absquatulate at 4:58 PM on March 13, 2007


I have been wanting to buy The Zen of Screaming for some time.
posted by adipocere at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2007


"scream along with music, especially songs in which screaming is already taking place."

So, like, The Sound of Music soundtrack? Oh, wait, when you say "screaming already taking place," you mean on the recording. Gotcha.
posted by Eideteker at 5:20 PM on March 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


COOKIE...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:07 PM on March 13, 2007


"...be prepared to have a hard time singing correctly again."

Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt seems to have this down... he can go from low evil growls to a really good singing voice in a second. And he's quite capable of doing it live, too.

(Disclaimer: I am a huge Opeth fanboy. ;))
posted by VirtualWolf at 7:08 PM on March 13, 2007


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