How to Scream Metal: Techniques and Tips for Aspiring Vocalists

How to Scream Metal: Techniques and Tips for Aspiring Vocalists

Metal screaming is a unique vocal technique that can be found in various subgenres of heavy metal music. If you’re an aspiring metal vocalist, you likely want to learn how to add this captivating element to your vocal skills. This article is dedicated to helping you develop your metal screaming abilities through a detailed guide that covers basic techniques, practice tips, and preservation of vocal health for sustainable metal screaming. So let’s dive into the world of metal screaming!

Understanding Different Metal Screaming Styles

To start your journey, it’s important to know that there are primarily two metal screaming techniques: false cord screaming and fry screaming. Each technique has its own distinct tonal characteristics and is associated with different vocal registers and subgenres within the heavy metal world. Some famous metal vocalists use false cord screaming, while others prefer fry screaming. To help you visualize these styles, let’s discuss each technique in more detail.

False Cord Screaming

False cord screaming is a technique that utilizes the false vocal cords, which are located above the true vocal cords. Engaging these false cords while screaming helps to create a gnarly, powerful sound that is typical in genres like death metal and hardcore. To master false cord screaming, you’ll need to understand your vocal anatomy and how to engage the correct muscles while minimizing strain on your true vocal cords.

Fry Screaming

On the other hand, fry screaming is based on the vocal fry register, also known as the lowest vocal register. This technique offers a more high-pitched and raspy sound, which is commonly found in subgenres like metalcore and post-hardcore. To develop a strong fry scream, you’ll need to focus on proper breath support, vocal placement, and muscle engagement.

Developing False Cord Screaming Technique

Now that you are familiar with the two main styles of metal screaming, let’s delve into some practical tips for developing your false cord screaming technique. First, it’s crucial to have a basic understanding of your vocal anatomy, particularly the vocal cords. Your false cords are located above your true vocal cords and play a significant role in producing the gritty, powerful sound associated with false cord screaming.

To discover your false cord sound, start by experimenting with different ways of engaging the muscles around your false cords while minimizing strain on your true vocal cords. This may involve making a low guttural sound or imitating the growl of an animal. Once you’ve found your “sweet spot,” you can work on controlling the pitch, tone, and power of your false cord screams through dedicated vocal exercises that target your false cord muscles.

How to Scream Metal: Techniques and Tips for Aspiring Vocalists

Developing Fry Screaming Technique

Moving on to the fry screaming technique, let’s explore how to strengthen and refine your fry scream. As mentioned before, fry screaming is based on the vocal fry register. To develop this technique, focus on achieving proper breath support, vocal placement, and muscle engagement.

Start by practicing your vocal fry, which is the lowest register in your voice. Once you’re comfortable with that, gradually increase the volume and power behind the sound to create a distinct scream. Regular practice and the right exercises will help you build stamina, coordination, and control in your fry screaming style.

Protecting and Preserving Vocal Health

It’s essential to give as much importance to your vocal health as you do to your screaming techniques. Straining your voice while screaming can lead to vocal damage, so it’s vital to establish safe and healthy habits. Here are some tips for protecting and maintaining your vocal health:

  • Perform proper warm-up and cool-down exercises before and after practicing or performing.
  • Stay hydrated to keep your vocal cords lubricated and functioning optimally.
  • Avoid behaviors that can cause damage, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, or shouting without proper technique.

If you experience persistent pain or hoarseness, don’t hesitate to consult a vocal coach or medical professional to ensure you’re not doing lasting damage to your voice.

Practicing and Refining Metal Screaming Skills

To advance your metal screaming abilities, commit to regular practice and discipline. Set aside dedicated practice time and incorporate exercises and drills designed to improve various aspects of your screaming techniques. Be patient as you learn and remember that developing a strong, unique metal scream takes time.

In addition to practice, seek out guidance from professional vocal coaches or online resources specifically tailored for metal vocalists. This will ensure you’re learning from experienced professionals who understand the nuances of metal screaming.


Learning to scream metal effectively involves understanding different styles, mastering techniques, and prioritizing vocal health. As you develop your metal screaming skills, you’ll be able to find your unique sound, perfect your techniques, and express your artistic identity. Remember, practice makes perfect – keep working on your favorite metal songs, collaborate with other musicians, and share your talent with the world.

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