Learning how to scream can take time when you are a beginner, be patient! All heavy vocalists including the most seasoned of rock stars share the same thing in common – they all started as beginners. Yes, some have more natural talent than others and some will take longer to perfect this vocal technique. Whatever you do don’t give up and make excuses not to put in the hard work it takes to develop a scream you are happy with!
With that being said let’s get started.
Breath support – If you have been Googling around on the internet learning how to scream you have probably heard the phrase “scream from you diaphragm” a million times! Most heavy vocalists never go into enough detail in why the diaphragm is such an important element in helping you scream. You need to keep this muscle strong because it is the driving force which helps you sustain your screams without running out of breath too quickly. I want you to try this exercise for me real quick. Sip a small amount of air into your lungs (shouldn’t take more than 1 second) and with that small amount of air see how long you can sustain the breath out as you exhale. Try to let the air out as slow as possible. Notice the controlled way your diaphragm is letting the air out of your lungs? This is also how the muscle behaves during screaming. Think of the diaphragm as the “air tank” and the vocal false cords are the “valve” that shapes the scream. Don’t take more air into the air tank than you can manage! Screaming is about managing smaller amounts of air properly.
Throw the voice – When I teach a student in person I’ll give them a medicine ball and have them throw it at the wall. This is done with same the same motion as you would throw a shot-put. The student must throw their voice as they release the ball with a loud “HEY!”. 10 reps are done adding a bit of rasp to the voice with every increasing rep. The purpose of this exercise is to bridge the gap from a yelling sound to a screaming sound. It takes repetition and practice when learning how to scream. A screaming teacher can talk until they are blue in the face about screaming but what good is talk without instruction action? The key is starting small with vocal exercises like the one I just mentioned above and the ones also available in my instructional DVD. To many teachers I see online talk about how to scream without going into real vocal exercises. Start with the exercise I mentioned, it works! If you want lots of other free tips please check out my other blog posts.
Things to remember if you are serious about learning screaming technique.
If your voice starts to get a little hoarse then take a few days off. You should not experience pain!
Do not smoke