December 10 2014
I remember hearing Robert Plant or Stevie Wonder scream those really high notes, and I always wondered how they did it. How did they learn how to scream so high?
Then Jeff Buckley came along, and was doing the same thing – screaming out E & F’s above high C’s like there was no tomorrow, and I said to myself, I had to learn how to scream.
It took me a while to learn how to do it, and also how to scream without damaging my voice, and I want to share those tips with you.
What Is Screaming When Singing?
Before we get into the “nitty gritty”, it would be good to define what screaming actually is with regard to singing.
The type of screaming that I want to cover is type employed by Robert Plant, Jeff Buckley or Stevie Wonder, not the type of screaming you hear if you listen to a death metal band.
There can be generally to types of screaming while singing; 1) full voice scream and 2) the falsetto scream. In this article, I want to cover the full voice scream, as I believe that it sounds much fuller than a falsetto scream.
For a bit of fun, check out the following video at 2:30. That is what I am talking about.
3 Tips On How To Scream Without Damaging Your Voice
So lets now explore the 3 tips on how to scream without killing your vocal cords:
How To Scream Tip # 1 – Sing From Your Diaphragm
As singing from your diaphragm or support as it’s otherwise known, is the foundation of singing, it makes sense that we should start here.
Because you will be singing very high, generally over a male high C for a males and modern female singers, it’s really important that you sing with a solid technique.
To sing from your diaphragm, pull up or lift the abdominal bulk upwards towards the diaphragm, which will close the vocal cords by reflex action allowing you to sing with a completely open throat.
How To Scream Tip # 2 – Use The Correct Resonance Chamber
As we are singing high when scream
singing, the notes will resonate in the nasal cavities, as this is the resonating chamber that reinforces high notes.
To get up into the nasal cavities, you will need to learn how to keep the soft palate down and away from the back wall of the throat. This will allow free access up into the nasal cavities for the pitch.
One exercise that you can use to train the soft palate to stay in the correct position is the hum exercise. This exercise is done by closing the mouth while singing from the diaphragm, then singing that pitch up an octave. Your hum sound should have a “ring” to it, and if you opened your mouth, you would get a nice singing tone.
Click on the link to view another article I wrote about how to improve singing via resonance. if you would like to learn more.
How To Scream Tip #3 – Lose The Straight Tone
Whether you like singing with vibrato or not, it really works when you are singing this high to help “fatten” out the note and make it sound so much bigger.
If you do listen to Jeff Buckley, Robert Plant, or Stevie Wonder, notice how they all utilize their vibrato when they are singing that high?
It really makes the note sound so much better.
You want your voice to be as free as possible when singing up that high, and a good vibrato is a sign that the voice is open, free and natural.
So you now have a starting point to learn how to scream sing.
A word of caution. If you are new to singing or are learning a new technique (like how to sing from your diaphragm), then I would take it slow and not start off learning this technique.
I would start to explore this style of singing once I was singing with a good technique and i can at least hum the high notes on high C and above. In fact, using the hum exercise to sing those notes first is a great way to build the range without damaging your voice.
I hope you have found this article informative.I wish you success in all your singing endeavors…..