Demonic Declarations: Follow these steps for death metal vocals

Have you ever wanted to sound like a demon from the ninth circle of hell or a howler monkey? No? Well, too bad. I am going to tell you how to do death metal vocals and not rip your throat apart.

First of all, most extreme metal vocals come from two branches. The fry scream, which is higher in pitch, is used a lot in nu metal, metalcore and black metal. People like Travis Ryan of Cattle Decapitation can do a melodic high scream that uses this technique.

However, the false chord method is one that I am going to be talking about. It is mainly used in death metal, grindcore and deathcore, and it is lower in pitch.

Even though there is a method to do extreme vocals, it can still be damaging to your vocal chords, so if it starts to hurt, stop and wait to sing the next day. Also, if you have never sung before and want to start growling, start singing regularly for at least a month before hand. This way you can learn and utilize proper breathing technique, which is essential for growling.

As a singer, you also need to learn how to breathe with your diaphragm. When you breathe, most of the time your chest expands and contracts, so you need to change that so while growling, your stomach is expanding and contracting when you breathe. By using this breathing technique, you can get the air in and out to make the most brutal growls.

Let’s get started on the basics of technique.

First thing to do is to start sighing and making each sigh progressively heavier until a you start to hear a little growl. If you feel any pain, stop and wait until tomorrow to start again. You should feel a rumbling in your chest if you are doing it right.

One big thing that you cannot forget is to drink a lot of water; however, do not drink ice cold water, as that will tense up your throat.

If you have practiced enough with sighing, then a growl is starting to form. Begin to spit out A E I O U quickly using this growl you have acquired, and this will become a warm up for you.

After awhile, you will have the technique on how to growl down, so now it is time to practice some songs. Some songs I recommend to practice are “Crystal Mountain” by Death, “Roots” by Sepultura and “Scourge of Iron” by Cannibal Corpse, for these are great, easy songs to learn.

A technique that uses the false chord is called the tunnel throat technique. The main part of its sound is formed by pushing your tongue on your bottom teeth and growling. This makes it sound like a mix between a burp and a vomiting sound. This technique is mainly used in slams, which are chromatic guitar riffs that slow down while the drum speed increases. Using tunnel throat will also make sure that no can understand you at all.

The last that I am going to talk about is microphone placement, so if you are playing an instrument and growling, you won’t have this problem. The biggest mistake that extreme metal vocalists do is cupping the mic. If you don’t know what that is, it is cupping your hands around the head of the mic when ever you sing.

People think that this focuses their sound, but it actually thins out your tone and mutes the sound. Also, by cupping the mic, you increase the amount of feedback given so you can’t turn the mic up that much. You shouldn’t have to increase the mic volume that much anyway because growls are very loud to begin with.

So if you have followed these tips, you can start making some brutal growls in no time. However, remember, if it hurts, stop and wait.

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