How To Growl Sing And Make It Sound Good Tuesday February 20 2024, 3:15 PM
Yona Marie
Singer, Songwriter, Producer.
How To Growl Sing And Make It Sound Good

How To Growl Sing 

Singing with a bit of growl in your tone comes with a bit of practice for most; it won't sound great the first few times you try it. Trust me, I've been through the process before, and I started out sounding like a weird animal before I really got the technique down. 

The good thing about learning this technique is that it's really fun (and funny) to try, especially if you're doing it with a group of your singing friends.

A good growl during a vocal performance can really do wonders for a performance. The main things you want to concentrate on with this technique are the ability to sound emotionally authentic and making sure you don't do any damage to your vocal cords in the process.  

First, Warm Your Voice Up Properly 

Before attempting any growl singing, ensure your voice is adequately warmed up. Start with gentle humming and lip trills to gradually increase vocal cord flexibility and blood flow. Move on to scales and arpeggios to fully prepare your voice.

Go for a Chest Or Mixed Voice Voice Growl

The chest voice is naturally richer and more robust, making it a safer foundation for growl singing. You can also benefit from using a mix of your chest and a voice to keep things light and go for a slightly higher pitch. 

This approach leverages the thicker vocal folds used in lower pitch production, which can handle the added stress better than the thinner folds used for higher pitches in your head voice.

Use Your False Vocal Cords

Engaging your false vocal cords (vestibular folds) for growl singing helps protect your true vocal cords from strain and damage. This technique requires a lot of practice to master, as it involves creating distortion without tension in the true vocal cords.

Start with gentle breathing exercises focused on diaphragmatic breathing to engage the correct support system.

Practice making a gentle sighing or coughing sound to become aware of your false vocal cords. This sensation is similar to the beginning of a yawn or the feeling you get when clearing your throat gently.

Gradually introduce this sensation into your singing, starting softly and at a low volume, focusing on maintaining relaxation in your true vocal cords.

Feel The Transition

For many growls, singers start with the gritty and then transition into the melodic note. In some heavy metal cases, they stick the growl for much longer or don't even transition to a note, but most other genres get into the melodic. 

Begin with a simple note or a short, easy-to-sing melody. Growl on a comfortable pitch, then immediately transition into singing the same note cleanly. Focus on making the transition smooth and controlled.

The transition from growl to clean singing should be supported by a steady airflow.

Practice taking a deep breath using your diaphragm before you start growling, and maintain this support as you switch to singing. Your breath should act as a stable foundation throughout both parts of the vocalization.

Initially, practice the transition at a lower volume and intensity to reduce strain on your voice. As you become more comfortable, you can experiment with increasing both, paying close attention to maintaining proper technique.

Leave Vibrato Out Of It

Vibrato adds variation in pitch and can introduce a sense of warmth and richness to your singing. However, in the context of growl singing, especially when transitioning to a clean note, the absence of vibrato can create a clearer, more emotional contrast.

You want to go for a straight-tone sound that is more like a scream or a wail, which won't usually have vibrato associated with it. This will also help a lot with your pitch accuracy once you transition from the growl to the actual note. 

Don't Do It for Too Long

Growling is demanding on the voice, so it's essential to limit the duration of practice sessions and the use of growl singing in performances to prevent vocal fatigue and potential damage.

Stay hydrated, warm up properly before practicing, and rest your voice if you feel any discomfort. Remember, the goal is to add emotional depth and intensity to your performance without compromising vocal health.

Feel the Music

Emotional authenticity in growl singing comes from a deep connection to the music and the message you're conveying. Allowing yourself to fully feel the emotions of the song can make your growl more genuine and impactful.

Spend time with the lyrics and the melody, understanding the story or emotions behind the song. Visualize or emotionally connect with the song's message before and during your singing. This connection can help naturally guide the intensity and expression of your growl.

Record yourself and listen back. Assess not just the technical aspects of your growl but also whether the emotional content comes through in your performance.

Yona Marie

As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!

If you are in need of singer, songwriter or song producer services, see what Yona Marie can offer you on her services page.

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