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Singing AND Screaming

Hello once again everyone!

As I said in my first blog, my major fear about being on the road was that I would blow out my voice and that would be the end of it all.

But no such thing happened. In fact, after several nights of singing and screaming over and over, making sure to be on top of doing all my vocal exercises, it got to the point that I didn’t want to stop.

So the ride back home was definitely a bummer— I really wanted to be singing at the next gig!

I think I came into this tour fully armed with all the necessary tools to have a successful time with my voice; however, I’m now a little wiser in the sense that I am better experienced with the tools that I possess.

I’m committed to warming-up correctly every day; about a half hour to forty-five minutes of practice time, with whatever rep one chooses, is definitely enough to stay on top of your game and then some.

Basically any vocalist needs to practice the highest standard of maintenance with their voice, especially with metal music where one is both singing AND screaming.

If you’re the singer who maintains perfect vocal health while smoking a pack of cigarettes a day and drinking a mess-load before going on stage, while I personally don’t recommend it, more power to you! But behavior like that may very well make you sound extra poopy and could ruin your performance.

You have a responsibility, not only to yourself but to your fellow musicians, to do whatever is necessary to remove any potential of those habits messing up your A-game. If you give your voice the respect and treatment it deserves, it will work wonders for you.

Maintenance ensures longevity and being around for a long time, doing what we love, is the goal that I think most of us want to achieve!

So that closes one chapter, now we go on to face a new challenge: singing in the studio!

My new goals are to expand the range of my scream (both high and low) and to develop a little warmer tone.

So, watch for my blog re. kicking butt on studio vocals.


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Any questions for Chris can be sent to editor@voicecouncil.com

  • Paco

    I am sure you are absolutely right, but I can still not separate beer from rock. I´ve been singing for over a couple of years now and I have had horrible performances, but I can´t imagine rocking with no party. I like reading these kind of articles, and I am thankful for the info you share, but sometimes I feel professional singers are a bit to cold, much more worried for there own work with their voices rather than for the passion of the gig. Maybe that`s is ok for lighter demanding styles, but there is a revelry in the rock culture that we must not forget.

    I´m longing for your studio & recording tips.

  • I know what you're talking about paco! Before I got into singing I used to hang out with my friends from wednesday to sunday… Now I go to bars and places like that only to play with my band. It's not so hard to change your habits, you'll get used to it very soon. The night before the day off I like to drink a glass of red wine or stuff after the gig. But I can't do it everyday…
    About the passion… well I'm not with you on that… These are two diferents things:The passion for a gig and the after gigs party.
    The passion lies inside of every professional singer and we have to show it on stage! Connecting with the audience, showing them how much we love what we do, that's what passion is about!
    I love rock music and I'm sure you too, so I think you could easily enjoy it wihout hurting your instrument. You just have to follow your experience, If you want to perfom better, you know what to do…take lessons and take care of your vocal folds. Man, I love the aftergigs party ! but who could be angry with you if you decide to change the beer for a bottle of water?
    That's my advice! I'm no one to tell you what to do, you're the owner of your life.
    have a great weekend paco!

  • Paco

    I do appreciate your advice. But I do not mean getting absolutely drink and having to crawl your way back home. Between black and white there is an infinite number of grey tonalities. In my case, a drink or two gives me more than it takes of, becasuse it relaxes me. Not my throat, but my nerves. What I did forget about was smoking. That really did me bad. Not so much to the larynx but to my lungs. I felt tired, with very little stamina and push. I gave it up two years ago and I have recovered quite a lot. Always speaking under moderate usage: smoking is much worse than drinking. At least, so i believe.

    Thanks for sharing you experience.

  • garymckinney

    To me, screaming during a vocal performance should be used sparsely, say the way a guitar solo, is used. After once or twice, I've had enough and am ready to get back to the melody in its more basic form — without the screaming. It's kinda like the comic who constantly uses vulgar language — much more effective in moderation.

  • ujiya

    I'm not sure it's a good thing to do, buuuut…often I will sip a snifter of Grand Monya before a show, following a rough night or series of night's performances. The vapors seem to open me up and warm the throat. Granted there's nothing like rest to heal a night of baning it out live but sometimes ya' gotsta' do what ya' gotsta' do!!! Granted alcohol doesn't really improve the voice and certainly room temp water is the best thing to be drinking. I'll never drink or eat anything cold before or during a performance for fear of constricting my vocal chords.



  • ujiya

    Right on Paco you sound like a true rocker through and through!!! Warm beer would best for you but not too tasty. There was a time in my career where I felt I needed to have a buzz on to connect with the venom I wanted to throw into the microphone. Honestly, all of my sober performances are better than any that weren't. Currently I'm not doing metal. But, having been there, I can relate to the “party” vibe you speak of.

    There's a false sense of security that comes along with the aggression that alcohol provides us. As long as you're getting a good feeling and not falling over you should be ok. Maybe eat a “special” brownie so it doesn't effect your voice if your having troubles at all. However, I've read that smoking some substances can form pressure in the ears which causes a singer to hear flat and ultimately sing prety flat as well. Cheers n' rock on!!!