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#1
Nodules

To begin, lets clear up how nodules and polyps are caused. After giving too much abuse to your vocal chords (AKA doing something wrong) your vocal chords begin swell. This is what makes you go hoarse.

As your chords swell up, and you have to keep singing, you have to push, scream, etc. to get some of your notes. They continue to swell.

Nodules n such then form to prevent your vocal chords from bashing together, therefore stopping the abuse to your voice. This is why people with nodes have a very cli--k--y voice with lots of pauses. The nodes bump together before the vocal chords can, preventing them from producing sound. You also loose your range except for your speaking voice.

If you get hoarse, stop, drink some water or tea with honey and try again the next day. Don't keep pushing it. If you totally loose your voice, no talking or singing for a couple days. If you sing and scream during this time, you will get nodes.
-------------------

About yelling to get distortion, and using your throat:

Merriman44:

My friend, yelling while talking is just not intelligent. Can you not get your point across some other way? When you are pushing from your throat to the point of the 'break' as you say, you are taking your vocal cords and slamming them together. Think of it like two cars hitting eachother at 60 mph over and over. You can destroy your singing voice for a couple of days with just a couple of minutes of that (ask me how I know).

Warm ups for all genre's are the same. At first run scales (you'll find many in the vocal exercises thread) lightly and slowly build the power. This should take 10-40 minutes but don't start singing until you feel loose.

To care for your voice you need to stay hydrated, get all the sleep you need, and eat right. To compare, if your guitarist took his instrument out to the bar and ate Taco Bell after he could be sure that his guitar would be beat up at the end of the night. Same goes for your throat.

/end book.



This part goes for general advice on punk/thrash yelling.

If you push from your diaphragm you take the pressure off of your vocal chords, freeing them to do alot of things. In the case of yelling it allows you to yell for extended periods of time with only a slight wear to the voice; ex. at the end of your session your voice is going to be worn out and tired but it will be fine in a few hours. It's not the kind of IVE LOST MY VOICE FOR 3 DAYS NOW WTF.

Theres safe ways to do anything with your voice, you just have to learn how to do them. In the case of yelling when you correctly yell it will have the same volume as any normal yell but you can either distort it or choose not to distort it.

The non-safe way to do it is rather easy to tell: It's the kind of thing you do when youre screaming at a sporting event, where youre going for volume. You're voice breaks up and cracks and you can practically feel your chords going GRRRGGHHHH against each other and after a bit you've lost your voice.

If you learn the right way your voice wont break up or crack, and your thoat will be tight with tension but you won't loose your voice or anything. An example of the 'Correct' yell is slayer. His highs yells are totally tensed up, but since hes figured out how to do it properly he doesn't loose his voice, it probably just gets a little hoarse after a show.

---------

Your vocal chords are pretty good at what they do. The only real way your going to damage them is if you do it wrong for an extended period of time.

If you're doing it wrong, it will hurt a good bit and you will be coughing up a lung. You'll loose your voice and will be totally hoarse. If you loose it don't keep going because THATS when you can damage your voice. It won't be permanent but you'll get nodes if you continuously damage your voice while it's damaged.

If you're doing it right you'll know because it won't hurt, you won't be coughing, and it won't feel like nails on a chalkboard inside your throat. It will probably be tense, especially at first, but just keep going for it and you'll get it.


About getting the rasp...

Ghast:

I don't know if he ever wrote anything up, but in a 10 second nutshell.

Make sure your diaphgram is clenched nice n good, then I want you to think about bringing the sound up into your head and sinuses. Reflect it off of the hard part of your mouth (Your hard palate). This will get you the resonance and volume you need.

Before we go any further, you get the volume, distortion, and tone, from your diaphgram. It's not from your throat. Keep your throat as open/relaxed. as possible, and use it as almost as just a resonance chamber.

Right in the upper back of your throat you can make the distortion sound not by cracking your voice with volume, but by letting it go through your false chords, uvula, and reflecting around the upper part of your sinuses.

It doesn't hurt to do it if you do it right. People don't believe this, they all shout Nodules! Nodules! Well theres plenty of rock singers who consistently do it, night after night, and done right it's not too hard on your chords.


YOU FEEL IT IN YOUR HEAD AND SINUSES! NOT DOWN BY YOUR VOCAL CHORDS! ABOVE YOUR VOCAL CHORDS!

When I do rasp/distortion, I feel the air coming up through my loosened vocal chords (Try not to tense them as much as possible. It's hard to do with your highest it notes, but still totally possible. Trust me) and where I feel the vibrations from it are literally directly in the back of my mouth. If you drew a line through my mouth to the back of my throat, I feel it at that point, and if I go higher, the vibrations raise slightly in my head.

Try making your tone more nasally while doing it. Eventually you can do it without getting a nasally tone, but it's a good way to explain what using your sinuses feels like.


Rcasa630: ^ You were also a major help and no I haven't gotten his write up yet :-/ lolz. I just can't find the distortion in my diaphragm yet.


Merriman44: Figured Ghast would swoop in and explain it better than I could any how.

edit: What he means by getting distortion from your diaphragm is that you should in no way be clenching your throat up or yelling. The power of the scream begins in your belly, passes by your completely open vocal chords and picks up distortion from your false chords. This sound is resonated at the top/back of your throat and should feel like a vibration in your skull.

The sound you will get at first will most likely suck a lot but give it practice.

And Remember: If it hurts you are most definitely doing it wrong.


THERE IS NO PAIN!

With practice, you can do the distortion with your throat completely relaxed; It's not done by tensing anything. While it's a natural reaction to tense, because you think to get distortion you have to push and strain, you don't.

Babies, little kids, the like scream alot. They make weird distorted sounds, and do random shit. This is because at that age their diaphragm automatically takes over and does the work; it prevents them from having vocal damage at such a young age. By the time were at an age to do it consciously, we have to re-learn what we used to do automatically at such a young age.

Q&A Section


Quote by justaramsfan
Great post, really interesting stuff...but I just have one question.

Aside from the obvious (just do it while you practice singing) are there any specific methods that help you learn this technique? Is there any exercise I can practice that will help?


Learning to growl probably helped the most as it gives you an elementary lesson on the basics of alot of vocal techniques, and I learned through growling.

You have to keep your throat relaxed, have good diaphragmatic breath support, learn how different shapes and muscles can be used to affect your tone. A surprising amount of the stuff applies to singing.

The way I started to learn how to understand rasp and distortion was "Sing in the lower part of your range and try to combine it with a growl almost". Thats one way to get the hetfield distortion from metallica. That little rough edge to his voice.

Once you can do that and you want to get like 'smokers rasp' or higher distortion, try moving the feeling of the rasp from the throat up into your sinuses, almost your nose area.

Q: What does Vocal Distortion sound like?

A: Rasp and Distortion is everywhere and you can hear it in all types of music. Many people think it comes from excessive smoking and drinking, and while that can give you a rough sandpaper voice it's not the way that modern rock vocalists do it. Famous examples are James Hetfield/Metallica, Billy Corgan/Smashing Pumpkins, Dave Grohl/Foo Fighters

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Ghast/music/play860985

Q: What is the maximum amount of "Safe" distortion I can do?

A: I'll demonstrate more or less the "Most" you can do but you need to control because A) it sounds like shit, and B) despite the fact that it shouldn't hurt you, I highly doubt doing it with that amount of distortion is good for your throat in any way, shape, or form.

Does this amount hurt? No, but I'm not stupid and I know that you can hear that something is being grinded with a knife to make it sound that way, so I'm not going to do that, ever, in normal singing.

http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/Ghast/music/play860983
Quote by Venice King
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Last edited by Ghast at Jan 23, 2011,
#4
Thanks, I plan on adding to it more once I get back from vacation on Sunday, but I would love to have it stickied
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#5
I'm kinda sitting on the fence as to whether it should just be merged with the screaming/growling thread....

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#6
Quote by axemanchris
I'm kinda sitting on the fence as to whether it should just be merged with the screaming/growling thread....

CT


That's what I was thinking too. But it would still be stickied in its own way
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#7
Well do whatcha want I'll just be happy to have it some where!
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#8
Great post, really interesting stuff...but I just have one question.

Aside from the obvious (just do it while you practice singing) are there any specific methods that help you learn this technique? Is there any exercise I can practice that will help?
#9
Learning to growl probably helped the most as it gives you an elementary lesson on the basics of alot of vocal techniques, and I learned through growling.

You have to keep your throat relaxed, have good diaphragmatic breath support, learn how different shapes and muscles can be used to affect your tone. A surprising amount of the stuff applies to singing.

The way I started to learn how to understand rasp and distortion was "Sing in the lower part of your range and try to combine it with a growl almost". Thats one way to get the hetfield distortion from metallica. That little rough edge to his voice.

Once you can do that and you want to get like 'smokers rasp' or higher distortion, try moving the feeling of the rasp from the throat up into your sinuses, almost your nose area.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#10
Ghast, I loved the raspy tone you had in those samples man. That's exactly the kind of thing I want to be able to do! I can get a nice grit in the lower part of my range (think Silverchairs "Anthem For The Year 2000" or "Freak") but i've been struggling for a long time to move that sound up into the upper register. Any other tips on how you did it? How long did it take you? What kind of songs did you practice etc etc? Much appreciated.
#11
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ04WbgI9rg

The chorus at like 1:15 ^ Is a great one to practice and learn on because you're more or less forced into the upper part of your range.

What I want you to try and do is to make an "Ey!" sound up in your sinuses, in the top of your head. Almost as if you're trying to make the tone nasally.

Next I want you to get some good diaphragmatic support going and NOT USING YOUR THROAT, but HAVING THE POWER COME FROM YOUR DIAPHRAGM I want you to try and "Yell" onto the pitch, in a controlled non-throat sense.

If you're throat tenses alot or hurts you're doing it wrong. That means your using too much throat. It shouldn't feel like the angry excited football game yell.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#12
Quote by Ghast
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ04WbgI9rg

The chorus at like 1:15 ^ Is a great one to practice and learn on because you're more or less forced into the upper part of your range.

What I want you to try and do is to make an "Ey!" sound up in your sinuses, in the top of your head. Almost as if you're trying to make the tone nasally.

Next I want you to get some good diaphragmatic support going and NOT USING YOUR THROAT, but HAVING THE POWER COME FROM YOUR DIAPHRAGM I want you to try and "Yell" onto the pitch, in a controlled non-throat sense.

If you're throat tenses alot or hurts you're doing it wrong. That means your using too much throat. It shouldn't feel like the angry excited football game yell.


Thanks man, sounds like a good place to start, although that video is blocked in Australia. What's the song?

EDIT: nevermind, googled it. All My Life by the Foo Fighters? Haha I'll give it a go with your technique but not sure how well I'll be able to pull off Dave Grohl
Last edited by YetAnotherMuso at Jul 6, 2010,
#14
I don't know if this belongs here, but the guys in the screaming thread don't know how to do this. I was just wondering how to get that sound many sludge vocalists get with the sing scream sound.

here is a video of baroness doing it

youtube.com/watch?v=t8bm60f1o0o

here is a cover of the song
youtube.com/watch?v=cqhr9kn4scs
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Quote by Felgate
can anyone tell me how i get a tone similar to what avril lavigne uses in skater boy please?
#15
If you push the distorted singing tone you can blend it with your false chords. It creates a pitched scream (AKA it has a definite pitch you can pick out). Alot of Devin Townsend's screams and raspiness comes from this technique.

It's bad for the chords though, you will be hoarse after doing it, and you if you do it wrong you can strain your voice reeaallllyyy easily. It's a balance between tensing the throat and pushing it but just the right amount.

I asked devin about it and he said that basically when he opens with Addicted! it makes him pretty hoarse and he has to push his voice sometimes for the rest of the show.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
Last edited by Ghast at Sep 20, 2010,
#16
Holy sh!t Ghast, I can do it! I've been practicing and that chorus "yeah" in All My Life is actually sounding half decent! so psyched. Any other songs you found good to practice with? Thanks for the advice man
#18
Puddle of Mudd: She Hates Me (The chorus), In Bloom by Nirvana (Chorus), Rock is Dead by Marilyn manson.

Try those for now
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#19
Sorry, but I'm still not "getting it". I believe I can growl at a reasonable level (still don't know if it's in a correct or safe way tough). But I'm still not understanding how to get the rasp, my growl comes way too low in my range for it to be usable in ways like Dave Grohl or Layne Staley (idols) would.

There are simple instructions for frying ("drop your voice 'til you get the crackle, push with your diapraghm"). Are there any similar ones for vocal rasp, fail safe, even for noobs?

I do know how to use my diapraghm tough.

If I bring it up too high it sort of turns into falsetto/overtones.
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Last edited by Penn100 at Jan 5, 2011,
#20
Truth is, this technique is not to be ventured into lightly. One small mistake can mess you up for quite a while Penn. It takes a long time to get the "sweet spot" and the reason you can do it lower in your range is simply because it is just easier to make the sound lower. Your vocal cords articulate at slower speeds when you sing low.
#21
I'll just try to work it out then. It would really suck to cause permanent damage.
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#22
If you're switching into falsetto you're going about doing it wrong. I guess you could try this: Don't think of it as singing distorted, think of it as yelling on a pitch.

Just try shout an EY!!!! but when you do it make sure you puff out your stomach and use your diaphragm. Don't think about doing it, just do it. Just let it come out as a nice distorted EEYYYYY in your upper range.

If you do it right it will feel smooth, if not nothing bad will happen. You'll just be a little hoarse for a bit. Don't listen to the last guy it's harder than youd think to actually permenantly damage anything. That takes doing something wrong for a concert every other day for months.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
Last edited by Ghast at Jan 8, 2011,
#24
Ok, I think I'm (finally!) making some progress, hehe.

I don't get a lot of the distortion tough, and it's sort of hard to distinguish when I do, since I sing so nasally, and the sound is resonating in my "nose" at the same time, so it's sort of hard to tell, as compared to when I'm distorting with my throat, then I can both feel it (itching) and hear it.

I will keep working on it, just glad it seems like I'm doing SOME progress in the right direction, altough I don't get a lot of distortion out of it yet, I guess it comes with practice?
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#25
Really interesting thread! Some really helpful stuff, i'm starting to get the hang of some of this. Thanks.
#26
Once you get the basic mechanism down you can add in a little, or a lot, or choose to use more of your throat, etc.

To Penn: Once you can get it to resonate in your nose you can kind of start to shift it down into your throat into a more chesty distorted yell, Metallica style, Nirvana, etc. That kind of a thing.

If you want to try practice the nasal distortion practice with Bullet with Butterfly Wings by the Smashing Pumpkins.

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Be careful with this one. You have to yell using breath support AKA your diaphragm, not like you're going to a football game or concert and blowing your voice kinda yell. If you end up doing a blow your voice yell/scream don't keep doing it.
-------

One thing that might help you is to try and do an aggressive kind of vocals; maybe like shout onto a pitch BUT MAKE SURE TO USE YOUR DIAPHRAGM and try to distort your voice.

If you feel the distortion and it's not making you cough and sputter all over, try doing that at a much quieter volume like speaking level.

It's all about feeling what it feels like to distort your voice, remembering that feeling, and applying it in a different area.

Also jesus christ this has 2500 views now? O.O
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
Last edited by Ghast at Jan 19, 2011,
#27
Is it it safe to use your false chords to sing thrashy/with rasp?

Think Trivium/Metallica type stuff


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#28
^ if it ever hurts then it's not safe. i think that's probably the best answer with any type of non singing uh... singing
#29
Quote by Scowmoo
Is it it safe to use your false chords to sing thrashy/with rasp?

Think Trivium/Metallica type stuff


I would just start lower in your diaphragm and gradually push it up into your throat - that doesn't hurt for me. I guess you'll just have to find what works for you.
#30
Well... It's certainly safe, your false chords are what you use to 'scream' and growl with.

The metallica tone you use a little bit of your throat, but if you listen closely he really doesn't distort his voice too much. It's mostly just an effect that comes from pushing it out and singing with a little volume and tenseness.

Theres really not much distortion in his voice. It's kind of really crisp pronunciation and a loud talking voice. Just try to sing all of it down in your chest voice.

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For thrash yelling, expect to get hoarse. When you yell you have to figure out when your using volume and 'tensing' versus actually distorting with your vocal chords. You'll be able to yell alot longer the less actual distortion you use.

---------------

Does any of that need clarification?
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#31
Quote by Ghast
Well... It's certainly safe, your false chords are what you use to 'scream' and growl with.

The metallica tone you use a little bit of your throat, but if you listen closely he really doesn't distort his voice too much. It's mostly just an effect that comes from pushing it out and singing with a little volume and tenseness.

Theres really not much distortion in his voice. It's kind of really crisp pronunciation and a loud talking voice. Just try to sing all of it down in your chest voice.



Well, he did ruin his voice on the Black Album. Not sure how safe it really is, but it was ten years full of tours and recording sessions.
#32
Does making it nasally mean to only let air out your mouth? Like there's a muscle in my nose I can close and it makes it sound like I have a stuffed nose when I talk
#33
No, nasally would be pushing more air out your nose, but it's more about feeling the spot be kind of in your upper head. Like nasal area. The singing doesn't actually have to BE nasally though.

--------

I never read any actual article about that, only heard random people mention it?

I saw him live in concert and he did all the songs distorted fine? As far as I know he never ruined his voice and sung fine on all the other albums.

When they say ruined his voice, I think they just mean he lost his voice. His voice is totally fine.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#34
Quote by Ghast
I never read any actual article about that, only heard random people mention it?

I saw him live in concert and he did all the songs distorted fine? As far as I know he never ruined his voice and sung fine on all the other albums.

When they say ruined his voice, I think they just mean he lost his voice. His voice is totally fine.


I remember seeing James talking about losing his voice on the Black Album, and eventually it got so bad after the tour that he had to get lessons. He said he has/had nodules on his chords and everything. That's why on Load and after he doesn't sing in the same rough style as before.

Compare - 1989 - Master of Puppets

2008 - Master of Puppets
#36
It's fry screaming, not raspy singing.
Quote by Venice King
Beethoven ****ed Jimi Hendrix and I was born. I make my own music.
#37
BUPM

I THINK I'm doing it right - it doesn't hurt or feel tense at all, it's quite comfortable and controllable, but should it be RIDICULOUSLY loud compared to normal singing?

Also, notes normally in the comfortable lower middle area of my range start sounding like borderline death growls if I sing them harshly. Should that happen?
I'LL PUNCH A DONKEY IN THE STREETS OF GALWAY
#38
Rasp comes very natural for me, actually. I think it's a bit to do with the smoking I used to do, but after I sing a couple songs, the ability for my voice to break up just come naturally.
#39
I can get the rasp pretty good in my upper range now, any tips for getting it in my lower range too? I have a naturally high singing voice, so what would be mid range to some of my favorite singers is low range to me. I've been improving my regular singing in the low range trough practice tough, but any other tips?
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#40
I can sing very similarly to Kurt Cobain in Nirvana, but I would rather sound a lot more like Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters or Tim McIlrath of Rise Against! What can I do to change it to sound like them instead?
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