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Unread 02-26-2010, 09:40 AM   #1
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So i am thinking about doing vocals for my band...

We have had a bitch of a time finding a vocalist that can pull of what we want, and we really aren't asking for anything that hard; we are looking for some one to pull of some clean lines mixed with growling (Soilwork / In Flames)

So my plan is to just learn how to growl and do some clean vocals until we can at least find a front man.

Has any one here taught them selves how to sing, are there any good web sites to do this?
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Unread 02-26-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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I'm in the same situation dude, my band is pretty much looking for the exact type of singer you are, we've been looking for 2+ years but nothing has materialized. So I've been debating for a long time whether to take up the singing portion myself or not, I can scream but the hardest part since my band plays fairly technical stuff is playing and singing at the same time. Anyways, I digress! I would definitely recommend the "Zen of Screaming" DVD's (the first AND second one), they don't help so much with singing but give good pointers on screaming technique and lung/air control. Best of luck to you!

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Unread 02-26-2010, 10:28 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Drache713 View Post
I'm in the same situation dude, my band is pretty much looking for the exact type of singer you are, we've been looking for 2+ years but nothing has materialized. So I've been debating for a long time whether to take up the singing portion myself or not, I can scream but the hardest part since my band plays fairly technical stuff is playing and singing at the same time. Anyways, I digress! I would definitely recommend the "Zen of Screaming" DVD's (the first AND second one), they don't help so much with singing but give good pointers on screaming technique and lung/air control. Best of luck to you!
Thanks bro, i will have to heck out those two DVD's;
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Unread 02-26-2010, 11:18 AM   #4
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What you might want to do is join a local college's choir (assuming a good director). You don't have to be a student either; some people in my choir are community members and/or faculty members, so see if you can join. It's free and there's some vocal technique that you can get.

There's plenty to work on, and many of these things can be kinda difficult to know if you're doing correctly on your own. "Pointing" the tone-- feeling a buzz in the front of your face when you sing-- using your lower body, vowel shapes and resonating space, there's all kinds of stuff.
After a while, or as an alternative, you may wish to take private lessons, but I'd recommend getting instruction, since vocal technique is all about tone and hitting notes, but mostly tone (which helps getting the notes on pitch), so the improvement is worthwhile.

I'd also recommend going for choral, rather than operatic, style since your tone will blend well with others, and might make multi-tracking easier.

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Unread 02-26-2010, 02:15 PM   #5
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Unread 02-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #6
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Theres a few good videos on how to scream on youtube, including that art of zen one. It takes time, and you have to keep at it.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 03:14 PM   #7
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I think vocals are more of a thing you have or you dont...
Im sure practice helps.. but.... If you choke out every time you scream like i do...... I just accept its not for me.... lol
I could be wrong.... as with anything.. Practice helps
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Unread 02-26-2010, 03:49 PM   #8
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I think vocals are more of a thing you have or you dont...
Im sure practice helps.. but.... If you choke out every time you scream like i do...... I just accept its not for me.... lol
I could be wrong.... as with anything.. Practice helps
There is only so good you can get, but you can certainly learn it to an extent, unless you have some tone deafness, which would be difficult for a musician anyway.
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Unread 02-26-2010, 04:42 PM   #9
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Anything that has Melissa Cross teaching really helps. Also, be prepared to possibly be a terrible singer.......like me


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Unread 03-02-2010, 10:16 PM   #10
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I've actually heard that the Zen of Screaming DVDs are shit. I'm in the exact same boat as you, although i'm only going to be doing growls and screams. There's tutorials online everywhere. One that I found that was recommended to me was on wikihow. I forget the name, but its something along the lines of 'how to do metal vocals'. I'd check that out before the DVDs.

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Unread 03-03-2010, 06:46 AM   #11
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I taught myself to sing out of necessity, I was a kid without a band (read: a kid living where there wasn't a single instrumentalist at the entire school), so I got into home recording and had to learn to sing, play bass, keys etc. It did sound horrible at first, and I had never in my life imagined I'd be a singer, I thought it was so much cooler to be a guitar player!

Then when I came to another school I was invited to a band, but it turned out the lead singer/bassist was horrible (good bass player though). Again, I had to sing out of necessity. A few years later, I'm totally comfortable with being a lead singer, I've even done guest spots for other bands as a singer only.

For me, good singing is equal parts technique and confidence. If you don't believe in yourself, it usually sounds like shite and no amount of technique can make up for it. Just think of how many great singers are total divas off stage. It often goes hand in hand

Anyway, my point is that singing is no different from any other instrument. You learn, you practice, you get better. If you're motivated and dedicated, there's no reason you wouldn't be able to become a kickass singer!

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Unread 03-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #12
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I can either be a great singer or a good guitar player, and currently I've chosen to play the strings, not the pipes. I really can't do both, and I've tried many many times. For our band, we had been with out a vocalist for a year and it had come to the point where we tried to do them ourselves.

Both me, and the other guitarist were good enough at vocals, but neither one of us could continue to play the music we were writing, so the choice would have been to either rearrange our songs so 1 guitar was enough, or keep trying to bring in a vocalist.

I second the 'find a choir' approach. Back when I was in high school, our guitar teacher was also the head of the music department and ran the vocal classes. He overheard me mocking some bullshit over-dramatic rendition of 'Drummer Boy' that I heard on the radio that morning and he demanded I take the choir class.

I'm glad I did as I focused mostly on technique in that class as I've always had a pretty good ear for pitch.

We've acquired a vocalist since, but the guy seems to be pretty much tone deaf, so we're back to working on deciding who needs to take up melodic vocals when they're needed.


Growling on the other hand, I'm not so sure of. I have a pretty deep guttural growl that reverberates my vocal cords pretty harshly... it took a lot of 'practice' to condition my cords to the abuse and to push it at mic-able levels.

Screaming is all about style and personal preference I think. For me, it feels like it's higher up on the vocal cords, much closer to the mouth. It's a lot more about controlling the muscles in the throat to produce the tone.

I prefer to add some vocal tone to my screams, which I find adds a little extra something. I guess it sounds kind of like Heaven Shall Burn's vocals which I kinda dig. But still, there's a wide array of techniques and sounds that work in metal. I mean, Immortal's vocals are the weirdest sounding mix of croaking frogs and nasal sneers, and they're pretty god-like in the metal community.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 12:44 PM   #13
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It's definitely hard to "break out" as a singer/guitar player but it can be done. A lot of guitarists I know who sing in their band suffer from "guitarists who play bass" syndrome, where they approach the bass just like they're playing guitar (usually with a plectrum, overly complicated "guitar" style riffs), or just use the bass as a backdrop for their guitar tracks rather than giving it it's own texture. In the same way, it's really easy to get lazy with the vocals or "try too hard" to stand out. Finding a tasteful medium is the key, and it'll probably require sitting out from playing guitar here-or-there at practice to get a feel for the way your voice sits in the mix by itself. Also, if you practice singing along with a CD, a lot of what your ears are listening to is you harmonizing with the album... without the backing track, it might sound very different... so dropping the volume out and getting a better reference between what you're hearing and what your voice will sound like on stage is key.

As for singing, there's the basics... sing from your diaphragm, don't put too much strain on your vocal cords, your voice should only be slightly louder than speaking volume (this is helps a LOT with stamina), drink a lot of water, and make sure to tailor your set list to fit that (tougher songs at the beginning, easier songs as it progresses since you'll be gassed more by the end).

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Unread 03-03-2010, 04:27 PM   #14
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If there's anything I can recommend it's that you sing along to various records and pretty soon you'll find you are better at singing to some records more than others once you've found your range push yourself in that direction.

Also try and carve out a unique tone for your clean vox as most bands I see don't have that at all and put too much emphasis on screaming which is fine
but having good cleans can help create part of a bands musical identity.

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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:13 AM   #15
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Thanks for the advice guys!
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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:20 AM   #16
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When you are learning a song, cup your left hand and line up your thumb along the jaw line. Place your other fingers behind your ear, effectively making your hand an extension of your ear.

If you do this correctly you will not only hear your singing much louder, but also feel the resonance of any note much more. This is an old choir technique for pitch matching. It has transformed my singing dramatically.

Best of luck!

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Unread 03-08-2010, 10:57 PM   #17
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Dude do it, that what ive done after 5years+ trying to find a singer and I took the job, not the best screamer out there and definatly not the best clean vocalist but it was enough to get a girl I heard good things about vocal wise to try out for at least a couple shows and now I think shes in and were hitting the studio this summer with the keyboard player from Blackguard if everything goes according to plan.Finding a great singer open doors but you gotta get a little out there to find one before.

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Unread 03-18-2010, 11:27 AM   #18
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I fronted my old band because we couldn't find a vocalist. I didn't practice or anything, this was durring the time that i was one of those "guitar player guitar players" who only really cared about melting faces and not the impact of the whole song.

Apparently it sounded good but i think differently.

I've recently gotten into the idea of singing and taking lessons all because of hearing the new periphery tracks/not being able to find a vocalist that I like.

confidence is definatly what makes or breaks it i think
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Unread 03-18-2010, 01:29 PM   #19
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Sing along to everything

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Unread 03-21-2010, 08:50 AM   #20
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Sing along to everything
I did a lot of random singing along to almost everything. This included singing guitar melodies/riffs anything with pitch.

Funny enough, my singing ability came completely by accident. I remember when I was 16 during school jams where the star school band were jamming along to Domination by Pantera. Nobody in the band knew the lyrics, but I happend to be there watching them. I knew the lyrics and they told me to go and sing. I sang and apparently blew everyone away. Still didn't get to be an offical band member because I was too geeky.

The next couple of school bands, again I had to have a mic. A lot of my classmates were too focused on one instrument. So not only did I get away from playing different instruments, but I even ended up as the resident backup vocalist. And so far this has happened to practically every band I've played with.

Also try to hang around and jam with as many kinds of singers as possible. I've played in a Gospel-RnB band with 6 vocalists and it did wonders to my vocals, confidence and sense of pitch. Having relative pitch (or better yet perfect pitch) helps a lot.

Lastly, look after your voice. Vocals are far more health intensive than any other instrument, both melodic singing and screaming/growling. You really need to look after yourself that you don't blow out your voice. Singing from your diaphram (as Randy said) is important. Know your range and develop a good tone slowly. Drinking warm water, warming up before a show etc.
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