Are you a fan of heavy metal music, fascinated by the growling, aggressive vocal styles of your favorite bands? Have you ever wondered how they achieve those powerful, guttural growls that send shivers down your spine? Well, you’re in luck! In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to delve deep into the world of how to growl while singing, demystifying the technique, and providing you with the tools to master it yourself.

Whether you’re a seasoned vocalist looking to expand your repertoire or a beginner eager to explore the world of metal vocals, this tutorial will cover everything you need to know about growling while singing. From understanding the anatomy of growls to practical exercises and tips, we’ve got you covered.

How to Growl While Singing: Mastering the Art of Metal Vocal Techniques

How to Growl While Singing 1: Understanding Growling in Singing

Before we dive into the practical aspects of growling, it’s essential to understand what growling is and how it fits into the world of singing.

1.1 What Is Growling?

Growling is a vocal technique that involves producing a low, harsh, and often aggressive sound. It is commonly associated with various subgenres of heavy metal music, such as death metal, black metal, and metalcore. Growling adds a unique and intense texture to songs, creating a sense of power and emotion that traditional singing styles can’t replicate.

1.2 The Anatomy of a Growl

To master growling while singing, it’s crucial to understand the anatomy behind it. The primary components of a growl include:

  • Vocal Folds: These are responsible for creating sound vibrations. In growling, they vibrate irregularly and tightly, producing a gritty tone.
  • Resonance: Growling often utilizes the chest and throat for resonance, giving it a deeper, more resonant quality.
  • Articulation: The way you shape your mouth and manipulate your tongue plays a significant role in the character of your growl.

growling girl

How to Growl While Singing 2: Preparing Your Voice

Before you start growling, it’s essential to ensure that your vocal cords are in good shape and that you’re warmed up properly.

2.1 Vocal Warm-Ups

  • Start with gentle humming and gradually increase the pitch and intensity.
  • Perform lip trills to engage your diaphragm and warm up your vocal cords.
  • Stretch your neck and shoulders to release tension.

2.2 Vocal Health

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.
  • Get enough rest to allow your vocal cords to recover.

How to Growl While Singing 3: Techniques for Growling While Singing

Now, let’s get to the heart of the matter – the techniques for growling while singing. Remember, patience and practice are key.

3.1 Breathing Technique

Proper breathing is fundamental for any singing style, especially growling. Follow these steps:

  • Take a deep breath, allowing your diaphragm to expand.
  • As you exhale, engage your abdominal muscles to control the airflow.
  • Practice controlled, slow exhalation to sustain your growls.

3.2 Vocal Fry

Vocal fry is a great starting point for growling. Here’s how to do it:

  • Start with a relaxed voice.
  • Produce a low, creaky sound by allowing your vocal cords to lightly touch.
  • Experiment with different pitches and levels of tension.

3.3 False Cord Growling

False cord growling is a more intense form of growling:

  • Tense your false vocal cords (located above your true vocal cords).
  • Push air through them while maintaining control.
  • Gradually increase intensity and experiment with pitch variations.


Combining vocal fry and false cord growling techniques to create a unique and versatile growling style. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Master Vocal Fry: Practice vocal fry until you can produce a consistent, controlled, and sustained sound. This will serve as the foundation for your growls.
  2. Introduce False Cord Growling: Gradually add tension to your vocal cords while maintaining vocal fry. You should feel the vibrations in your throat and chest. Experiment with different levels of tension to achieve varying degrees of aggressiveness in your growls.
  3. Find Your Sweet Spot: Every vocalist has a unique “sweet spot” where their growl sounds best. This may involve adjusting the tightness of your vocal cords, the position of your tongue, or the shape of your mouth. Explore different configurations to discover your signature growl.
  4. Practice Control: Building control over your growls is essential. Work on your ability to start, sustain, and stop growls at will. This control will enable you to use growling strategically in your songs.
  5. Maintain Vocal Health: Remember that growling can put extra strain on your vocal cords. Always prioritize vocal health by staying hydrated, warming up, and avoiding overuse.

how to growl

How to Growl While Singing 4: Practical Exercises

Practice makes perfect, and growling while singing is no exception. Here are some exercises to help you develop your growling skills:

4.1 Sirens

  • Start with a comfortable pitch.
  • Slide your voice up and down the scale, gradually adding vocal fry and false cord tension.
  • Focus on a smooth transition between vocal fry and growling.

4.2 Word Repeats

  • Choose a simple word or phrase.
  • Repeat it multiple times, gradually adding intensity and growl.
  • Experiment with different words and phrases to work on articulation.

4.3 Song Integration

  • Select a song that incorporates growling vocals.
  • Practice the growling sections, paying attention to pitch, timing, and emotion.
  • Record yourself to track your progress and make improvements.

5-1 Advanced Growling Tips

To take your growling skills to the next level, consider these advanced tips:

5.1 Embrace Emotion

Growling is not just about producing a harsh sound; it’s about conveying emotion. Connect with the lyrics and the message of the song to infuse your growls with authenticity and intensity.

5.2 Experiment with Effects

Explore the use of effects pedals and processing to enhance your growls further. Distortion, reverb, and EQ can help shape your growling tone and make it more dynamic.

5.3 Seek Professional Guidance

If you’re serious about mastering growling while singing, consider working with a vocal coach or a metal vocal specialist. They can provide personalized guidance, help you avoid common pitfalls, and tailor exercises to your specific needs.

how to growl while singing

Congratulations, you’ve embarked on a journey to master the art of how to growl while singing! Remember that this technique takes time and dedication to develop. Be patient with yourself, practice regularly, and prioritize vocal health.

As you progress, you’ll find that growling while singing is not just a vocal technique but a powerful means of self-expression. Whether you’re looking to front a metal band or simply want to add a unique vocal flair to your music, the growling techniques you’ve learned in this guide will serve you well.

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Now, go forth, unleash your inner beast, and let your growls roar through the metal world! 🤘

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