Home Psychology of Singing

Singing with aggression/attitude


I am auditioning for another metal band and they ask for more aggression or attitude in the singing. How can I do that? I feel kinda lost. Maybe someone's got good examples of female clean vocalists with aggression/attitude?


  • Options
    doc_ramadanidoc_ramadani Administrator, 2.0 PRO, Facility Management Posts: 3,978
    Hello @heidianita,

    most people mean a distorted tone when they say aggressive tone. This topic is covered in Volume 3 by Glottal compression. But be careful. This will take some time. Probably you want to sneak to Volume 3 Ex. 2A to 2F. But be careful.

    For me, Ken's student Gabriela has a nice distorted tone on this one:


  • Options
    Here are some clean metal vocalists I like:

    Amy Lee (who uses distortion at times):


    Sharon den Adel from Within Temptation:




    And my absolute favourite, Floor Jansen from Nightwish:

  • Options
    heidianitaheidianita 2.0 PRO Posts: 144
    Thank you for your answers. They didnt want distortion, at least not ONLY that. Ive been listening to many singers, and I am having trouble figuring out what I miss. I will post the demo here, if someone will listen and give me some feedback. This is recorded just one evening after I got the music and lyrics, so its not perfect at all. Im not looking for regulary feedback in tamplin style (I know I squeeze at the top and so on) but if youve got any tips for getting some attitude in it, I will be very grateful.

  • Options
    DogMeatDogMeat 2.0 PRO Posts: 437
    edited January 2020
    Another nice female example is Noora Louhimo from Battlebeast (Another great Finnish metal-band besides Nightwish). She has a very aggressive sound in my opinion, and is very versatile.

    Agression and attitube

  • Options
    Klaus_TKlaus_T Moderator, 2.0 PRO Posts: 2,411
    I think other than distortion, you might ask for something that is more to do with "acting" skills rather than singing technique. it is an interesting topic, because the "emotional" delivery will make a huge difference on how much you can draw the audience in. i wish I would know more about it, so I can just guess at how to achieve this: treat it like when you speak with emotion (like a scene from a movie), and see how much you can convey the emotion. Look at James Hetfield from Metallica, the music is really aggressive, and he also has the facial expressions to go with it. I imagine his facial expressions to be a consequence of his "acting out" the lyrics, not just a "mask" he is putting on to pose as-if. I think you will have to experiment with a lot of different ways how to approach the song and figure out what sounds/feels right for you. I would think that you might need to over-act at first, to understand how much you need to put in (a bit like in theater acting, where the gestures are much larger than in cinema acting, because the audience is further away, and if you would film the same scene, it would look ridiculous).
  • Options
    Chris82Chris82 2.0 PRO Posts: 594
    edited January 2020
    You need to feel the emotion you're singing. If you aren't actually angry when you sing an angry song then that emotion won't carry over to your audience. Singing is a lot of technique but it's also about being in touch with your emotions and learning how to channel those emotions into your singing.

    That said I also struggle with angry songs because I'm not a normally angry person and I actively avoid getting into an angry state of mind. But like most things this is something that you CAN improve with time, practice and patience.

    P.S. I would love to hear you singing some metal @heidianita !

    Here are some of my favorite angry female singers:
  • Options
    PhMarnePhMarne 2.0 PRO Posts: 203
    edited February 2020
    Dear @heidianita

    I love your voice : perfect pitch and tone, plus long held articulate notes that make your chant seamless

    What your band wants :

    - no link between the verses/ clear separation (ie silence) between some of the words of the lyrics ; you could start with seperating the verses or sentences, for instance

    - stronger attack : more power on the first syllable of each verse, as if you were another percussive instrument in the band; it comes along with separating the sentences

    Tips :

    - try to sometimes attack slightly before (or after) tempo - thus you won't have to constantly be fighting all the other instruments

    - you are melodic, so insert melodies into your vowels - instead of staying on the same clear untainted note, put melodies into your vowels, but not on the attack

    Send us the text of the demo if you want examples

    To your singing 😃
  • Options
    heidianitaheidianita 2.0 PRO Posts: 144
    Thank you all for your time and feedback :-)

    @PhMarne you really made me think now. This was constructive and I will try it all out. The band didn`t want me, because Im not angry enough, but I thought I could use this chorus for practise. Your tips will be tried out. Thank you.
    Im not sure if I really understand your last tip, about inserting melodies into the vowels. Do you mean to kinda "distroy" the note, make it a bit off or unclear, (really hard to explain...) or du you mean actually make melodies on clean notes? Like in this clip where I sing "Insomnia", where I sing it like "In-som-ni-i-a"?
  • Options
    PhMarnePhMarne 2.0 PRO Posts: 203
    Simply putting more than one note in one vowel, just like in insomni i a, as you put it
Sign In or Register to comment.