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Does KTVA work well for Screamers?

I know Ken is the man when it comes to grit and rasp but I was wondering if this program is suitable for straight screamers as well.


  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,333
    Hi, TJMoore116.

    If you are interested in screaming all the way through a song, as opposed to using distortion or grit, then no. This is not a Screamo technique. This is more of a singing technique that includes safe distortion. Straight screaming isn't singing, per se. It's screaming. As such, it's pretty risky for your long-term vocal health, especially if you want to be able to sing well. Pure screaming may also be hazardous to your ability to speak, long term.

    I don't know that you're going to find anything that's truly safe for your vocal health when it comes to straight screaming.

    Thanks for asking, though.

    And I do wish you great vocal health, and hope you find what you're looking for.

    All the Best.

  • TJMoore116TJMoore116 Member Posts: 9
    It's out there. Take Jesse leach and howard Jones from killswitch engage they're both excellent vocalists who can sing with grit or clean and still scream like a banshee and after their sets they talk to you like nothing happened.
  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    Jesse Leach has undoubtedly damaged his voice. I was a KSE fan from the start and was an even bigger fan of his other band, Seemless. There's a very clear deterioration in his clean voice and his range from the first KSE album to when he rejoined. He's got a great voice, but the screaming has taken away a lot of his higher range and I'd be very surprised if he ever gets back to that level again. If you check out a Seemless track called "Lay My Burden Down" (I'll post a link to it below), his vocals are more like KTVA-style stuff but he can't sing that way anymore. Listen to his vocals on the chorus of something like "All In Due Time": Even on record, he sounds strained, he's pulling his chest voice up in a really laboured way and any live versions I've heard all end up with him shouting the melodies rather than singing them.

    As for Howard Jones, he's a totally different type of singer to Jesse with a much lower register but his screams have also impacted his clean vocals negatively too, albeit in a less extreme way than some other scream/clean vocalists since he seems to have a better technique. If he continues doing screams like he does for another ten years, he'll sound completely different and his range will likely be massively and irreperably decreased.

    The best example I can give you of someone who went from doing a great blend of screams and cleans to ruining their voice is Phil Anselmo. His voice is totally screwed now, compare the cleans on "Cemetery Gates" (Cowboys from Hell) to those on "Floods" (The Great Southern Trendkill). Even worse, listen to his voice on the last Philip H. Anselmo and The Vandals album! I still love the guy and he's still one of my favourite vocalists of all time, but he is a prime example of where constantly screaming will get you.

    Remember, we're talking about long-term vocal health here and the ability to continue to develop and strengthen your voice. KTVA can teach you how to apply grit and distortion but that's totally different to stuff like using your false chords to scream. The heaviest sort of distortion I've seen used on KTVA is his cover of "Cochise" from Audioslave which is miles away from the sort of thing you're talking about.

    There is no doubt whatsoever, and I can speak from experience on this, that long-term screaming can and will damage your voice in many, many ways. The only vocalist I've come across who's been able to maintain screaming and good cleans with a big range in the long-term is Mike Patton, however he uses a lot of extended vocal techniques used by classically trained artists like Diamanda Galas, Demetrio Stratos and others so he does kinda do it safely. More importantly, he also only does those sorts of effects sporadically and usually not in a conventional musical context so the same general rules don't completely apply. Also, his tone has changed massively over the years due to the stuff he's done vocally and he's blown his voice out more than a few times, so again we see that screaming in general isn't great for your voice in the long-term.

    There's really no point in trying to argue the case here, the facts are clear: Screaming constantly will screw your voice in one way or another. Again, speaking from experience and having sung everything from black metal to soul I can assure you that this is the case.

    KTVA teaches you how to SING, not how to scream. If you're looking to learn to scream in a safer way, drop me a PM on here and I'll send you some links to some stuff that might help you. If you want to sing and develop your voice, buy the course or at least do the exercises in the free YouTube videos 'cause they will help but there's no point in asking for screaming tutorials from a guy who doesn't teach or even support screaming in that sort of way.

    Good luck with whatever you choose, it's down to you in the end.

  • TJMoore116TJMoore116 Member Posts: 9
    I'm looking for the safest way to do both. I already got Kens stuff and it DEFINITELY works but getting back to Jesse Leach "losing" voice I raise you this single off of their new album https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAipqW5YDH4 and argue that both his singing and screaming has actually gone up in quality
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,333
    Sounds pretty brutal to me. Hurts my throat to listen to it.
    His clean voice sounds clean, though. I don't know how long he can pull this off.

    Super glottal compression?

  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    His range has decreased and his voice doesn't have as much top end to it as it did before, but admittedly his voice does sound better tone-wise than it did; almost more Howard Jones-like actually, definitely lower than it used to be. I know he used to blow his voice out after 3-4 shows in the past though, which he confirms himself, so he's definitely been using a healthier (as opposed to healthy) technique.

    I know what you mean about doing both screams and cleans safely 'cause it's what I tried to do for a long time. I had a pretty good technique for screaming and doing all sorts of weird voice effects, but even then it still impacted on my voice and prevented me from doing other stuff. If you don't mind limiting your voice to one particular style, then scream till your heart's content, but please understand that you'll lose the ability to then develop other areas of your voice. Again, look at Phil Anselmo; one of the best metal vocalists in the world at one point and now a growling, hoarse noise machine.

    In short, yes you can scream in a healthier way but in the long-term you're still going to suffer consequences.

    It's long-term vocal health we're talking about here, so really it comes down to whether you're willing to take the trade-off between that and the risk of destroying your voice. Given the context of the discussion and the way in which Ken teaches voice, I don't think it's unfair to discourage screaming in that sort of way as it's incompatible with what's taught and discussed here.

  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    On thinking about this, there may be an easier and more mutually understandable way of answering your question than simply addressing it in terms of vocal health: Style.

    Look at the vocalists we're talking about and then look at Ken, his students and anyone he talks about as being inspirations for the whole KTVA thing. Stylistically, they're worlds apart so it doesn't make sense to think that the KTVA methods would be appropriate for someone who wants to sing Killswitch Engage or In Flames or Sepultura or whoever utilises an especially harsh style of vocal. There are other people around who can teach a style more appropriate to what you're looking for, but it ain't Ken.

    With that said, a screamer could BENEFIT from using KTVA since it's got everything from the fundamentals to the safe use of distortion, but the course itself doesn't teach you how to either abuse your voice or go into avant-garde classical territory and learn extended vocal techniques.
  • TJMoore116TJMoore116 Member Posts: 9
    I didn't get the KTVA program for screaming i got it to be a better singer i just started, i've done it 2 days and it has helped tremendously in every faucet of vocals including screaming because I can use my diaphragm a lot better which takes a lot of that wear and tear off of the voice. I think that even though I am doing metalcore this program will still be invaluable. Ken is definitely the dude i feel improvement even when i watch the video. To be clear I already purchased the program because I saw great things in his youtube videos. technique and baby steps is going to be key here. Where I might be able to sing an hour-2 hours a day im only planning on practicing screaming 30 minutes a day max at least until i know i'm doing things correctly and my technique is good enough to entertain the idea of longer sessions.
  • TJMoore116TJMoore116 Member Posts: 9
    I dont see his methods as being incompatible with some of the things I'm doing Screaming has a TON of similarities with singing although there are certain things you emphasize differently.
  • highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,333
    TJ, we're not pounding on you. We just want you to keep your voice in good working order. We all want to have fun singing, and we want you to succeed. As you can see from what you've discovered so far, Ken's methods work. And you'll probably be in better shape to last longer by using what you learn from Ken.

    In the end, you're going to do what you want to do, and probably do it a lot better because of what you will learn from Ken. It's just that Ken's program is not designed for screaming, and there are a lot of people out there teaching some unsafe scream lessons.

    You'll learn a lot here that will be very useful to you.
  • TommyMTommyM Pro Posts: 270
    "Where I might be able to sing an hour-2 hours a day im only planning on practicing screaming 30 minutes a day max at least until i know i'm doing things correctly and my technique is good enough to entertain the idea of longer sessions."

    Since you're going to go ahead and work on screaming too anyway, at least try to do it in the safest way you can. As someone who's done it too (as I keep repeating here), I would suggest that you focus on building your clean voice first and then move on to screaming. If you build your screams first, you'll struggle with developing your cleans and it'll affect ability to get into head voice. Maybe even avoid working on your screams at all until you've got to Volume 3 in the course, just as a precautionary measure and so that your fundamentals are totally solid.

    Gradually build up your screams too, don't just go full-on at it. Warm up properly, get your clean voice up and running before you start to distort and then take it slowly. Going at it heavy straight away is a recipe for disaster and will screw your cleans way more quickly.

    "I dont see his methods as being incompatible with some of the things I'm doing Screaming has a TON of similarities with singing although there are certain things you emphasize differently."

    Of course there are similarities, it's the same instrument we're using whether we're screaming, distorting or singing clean. It's not even that screaming is incompatible with the KTVA approach, it's more that it contraindicates it.

    Take it easy and don't wreck your voice, dude. We honestly do just care about you and your vocal wellbeing, but it's totally down to you in the end and I really hope you find a good way to go about it.
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