Vocal Twang – The Extreme Singing Secret Weapon

Vocal Twang – The Extreme Singing Secret Weapon

vocal effects training

VOCAL TWANG – the extreme singers secret weapon

Beginner to Pro


 VOCAL twang for more power, volume, resonance and brightness

Twang can mean a number of things depending on the context in which it is used… 

  • You can TWANG a guitar string
  • You can have a Twang in your dialect (Southern Twang) or a Country Twang as a stylistic choice
  • You can twang an elastic band, or a plastic ruler on the edge of a desk
  • Twang according to Wikipedia is an onomatopoeia (sounds like it sounds) to describe the sound of a vibrating bow string after an arrow is released (or any instrument that can be plucked!)

…so it’s totally understandable that the term twang might confuse.

In this context, we are talking about Vocal Twang


In singing terms – twang is used to describe the ability to consciously narrow the aryepiglottic sphincter in order to help control brightness and volume

Many methods use the term twang, so it has become a staple of voice teaching the world over.

Twang can sound sharp and bright and like a siren – you can add more and more twang to create SUPER TWANG – the most extreme kind and often used to make head voice sound bigger and brighter and to make things like fry scream sound super loud and immense!


In simple terms, consider the human to be akin to an organic brass or wind instrument – the tubular element being the vocal tract with a built in horn (mouth) to amplify the sound. (See the Estill model for Power Source Filter)

The human voice is essentially a fretless instrument so unlike just seeing notes on a piano we must find the notes, pitch the notes and play the notes – yes we are amazing! 

If you look at a trumpet player playing the highest notes or the loudest notes – they are not blowing harder and harder, they are using their muscles and lips to affect the production of the sound (embouchre for all you brass and wind instrument nerds out there) – they also use their tongue to shape and color the notes (timbre)

HOW to find twang?

Remember all that talk about character voices for finding different monster noises? It’s exactly the same for twang!

Check out our Video for some character inspiration or try your own – once you know the sound,  you will be twanging all over town!

Popular characters include:

  • Quack like a Duck
  • Cackle like the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz
  • Make Like an Air Raid Siren Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Pretend to be a seriously upset crying baby Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Pretend you’re a gangster’s Moll from Noo Joisey
  • Cartman Crying
  • Bleat like a loud lamb
  • Do a really loud MEEEEEOWWWWW like a cat
  • Make a noise like a really annoying bird Kaaaa Kaaaa Kaaaa
  • Check out Tom Burkes Twang Farm for more crazy animal examples

Or you can imitate real live musicians that use a lot of twang and supertwang – Great for SCREAMS!

  • Imitate TINA TURNER – Na Na Na Na Naaaaaaaaa
  • Be like Patti Labelle – Twang Queen of New Orleans
  • Do the high bit from child in time – Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Get all Led Zep and ‘Come from the land of ice and snow’
  • Pretend to be Willy Nelson
  • Ylvis – What the Fox Say – Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pow! Jacha-chacha-chacha-chow! Fraka-kaka-kaka-kaka-kow!
  • Any High Scream from Dani Filth – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

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Training is available in person or online via Skype. We have a minimum of 6 participants required on a course in order to run - If you have an educational establishment or would like group training - contact us for details using the form below


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Vocal Twang – The Extreme Singing Secret Weapon

Top 5 Vocal Tips, Tricks & Tools for Extreme Singers #singerstoolbox

vocal effects training


Beginner to Pro



There are many vocal tricks a singer can use to enhance vocal quality, brightness, volume, resonance and more. Today, we look at the top 5 Extreme vocal tricks for extreme singers – often they are the same tools for regular singers so using these tools could help you sing better RIGHT NOW


Without a doubt the number one vocal tool for singers in general but especially rock and metal singers – is TWANG

Twang is essentially a squeezing of the vocal tract to enhance the volume and frequency of your voice. Some vocalists sing and talk with a lot of ‘natural twang’ and some don’t – think of a person you know that is softly spoken – now think of the person you know with the loudest or clearest speaking voice – chances are – they are using more twang.

Twang helps extreme singers get more volume with less effort, which is essential to help protect the voice long term.


It may sound quirky, but getting in to character can be one of the most powerful tools for an extreme vocalist. Why? Mostly because metal and rock sounds – although associated with sounds we may naturally make as humans – are not really the way we speak in ‘normal’ life.

Can you imagine channeling your inner monster when buying an ice cream at the mall? (well you can try!!). You would probably scare the staff and customers half to death.

However, if you were telling a story to your niece or nephew, you might put on a whole array of monster sounds and fun voices to keep their attention – welcome to the world of extreme vocals. 

In our opinion, the more you experiment with silly sounds and characters the better!


A E I O U is not just a superb dance hit from FREEZ in the 80s (who ironically sings ultra high and uses a lot of twang!)… it’s the rock singers daily mantra! Modifying vowels is nothing new, and it can sound strange singing Raaaaan Taaaaa Thaaaa Haaaaaaalls (Run to the Hills) – but over time you won’t even notice the vowel modification as it becomes second nature when your brain silently accepts how much easier it is to hit the high belt notes by using powerful vowel vocal settings.

Not only that, but practicing your high rock notes on ‘belting friendly’ vowels, can be one of the fastest ways to build vocal strength and power.

What we are doing when we are working with vowel modification is picking the most optimum setting for the most efficient use of voice – open vowels such as EH, III AAA work best with that rock god sound but you can still get major power using covered vowels


Some singers say they don’t need to warm up and for some singers that may be true. Bear in mind that professional vocalists have more to lose than your average bathroom singer from temporary loss of earnings for cancelled gigs to complete loss of voice and entire career. Singers that don’t ‘need’ to warm up may also be constantly in a state of ‘ready to go’ as they sing all the time – so are already ‘warmed up’. However, runners need to have rest days in between races so that muscles can recover, gymnasts and dancers sometimes stretch and warm up their muscles for hours to avoid injury so you may want to also think about warming up and warming down to prepare and protect your voice. 

The muscles used to sing are of course much smaller than muscles used to run, but they can still become fatigued and damaged so there is nothing to lose by stretching out your vocal folds with a few lip trills, scales and sirens, but remember that muscles surrounding the vocal folds are used every day for speech, and naturally built for the odd loud shout so you probably don’t need to warm up for hours and hours – if you do – you might want to consider taking some technique lessons!

So there you have it not warming up at all and TOO MUCH warming up could contribute to an already fatigued voice and throw you off enough to start creating voice issues – take some time to figure out what works for YOU.

5. find a good VOCAL coach

 A great vocal coach will help you reach your singing goals faster and encourage the use of great technique. There are many vocal coaches out there, and many talk a good talk so how do you choose? Questions you might want to ask yourself:

Does your teacher sing well? Or sing at all? Do you want to trust your voice to a teacher that doesn’t sing very well or has no history of singing at all? Non singing teachers may have had a career previously so be reasonable – there some excellent teachers that don’t sing, but they are often few and far between! Vocal coaches of worth should be able to quickly and easily direct you to footage, testimonials and successful students.

Can your teacher perform the techniques you want to learn? Many teachers talk ENDLESSLY but never actually ever demonstrate anything. With extreme vocals it is even more important that sound effects can be demonstrated not just once or twice, but whilst also singing entire phrases or songs. Choose wisely! Don’t be afraid to ask for demonstrations.

Consider that not all vocal coaches suit every singer – Arrange to have a quick call to see if you get along – there is no point having metal vocal lessons with a teacher that only wants to teach classical songs (this happens). Personality clashes can be one of the major reasons why singers give up! Fun, discipline or both – your learning style may dictate the type of teacher you choose!

Do you have vocal freedom? Great teachers should help guide you away from making unhealthy choices but there are many voice coaches that go a step further and dictate – telling singers what they can and can’t do, what they can and can’t achieve or worse – tell them that they are not allowed to do something…

Hello? this is of course nonsense  it’s your voice so your choice to do what you want with it, there are plenty of creative coaches that embrace your artistry and can teach you how to use your voice to the extreme safely and healthily. 

wanna try?


Training is available in person or online via Skype. We have a minimum of 6 participants required on a course in order to run - If you have an educational establishment or would like group training - contact us for details using the form below


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