How To Get A Raspy Voice
You are probably reading this because you want to know how to get a raspy voice. It is actually very common to want to know how to get a raspy voice especially if you are a singer or a rapper.
Why? Because when we have a raspy voice, it sounds cool. I know that may sound a bit corny, but that’s the simplest way to put it.
This is because the first time we ever hear our voice raspy, it is completely new to us and it sounds way cooler than usual because most people don’t have the distortion in their vocal cords to make a raspy voice.
What You Will Learn In This Article
1) How to make your voice raspy today,
2) Understanding where a raspy voice comes from and what you need to know about a raspy voice,
3) If it is really possible to grow a raspy voice (hoarse voice/croaky voice) for yourself (with proof),
4) Examples of celebrities with raspy, croaky voices that you can aim your raspy voice goals towards,
5) How to get a raspy voice that sticks with you for the long run, and
6) How the vocal cords work with a cool inside look of the vocal cords working as a singer sings.
Disclaimer And Understanding Where A Raspy Voice Comes From
I need you to really, really, really take everything in this paragraph into consideration before you attempt to do anything to make your voice raspy or hoarse.
The raspy voice you want is created by a distortion of sound that is created by improperly resonating vocal cords.
Most singers who care about their voice work to improve the quality and efficiency of their vocal cords to increase their range and make their tone purer.
So mostly anything you do to increase the distortion that creates the rasp will cause damage to your vocal cords. I want you to consider this before you do anything because if done enough over time, it will cause permanent vocal cord damage.
You would then have a really cool raspy voice, but you wouldn’t be able to sing. Some people already can’t sing, so it may not bother you. Just take all of that information into account.
Let’s also not forget that your voice gets deeper and raspier as you age. This is because your vocal cords/vocal folds lose their elasticity.
This means what damage you do now will be amplified as you get older.
You’ll notice in my Future and Lil Wayne examples below how that makes more sense.
What Is The Difference Between A Hoarse Voice And A Raspy Voice
Often, a hoarse voice is referred to as a raspy voice and vice versa.
I mention this first because in this article on how to get a raspy voice, I am going to also say hoarse voice in some spots. (No not Mr. Ed)
And yes, I did make that picture just for you. 😛
Is It Possible To Make Your Voice Raspier?
I actually got a lot of this information I provide when answering the question, “How to make your voice raspy,” from singing teachers.
Now, is it really possible to make your voice raspier? Clearly it is!
For one, there are mornings you wake up with a raspy voice right? That is one way.
But let’s look at some real-life examples of people who have a raspy voice and their evolution of it.
Future is an incredible example. Listen to a song of his from 2003 and see how his vocals weren’t near the same level they are now.
Then, listen to any song he has more recently and you’ll be astounded by the amount of rasp in his voice. It’s like a completely different person.
Even when he talks normally he has a super raspy voice. Check any interview from the last 2 years.
Rappers like Lil Wayne’s voice went from smooth to finally developing into super raspy, very unique, and memorable.
Comparing his voice from 2007 to 2016 is a whole different ball game.
These are just 2 examples of the many, many, many I can provide.
It is more than clear that OVERTIME you CAN develop your voice to be raspy.
I’d like to point out that the time lapses of their voice growth happened over 5+ years.
Celebrities With Raspy Voices
So you can get a firmer grasp on what a raspy voice sounds like, check out the clips below really quick for like 10 seconds each and you’ll get it.
Al Pacino – Great speech and example of a cool ass raspy voice. Has Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Ving Rhames, and some other celebs you’ll notice in the video clip.
George Zimmer – The guy from the Men’s Warehouse Commercials. You’ll think he has a raspy voice, I guarantee it.
Check out this 3-second clip of his real voice.
Patty And Selma From The Simpsons This is actually stupid funny. Listen to the first 20 seconds.
Christian Bale (The guy who plays Batman in The Dark Knight)
The 3 Types Of People With A Raspy Voice
1) People who are born with a natural-sounding raspy voice,
2) People who have damaged their vocal cords and larynx from drugs (smoking, alcohol, overuse, etc.), and
3) Accessing it through techniques for getting a raspy voice such as the ones I list below.
The Method of Rasp
These methods of making your voice raspier will take time to stick and make serious changes in your current voice. But you can apply them a bit today and then immediately start recording songs after doing them in order to have a dryer, more hoarse throat for a unique sounding vocal from yourself.
NOTE: Techniques below are explanations of how to do them through text. I created videos showing you how to do them specifically for the Rap Voice Course I made.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #1
Start With A Cough And Whisper
You probably never thought to whisper to get a raspy voice… but… it is actually the part of the vocal cords where the rasp comes from.
The breathy-ness in a voice is where that rasp is coming from. So the first thing I want you to learn is to START off with a whisper.
The first thing I want you to do is fake a cough. Cough right now.
Do you feel where that cough is coming from in your throat? That is where your raspy voice is going to come from.
Right now, I want you to start whispering with that part of your throat.
Push air out through the very bottom of your throat and stomach muscles and whisper.
Whisper from as far down in your throat as you can.
Try making your voice as harsh as you can while you are whispering.
If you did this right you will instantly have a raspy voice.
Raspy huh?! If for some reason that wasn’t explained properly, you can get the videos.
What we are going to do now is whisper from a really, really low voice all the way up to full range talking. Follow the instructions below slowly.
Now you need to start going from a raspy whisper voice to a louder, medium-volume whisper voice. Keep talking in that medium-volume whisper voice.
After about 10 seconds, move up to about your normal talking volume with the raspy voice.
As you get louder you will actually feel it breaking up your voice in the back of your throat. It will also feel like it is drying out your vocal cords.
If you did this right, you just found the base of your raspy voice.
Again, if you didn’t follow, a video for this technique is included in the rap voice course giving you examples of how to do it.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #2
The DMX Growl
Doing the growl will not only make your voice raspier, but it will make your voice deeper.
Both are pretty cool vocal features for someone to have.
That’s why I spoke about the growl in the “How to get a deeper voice” e-book that is also included with the rap voice course.
1) Growl like a dog using the back of your throat.
It’s the same place in your throat that we located above by coughing.
I want you to understand that you need to growl in your head voice. This is so that you are building the rasp using a lot less force than the chest voice would do.
The chest voice is much too powerful to growl from, so I do not recommend doing that.
Again, this is the same vocal mechanism you would put into place if you were going to cough or clear your throat.
You will notice how the rasp is coming from the same area.
Once you learn how to manipulate this area, you will have a really cool raspy voice.
If you don’t understand the difference between head voice and chest voice, you can see the video for this technique that is included in the rap voice course giving you examples of how to do it.
Now! Really quick!
Since you have done the above strategies your voice should be geared up and ready. You have found where to project your raspy voice from and you have now tuned it a bit with the growling.
While you have already found this raspy voice for yourself, I want you to read this out loud so you can get used to feeling the voice in lines.
This practice will help you recall the raspy voice next time you want to use it. Just do it!
Started gettin a little too big for the cage that I been trapped in
Cats knew it was a problem, went from robbin to rappin
Guns got to clappin, another trip to the morgue
We all know why it’s happenin, another bit by the dog
When there’s nothin left to eat, I ate away at my soul
Felt destructive cause I don’t give a fuck if I go
I know y’all been told I don’t give a fuck about livin
Killin other dogs got you cats chasin bitches
Got me itchin to bring back the beast from within
What I catch I’ma eat, in the streets I’ma win
I’ve been top dog and I’ma stay top dog
So what the fuck you got to say dog?
You cats play games that dog ain’t with
Suck my dick, behind my back dog ain’t shit
Well this is it, from now on if you ain’t out the camp
We out to clamp, put ’em up against the champ
By the way, those are DMX lyrics from the song Dogs Out lol.
DMX is a rapper who is living proof that your voice can make your entire career.
*Of course, he had other qualities too.*
MGK exerts air from his diaphragm to his lower throat, then he projects it out louder than normal when he raps.
This type of forced loud air projection is what is making his voice raspy.
MGK’s favorite rapper is DMX, and the vocal mimicking has been extremely apparent to me WELL BEFORE I ever knew he loved DMX. It was almost like he has been mimicking DMX from the beginning. 😉
That created a unique, raspy, cool voice that MGK now has and has created a large fan base for him.
The Serious Raspy Voice Techniques
Do all of these raspy voice building techniques at your own risk. Use caution and if there is any pain please stop immediately and let yourself heal.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #3
Vocal Cord Dehydration
Drinking alcohol dehydrates the vocal cords which makes them raspy.
This is why if you have ever drunk liquor all night – especially a hard liquor – your voice gets raspier as the night goes on.
You can drink hard liquor and you’ll start to notice your voice getting raspier. Please do not do this if you’re not legally allowed to drink. Also please do not OVER DRINK. Be smart.
If you do a bit of drinking on a strong liquor like a whiskey before you start recording your vocals you will have a bit more rasp in them.
Partially dehydrate your vocals by taking 10 very deep breaths of dry air.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #4
Smoking For A Raspier Voice
Smoking makes the vocal cords raspy because it dries out the vocal cords.
Chemicals in whatever you are smoking are what messes your up for the long term though.
If you wanna talk about having a raspy voice. This lady has the voice for the next Batman movie trailer
Over time, it damages the vocal cords from the smoke. This is pretty obvious if you have half a brain.
The thing is that most rappers smoke A LOT of weed. That smoke slowly “raspifies” their vocals.
You can smoke and drink before you record a session and instantly see raspier vocals.
Over time, your vocal cords will slowly become raspier and raspier and you will have a unique sounding version of your current voice.
Similar to how Lil Wayne and Future’s voices change over the years of constant use of drugs and alcohol. And also the practice of manipulating their voices.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #5
Subliminal Suggestion-ing To Get A Raspier Voice
In my research, I came across this, and I am open-minded about almost everything, so I decided to also list it here.
As far as I know, this is the best way.
The guy who made the video says:
This subliminal contents positive suggestions to get a sexy seductive raspy voice
This subliminal is unisex, works for both male and women.
Listen twice everyday for three months. You can listen it in loop for 15-30 minutes or as long as you feel comfortable.
So apparently it emits frequencies that make your mind subliminally make your voice raspy over time.
If you are REALLY serious then it doesn’t hurt to try it. Some people REALLY REALLY want to make their voice raspier and I want to make sure I provide as much information as I can in that process.
It is actually pretty relaxing 😀 If I really wanted to make my voice raspy, I wouldn’t have an issue listening to this for 6 minutes a day for 90 days. You could probably even fall asleep listening to it.
How To Start Using A Raspy Voice For Recording TODAY
You could do the methods above to break down your vocal cords. Then, once they are broken down a little bit, you can record any songs you have written with that voice.
Basically, what you are doing here is warming up your raspy voice to prepare to perform.
The next time you record, you would have to re-warm up the raspy voice in order to use it.
Eventually, it would get closer and closer to being your permanent rap voice, plus you would have a much larger understanding of how to manipulate and use it. Also, you’d have a much firmer grasp on which of these methods worked for you.
This idea comes from the times I have been sick. When I get sick, I actually have a much different but really cool voice. One time someone said, “Yo, you sound really cool right now.” So I went home and recorded some tracks with that vocal. LOOOOVED THE VOICE, I just didn’t do a song that I liked enough to release.
Fortunately, I am only sick once every few years. Unfortunately, I can’t congest myself enough to get that voice without being sick.
The congestion from the mucus in my nose AND throat creates a raspy, partially nose-plugged vocal.
I tell this story so you can see in your head other ways that your voice can change for the better.
Singing loudly for a long time before your performance will put stress on your chords; that might help.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #6
You Can Use Your DAW’s Plug-Ins To Increase Raspiness
If you don’t know what a DAW is, it stands for Digital Audio Workstation. Such as Pro Tools or any other software where you are primarily editing audio.
This is actually HUGE whether you realize it or not.
If you can find the perfect chain of plug-ins to apply to your vocals that you can use anytime you record a track, you now have a unique voice unlike anyone else.
The Genius Realization That Is Going To Change Blow To Your Mind
How To Do It
1) First off, work on your raspy voice naturally. Build it up, practice it, rap with it.
2) Record with your raspy voice on the song you want to create.
3) Start applying plug-ins to the tracks you recorded.
4) Test all the effects until you love how it sounds and your words can still be heard (You don’t want people losing out on all that great stuff you wrote).
I don’t know what DAW you use, so I can’t recommend the exact tools.
Plus, I don’t know your exact voice, so I can’t recommend what would work for you getting a raspier voice or what settings to use for how to get a raspy voice.
For those of you saying that applying effects is cheating… what the f*** are you talking about? Future’s vocal has autotune + a bunch of other plugins on it in every song to smooth his flow and increase his presence.
T-Pain built an ENTIRE career and changed the music industry using this technique.
I doubt they ever approached it from the standpoint of “Wow we could add some rasp to the voice + unique plug-ins to completely change your voice.”
Why hasn’t this been done?
Because these artists are already massively established before they find a cool voice like this and they can’t just change it overnight. Their audience already likes their voice the way it is.
With me approaching and showing you the method from a starter point, you can build your entire rap style around this method and master it in the next year.
Now what I can do is recommend some plugins you can mess with as a base to get you started and then you start experimenting from there.
1) Antares Aspire Evo Vocal Effects Plug-in
Modifies vocal’s breathiness without changing the harmonic content of the vocal.
You can see in the video how at the click of a button, the singer’s voice gets instantly airier. That combined with raspy voice exercises, and you are on your way to the digital answer of how to make your voice raspy.
You can get that here:
2) Antares Auto-Tune
If you really want to know how to make your voice raspy, you can create some REALLY cool vocal effects with Auto-Tune that don’t need to be pushed to the limit and sound like Auto-Tune. You just have to mess with the large range of features the plugin has.
3) Test Out EVERY PLUGIN YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON
I’m not going to list 100 plugins here like I could.
I’m just going to tell you to go out and get your hands on everything you can that will help you add rasp to your voice and other things you want to add.
If you want to make your voice raspy toss all of them into chains and mess with the sends and levels and everything you can to see how it sounds on your voice.
Yes, this will take time. Everything great takes time. If it was that easy everyone would be doing it.
But if you take the time and find the coolest chain for your voice with the plugins you will be the guy that everyone loves for his cool unique voice.
People will all wonder how you did it when really it was just practice and a bunch of plugins at very tiny increments that all added up to create your cool voice along with you practicing building your natural voice.
How To Make Your Voice Raspy #7
How To Get A Raspy Voice FASTER Through Understanding
I also wanted to provide information inside of this to help you understand how the voice really works.
When you can understand how the voice is actually created in your throat, you can actually learn to manipulate it easier and faster.
It will also help you understand what is going on inside of your body when you do the above techniques to attain a raspier voice.
Similar to how if you understand how to write a song, you can fix issues in the song much faster than someone who is writing a song for the first time. Because you understand the structure of the song, how it works, and how it is all put together. Right? 🙂
It would be very difficult for me to explain through words and just pictures how a voice box works, how your vocal cords work, and how your larynx works and all that together.
So instead I went and watched a ton of very informational and cool videos that you can watch to also understand more.
Don’t worry, I link you straight to the best part of the videos so you don’t have to sit through boring-ass intros in the videos. 🙂
An inside look at how vocals work while a singer is singing At 3:52 you see some crazy shit happen
This is another inside look at the vocal cords working as someone sings but this one is pretty cool in its own way than the previous video.
Finally, this video is a much more technical look at how your voice works and is pretty cool. It will help you understand where the tongue is in your mouth compared to the vocal folds.
Additionally, raspy voices are caused by nodules or calluses on the vocal folds.
Those are called polyps, and they are fluid-filled bulges; or ulcers.
Nodules and polyps require surgery to get rid of.
Some people get inflammation that will eventually turn into nodules without care. Maybe you want a raspy voice, but I’m pretty sure you don’t want surgery. So do everything with caution.
Just remember that dedication and hard work pays off in all areas of life. Be Safe. Be Smart. You got this!
– Rob Level
Find Your Coolest Rap Voice In 15 Minutes Guide (Includes Deep Voice Ebook And Raspy Voice Ebook + Video Examples)
How To Market Your Music Like A Genius And Build Your Rap Career Course (50% Off This Week Only)