How to Make Your Singing Voice Sound Raspy

By Charlotte Johnson ; Updated September 15, 2017
A raspy voice has a sultry quality.

If you want to convey gritty emotion when you're singing a love ballad, a rock anthem or a blues song, you can use a raspy voice. Raspy vocal tones help to create the overall mood and feel of a song. Developing a raspy singing style is an objective that you can accomplish through practicing specific strategies. This process will help you to achieve the sound that you want without damaging your vocal cords.

Use your abdominal muscles to support your voice when you begin to sing. Stand or sit up straight and tighten your abdominal muscles slightly as you begin to produce a vocal tone.

Tilt your chin downward as you begin to sing, and relax the muscles in your jaw, face and neck. If your muscles are tense, your voice won't have a rich, raspy quality.

Exhale with a breathy sound as you sing. This breathy vocal quality is part of the main essence of raspy singing.

Sing with a lower vocal tone. Raspy singing usually has a deeper tone.

Sing a lyric, and then speak the same lyric. Try to perform a vocal that is somewhere between singing and speaking to help make the raspy sound.

Warning

Intersperse raspy singing with regular singing. Over using your voice can cause vocal strain and damage.

About the Author

Charlotte Johnson is a musician, teacher and writer with a master's degree in education. She has contributed to a variety of websites, specializing in health, education, the arts, home and garden, animals and parenting.