What is Vocal Fry and Why Should I Use It?

Published by 
Singers Corner Team
Last updated: 
December 27, 2023

Now, we all know someone who uses vocal fry even if you don't necessarily understand what vocal fry is. It has become a sensation and something everyone is using, but we don't always exactly realize it.

So what exactly is vocal fry?

According to Wikipedia, vocal fry's definition is...

The lowest vocal register and is produced through a loose glottal closure which will permit air to bubble through slowly with a popping or rattling sound of a very low frequency.

Very scientific and profound, but I don't even know exactly what that means. In simpler terms, it is the lowest register of a singing voice, two ranges below modal, which is the range of our normal singing voices. However, I know most of you still probably don't exactly know what vocal fry is. Let's show you some celebrities who are well known for their excessive use of it and I'm sure you'll recognize it instantly.

Do you hear that? Fry is the crackling, popcorn, bacon sizzling sound that girls use typically when dropping off their sentences.  A very valid and relevant question now-a-days is- is it harmful to your voice?

Not exactly! It hasn't shown any real signs of being harmful to your voice, but you need to find a nice balance on how to properly use vocal fry without damaging your voice. If you use it too much and for an extended amount of time, you will damage your voice. If you use this technique for singing, it's perfectly okay, contrary to popular belief. And here's why:


This is vocal Coach Brett Manning!

This is vocal coach Brett Manning. He will explain why vocal fry is important to singers.


vocal fry


Here Brett Manning is demonstrating what the register below our modal register sounds like.  He goes on to explain that the vocal cords become so close together and so slow that you can now hear the individual notes. (Skip to 26 seconds to hear what it sounds like).

vocal fry

Finally, we get the importance of using vocal fry. Manning explains that "vocal fry helps get some substance". It adds more of a voice when you go back to the original key and it doesn't sound wispy and breathy at the bottom of the staff.  It allows you to sing incredibly low notes and still make them present. (Skip to 40 seconds to hear an example of what he means when he says that this technique adds substance).

By no means will this be easy to control at the bottom of your range! But everything worth doing, takes time and practice! You should definitely use this singing technique to expand your range and to add some style to your singing, but not excessively, so you don't damage your vocal cords! Vocal fry allows you to sing incredibly low notes, but still make them present.

Where vocals fail, vocal fry prevails!


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