How To Throat Sing: A Comprehensive Guide

how to throat sing

Love singing? Perhaps you want to learn how to use your voice in new and different ways. Throat singing will help you use your voice in a way you never thought was possible. That’s right, so get ready to amaze everyone with your new-found vocalist skills. 

With our detailed guide, you won’t even need a music teacher. You can learn how to throat sing right here in this article.  

What Is Throat Singing?

Throat singing is a when vocalist uses a range of pitches to hit various notes simultaneously. It is also known as overtone singing because of the sounds generated from the nose and mouth.

It is one of the oldest forms of singing and originated from the ancient indigenous tribes, specifically South Siberia and West Mongolia. Since then, it has spread all over to places in India, Canada, and South Africa.

What Are the Different Styles of Throat Singing?

Tuvan throat singing

Tuvan throat singing, also known as Khoomei, originated from Tuva in Central Asia. Singers who use this style of throat singing will voice two pitches at the same time. It sounds like a booming low-frequency tone alongside a high-pitched whistle.

Today Tuva throat singing is practiced in popular music culture. For example, The Hu band, formed in 2016, mixes rock and heavy metal with Tuvan throat singing. So far, they have won several awards for promoting the Mongolian culture through their music.

Intuit throat singing

Intuit throat singing, also known as katajjaq, is usually sung as a duet. Picture two women holding hands and rocking back and forth. Their raspy voices blend together in unison to make a spellbinding sound.

Today, intuit throat singing is practiced in parts of Greenland and Canada’s arctic. If you visit the Quark Arctic as part of the travel attractions, you may be able to catch an authentic intuit throat singing performance from the locals. 

Xhosa throat singing

Xhosa throat singers are from South Africa; they imitate Xhosa bow instruments umrhube and uhadi. It is usually sung by women.

Similar to Tuvan throat singing, it has a low-frequency sound. Usually, this is an incredibly low tone for women to sing, but it is possible with a lot of practice.

How Can I Learn How to Throat Sing?

Now that you know all the different types of throat singing, you can give it a go. Once you have learned the basics of tightening your throat muscles, you will be on your way to throat singing in no time.

Read our step-by-step instructions to help you get started. 

1. Relax your jaw and lips

  • The best way to relax your jaw is to imitate a low droning sound. 
  • Go on YouTube and search for drone instrumental music.
  • Open your mouth and copy that sound.

2. Master your lower base voice

  • Keep practicing the low droning sound.
  • Sound out the vowels’ oo’ and takes several deep breaths along with it.

3. Make an ‘R or’ L’ sound by using the tip of your tongue

  • Move your tongues to make the R and L sound.
  • Keep repeating this.

4. Sing as loud as you can

  • Give as much energy as you can with each note.
  • The best way to do this is to be comfortable with your voice.
  • Let all your fears go by blasting out your voice as loud as you can.

5. Sing from your chest by taking a deep breath

  • Take deep breaths along with each note. 
  • Hold each note as long as you can.

6. Make the sound E and U

  • Once you have mastered your breathwork, sound out the following sound E and U.
  • It will sound like ‘ewww uuuu.’  
  • You can do this really well by continually changing the shape of your lips.

7. Now do it all over again

  • Begin by sounding your ‘oo.’
  • Then make the R and L sound.
  • Once you have mastered that, make an ‘eww uu’ sound by changing your lips’ shape.
  • Curl your tongue in a backward position so that it is away from your lips.
  • You will now hear the overtones. 
  • Well done. You have mastered it.

What’s Next? 

Now that you have the basics of throat singing down, you should be having fun with it. If you are still struggling with your throat singing technique, don’t worry.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. As with anything, you just need to practice well before you can master it.

For any concerns about throat singing, we have tried to answer all your questions here.

Frequently Asked Questions

CAN I PERMANENTLY DAMAGE MY THROAT WHILE PRACTICING HOW TO THROAT SING?

The short answer is no. At first, if your throat is not used to being stretched and exercised this way, then it may be sore for a short time. It cannot cause any permanent damage. So you need not worry about damaging your throat.

IS TUVAN THROAT SINGING BAD FOR MY VOICE? 

No. The ventricular vocal folds that you vibrate by singing this way are not used to vibrating, but research shows that it can’t cause any damage to your voice. 

HOW CAN I USE MORE OF MY THROAT AND SOUND LESS NASALLY? 

By blowing your nose before a performance and taking deeper breaths as you sing – you should be able to sound less nasally. 

IS THROAT SINGING BANNED? 

No, it is not banned. Although hundreds of years ago, Christian priests banned Inuit women from throat singing. In recent years it has been revived because of the fear of losing the ancient traditions.

WHAT IS THE POINT OF THROAT SINGING? 

Throat singing is an ancient tradition – the point of learning it is to keep the ancient traditions alive for future generations. Besides, in the early 21st century, it was used to lull babies to sleep, so I am sure having it as a skill would be beneficial for any new parent.

Looking for ways to improve your voice? Check out our roundup of the 7 best online singing lessons to get started today!