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Are you a singer looking to add some edge to your voice? If so, you may want to try making your voice raspy. A husky voice can add a touch of mystery and drama to your singing, and it’s easier to achieve than you might think.

Many think you must damage your vocal cords to make your voice raspy. But this saying isn’t true! With the right techniques, you can make your voice hoarse without damaged vocal cords.

Also, in this article, we’ll take a look at the following to get a raspy voice:

  • How to make your voice sounds raspy with or without a vocal coach?
  • What are the different techniques to achieve a raspy or hoarse voice?
  • What foods help maintain a raspy singing voice?

Learn About Your Vocal Range and Folds

Your vocal range is the range of pitches that you can comfortably produce with your voice. The vocal folds are two bands of muscle tissue that vibrate within your larynx or voice box.

When you breathe in, air rushes through the vocal folds and causes them to vibrate. This vibration produces sound waves that travel through the air. And it then creates the unique sound of your voice.

Also, the pitch of your voice depends on the speed of the vibration. A faster vibration produces a higher pitch. Then, a slower vibration makes a lower pitch.

And to produce a raspy tone, the vocal cords vibrate more slowly than usual. With that, it will create a rougher sound wave that gives your voice a raspy quality.

So, learning about your vocal range and folds can help you achieve a raspy voice by controlling the speed of the vibration.

Foods to Eat to Make Your Vocal Cords Healthy

Foods Benefits Preparations
Honey Natural remedy to treat various ailments, including sore throats. Honey can help to soothe the throat and reduce inflammation of the vocal cords. Add a teaspoon of honey to warm water or tea, or eat it straight off the spoon.
Aloe Vera A plant that many know for having healing properties. The gel from the plant can help to soothe the throat and reduce inflammation of the vocal folds. Simply mix a teaspoon of aloe vera gel with water or juice and drink it.
Marshmallow Root A herbal remedy to treat sore throats for centuries. The herb coats the throat and protects the vocal chords from irritation. Mix marshmallow root powder with water or juice and drink it several times daily.
Licorice Root A herbal remedy that can help to soothe the throat. Plus, it reduces inflammation of the vocal folds. Mix licorice root powder with water or juice and drink it twice daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar A natural antibiotic that kills bacteria in the throat and reduces inflammation of the vocal cords. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with juice or water, and drink it twice daily.
Ginger A spice that many use as a natural remedy for nausea and stomach upset. But ginger can also help to soothe the throat and reduce inflammation of the vocal cords. Add ginger root powder to water or juice and drink it several times daily.


Use Breathing Techniques to Enhance Your Deeper Voice

What do James Earl Jones, Scarlett Johansson, and Idris Elba all have in common? Aside from being incredibly talented actors, they all have naturally raspy voices.

But for many, it’s a struggle to find their vocal depth, especially as they get older. Luckily, you can use a few breathing techniques that voice actors use to enhance their raspy voices.

Below are some breathing exercises for a gravelly tone.

Vocal Fry

This technique involves saying an “uh” vowel sound while keeping your vocal cords gently vibrating. You should feel a raspy sensation in your throat.

To produce vocal fry, follow these steps:

  1. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly.
  2. Tighten your vocal cords by bringing them closer together.
  3. Make an “uh” vowel sound like you are trying to imitate a motorboat engine.
  4. Keep your vocal cords tightened and let your breath out slowly to produce a raspy sound.

Practice vocal fry by doing this exercise for several minutes each day. But remember first to warm your voice before you do vocal fry exercises by singing or humming for a few minutes. And after practicing vocal fry, drink some water to help soothe your vocal cords.

Diaphragmatic Breathing

This type of breathing involves contracting your diaphragm as you inhale. Doing so will fill your lungs with air more efficiently and give your voice more projection.

You can practice this breathing by placing one hand on your stomach, the other on your chest. As you inhale, make sure your stomach expands more than your chest.

The following are some steps to doing a diaphragmatic breathing exercise:

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed.
  2. Place one hand on your stomach and let the other hand rest on your chest.
  3. Breathe in through your nose. Let your stomach expand as you fill your lungs with air.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of three.
  5. Breathe out slowly through your mouth, letting your stomach fall as you expel the air from your lungs.
  6. Repeat this process several times until you feel yourself relaxing.
  7. Once mastered, try it while lying down or standing up.

Resonance Breathing

This technique improves vocal projection by maximizing the deep space in the throat and mouth. Also, this vocal exercise helps improve the quality of your raspy singing voice.

The exercise only takes a few minutes to complete. And so, here are some steps to doing resonance breathing:

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place one hand below your navel.
  2. Inhale deeply through your nose, letting your stomach expand.
  3. Exhale fully, using your voice box to make a “ha” sound. You should feel your stomach contract as you do this.
  4. Repeat steps two and three for ten breaths.
  5. After the 10th breath, continue exhaling but make a “ra” sound instead of “ha.” Again, you should feel your stomach contract.
  6. Repeat step five for ten breaths.
  7. Exhale, making a “ba” sound. You should now feel a vibration in your voice box and a raspy voice. And which indicates that you are doing the exercise correctly.
  8. OPTIONAL. Try making a voice sound, such as “oo” and “ee,” to improve the quality of your raspy singing voice further.

With practice, you should be able to control your breath and make your voice sound raspy.


Mixing Chest Voice and Head Voice for a Better Raspy Sound

Many people use chest and head voices together to create a raspy voice. This combination can result in a raspier voice. But remember to use the techniques correctly to avoid damaging your vocal cords.

Using a chest voice, speak from your diaphragm and allow your vocal cords to vibrate. And yet, when using a head voice, you should lighten the tone of your voice and speak from your throat.

By alternating between these two techniques, you can create a raspy sound without straining your vocal cords too much. And to mix your chest and head voices, follow these steps:

  1. Warm up your vocal cords with some gentle exercises.
  2. Start working on your chest voice by singing short phrases in a low register.
  3. Once you’re comfortable with your chest voice, add some raspiness to it by using less air pressure.
  4. Work on your head voice by singing short phrases in a higher register.
  5. As you get comfortable, add some raspiness by constricting your vocal cords slightly.
  6. Begin mixing chest and head voices to create the raspiest sound possible.

Use Pitch and Resonance to Sing Raspy

Here are the two main elements for a raspy voice:

  • Pitch
  • Resonance

To make your voice sound raspier, you will need to lower the pitch of your voice. And you can do it by speaking or singing in a lower register or using techniques like vibrato and glottal fry.

Given that, below are ways you can lower your pitch and create a hoarse voice.

  • Try speaking from the throat instead of the nose. Doing so will make your voice sound deeper and raspier.
  • Breathe deeply from the stomach to help relax the vocal cords.
  • Try speaking in a lower register by tightening the vocal cords.
  • Use resonance techniques to project the voice outward.

Also, you must create more resonance in your voice by amplifying the sound in your throat. Do it by placement.

For such, speak closer to the microphone. Or perhaps, use techniques like chest voice and diaphragmatic breathing.

And by combining these two elements, you can achieve a raspy voice that is both attractive and unique.


Making your voice raspy can add some edge and mystery to your singing voice. And by following the tips and techniques outlined in this blog, you’ll be well on your way to achieving that desired raspiness.

Also, don’t forget to consider professional help, if necessary, such as a voice coach. With them on your side, you’ll be at ease knowing that you’ll not damage your vocal cords in the process!