The Zen of Screaming: Vocal Instruction for a New Breed
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Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: How To - Musical Instruction
Rating: NR
Release Date: 6-MAR-2007
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews:

  • Not For Beginners
    The Zen of Screaming is, as other reviewers indicated, largely Cross promoting herself. She uses her own, local students in the DVD, and they continually give testimonials about how wonderful Cross is. But if you can get beyond Cross' annoying self-promotion and talent-free clients, you'll find she really does have something to teach.

    The DVD is worth watching once, just for drill. The CD of vocal exercises really is valuable and could have easily stood on its own. The techniques aren't new, but do remind singers how to access more power without damaging their vocal chords or fighting chronic laryngitis (my personal problem).

    I taught drama for decades and recommended Born To Sing by Howard Austin and Elizabeth Howard to my students. In those days it was simply an audio cassette of vocal exercises, but is now a complete and extremely comprehensive package. If you're beginning or have never studied voice, try Born To Sing first!

    The whole Zen Of Screaming package really is overpriced, so if you can get it used, all the better. You probably won't watch the DVD more than once anyhow.
    ...more info
  • The real deal
    If you are the least bit sceptical about this DVD look her up on you tube. There are quite a few postings that show her at work. The DVD starts the viewer from the beginning, she never talks down to you. But, she does make sure that the basics are covered. I recommend this to anyone that can't talk after a show. ...more info
  • The Zen of Screamng
    This is a fantastic DVD. I have kids in my classroom (High School in NZ) now wanting to do singing lessons and learn more about using their voices, especially boys. Thank you Melissa Cross for your inspiration and the simple method which makes kids want to sing. Brilliant....more info
  • Worth purchasing
    If you have ever thought about singing or doing anything vocally, this DVD is for you. This instructional DVD is easily worth ten times the price you will pay for it.

    There are the following on this DVD:
    Vocal exercises
    Warm ups
    Cool downs
    Breathing techniques
    Tongue twisters
    How to find your pitch
    How to expand your range
    How to hear yourself - this one is most important because you will never have a bad night because of a bad mix or no mix etc. after using this DVD
    Projection techniques
    How to bring clarity to your notes
    Visualize notes - no more scooping to get there!
    How to push your voice and not blow your voice
    How to speak when your not singing
    How to scream without tearing your vocal chords
    Vocal rest (how to recovery from vocal injury)
    How to get round full sounding notes
    Taking breaths between notes or words
    Syllable accenting
    And of course the all important, Brown Note!

    This is more for singing that screaming - but screamers will get more than they bargain for with this DVD.
    ...more info
  • Would have liked more screaming, but otherwise VERY comprehensive (4.5/5 Stars)
    READER ALERT: If you order this, please make sure the copy you order comes with the companion CD. The DVD has the exercises, but the CD has them to fit voice ranges (tenor, baritone, and bass for men, soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto for women.) New copies should have it automatically, so check with the seller if you get one used.

    So I watched the DVD and it is very comprehensive. The first 15 or so minutes do feature a lot of musicians praising Ms. Cross and going on about why her techniques work. One you pass that, then you start getting into exercises, first the physical exercises and then the musical ones. Each follows the format of Ms. Cross demonstrating the exercise, then having a guest (either a student or a professional musician) demonstrate the exercise, and then commentary from pro musicians as to why the exercises are effective.

    Was there a lot of emphasis on actual screaming? No, but you have to learn to crawl before you walk, and there's way, way, way too much information on this disc to discredit it for not featuring more on screaming. I ordered the second disc so I'll let you all know if that contains more information on screaming (it was advertised that it should, so...)

    Otherwise, this is a must-have for any vocalist who's trying to be in ANY group where the music is amplified. I've received classical training before, but there's a lot on this disc that I wish I would have known before. I can't wait to apply it and I hope everyone finds success in using this CD.

    Special "hats-off" to Randy Blythe from the band Lamb of God, who dedicated a lot of time and his own embarrassing moments for the betterment of musical education. Support LOG by seeing them live!

    If you live in the Southwest United States, I ordered both discs from --movieweb-- and they arrived faster than anything I've ever ordered over the internet before. I recommend that seller to all!...more info
  • Awesome product!
    I was reluctant at first to acknowledge this product, since I don't like screamo music, and since my own voice is more operatic and rock-oriented. But by watching a friend's copy of The Zen of Screaming, I quickly realized that Melissa Cross is teaching traditional and sound vocal methods, but in a fun, upbeat and non-traditional way that takes the embarrassment and discomfort out of doing vocal exercises and practice. I quickly ordered my own copy, and I can tell you that, regardless of your musical genre, if you sing (and if your ego can agree that there's still a little room for improvement), this DVD is a fantastic asset....more info
  • brilliant
    i was a bit suprised to find that there wasnt much info on actually screaming on the dvd, until i figured out that all the breath control and positioning of the voice IS how you scream, overall this is the best vocal instructional dvd i have come accross. and the cd that comes with it for the warmup is invaluable!!

    buy this dvd!...more info
  • In your car... In the Forest... On the Stage
    Melissa Cross has just broken a new boundary that is over a decade in the making: Rage 101.

    Her motivations seem sincere. Her intentions are to teach the up and coming youth, and in some cases established singers, how to sing raging/screaming vocals without shredding their vocal chords. Thats always good. Friends have asked for years how vocalists scream for three hours a night, a couple hundred times a year, and still have enough voice remaining to order a pizza on friday. Well, here's the answer.

    Melissa has spanned her advice and techniques over two discs, and cover every aspect of the artform. Art? Yes. For those of you scratching your heads, Emotional (Emo) Hardcore with its stark contrasts of harsh realities and sweet essences creates some of the most moving bits of music you'll ever hear. As Melissa points out, a great scream is one which covers every frequency in the spectrum, from thrashing highs to rumbling lows, all coherant.

    Many associate "screaming" vocals with untallented hipsters cowling in their mothers basement, churning out pointless discs of noise. Not true my friend. Here are a few discs you should check out: "Skillet: Collide" "Emery: the weaks end" "Slipknot: Volume 3." and any System of a Down disk. There are literally thousands of examples out there. These vocals are sometimes scattered throughout the music world, even in places where they wouldn't be expected. Maybe you know a few? On the same note, there are those who have other preferences in music, thats fine too. To each his own.

    The Zen of Screaming is a tool for the future generation who pour their feelings upon scattered papers, bursting their internal furies of love, life and experiences into the ears of willing listners.

    (PS - Huge thanks to Melissa Cross on her feedback for my review. Hope things continue to flourish for you!) ...more info
  • Complete Rip Off
    Not only is this DVD useless, Melissa Cross seems to drop every name she can in order to impress us. Impressed I was not. I learned NOTHING from this DVD....more info
  • More of an infomercial than anything
    First, let's be honest...if you don't already have the kind of voice to sing metal, this isn't going to help. You either have it, or you don't. What this dvd CAN do, is help you to expand your range to whatever natural degree you're able to, and help you learn to control your voice. That being said, the stuff on this dvd isn't any different or better than other instructional vocal videos/dvds I've seen. There are only so many scales and exercises you can do with the voice. I guess the big marketing thing on this is that it's for a "new breed" of vocalists but watching it just gives the impression that it's more of an infomercial for the bands and singers featured in the dvd, with various bits of the same old vocal exercises thrown in.

    If you really want a solid vocal instructional dvd, by an instructor who actually has one of the best vocal ranges ever and has "been there, done that", buy the Jim Gillette Vocal Power dvd from Metal That will help you without the unnecessary BS. ...more info
  • Not just for screamers.
    I bought this DVD for my daughter, who is interested in screaming, not singing. I watched it myself, and feel that Melissa Cross provides solid input for singers of any genre in this DVD. I've been struggling with learning to sing (not scream) lately myself, and was very surprised at how helpful her information, exercises and visualizations were for me.

    Melissa knows her stuff!

    There is a fair amount of cursing in this DVD from the students who provide testimonials for Melissa's teachings. I could do without all of these testimonials, but must admit that they do more than serve Melissa's interests. They also show that there are actual performing musicians out there that are using these techniques successfully, and that gives you faith in the techniques. (e.i. these guys are obviously cool, and they do this corny stuff, therefore this corny stuff must actually be cool - and it is because it works!)...more info
  • Too bad this is more advertisement than lesson...
    I heard Melissa Cross on NPR and immediately bought this DVD, excited to learn how to scream without hurting my voice. I was disappointed to find the disk is about 55% advertisement for Ms. Cross, 44.5% standard vocal warmups and exercises, and 1 or 2 minutes of vague information on screaming.

    I'm sure the vocal warmups are helpful for those who are too "hip" to take voice lessons, but if you've ever had a voice lesson, there isn't much you haven't heard before here. If you are interested in watching various metalheads praise Melissa Cross, then you'll love this DVD. But if you already have the least bit of vocal training and just want to learn how to apply it to screaming, be aware that the material here is pretty thin....more info
  • "Jaime Vendera, Author of Raise Your Voice"
    WOW! I have finally found another vocal instructor who understands the rigorous demands of the hard core rock vocalist. New York vocal instructor, Melissa Cross has created a DVD that presents a no-nonsense approach to singing hard rock and screaming, while focusing on solid vocal technique. She has worked with hardcore metal acts, such as Lamb of God and Shadows Fall.

    The Zen of Screaming is over 2 hours of extreme vocal instruction based on Melissa's experiences. She has taken her classical training from prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in England and developed a way to mix classical technique with the unbridled passion of rock singing. In her own words, Melissa says, "I was able to extract the essential aspects of classical technique, apply them to speech - and then, again, apply them back to music." She teaches singers ways to add grit to their voice without losing their voice.

    The Zen of Screaming is the first DVD of it's kind. It is an easy to follow along training program with step-by-step exercises and vocal explanations. This DVD includes tips on vocal maintenance, actual vocal cord footage, and animations, which illustrate each specific vocal exercise. Melissa also presents footage of some of her professional clients, in interviews and during vocal training sessions with Melissa.

    If your goal is to sing extreme metal but are continually losing your voice, if you want more power, if you want more grit, if you want to learn how to scream your brains out without ever suffering vocally, then The Zen of Screaming is for you! I give this DVD my stamp of approval. ...more info
  • And then I pitched a scream... I'm a believer!
    The short review: Buy it and use Cross's advice and exercises!

    I've had Melissa Cross's "The Zen of Screaming: Vocal Instruction for a New Breed" for about a month and the breathing exercises and the advice on "Heat and Fire" payed off for me. Today, I was able to put forth lots and lots of tortured death-metal screams and shrieks and am not only not hoarse, but was able to intersperse the screaming and yelling with clean, melodic singing. It was actually less taxing on my vocal folds and larynx than when I try to sing opera as a dramatic baritone (it took death metal screaming to tell me I'm a lighter voice - thanks, death metal and Miss Cross!). And, since I was practicing to "The Wonder Pets" theme and "What's New Pussycat?" while mowing the lawn, I probably freaked out my neighbors.

    When you buy this DVD (and you are, aren't you?), please note that the actual screaming/yelling/rasping section is fairly short and it comes after a lot of segments on breathing and some vocal exercises. Do not underestimate either the importance of proper breathing nor the value of the "Heat and Fire" segment. If you've ever torn up your throat singing raspy or beyond raspy and thought screaming was a quick, dead-end stop for your singing career (even if your career would be entirely screaming), you need to learn how to breathe properly and how to use "heat" to add rasping harmonics to your voice and "fire" to make use of the false vocal folds.

    Another great thing about this DVD is that Melissa Cross doesn't want to change your voice or change your singing style; she wants you to be able to do your own thing with your own voice over the course of your own lifetime. Very good stuff!...more info
    A few other reviews mention not much on screaming more singing exercises. The singing exercises strengthen your voice which will give you a fuller scream. I been doing exercises for about 10 months now and able to scream stuff like AC DC and recently able to pull off some Aerosmith. Very important to master breathing properly first, and building it up from there. ...more info
  • An Absolute Revelation!
    A great teacher is a rare find and Melissa Cross is a gem. I have read almost every vocal technique book available and The Zen of Screaming DVD is by far the best! I had given up on being able to sing with a healthy voice until I watched this DVD. I feel like I have been given my voice back. Somehow, Melissa gives the viewer years worth of vocal lessons in a little over 2 hours. Although many of the artists on this DVD scream/sing heavily, you don't have to be a death metal singer to appreciate the information. This DVD is for anyone who wants to sing with passion, no matter the genre. Melissa breaks down the information in such a way that anyone, beginner or classically trained, can understand the basic techniques that help to make a passionate but healthy voice. This DVD is also great for anyone who speaks for their profession. It will teach you how to have a powerful voice without vocal damage. I have bought numerous items from, but have never felt passionately enough about them to post a review. Don't wait another minute to hit the "buy" button....more info
  • Amazing!
    Nothing is more frustrating than being in a band, knowing what you want to do, but being unable to get there--either because you're not warmed up, you damaged your throat the night before, or you just don't know what you're doing. This DVD will help you solve all of those problems!

    I've fooled around with other kinds of vocal instruction, but they are all too clasically based. Melissa Cross get's it. She gets that rock is not supposed to sound like opera. She has found a way to apply traditional vocal training without altering the intensity and grit essential to rock singing.

    She covers everything from breathing and talking to hitting your pitch and screaming without hurting yourself. If you check out the bonus features she even swallows a camera to show you how you can hurt yourself while singing.

    When I first got the DVD, I was afraid it would be a bunch of people screaming because they couldn't be musical in their band. But it turns out to be anything but that. Its great to see all of these guys who sing some really heavy stuff challenging themselves to be more musical and more expressive without killing themselves or sacrificing their artistic vision. Only Melissa Cross could get these guys to do this.

    If you are a rock singer (you don't even have to be a screamer--though screamers are welcomed) or want to be a rock singer, you need this DVD. ...more info
  • A little Disappointed...
    The information you are looking for is in here. The thing that made me disappointes is that for the most part it is an ad for Melissa Cross. She seems like an awesome teacher. I just wish that it was more information on technique than Melissa Cross plugs....more info
  • The Best in Teaching Period.
    Mellisa teaches you how to sing and scream using her own vocabulary that makes it easy to understand how the machine known as your voice works. She even goes beyond that and teaches you how to get an excellent speaking voice for, as she said, "You have sing as you speak and speak as you sing." This is the Zen of Screaming. Anyone that just wants to be a vocalist will greatly benifit from this dvd. She doesn't teach you how to have the perfect voice. She teaches you how to use yours....more info