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How to Sing Like Kurt Cobain

Updated on June 9, 2011

Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of nirvana an influential band in the 90s. They are responsible for popularizing the term grunge music. Kurt Cobain’s singing can be described as screaming, harmonic and loud.

Kurt Cobain is also known for his singing style; although not the typical type of singer he managed to capture a worldwide audience and sell of 50 million records; since the 90s.


  1. Sing with attitude. Kurt Cobain sang with a lot of emotion that is why you often see him closing his eyes while singing. He ranges from high to low notes depending on the message of the song
  2. Insinuate meaningful words. Kurt Cobain screams out some works in many of his songs to identify their importance. An example in Pennyroyal tea he screams ‘I’m so tired I can’t sleep!!’
  3. Don’t try to be perfect. Kurt always had very few takes when recording songs. It gives a raw energy to the sound of grunge.
  4. Push your limits. He went outside his vocal range in lake of fire to take the challenge of the song.
  5. Make your vocal raspy. He had a raspy growl to his voice when he pushed himself try and achieve that.
  6. Scream! And Go Quiet- Sometimes you just have to scream like Kurt Cobain, he alternates between load and quiet in Smells Like Teen Spirit and it is one of the greatest songs of all time.
  7. Ride the emotion. Kurt changed his style drastically depending on the emotion of the song in something in the Way; it’s a near whisper during the song and Serve the Servants is much louder.
  8. Be original- Kurt Cobain is a great role model for singing but he was also very original; try to sound original while taking influence from his style


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    • profile image

      Timo 5 years ago

      pretty sure kurt took so few vocal takes because he had a very developed voice and style - unplugged for example is all one take and his vocals are still brilliant

    • profile image

      Pranjal Patowary 5 years ago

      I wanna be like Mr.Kurt cobian. He is still alive in our heart and in our state Assam, Northeast India

    • terkawy profile image

      terkawy 6 years ago from egypt

      i love Layne as well he was the best vocalist in my opinion.

      thank u too much.

    • johnshade profile image

      johnshade 6 years ago from Pandora

      good work, i love Layne as well he was the best vocalist in my opinion

    • profile image

      Brandt Hardin 6 years ago

      Kurt Cobain changed my life with his music- I only wished he could have stuck around to make more. I paid homage to him on the anniversary of his death with my portrait of the grunge legend on my artist’s blog at

    • johnshade profile image

      johnshade 6 years ago from Pandora

      Screaming isn't a bad thing; maybe they do practice but it's still screaming but in a good way.

      And Kurt definitely screams a lot. I'm a huge fan

    • Matt in Jax profile image

      Matt in Jax 6 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

      Common misconception is that metal singers and hardcore singers scream in their music, but really a lot is practiced by focusing the sound from the diaphraghm instead of the throat crooning.