Trine- "Weak" with Skunk Anansie

TrineTrine Enrolled Posts: 269

Hello everybody

I have recorded a cover of "Weak" with Skunk Aanansie. I find this song difficult to sing. It is not good, but I just want feedback. This song reminds me how important the abdominal muscles are! I become totally exhausted already in the middle of this song. I need to train them more! When I sing "weak as I a-a-am", It is very hard on the muscles, and I tend to forget a bit about the other things. BUT, even if I don't manage to do it, at least I am aware of HOLDING BACK THE BREATH, MODIFYING THE VOWELS, OPENING THE THROAT. And it is coming slowly, slowly...:-).

I have a question about consonants and vowel modifications.  When I come to this part: "In this tainted soul, in this weak young heart...", I sing it three times. The last time I go up, and the word "tainted" becomes very hard to sing. The vowels closes down. I try to sing it like the "t" very easy, and then I skip the "n", turning it into a diffuse "d". Am I on the right track? I am not sure if I do that in this sample, but that is at least what I think will be the right thing to do. That one is tricky. So: How do I sing "tainted", when it is as high as this?




  • Options
    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    edited January 2013

    Hi, Trine!

    I had to do a search to find your sample.  For some reason the link took me to another artist and song.  I did a search on weak and found it.


    You have chosen another very hard song to demo.  I know, I do the same thing.  Go big, aim high.

    I think the issue on this song is that it is Very Demanding with regards to SUPPORT.  Especially on the A-a-am parts.  This takes huge support.  It's almost impossible to have enough support for this part of the song.  So, even though you are aware of the need to cut back the air and conserve, you must really, really compress the air and have a huge reserve of power and just let out enough to support the note at any given time.

    It's like you have to keep the Open Throat, but that open throat must be harnessed into a smaller opening.  Maybe you've heard Ken talk about controlling the air like a pressurized fire extinguisher shooting out a small, controlled, directed, pressurized column of air.  The throat never closes, but it's going through a smaller opening (like a hose).

    You are going to have to push down like you can't imagine, all the way around your abdominal area for this section of the song, in order to conserve enough air, at that level of power, to get through those long, long notes.  Each syllable of "A-a-a-a-a-am" consumes a ton of air, so you have to fight back by rationing the air out through a nozzle that keeps it pressurized just right, but only lets out so much at a time. You can't hold it back at the glottis. It has to be held back before it ever gets to the glottis. 

    I think you have the right idea on turning the n into a diffuse D.  Scott will have the best advice on this part, he's the go-to guy on vowels, but basically you want to stress the AH and AA vowels to the max. 

    There is no "A" in KTVA, only AA-EE (aa as in hat and EE as in See...) Dipthongs are converted into their root vowel sequences.  "I" is AH-EE.  We want to maximize vowel time and minimize consonants. 

    "Tainted" might be converted to something like d-ehn-dihd...  Scott!  Translation into vowelese, please!

    Trine, your bravery exceeds all boundaries!  Most of the rest of us are too vain to allow our struggles to be aired publicly.  You will beat us all to the goal line by your determination! 

    You go, girl!


  • Options
    TrineTrine Enrolled Posts: 269

    Thank you for the comments, Bob!

    Yeah, this song makes me totally exhausted. It is still to "big" for me, especially in terms of support, but serves very well in pointing out what I need to work with. When I want people to tell me how great I am, I post songs that I manage to sing well, but when I want to grow, get really good, I post my struggles. It's a pleasure, since I have nothing to prove. I just want to learn! 

    What about the throat and the tone? Do I manage to keep an open throat (I know it closes down more when I am tired and go very high, but am I doing it right some of the time? And the tone, I just wonder how the voice sounds? I think I am starting to have a brighter tone than before. Where do I place the tone, in front, back or wherever? I am a bit confused about this placement thing. What am I doing, really, @Bob, @Scott

    I can't find anyting wrong with the link. It takes me to the song. Anyone else having problems with it?

  • Options
    highmtnhighmtn Administrator, Moderator, Enrolled, Pro, 3.0 Streaming Posts: 15,359
    edited January 2013


    I listened to the original version of Weak, and I can tell that you are not using as much cord closure.  Your voice has a little more air in it, which will wear you out more.  Especially in the chorus, the original has a lot of cord closure by comparison. 

    Using more cord closure and a huge amount of support will enable you to expend a lot less air and a lot less effort to get through those passages.  I think you could lessen the amount of vibrato as well.  I'm not hearing that much vibrato in the original.

    Also on some of the highest parts your voice gets louder.  That means you're using more air and air pressure.  It would be more controlled if you can maintain the volume closer to one level, regardless of the note you are singing.  This again points to support.  The more support and the more air you can conserve, the less you will become out of breath in the most challenging parts of the song.  The volume consistency will also result in a more professional sounding end result. 

    I think you are doing a good job of keeping the throat open, but you may actually need to reduce the size of the aperture for some of the higher singing.  As I said in the previous post, regarding the "fire extinguisher hose", you definitely need to keep the throat open, but the opening should be brought into control a bit so as to not have such a gush of air coming out at any given time.  If you do keep the throat open that much, then you still have to hold back the air at the base of the neck to produce the pressurized hose effect that you need to power these tough parts of the song. 

    Ken sometimes talks about the "tube of air" we use in open throat singing as being a column or a "pillar" that you rely upon to produce your open throat sound.  When he talks about the "fire extinguisher" example, he is talking about that pillar remaining very strong, but being smaller in diameter, as a pressure regulating factor.   So, even though we must be very conscious to avoid Pinching Off the throat, we still may need to vary the size of the opening of our open throat, as it becomes the nozzle through which our voice passes on its way to the outside world.  This tends to become a necessity as we sing higher.  Down low, the sound is bigger and needs a wide-open, huge nozzle.  Coming up in pitch, we cannot move that much air at once. The pressure has to be just right. Not too much, but enough to get to the pitch and intensity we are seeking.

    Additional cord closure will add more bright tone.  One thing I noticed on the original recording is that on the words "Weak as I A-a-a-a-a-m"  her voice is incredibly strong sounding.  There is lots of cord closure, firm, even pressure, and very little vibrato.  Her mouth is huge at that point. 

    I believe the tone in this tune needs to come from the gut, and be projected forward into the mask, with lots of teeth bared, open throat and jaw, good cord closure, and massive support.

    Your version does not sound bad, you have just selected a very hard song to sing with the same punch and power that the original artist put on the record.  You are like me.  You are going for the hardest songs to tackle them at the earliest possible time, whether your voice has caught up to your aspirations yet or not.  This will move your progress along much faster, but not without some tough moments along the way.

    Hopefully some of this feedback is helpful and encouraging and pulls you closer to the delivery of the song the way you want it to be.  Your effort will pay off.


  • Options
    TrineTrine Enrolled Posts: 269

    Thank you very much Bob!

    This is very helpful. I really appreciate all the effort you make to give long, good answers. It encourages me a lot! I'll carefully go through all that you tell me.


Sign In or Register to comment.