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'Hurt' by Johnny Cash and Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees'

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First of all, here is hurt:


Not much to say on this one really. Found it on my Dictaphone from November/December last year, liked it, thought I'd like opinions on it :)

Right... Now to the meat of this forum-post casserole type thing (that analogy didn't work)...

I recently posted a topic in the Vocal Techniques section of this forum titled 'Developing a usable Falsetto'.

This one ---> http://themodernvocalist.punbb-hosting.com/viewtopic.php?id=3689 <<--- Go on, click it! :)

Anyway, I figured it'd be smart to show y'all what I'm talking about. So I thought I would.

In that post I linked 'Fake Plastic Trees' by Radiohead

Thom Yorke has quite a good falsetto.

I figured, in an attempt to show off my awful falsetto, I'd record it.

So here it is, with falsetto:


I laughed at it too, the falsetto is quite horrible.

But, just to show why I wouldn't use headvoice:


Inappropriate. (My head voice was a bit off today anyway, kinda overly belty)

So yeah... I would love to use that falsetto, but when it sounds like that... meh :/


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Hm, I don't know if the microphone is playing tricks with your voice, but your falsetto sure doesn't sound like mine. "Fake pl" sounds like falsetto, but the following sounds like what I would describe as headvoice :o I mean, it's pretty loud.

Hm, I'll try for fun to record me singing that with "headvoice" and falsetto.

Edit: The first is falsetto, the other is what I call singing in my headvoice.


Are you sure you're singing in falsetto in the first clip?

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Hey rofl, You've got a great voice! :) Your falsetto is very pleasant.

I feel like it was falsetto that I did, but I purposely leaned into it to get some sound... Dunno if it work mind :/

Regardless of what it is, it sounds rubbish on me

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I thought yours sounded like a soft head voice, almost to be controlled, and if it was fully controlled, it would be really awesome.

And, thank you Nathan!

Edit: but of course, if you're saying it's falsetto, it must be my ears that's something wrong with - or the microphone :)

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Hi Nathan,

Could you point me towards these "bad singing" clips you mentioned? Seems like you left them out of the first post... ;)

Seriously though... on the slide up it seems like you slip into curbing. Perhaps you are too used to singing in curbing, so you automatically establish the rules for curbing (hold, medium volume) and lose your grasp on falsetto. That's actually a very cool effect, I wouldn't say it's bad, but I can agree that it doesn't really fit a Radiohead song.

My suggestion would be to try scales at 1/10 volume. Try to sing the tiniest, most sopranist sound you can imagine! It may be easier if you start from a very high note (around G5) and slowly work your way down, whether it's via scales or slides. Remember the rules of neutral: Loose jaw! Very low volume, some air is allowed and may be helpful. It might help if you go for the right vowels too (I find "OO" as in you to be very resonant on high notes).

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First off, I like how you did Cash's version of this song. Trent Reznor wrote this song but he would perform it a litle "shock rock," like he was trying to sound dramatic or like Marilyn Manson. Cash sang it like had been there, done that, which, he has. So, I like your version.

I had a snart-aleck question. How do you belt a falsetto? You said your headvoice felt or sounded a little belty, of which I agree, you had quite a bit of volume. I think what I heard was a falsetto onset that you were unsure about and then you leaned into the note and it became full voice.

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Thanks for the comments about Hurt. Was kinda proud of that one... Not bad for a dictaphone recording... I like the NIN version, but Cash's version is sooo much better (imo). I don't have that huge bass/baritone sound he has, but yeah. This is one of the only songs I've found that's maybe too low for me (along with a couple of HIM songs, maybe)

Jamie Vendera talks about 'reinforced falsetto' though I cannot claim to know much about that... But maybe it's something along those lines?

Spectrum, that's curbing? I didn't know that... I thought curbing was a more soulful sound... But mine doesn't sound soulful at all... hmmm :/

Tried the small/quiet sound in my new clip on the 'usable falsetto' thread. It's the first one (the more airy, classical falsetto, thing).

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True Nathan, but doing that song write is not really about range. It's about feel. True, Cash's sings it really low, in his comfort range. But that allows to flexibilty in that part of the range for him to express the regret, the pathos, the melancholy. That's what makes the song.

You emote that same sense of whatever it is, in your part of the range. That's what makes your performance good, aside from any technical issues, if there are any to be had. I'm not saying that we should not worry about pitch and things when we sing. Whatever technical thing we're working is fine to concentrate on. But the song is about pain and you show that.

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