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Nightwish cover - Dead to the World

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Here's a Nightwish cover that I did. Don't worry - I'm not doing any Tarja parts :D Only Marco Hietala's. I really like the twangy, yet warm tone, so i tried to play around with this concept.

I'm very open to any kind of critique concerning technique, intonation, interpretation, but also my pronounciation. There are a lot of native English speakers here on the forum - maybe you can help me out with my accent? Do you think Hietala's pronounciation is perfect or can you tell that it's not his first language?




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Sometimes, I like an accent other than american in a song. For example, Klause Meine sings english like a german, not an american. And I love that and would be disappointed if he changed to a more american sound.

I like Justin Hawkins midlands english accent. But he closes up his oo way more than I do, almost with a cuperto feel to it.

One of the better compliments I once received is that I sound more like a european folk singer than an american, when I sing, because of how I open the vowels. What's important is which vowel and for how long.

When it comes to a dipthong (changing vowel sound inside of one syllable), it is better to stay on the first vowel sound and then change to the second just briefly, if at all, to end it.

For example, the word "eye." It's a dipthong of ah and ee. It is better to sing that word as ahhhhhhhhhh-ee. Or drop off the ee. Because on the context of say a lyric like "look me in the eye," even if you only sing ah, the lyrics mean eye and that is how people will hear it and think of it. Many trip themselves up by lingering on the actual change of vowel.

In one moment, you lingered on the L sound. Don't. Make the L quick and light. Stay singing on the vowel and use a quick, light consonant, or even aspirant kind of sound like L as a quick end. Staying in L is going to filter out overtones and could cause a problem in the perception of pitch.

The hard part is to realize that singing is on the vowels, not in how you normally pronounce a word. In this song, when you do the really high parts, your accent goes away because you have to open the vowel and the structural or mechanical things you do with jaw, tongue, etc to get those notes is antithetical to how you normally speak. Ergo, you lose the accent up there. So, treat the singing of the low parts the same way you do the high parts, to a smaller degree. Perform the lyrics as if the voice were a musical instrument, not a speach instrument. Don't speak the lyrics, sing them.

And just because the original singer may have spoken them doesn't mean that it was right, or that it is right for you to also speak them.

It's also okay to make a dipthong that helps you. For example, the word "home." Maybe at a certain pitch, the one vowel, oh, is not as resonant for you. So, instead, sing it as hahm. And, if you desire, save the transition to oh for the very last half-second before you sound the m in the word. The audience will only remember home but will also remember how free and powerful you sounded on it. This is called song mapping, where you design vowel usage that fits the lyrics and melody to your voice.

Even "american" is an accent. It's a lazy accent, depending on where you are. Esses can sound more like z's. Some dipthongs get shortened. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy had a whole routine on these differences in dialects and pronunciation and how one word can sound like another, depending on the regional accent.

Like the word pillar, which normally means a support column. But as a redneck, a pillar is what you lay your head on at night (pillow.)

A bat. A cylinder of wood used to hit a ball. Or a flying rodent that is active at night. In "redneck," it's a preposition. "Next gas station is abat two miles down the road."

Sensuous - mean of a sensory nature, whether by touch, sound, or feel. In redneck, it's a sub-phrase in a request. "Sensuous was up, can you get me another beer?"

Making dinner plans. "Jeet yet?" "Naw. Awnto?" (did you eat yet? No, do you want to?)

Some people are good at approximating a specific accent. Sir Elton John sounded like a hick country singer on a lot of his stuff and he is from London.

Celine Dion is french canadian and sounds american.

I'm from Texas and sound european. Even in speach. People that were born in Texas can tell that I was not born here.

Anyway, the more pure the vowel, the less accent. the lighter the consonant, the more american, at least as far as I can tell.

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Ron, thank's for pointing it out to me, i'll try to avoid these mistakes:)

Another question: the word 'invited' - Heitala sings it with a voiced 'd' as in /invided/. I try to do the same thing. Does it sound odd to you?

OldPainless, I also think he's got a cool voice. I've been discovering Tarot lately :) Thanks for the comment!

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