Voice Teacher Reacts to Evanescence – My Immortal (Live)
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Voice Teacher Reacts to Evanescence – My Immortal (Live)


Hi, my name is Sam Johnson and I am a voice teacher. I’m going to be reacting to and analysing Amy Lee of Evanescence performing “My Immortal” live. (Plays video)
(Orchestral music starts to play) Oh awesome, live strings. ♪ I’m so tired of being here
(Crowd cheers) ♪ Suppressed by all my childish fears ♪ And if you have to leave ♪ I wish that you would just leave ♪ ‘Cause your presence still lingers here ♪ And it won’t leave me alone (Pauses video)
So she hasn’t opened her mouth further than this yet. It’s been very closed but it still had a pretty rich sound to it. Some of that is just because it’s her voice, some of it is because she’s singing really well, but you don’t need to open your mouth really wide in order to have a nice, rich sound, especially at these lower notes. As she goes higher, I’m sure she’ll modify it because she’s a really good singer. She’ll be able to modify her vowels so that they continue to sound the same as her lower notes. (Plays video) (Plays video)
♪ These wounds won’t seem to heal ♪ This pain is just too real ♪ There’s just too much that time cannot erase ♪ When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears ♪ When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears (Pauses video)
She goes between phrases using really heavy legato and then letting the consonants break it up a little bit more. (Legato and indistinct)
# You’d dream, I’d wipe away all of your tears And then the next one. (Staccato)
# Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh I prefer the one that’s a little bit more legato, I think that that’s easier to sing through, and the… the one that’s more broken up tends to become a little bit more compressed, there generally is a little bit more strain. Doesn’t mean that you can’t do it and she’s doing fine through it, but just if you’re experimenting with this on your own, play around with how legato, how smooth you can make your phrases. (Plays video)
♪ And I held your hand through all of these years ♪ And I held your hand through all of these years ♪ But you still have ♪ All of me (Pauses video)
When she started that vowel, she started at “awl” of me rather than “ahll” of me and it’s just because the “aw” vowel feels a little bit better. it’s a little bit narrower, it’s a little bit rounder. Uh… for most people, you will have an easier time going towards “aw-aw-aw”, that more narrow, rounder place, than # “ahll” of me That sets you up so that the next part’s hard already. # “ahll”, “awll”, “ahll”, “awll” And all that really changes is how you’re positioning your mouth. (Plays video) (Crowd cheers over backing music) ♪ You used to captivate me by your resonating light (Pauses video)
She has so much forward buzz even in her lower notes. (Buzzy, nasally)
# You used to captivate me It’s not like (Breathy, head voice)
# You used to captivate me She has some forward ring in her voice A lot of people would feel that generally more in their nose or up, like, forward in their face and the result is just a sound that’s got a lot more core to it. I like it because it connects better to your high notes if you treat your low notes like this. (Plays video)
♪ Now, I’m bound by the life you left behind ♪ Now, I’m bound by the life you left behind ♪ Your face it haunts my once pleasant dreams ♪ Your voice it chased away all the sanity in me ♪ These wounds won’t seem to heal ♪ This pain is just too real (Pauses video)
That was such a nice phrase, (Staccato, rounded vowel sounds)
“this pain is not” rather than (Legato, wider vowel sounds)
“this pain is not too real”. It’s so easy on those words “pain”and “not” for it to get a little bit wider and out of the feeling of the overall song. But what she did was just (Spoken with rounded vowel sounds)
“this pain is not too real” It’s just all right there in that “uh-uh-uh” place. (Plays video)
♪ There’s just too much that time cannot erase ♪ There’s just too much that time cannot erase ♪ When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears (Spoken over the top)
I think that could have a little more legato. ♪ When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears (Pauses video)
The only reason I bring it up is it does seem like there’s a little bit of tension. Just a teeny bit, she’s doing things really well but I think that just evening out the air flow with a little bit more legato in the sound would kind of drop off that tension I think that she’s doing it really fine and that most of these decisions are intentional, but if she s- [sighs] It also kind of looks like she’s a little bit tired with some of it and I I haven’t listened to them live very much, I’ve listened to a lot of her recordings and I just haven’t heard that kind of strain in her voice before. So I think just evening out the airflow would basically take care of all of it because everything else she’s doing is so easy. (Plays video)
♪ And I held your hand through all of these years ♪ And I held your hand through all of these years ♪ But you still have (Sung over the top, staccato then legato)
#”sti-ill” “still” ♪ I’ve tried so hard to tell myself that you’re gone (Pauses video)
As she started going up ’cause this is basically like just a hill # duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh and then it comes back down. When she was going up she kind of whined into it. (Exaggerates the whine)
# I-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah (Expands into open, rounded sound)
#Self And then when she got to self she opened it up. And that was kind of at the top of the uh… of the hill. So by doing that she was able to trick her more open “eh” vowel into having some of this over-the-top ring. (Starts whiny, finishes open with some ring)
# yah-yah-yah-yah-yah-yah self versus (Starts whiny, finishes fully open)
# ah-nyah-nah-nah-nah-nah self which doesn’t have any of that over-the-top ring. and would immediately go flat. But because she starts that phrase, she starts going with the ascension, already in this place that’s forward, she just has to open her mouth, she doesn’t have to change very much about her vowel. (Plays video) ♪ But though you’re still with me (Spoken over the top)
I love that she started it small and grew into it. ♪ I’ve been alone all along (Spoken over the top)
There you go, yes. (Pauses video)
So she started that phrase “Ah-ah-ah”. That’s the only time where it got a little bit more… harsh. Uh, I feel like she’s just going from this kinda tight vowel space to a really open one but that next time she started in more of the forward place and then just opened her mouth slightly but kept that forward feeling. so it didn’t have that harshness of the vowel that was so similar right before. So, you can have open vowels but they still need to have this forward buzz otherwise it gets too trapped in your throat, it starts pulling chest voice too easy, things just get unbalanced very, very quickly. So I liked how she did it that second time, the first one was a little compressed and then opened, removed all of that pressure, but was harsh. The second time it was a little compressed but it was more forward, it was whiny and then when she opened it, it kept those qualities of forward and whiny. (Plays video) (Spoken over the top)
Same. (Crowd cheers over backing music) ♪ When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears (Pauses video)
Could be a coincidence but after she drank the water she does seem a little bit more relaxed? Maybe I’m making that up but usually, if you swallow, just the act of swallowing, especially liquids, kind of can reset some of this stuff if your larynx has been really high swallowing can… the… the swallowing muscles, after they’re used for swallowing, kind of relax a little bit and then your larynx can stay a little bit more neutral. Um, it’s just a really nice thing. Even though the water doesn’t touch your vocal cords swallowing is a really nice action, especially if you’re feeling tense at all, which I think that she is for a little bit of this performance, for most of this performance. (Plays video)
♪ When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears ♪ When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears ♪ And I held your hand through all of these years ♪ But you still have (Pauses video)
That time she used it, I think, to accentuate a point. to just be more expressive? She went to this wider, almost wailing, vowel and then it had a little bit of distortion in it because that vowel is going to create distortion, it throws things off a little bit. whether you call it a crack or distortion, who cares? But still, she did that, I think, on purpose. It still had a little bit more forward ring to it but it also had this (wide, tight sounding)
aaaah- aaaah this… this cry, this hoarseness to it and I… that’s from the vowel. So it’s kind of interesting, she’s going back and forth between these really closed vowels er-er-er not even super closed, just how you would with speech, and I love that, I think she’s great at that, and then when she opens it up, sometimes she holds onto that forward feeling and sometimes she just opens it to a almost pure chest sound. But when she does that it’s to get a, a more yelly, more cry just a sadder sound. I think that she’s doing it on purpose but I do think she needs to just increase the legato all the way through and make sure that she’s not over-compressing because that becomes a thing also, is if you’re over-narrowing then it starts compressing too much and it just… it’s not as fun. (Plays video) ♪ All of me ♪ All of me
(Spoken over the top) And that’s awesome. ♪ All of me
(Crowd cheers) ♪ Me, oh (Pauses video)
I love that She starts from a very clear, forward place It’s not super loud, it’s probably like a five or six, but then when she comes back down, she gets breathy. She started with her cords together and then she just let the amount of resistance go away until it was mostly breath coming through for the last note. (Plays video) ♪ Me, oh, no, no (Backing music plays) (Crowd cheers over backing music) (Crowd applauds at the end of the song) (Pauses video)
I have heard her sing before where these “problems” that I’m talking about don’t really come into play so I do think that most of what she’s doing is by choice just because she wants to do this, but this is also 58 minutes into a set and I don’t care who you are after singing for 58 minutes straight the… you might get a little bit tired and if you’re not doing everything technically the exact, right way like, it’s… People’s bodies are biological. If you work out for an hour, you’re gonna feel something. If you sing for an hour, you’re gonna feel something. What we can do is just try to minimise that and I do think that just relaxing that little bit it wouldn’t affect the vowel too much. She’s already got a very um, open, rich sound I think that just relaxing the vowel a little bit more would only help increase the richness of her sound. She could keep that forward placement with that more open vowel though I’m not very sure why she didn’t do that, other than, sometimes, when you get tired, the coping mes- mechanisms that we use, the things to try to deal with being tired, are sometimes a little bit… not right, they can hold us back like, for me, sometimes when I get really tired, I end up just pushing a little bit too much and it… it feels like, “Oh no, I’m tired, I need to help it,” but it actually hurts it, I need to just bring it back, relax a little bit into it and remind myself not to push. So, if I’m right about this which I might be but who knows? I think that just doing a few of these things to help relax through the set I would just want to make sure that everything she’s doing is intentional rather than a choice made because she’s fatigued. Thank you for watching, please like and subscribe. Go check out the description below where I have links to my Patreon, my Instagram and my website, where you can go sign up for a voice lesson over Skype or FaceTime. Thank you.

About James Carlton

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100 thoughts on “Voice Teacher Reacts to Evanescence – My Immortal (Live)

  1. They’d been touring the acoustic show for quite a lengthy period… guess that was very taxing on her voice, but kudos, she still pulls it off amazingly <3

  2. I think reviewing her singing this while she's playing piano would be better, that's her comfort zone. And how she usually preforms it.

  3. I think she is singing as someone crying out of her sadness. You know how voices break up when your choking back tears. I think she is portraying this song in that manner.

  4. Amy is known for her emotional performances. She has one of the most beautiful and clear voices I have ever heard on a female mainstream singer. I would describe her voice as hauntingly.beautiful and it stays with you. Most of her songs are about internal struggles, depression, grief, addictions. hence why so much pain in her voice. Funny about the breathy voice at times it hardly ever seems to change the beautiful performance. It seems to add to the pain and emotion she is trying to convey. She is incredible live.

  5. Are you aware they claimed your Chester Bennington doing rolling in the deep? Gutted cause I wanted to hear it but it's blocked in my country.

  6. Wow this is backwards. An unknown is critiquing a know and successful singer. Shouldn't it be the other way around. We know she's qualified. She won like 20 awards and countless nominations. I'm confused as to what you bring to the table? She has millions of fans. You have 576k. Your very arrogant. Why don't you guys criticize someone from a reality show about people who want to be singers. Your at least qualified for that.

  7. She is so talented. Singer, songwriter, plays the piano, guitar, bit of harp, draws, paints, designs and makes some of her own clothes, not to mention wife and mother!

  8. Thanks for the interesting reaction. I totally agree. I listened to other, not live recordings. It sounds easier , more relaxed than the live version. My voice teacher told, me that this is not an easy song to sing.Your comments are helpful for me, because I'm currently working on that song.

  9. She’s classically trained.. And the mouth positioning and pronunciations are the way a properly educated voice teacher would teach.
    I know because I studied under one.

  10. She is so nasally and the pronunciation of most of her words make her words muddy, that's not to say I am not a fan, just what I hear. Side note, I could never watch her live and be a fan.

  11. Amy lee is the reason I did a capella choir for 4 years, and still want to take singing lessons. I love her so much!
    I will add, this isnt her best one, and I've seen her live before, the live performance i saw was better. I've heard she had a hard time with some concerts due to being sick, and not allowing much time to recover. This may have been those days she was having a hard time.

  12. Please notice me. PLEASE LISTEN TO HER LIVE PERFORMANCE OF "SPEAK TO ME" in one of their Synthesis Live shows. She wrote and sang that as a track for a horror film released last year if I'm not mistaken. Just search Speak To Me Live (Synthesis) [synthesis is their most recent album which showcases an orchestral type of Evanescence which is far from their rock genre, and that 'My Immortal' video you reacted for is one of their reinvented synthesis version of it).

  13. “I prefer the one where she makes it more legato, it’s easier” she’s doing it for effect…it’s how she wanted the song to be, how easy it is isn’t really relevant

  14. Hi! I suggest you to react to Monica Naranjo's live version of Europe! (maybe you had already done it… Hehe) If not, just give it a try! It's impressive her vocal regist

  15. https://youtu.be/W1ryohVnN_g
    PLEASE REACT TO HER LIVE PERFORMANCE OF "SPEAK TO ME" during their Synthesis Tour please please link is below and above!! This is a song she wrote and sang for a film earlier last year (if I'm not mistaken with the date).
    PLEASE CHECK IT OUT THANK YOU!
    https://youtu.be/W1ryohVnN_g

  16. 😂 at you trying to tell Amy Lee how she should sing
    Next it will be Kelly Clarkson 🙄
    you probably think Taylor Swift is a master vocalist SMH 🤮

  17. I would be curious to see how some of these artists would react to watching these vocal coach reaction videos.
    I’m sure they would appreciate the videos & would probably agree with some of the comments – like, I could see someone agreeing about how tired they were after singing for an hour, lol!

  18. I don’t sing. I know nothing about singing. But I stumbled across your channel and have been OBSESSED. I had no idea there was so much involved with singing!!!! It’s been so educational. And you are just SO nice and knowledgeable!!! LOVE!!!!

  19. When you’re at the level of understanding where the sound is when you sing, you have done some work. Placing the sound forward in your face, your chest, the roof of your mouth, that’s not an overnight progression. Breathing and hours of practice to get that technical stuff worked out. It’s great to see these videos, thank you.

  20. I can appreciate her voice, but personally I really struggle to listen to singers where you can hear such obvious breaths. I focus on them and I find it so distracting. Why do some singers do it? Is it bad technique?

  21. Sam- could you give your opinion on the ‘pop style vocal?’ I took a few lessons from a teacher who only taught this way and hated it.

  22. Every Time i heard the song in the background i was annoyed. I got a feeling of claustrophobia and choking feeling gasping for air and an nasal sound a very depressing song. I just did not like hearing her pushing and gasping for air. I never was compelled to pay attention to the words because it felt painful and i did not like the feeling the song conveyed.

  23. I’m pretty sure that there was a video for you reacting to female metal singers but I can’t find it anymore. Have you removed that video?

  24. I just came across your videos the other day, and I absolutely love you! I love your explanations so much. I’ve been watching your videos for hours now haha!

  25. I’ve found that when I sing in recitals, that swallowing really helps if my voice is in a tense spot. Love your videos! I feel like I’m learning a lot built on the knowledge I already get from voice lessons.

  26. It’s my day off and I am supposed to be unpacking boxes I’ve just moved house and and I have been watching your videos all day 😂🤦🏻‍♀️ I’ve subscribed now, I am hooked haha it’s 1pm in the UK right now I’ve been watching since 10am

  27. He sounds a but like john malcovich. Very well enunciated. Love a bit of enunciation its so rsre these days I cannot understand a word of most music. Modern anyway.

  28. I totally get the way he descibres things emotionally… But I also think the tiredness and tension is maybe part of the emotional content of the song no? Never heard it before but it sounds like she's singing about a miserable time a frustrating long tiring stressful emotionally wrecking horrible break up I'm guessing… And then I'm guessing when she loosens up that's when she's going to sing about some good thing or lifting emotion. Like if she sang it all perfectly without the tension and stuff would it emote the same way? …oh then she is singing about he wiped all her tears but it sounds boring…like she's maybe not feeling it or something… Maybe she's just not feeling the song like you write a song when you feel it and then the fans want you to sing it when the emotions are passed. Which is the sad thing about tours really. And if they don't…. Sing the expected songs that bore them to hell by now… The audience can turn on you…walk out. Its a bit odd cos just when I thought the song was going to start it ended lol! He's so understanding and emotionally intellegenas well as technically adept. he's awesome.

  29. Much of this is just the style of the song, it's supposed to feel pained. She sounds like she's crying. She does a really great job at putting pain into these songs about depression and grief.

  30. She is breaking her air for emotional effect. But I agree, I love how she sounds when she connects her phrases, they just ring so nicely especially with her bell-like voice.

  31. 5:42 I think she did right to break it (and in general the staccato in contrast to legato). At least in my ears, it somehow enhanced the feeling of "crying" she kept through the song…

  32. I thought the tension gave the song more emotion, but I’m musically ignorant which may have given me a different experience * shrug *

  33. Sam you are fantastic. I love that you are so positive about your analyzation. I wish I could afford lessons with you… maybe one day! Thanks for the great videos! – Lindsay

  34. I have no interest in voice lessons, but if I did, I can't imagine a better teacher than Sam. He's incredible and comes across as very patient and encouraging. Wow.

  35. I feel like people didn’t like Evanescence because they seemed too goth try-hard. But goddamn Amy Lee has a beautiful voice. I loved the combination of rock and her angelic voice.

  36. I'm not a very technical listener I just enjoy music that sounds good to my ears. I've always loved Amy Lee and evanescence. What you say makes so much sense of what I have always heard in her live performances. If you watch more of her lives she does tend to have a more closed mouth and even on her bigger notes she tends to be short and wide with her mouth. I think it lends to the rock vibe she has. She has this beautiful almost classical voice with an edge to it. And her vowel usage does tend to make her classical voice sound edgy which I believe makes her sound like a bad ass angel lol.

  37. I mean.. I've never heard her live before but doesn't she sound like she's trying to hold back crying? It sounds like cry-breathing if that makes sense. Would explain short breath and a more stoccato sound

  38. Amy Lee has one of the most AMAZING underrated voices EVER. It makes me so sad for the people that lip sync and use other "help" while singing (like singing over their own prerecorded songs). It drives me BONKERS!

  39. Love love love her voice and her music! That said, I personally feel like, in this performance, she’s covering up vocal damage, or possibly a recent cold or illness, by trying too hard to “sound like herself”. It would explain why she’s pushing so much chest and running out of air. What others are hearing as distortion, I’m hearing as a crackle from a dry and tired voice. That is just what I hear. 🤷‍♀️

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