Different ways to sing backup vocals and harmonies?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by RicPlaya, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. RicPlaya


    Apr 22, 2003
    The Mitten
    I recently started getting more serious about my vocals. Aside from singing the same note or an octive above or below the lead singer while doing backups what are some other ways to do backups? What about different types of techniques with 3 or more singers? I've heard this done, by not exactly sure what they are doing to accomplish that?
  2. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003
    Think of chords (triads). During the chorus, when most vocal harmonies happen, the singer is ussually hitting a chord tone. Harmonize with him by singing a thrid (or fifth) above or below the note he's hitting.

    Of course it is easier said than done, and like you, I ussually backup a vocalist with octaves.

  3. WesC


    Nov 18, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Are you improvising or singing on cover tunes? I've found that when improvising, start by singing 4ths or 5ths that will make sure you don't hit some non-diatonic note that will stand out like a bull in a China shop! ;) You can work from there.

    In cover tunes though, if there is a harmony there you should hear it on the recording. Sometimes if you add it in when its not the tune can sound "wrong" That all depends on the song, the style, where you're harmonizing and how much of it you're adding. Tastefully done it can work. just don't overdo it. As far as what notes, any notes out of the chords should work as long as they are fairly close to the melody. Just use your ears. :)