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Harmonizing

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by brawdylucas, Aug 6, 2012.


  1. brawdylucas

    brawdylucas

    Mar 14, 2012
    What would all of you suggest for some tips on learning to harmonize with the lead singer, also for voice i am a Tenor
     
  2. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Jan 2, 2008
    If you have some basic working knowledge of theory and you have access to a piano. start with a root in any key and try to sing a 3rd or a 5th against it. these are probably the most common triads or stacks as there sometimes refered to. start there and just keep practicing till your ear becomes accustom to hearing those intervals.
     
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Minneapolis
    Learn the chords going with the melody. Try not to sing a harmony that drowns out a melody. Harmonies should be complementary. Listen to some great harmony vocal bands, and sing some of their parts together. It's great practice.
     
  4. brawdylucas

    brawdylucas

    Mar 14, 2012
    i know some theory about 3rds and 5ths so would you recommend just finding the note the singer sings and dropping to a 5th or going up to a 3rd or 5th
     
  5. bluesblaster

    bluesblaster

    Jan 2, 2008
    If you live near a metropolitan area Im sure you could find a voice coach or if your a student join some type of school choir.
     
  6. DBCrocky

    DBCrocky

    Oct 18, 2011
    Cary, NC
    For some reason, it's easier to find harmony parts when you start out by first singing in unison with the lead (singing the exact same part and same pitches). A good singer told me that one time and it helped me a lot.
     
  7. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Not so often "fifths", you'll get into trouble - occasional use, perhaps.

    Try thirds above the melody (as suggested) and sixths below.
     
  8. f.c.geil

    f.c.geil

    May 12, 2011
    Absolutely. I was a Vocal Jazz Performance major, and I still learn the lead first. After I've learned the lead part, I think about where harmony would sound good, then when he goes up, I'll go down (or vice versa) until I hear a pleasing harmony. Once I have that in my head, I try working out a harmony that moves in the same direction as the lead, but at a different interval.

    I also second getting a vocal coach to help you learn to hear harmonies, as hearing it in your head is the key. Once you can hear it, you can sing it.
     
  9. brawdylucas

    brawdylucas

    Mar 14, 2012
    Thank you all for the input i am actually enrolled in a school choir for the upcoming year
     
  10. JohnMCA72

    JohnMCA72

    Feb 4, 2009
    Singing harmony is a lot like playing bass!

    You want to find your own melody (i.e. sequence of notes) to sing that complements the lead vocal. It may be very similar, or it may be different. While the lead is changing in pitch, maybe your harmony will be holding steady on one, or a small number of different notes. Sometimes, it may be the opposite - the lead vocal holds on one note & the harmony "moves" up or down the scale. Sometimes it's appropriate to sing in unison with the lead. Sometimes you hold a note/syllable while the lead moves around it.

    In other words, it's a lot like playing bass!
     
  11. Duke21

    Duke21

    Nov 14, 2010
    Narvik, Norway
    I love harmonizing in thirds, lately I've also started using 6th.
     
  12. uethanian

    uethanian

    Mar 11, 2007
    depending on your range relative to the lead, start with either 3rds above or 6ths below. throw in some contrary motion for the occasional 4th or 5th. 2nds and 7ths can be used as passing tones or as suspensions (2nd to 3rd or 7th to either 6th or 8ve). avoid parallel motion (5th to 5th) when possible.
     
  13. brawdylucas

    brawdylucas

    Mar 14, 2012
    thank you all! also would it be helpful to use a keyboard for the theory work such as which harmony to sing, like if my singer is singing say a D would it be helpful for me to go back later to a keyboard later and go a 6th below or a 3rd or 5th above and see what sounds good
     
  14. 6jase5

    6jase5 Mammogram is down but I'm working manually

    Dec 17, 2007
    San Diego/LA
    I like to sing harmonies, but honestly I just sing what sounds good for the song. This isn't the best live example, but I have no idea if I'm singing 3rds, 5ths, etc. I kind of go for what sounds best for the mood. That said I wish I did actually know.
     
  15. I have never been trained professionally but for me I just listened to the lead singer and got other band members input until it sounded right. Not the most professional way of doing things but it works for us.
     
  16. mambo4

    mambo4

    Jun 9, 2006
    Dallas
    know the note the singer is singing.
    If they tend to 'wing it'...good luck
     
  17. patplaysbass

    patplaysbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 7, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Soon-to-be-ex Musician's Friend/Guitar Center Employee
    Listen to songs in the style you're playing and hear how others do it. Practice singing along with those songs, but singing the harmony instead of the melody. Then try to apply similar methods to your own music.
     
  18. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    sing along with the beatles, especially the early albums. copy Sir Paul or george parts
     
  19. JmJ

    JmJ

    Jan 1, 2008
    NYC
    Start and end on a different note just don't meet in the middle. But seriously, all of the above.
     
  20. I was just about to say that! There's also The Moody Blues who had some good harmonizing.
     

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