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Tips on accompanying a vocalist.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by AlphaMale, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. AlphaMale


    Oct 30, 2006
    Ventura County
    This chick wants me to play a song with her. She's going to sing, she sent me a part of teh song she made but like how does one accompany a melody. Like It woudl be easy for me to lay down a rhythm and she do a melody off of it but she has already done the melody and I have to squeeze in an accompaniment.
  2. DocBop


    Feb 22, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    This should give you some ideas.... Great example of backing a singer.


    Playing bass in duo's is pretty common. The hard part is many singers time isn't too good, or they change things up while playing so you have to stay alert. Remember keep it simple you are the "drums" as well as the bottom holding the harmony together.
  3. Zebra


    Jun 26, 2005
    Is the melody something she's written herself, or is it from a song? Accompanying a singer is just like any other sort of playing you'll do, but you just need to be wary of the lack of other instruments and how you're going to work with that.
    How is your theory? The best idea would be to write a chord progression for her melody, and you should know what to do from there.
  4. The BurgerMeister

    The BurgerMeister musician.

    Apr 13, 2006
    Big Bear, CA
  5. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    So she only has the melody done that she is going to sing, nothing more? Then you have free hands to play whatever you like :) ..well almost... ;) You have to first find out the key and then a chord progression that suits the melody. Then find out a bassline for the chord progression.

    Btw, how experienced is she as a singer? I mean, singing over only a bassline is rather demanding. Play clear and well-defined notes so she hears the pitches clearly. It helps if you don't play too low notes, try staying on the thinner strings instead. Avoid playing too high up on the neck, especially on the E and A strings.

    I'd disagree a bit with DocBop and say bass/vocal duos are rather uncommon. But it depends on what you compare it to, of course... :)
  6. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    That's probably a matter of where you're from.

    Maybe if the singer is good enough you could go for like a counterpoint type approach. But, it's probably a good idea to ask for a chord progression. If she doesn't have one, find a few ways to harmonize though it and then play them for her asking which one(s) she prefers.
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