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FDP Forum / Sing, Sing, Sing! - Vocalist's Forum / Finding harmony notes

Contributing Member

Basking Ridge, NJ,

Mar 9th, 2011 12:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

My band is lucky in that 4 of us have decent to very good lead voices. Our problem is in doing background vocals, we don't seem to be able to find harmony notes very well. The backing vocals are sometimes flat, even off-key. I am probably the biggest offender. While I'm fair at singing the melody, I can't seem to find a note that blends with the lead vocal. I know that you should try to find the 3rd or 5th for a harmony note, but I can't seem to 'get it.' Any suggestions appreciated.




hmm Hairy Eyeball not just for breakfast
Mar 9th, 2011 02:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

if you have a keyboard player have that person play the chord then the single notes in the triad for each person.

Play the first note and have the vocalist match it. then the second and have the 2nd vocalist match and add the first... build till you have the harmony

Contributing Member

Basking Ridge, NJ,

Mar 9th, 2011 03:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, gman! Our keyboard player is not a singer himself, maybe that's why he didn't come up with that idea. We'll try it tomorrow.


Contributing Member

Huntington Beach

Merry New Year!
Mar 9th, 2011 03:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

You can also do it with your guitar if you know the intervals of the chord you're singing over.

I've been working on this alot myself, since my duet partner wants to do Beatles stuff and lucky me, I get to be Paul. I think I'm doing much better than he's doing! I've been practicing my singing drills, and have been able to do a halfway passable job. Since Paul is always so high pitched and defining in his backup harmonies, my partner keeps jumping up into my harmony line (and choking!) instead of staying on the melody.

Believe it or not, but I think one of the best ways to find each of your starting points is to do the good old Three Stooges "Helloooo, Helloooo, Helloooooo" routine. It covers the root, 3rd, and 5th nicely and sustains long enough for you to get blended.

clark bjorke
Contributing Member

Eastern Shore

Zero Tolerant
Mar 18th, 2011 07:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

I went to a harmony singing workshop with Dede Wyland who taught basically what gman is saying to do. It works!

FDP Forum / Sing, Sing, Sing! - Vocalist's Forum / Finding harmony notes

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