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Unread 06-09-2004, 02:05 PM   #1
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A vocal harmony thread

I help out with worship for our youth group, and we have two main vocalists. However, at this point they are most comfortable singing the melody (rather than assigning a harmony part) so I have started to sing harmonies. However, I only know a couple and am always interested in learning more as it adds so much to the sound. I think it'd be great if people could post harmonies that they know (either record themselves or make a midi file or whatever). Also, if someone wants to learn harmonies for certain songs they could always ask. AFAIK, there's nowhere to find harmonies besides sheet music.

For me, I know some harmonies for "Light of the world", "Unashamed Love", and a couple other common PW songs. I'll post them when I get a chance.

I would really love to learn a harmony for "Blessed by Your name", especially the "every blessing You pour out..." part.

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Unread 06-09-2004, 02:26 PM   #2
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I don't ussually use a set harmony for songs when I sing. I tend to listen for a while and just and try and sing what sounds best. I used to be really bad at harmonies but then when I started singing on youth worship team here in Spokane, I was able to do some awesome harmonies. I know it was all because of God. I hadn't been working on any harmonies or anything up before that point. I think the key is to just listen carefully, listen to cd's that have great harmonies and ask God to help you out. Anyhow, that's my 2 cents worth!!
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Unread 06-09-2004, 02:45 PM   #3
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Good point regarding listening to CD's with harmonies, it really does help. Ten Shekel Shirt and Phillips, Craig & Dean have particularly nice ones. Still, I think it's helpful to hear what other people come up with, which helps my brain to think of more creative ways to harmonize (my harmonies have a tendency to sound the same, always a third above the melody note).
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Unread 06-11-2004, 07:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmphan
Good point regarding listening to CD's with harmonies, it really does help. Ten Shekel Shirt and Phillips, Craig & Dean have particularly nice ones. Still, I think it's helpful to hear what other people come up with, which helps my brain to think of more creative ways to harmonize (my harmonies have a tendency to sound the same, always a third above the melody note).
I used to suck at harmonies and just recently I've actually been able to do them pretty well (at least compared to me before!)...try singing harmonies from below the melody sometimes if the melody goes that high (and you can sing that low) to change things up a bit. Just experiment, sing along with CDs, the radio, whatever until you start to think more outside of the box when it comes to harmonizing. Although sometimes a simple third above or something harmony is best...when in doubt, don't overdo it. Less is more.
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Unread 06-12-2004, 01:08 AM   #5
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I'm a big fan of lower harmonies.

But I really wanted to just say that the best advice I've heard about learning harmonies is simply to practice listening (to others, CD's, the radio, voices in your head, etc) and then doing.

Oh, I also haven't seen anyone else mention it yet, so I'll also say that most songs can have an entire harmony part done with two notes... it's usually pretty easy to find them cause when you do it will sound good (assuming you have a good ear and can hear good harmonies... which leads us back to practicing listening).
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Unread 06-12-2004, 05:41 AM   #6
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I sing harmony all the time.. most of the time I sing it with sheet music but I am so used to it now that I can sing harmony to amlost anything you can throw at me. I enjoy the challenge. All you have to do it listen and figure out what sounds best. If you are unsuer, just sing the third of the note above of below the melody line.. it works really well and it not all that hard to figure out! Good luck!

Peace,
Rhonda.
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Unread 06-12-2004, 08:56 AM   #7
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Also, I don't know if you have access to a guitar or not, but if you listen to the guitar, you can find harmonies that way. They'll play your harmony notes at times. Whenever I harmonize, I usually just listen to the guitar and the melody and it sounds good.
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Unread 06-17-2004, 10:23 AM   #8
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a few tips:

1) One word: Oldies. Flip to your nearest oldies station and start singing with that stuff. The melody is normally really simple to pick up on and there are very rarely and weird chord changes. This is an EXCELLENT way to start. A lot of the harmonies already there are good too. Just check out oldies instead of modern stuff. The harmonies are way better.

2) Think of your harmony as it's on melody. Don't just try to stack notes on top of the melody or that is what it will sound like. Make your harmony go somewhere. Play around with different notes and see what sounds best.

3) You really aren't going to find anyone to give you harmonies and you won't learn that way anyway. It sounds good now, but it will do you no good in the future if you are 'spoon-fed' this stuff now. Listen to other people and just practice ALL the time with whatever you happen to be listening to.

4) If you play an instrument (guitar, piano, etc.) great! If not, find someone that does. Go through different chord patterns and stuff. Just basic Praise and worship. (GCDC, GDEmC, CAmGF, etc.). Don't try to sing the melody if it's a song you know. Just make up a melody to go over it. The more that you are listening to the chord changes and the music the more you will be able to make great harmonies.

That's all i've got for now. Hope this helped...
-shane
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Unread 06-17-2004, 10:06 PM   #9
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Thanks so much for all the advice. I suppose asking for harmonies is similar to asking for strum patterns; it seems like it would help, but it's mostly something you have to practice (by listening and doing), experiment with, and "feel." On the Tab request forum, someone asked for the strum pattern to Sixpence's "Kiss me." I listened to it, figured out the pattern, and realized it would be very difficult to relay that info to the poster because it's not necessarily a set formula; it's more a general feel that you apply. Well, thanks again for the advice, I actually feel better now about trying to figure out my own harmonies (I can use my geetar to help).
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