Some Fun Ways To Learn How To Sing Harmony
Learning how to sing harmony can prove to be difficult even for the most talented of singers out there. Most people can pick out the melody of a song fairly easily. This is usually the line of arranged notes within a song that most stands out in the ears of the listeners. If listening to a song on the radio with only a single vocal being performed, most likely, this is the melody of the song.
If suddenly you can tell when listening to a song that you can hear two different vocal performances at the same time, most likely, one is the melody and one is the harmony. In the case of several vocals being performed together, usually one voice stands as the melody while all of the others are performing some kind of harmony.
If you want to learn how to sing harmony, you should first start trying to notice what the harmony lines in your favorite songs sound like. Chances are, if you have never tried to listen for a harmony, you might not even realize that most popular recorded songs these days usually have a harmony line performed on at least one part, if not every part.
So, go through all of your favorite songs in your playlists and try to identify harmony vocals in all of them. If you find a few songs that you feel pretty sure you can pick out the harmony lines in, try listening to them over and over and seeing if you can match your voice to how those harmony lines sound.
You will most likely keep finding yourself defaulting accidentally and singing the melody. If you notice that you keep ending up singing the melody on a certain song, move on to another song and come back to the current song later. Sometimes when you get a melody too stuck in your head, it is very difficult to return to sticking with the harmony line again unless you are are already very skilled at it.
If you have a friend who also likes to sing, ask them to practice with you. Maybe each of you can take turns singing the melody and the harmony together, going back and forth, and seeing which parts you each like singing the most. Another cool way to try this, if you don’t have a friend to practice with, is to sing along to karaoke videos online that have harmony vocals added to them.
This is a cool way to get used to singing a melody against a harmony, and can train your ear to hear the difference. You can also, instead of singing the melody line while watching a karaoke video, try just singing along and matching your voice to the background harmony vocals.
Some of the best kinds of songs to learn very clear, basic harmony lines from, are oldies from the 50’s and 60’s eras of pop music. It was very common to use harmony vocals in songs back then, but they also had much less effects and filters applied to them at that time, meaning that the voices could all be heard very easily, and that they could be discerned from each other by most listeners.
As you begin to learn how to sing harmony, you might find yourself trying to make up your own harmonies for the melodies of songs that you often listen to. You might hear a melody and and start noticing your mind and your voice searching for where the harmony could be.
There is a great way to learn how to do this with the help of a piano or a musical keyboard. Try playing a single note on the piano, and singing it. Then play that note with one other note about two keys up on the keyboard. If these notes sound pretty together to you, that might mean that they could work well together as melody and harmony notes when singing.
Within a group of notes played together all at once to form one collective sound, known as a chord, a person can usually identify both a good melody note and good harmony note to sing together. If you have a friend who knows how to play chords on the piano, ask them to help you practice learning to sing different notes found in the chords together. This would be a fun way to train your ear even further so that you could more easily and readily find harmonies whenever you want to.
Consider listening to music performed by choirs, or as unpopular as these singing groups are in modern times, music performed by barbershop quartets. The whole point of these singing choirs and quartets is to feature more than just melody lines, and listening to them is a fun way to learn how to sing harmony.
A choir is divided up into four basic vocal parts which are commonly soprano and alto parts performed traditionally by females, and tenor and bass parts which are traditionally performed by males. There are some variations to this, and sometimes, depending on vocal range, women might be able to perform tenor parts and men might be able to perform soprano parts, although this is rare.
When listening to a choir, the sopranos, who are the singers performing the highest notes, often carry the melody of a piece of music, and the altos often perform the main harmony line to support the sopranos. Then the tenor and bass parts serve to round out the sound, just as a chord being played on a piano with several notes being played at once.
A barbershop quartet features four singers, and their melody and harmony lines are very carefully crafted in such a way to feature all four vocal parts within a song. Another great genre of music to listen to in order to develop a good ear for harmony is show tunes, or music featured in popular Broadway musicals.
If you can’t make it to a live musical theater performance, try watching some films made from musicals, or listening to the soundtracks of popular musicals wherever you can find them online.
If you can learn how to sing harmony, this might really impress your friends, especially ones who possibly never quite got the hang of it themselves, and then maybe you can teach them all of the cool tricks that you picked up while trying to train yourself. Just keep listening, keep practising, and never stop trying to improve.
Make sure to record yourself along the way to track your progress, and share your new and improved singing talents with everyone who is willing to listen.