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How to Sing Harmony

Learn how to sing harmony in this Howcast online singing lesson featuring singer Anya Singleton.


Anya:Hi. I'm Anya Singleton, and this is my friend and accompanist Matt Gallagher. We're going to talk about how to sing harmony.

I think the easiest way to do that is to just take a very simple chord. We're going to break it down into each of the notes. Then what this will enable you to do is basically learn how to harmonize with a note within a chord, which is the easiest way to learn how to sing harmony in a song. Matt's going to help me out with this one. We're just going to do a B-Flat major chord. He's going to play it first. The root of the chord, or the bottom note, is a B-Flat.

Then if I wanted to harmonize with that, the easiest, and oftentimes the most ear-pleasing sound that people tend to pick, is to go 1/3 above. Then that would enable you to work within a song and build from there. You could also go up to the 1/5. You could even do something funky. Should we do a 1/6 or 1/7? You want to do 1/7?


Anya:Okay. When we talk about pop songs for example, those are a lot of the harmonies you would hear in a pop song. We figure it's easiest to just start with a note, and then you can work from there. You always want to think about what chords are in the song and how are they made up? Again, if you play that B-Flat major chord . . . and can you break out the notes we just played? I sang all the other notes, and Matt stayed on the bottom note.

Now I'm going to move with Matt. We're going to keep that idea of what we were talking about as 1/3. If you can just play 1/3 again. What we're going to do is we're going to move together, so that you can think about how you're moving within the chord when you're singing harmony with someone else.

Then when we're going to do that, the other thing that you want to think about is when you're signing in harmony with someone, you want to think about that fact that you're singing with someone. You want to try to make your voices blend well, so that . . . as you notice, Matt and I were singing at the same volume in the same space. We were breathing at the same time, we were working together. It isn't a situation where I was doing a lead vocal and he was doing backup singing, we were actually singing together, and that's very important if you're going to sing harmony.

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