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How to Sing in a Group

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

Transcript

Hi. I'm Anya Singleton, and we're going to talk about how to sing in a group. So when you're singing in a group, there's a lot of different groups that you can be singing in, and you have to change your singing maybe a little bit to determine what kind of group you are singing in. So let me give you an example.

Let's say that you are in a choir, and there are several people that are singing the same voice part you are. So let's say that the choir's broken into soprano, alto, tenor, bass, and you're an alto, and there's three other altos, and you guys have all the same music to sing. So you're going to want to do two things. You're going to want to blend with the other altos so that you guys sound like one unit together, and then you're going to want to also blend nicely with the rest of the group, even though you're singing different notes.

So singing in a choir means that you're working together with the other people in the group, and you guys are breathing at the same time, you're using the same dynamics. You're really working together as a team to make the piece of music become a realization.

Singing in a group, when you're singing in a band setting, can be very different, because sometimes you have a lead singer, or you have two lead singers, and you have backup vocals. So sometimes there's what we call give and take, where one singer will sing a line, and another singer will sing a line, and you're also working with the dynamics of loud instruments, which is going to change how you are able to sing in a group.

So you want to think about what kind of singing am I doing, and what needs to happen. Do I need to sound like the other people in the group, or am I allowed to kind of step out, make it my own thing? And then are there moments where I have to blend with everyone else?

So a good example of that is . . . I'm going to use the Beatles as an example of . . . if you take any of their classic songs, a lot of times, one of . . . you know, Paul or John would trade off a verse, and then everybody would sing together. And even though they're harmonizing, they're making sure they're all on the same page. But when it was their turn to shine, that was their turn to shine.

So while you're singing in a group, you want to think about: Do I need to sound like everybody else? Do I need to . . . are there moments where I can step out from the group?

But basically, the most important thing about singing in a group is listening, because even if it's you and you're the main singer, you're not going to get very far if you're not listening to what else is happening onstage. So if you're in a group, you have to listen to the other singers. You have to listen to the other musicians. And it really becomes about . . . the best people that sing in groups are people that are able to focus on what they are doing and also listen to everything around them.

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