Singing in Harmony
Singing in harmony is different from other types of singing; you’re going to be singing with other people in a chorus or choir, not alone. So, there are some steps to take in learning singing in harmony properly:
- A Good Way to Get Started Singing in Harmony: the first step in learning about singing in harmony is to learn about singing along with a tune of a slightly different pitch. So, find – or write – a simple five note tune that you can tap out on a piano. A short tune is best as it’s easier to memorize. Then, play each note and learn to sing along with the notes. Once you feel that you’re matching the tune properly, you’re ready to try singing in harmony. So, sing along with the tune, but at a third of an octave above each note. Once you’ve mastered that, you can expand both the length of the song and how far above (or below) the tune you sing.
- A Strong Singer: another good first step in singing in harmony – once you’ve joined a chorus or choir – is to situate yourself near a strong singer of a similar type to yourself. So, if you’re a soprano, a bass etc, get with someone in the group who’s also that. During practice, listen to them, and try to match their efforts – it can be a good way to learn how to sing your part properly which is essential for singing in harmony.
- Learn Every Part: it doesn’t matter which part of the group you sing, learn the parts to the song(s), and sing them as well – in practice only. This way, you build an understanding of the entire musical piece you’re going to sing, not merely your section along. As a result, you’ll develop a greater feeling of confidence concerning singing in harmony in your individual portion. Now, you’ll always want to focus on your section in singing in harmony, but by knowing the entire song, you can always keep track of where you are in the song.
- Find Your Balance: one key element of singing in harmony is making sure that your voice fits in with the other voices in the group. On the one hand, you don’t want your voice so big and loud that you overpower the other members’ voices when singing in harmony, but you also don’t want to sing so weakly that no one can hear you. So, to ensure that you are truly singing in harmony, get together with the other members of the group on a regular basis and practice together.
- Don’t Fade Out: this goes back to point #2 and not singing so softly that no one hears you. Remember this always: it is far easier to sing “big” (as they say), to sing loudly, and learn to pull your volume down than it is to sing softly and try to build yourself up. So, while you need to practice with the group for singing in harmony – to find your balance – you also need to sing on your own and practice as if you’re going to be singing all by yourself. That way, you’ll learn to sing out good and loud.
Singing in harmony means giving up a bit of your individuality; yet not merely becoming one among many. The voices of a harmony group are like the threads of a tapestry; they must all blend together to create a thing of beauty. Singing in harmony is a challenge, but one worth working for.