How to Sing Harmony

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Do want to know how to sing harmony? Harmony can add incredible depth to a song when two or more people successfully sing together in different pitches. Successful harmonizing creates a beautiful sound. On the other hand, people who attempt harmony singing without the right skills create a cacophony of sounds that are difficult to endure.

Start With the Scales

With harmony, one person sings a song using one pitch while another person sings in a different pitch and/or adds notes around the original pitch.

To sing harmony, start by becoming familiar with the major and minor scales. A scale is really only a set of 8 successive notes within one octave, named with the letters A to G.

The major scale has note intervals that run whole-whole-half-whole-whole-whole-half. A minor scale has note intervals that run whole-half-whole-whole-half-whole-whole.

When you sing harmony, the notes are usually from a major scale.

Find Two Voices

When someone sings harmony, they sing around the original pitch and melody. The first person begins by singing a note from the melody. The chord can also be played on a guitar or another instrument.

The second person will join in singing the same note, taking it to the next higher or lower pitch.

This process is basically repeated multiple notes throughout a song, with the second voice singing above or below the melody the whole time.

Making Harmony Work

When you are first learning harmony, you will need to get really comfortable with the song. Many instructors recommend learning both voice parts.

Normally it takes a lot of practice to make harmony work, but there are those lucky few who seem to be able to join a melody at a different pitch with ease. It’s called on-the-fly harmony, because the harmonizer just jumps right into the song and begins singing.

A person who can do on-the-fly harmony has a knack for quickly finding center pitch and the melody. After listening to the melody for a small amount of time, they can determine the pitch and melody and then start singing. These are the same steps used in ear training.

In fact, the exercises for ear training can be used to develop harmony skills as well. For example, you can play a particular note on a piano, determine the pitch, and then imagine yourself singing it. Next, you would actually sing it along with the note on the piano. Try it again, but this time sing a note higher than the note played on the piano. The third time, sing a note lower than the piano note.

If you take online singing lessons, some programs have interactive pianos and voice feedback. Using the software, you can practice matching pitch and then going higher and lower. Practice is the best way to develop accurate pitch.

No Mystery

Harmony is used in many different types of singing, including country music, pop music, and rock music. The Oak Ridge Boys were famous for their ability to blend four very different voices into a melody with two or more harmonizing.

Skillful harmonizers make it look simple. The principles behind this type of singing are actually not difficult to comprehend, but it takes practice to learn how to correctly identify pitch and then drop higher or lower.

To learn how to sing harmony, the best approach is to take singing lessons.

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