WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT?
Check out this 1 minute sizzle reel for a preview of today’s lesson!
(View the full tutorial below!)
IS SINGING IN HARMONY STILL SCARY TO YOU?
Have you ever had to sing a harmony part in a choir or a musical, and when it comes time to do it, you chicken out and sing the melody and hope nobody notices?
It’s ok, your secret is safe with me. I’m here to help!
Well, last week in “Harmony – Part 1” we started working with tracking vocals and figuring out how to sing in harmony! Harmony can be SUPER fun! It can also be very intimidating if you’re not confident or haven’t had much experience holding your own part (or if you’ve chickened out in the past, amirite?). My goal for these lessons is to break it down so you can still understand the function without having to know too much about theory itself (Yay!).
Of course, the more you learn about theory (the maths and underbelly of the musical language), the better off you’ll be… (Think about it this way: You’re living in a country where the native language is different from your own, so you’ve learned a handful of phrases to get by. You learn phrases like, “Water please,” “Can I have the check?” “Excuse me” “Thank you.” and a few other phrases. You’ll be fine for a while, but eveeeeeeentually you’ll need to learn more of the language to really thrive. Same with music theory.) To some people learning theory can be intimidating or *GASP* uninteresting. I hear you. The idea of sight singing in my theory class at NYU used to TERRIFY me, and I was fairly advanced! But like any other skill, the more you do it, the easier it gets.
OK, LET’S DO IT. WHERE DO WE START?
In our last lesson we talked about finding the “do” or the “1”, which can usually be found at the end of the chorus, or the end/resolution of the song. We do this so that our ear can hear “home base” and we have an idea of where the other notes sit based on “do re mi fa sol la ti do” or “1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1”. Establishing this in our ear will help us as we attempt harmony!
This week we’ll talk about listening for a harmony that’s already written into the song, and then figuring out a 3rd part (not in the song) to train our ears to find harmony!
Ear training means what it sounds like–it refers to exercises that develop the accuracy of your ear in regards to pitch, harmony, and chord progression movement. I’ll go into this more next week, but for today’s lesson, ear training refers specifically to identifying the pitches of the starting chord, and then how to move along with the established line.
For the full Harmony Video Tutorial: Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons”, press play on the video below!
BONUS practice track for you to work on 3-part harmomy!
I hope you enjoyed this! I love hearing about your victories, comment below and let me know how it’s going! Also let me know if you have any struggles, or if you have requests! I’d love to teach you what you want to learn!
March is #RiffsRunsImprov Month!
Week 1: Learn a Tori Kelly run!
Week 4: Harmony PART 2 – find 3 part harmony in Lady Gaga’s “Million Reasons” (That’s this!)
For Weekly #TipTuesday's
Tune in for next week’s #TipTuesday, for more tutorials for #riffsrunsimprov month! If you have any requests for runs or anything else you want to learn, comment below!
MORE HELPFUL INFO!
There are lots of youtube tutorials for how to use Audacity, but to slow down the tempo of an mp3, you’ll want to 1. import the track (just drag and drop it into the terminal),
2. highlight the area you want to slow,
3. click “Effect” in the menu at the top,
4. and then click “Change TEMPO” from the drop down menu. Make sure you DON’T use “change speed”. This will warp the pitch as you move the tempos around.
5. Finally, to make the tempo slower, use numbers like -10.0, or -20.0. You will have to play around with the numbers to achieve the desired tempo change.
The only tricky issue I’ve had with audacity is that the base program you download does not allow you to save your recording as an mp3. You can save it to a .wav file, but those are very large, and if you want to email it, it might be too big. To save to an mp3 in audacity, for windows and mac you’ll need the LAME MP3 encoder.
This tutorial will walk you through how to install this mp3 encoder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aL7e6fpCfI
Once you’re all set there, you can now save to an mp3 by selecting “File” in the menu, and then “Export Audio”.