Rock The Voice: Vocal Harmonies

A Tip for Learning Vocal Harmonies… 

Adding harmonies to your background vocals helps bring your songs to life, and it gives them character. Harmony is when you combine a minimum of 2 notes to the main vocal line.  For example, on a piano the G major chord consists of 3 notes, G (root note), B (third note), and D (fifth note).  The B and D notes are harmonizing with the G which is the root note.

As a singer, it’s important to know how to harmonize.  I recall a point in my journey as an artist, it was difficult for me to sing harmonies, and I always jumped to different notes.  It was very frustrating recording songs!  Before I learned how to find the harmony, I would have my producer at the time sing and record the background vocals, and I would go into the recording booth and record over his vocals so I could stay on my note.  I was so embarrassed, but many singers actually have this issue.

 The reason why a lot of singers have trouble hearing harmony notes is because we are so used to singing the lead vocals/main vocal line.  Learning how to hear harmonies and holding your note is a skill that can be learned!  I became so frustrated, it forced me to learn how to hear harmonies.  

If this is you… here’s my tip: 

The key to learning harmonies is to start studying songs, and instead of singing the lead…start singing the background vocals, and practice hearing each note.  You will know the lead vocal note, so practice hearing and singing the harmony.  This also helps train your ear. 

The more you work on it, you will begin to hear songs and immediately identify the harmonies.  If it helps, practice with another singer. 

It takes time, it takes work, and it doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are determined to learn how to hear harmony… I promise, you can do it! 

Cheers!

– Candice F.