Barbershop (singing) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Anyone out there in a chorus or quartet?

-- Little Quacker (, July 29, 2001


I'm not in any type of quartet or anything, but I need to learn how to sing harmony. I can hear it in the music and if someone helps me, I can pick up and sing the harmony part, but I am at a loss as to how to learn to figure it out myself. I play a little fiddle and my DH plays guitar and we occasionally play in public, old time and old hymns, etc. We would sound a lot better if I could do harmonies rather than just sing in unison. I would really appreciate any suggestions of how to learn to do this. Thanks.

-- Lori in SE Ohio (, July 30, 2001.

AHHHHHH, my favorite subject: singing! I sing any part I can reach. Am involved in singing regularly at church on what we call the worship team. We each hold mikes, and our small group has three parts; I sing tenor at present.

I grew up singing with my big mennonite family. Mom always tried to get us singing when it was time to do dishes, because it kept us from arguing. We sang in parts, from memory, all the way to church, which usually took a half hour. We 7 sisters still sing from memory (in three part harmony) whenever we get together. The 2 brothers can both sing a mean bass.

If music comes to you "by ear", then I would recommend you get yourself some tapes or cd's where they either have only a strong melody, or else have a good-four-part harmony. Listen well, and try to blend with the part you wish to learn. Practice makes perfect. It takes a lot of time. If you really want to learn it, plan to devote years before you get really good at it. Singing is simply a way of life to me. I sing to the cow while I milk her, I sing to the chickens while I gather the eggs. I sing all the way to church and all the way back home.

If you already know how to play a piano, or if music is difficult for you to "hear", you probably should get some piano lessons to help you learn to hear chords in your head. Once you begin to hear those chords, harmony will come easily.

When I was young, I would play melody on the piano and harmonise vocally. Then I would change off and play the inverted chords and sing melody. I still cant play by note, only by ear, because that is how music comes naturally to me. I can read music, but I have to translate it to "by ear" before I can play it, which means I never play it the way it is written.

-- daffodyllady (, July 30, 2001.

Hi, Lori! Listen, listen ,listen!Get yourself some Gaither tapes and listen to their harmonies. Thirds sounnd the best (intervals between melody and harmony) I sing on the worship team and my little boy and I sing in the car all the time. (I also play fiddle, self taught by listening and mimicing what I hear)

Listen to any groups that have a strong base player and you will feel the 3rd below the melody. Once you get the knoack of it, everyone will want you to sing harmony with them!

-- Peg (, July 30, 2001.

for Lori, you can contact the SPEBQSA(The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Singing in America) head quarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. There is probably a chapter in your area, the female counterpart to them is Sweet Adelines. LOts of fun. Lots of help with singing. Yes, life wouldn't be life without music! :-)

-- Little Quacker (, July 30, 2001.

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