Written two part harmonies
October 12, 2010 7:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me find online (or other) sources of written out two part vocal harmonies.

I'm trying to teach myself to sing in harmony and would like to find transcriptions that I can use to learn the harmony part. I've seen this and this but so far my only harmony success has come from a written out harmony for "Blowin' in the Wind" where I was able to gradually learn the part and then sing it against a recording of myself. I see comments like "just go up/down a third and stay parallel to the melody" or "just listen to what John is singing and then what Paul is singing and duplicate it" and I would be absolutely thrilled if I could do either of these things, but I need some way to get myself to that level. When I try to listen to harmonies I can't pick out the separate voices, instead I hear something "monolithic". I can read music well enough to slowly pick out a single line on my guitar, and would like to find more written out harmonies to practice with. Music that I am already familiar with would be more enjoyable, so either American folk music or rock/pop from the 50's to today (along the lines of the second included link). Also any other suggestions on how to learn this skill would be appreciated. I did try working through a "Hear Harmony" CD, and was able to do the rounds and parallel "Do-Re-Mi" exercises OK, but then they jumped into "just sing along a third above" and lost me.
posted by doctord to Media & Arts (2 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
IMHO, the best way to learn to sing and hear harmony is from a basic musicianship or singing class of some sort, or to work with a fellow musician friend or instructor. In my experience, there's no real substitute for sitting down and learning with and from other musicians. Heck, if you can sing and read music, consider joining a choir.

That being said - Since you have music reading skills, a place to start might be learning to sing and recognize intervals. This site looks like a good tool, though I didn't nose around it extensively. Someone with better Google-fu than myself may be able to find a better app to help you with this.

If you'd like to use The Beatles as a launching point, I *think* the complete scores have all the vocal harmonies transcribed. I can think of worse ways to spend an afternoon than reading and learning to sing those harmonies with a friend. :-)
posted by pianoboy at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2010

Response by poster: The "Complete Scores" look like a good place to start, and apparently my local library has a copy. Thanks. I've also come across a Beach Boys site if anyone is interested.
posted by doctord at 3:39 PM on October 12, 2010

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