How To Sing A Duet Correctly – How Do You Harmonize When Your Singing A Duet

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— How to sing a duet correctly – How do you harmonize when your singing a duet.

The most important thing about singing a duet, is finding a partner that has a singing voice that blends well with yours. There should be some chemistry between you, that makes singing a love song believable. When you sing to each other, your eyes should meet, and it should show feelings between you both. It is a form of acting and takes practice. If it is not a love song, and sung between two of the same sex, there needs to be a presence about each of you, which reveals feelings such as humor, or friendship, or even a bit of the comic showing though.

Remember, that not all duets are between opposite sexes, nor are they all love songs. A duet is when any two people sing and share a song together, They could be having a humorous time together, or more serious. Make sure that each have solo parts. Unless you try to freestyle harmonize, layer or echo lyrics, do not clash roles, trip up lines, or ‘cross lanes’. That means that if you sing lower than your partner, remain there. The limit would be if you are both singing the same note. Stay consistent.

Listen closely when you are not singing so you do not miss your cue to join in. If you are not doing karaoke, and you do know the lyrics, you can lip-sync lyrics while not singing to make sure you can prompt your partner if he forget the words or for you to keep track of when to join in.

Prompt your partner with a nod, or a glance, or you may even want to open your palms with a finger pointing towards them. The more you practice however, the less often you will need these actions.

Would you like to be able to write chords which go well with your favorite hymn? In order to harmonize it in 4 parts, you will have to know the basic rules of harmony and voice leading. In this article, I will show you 7 steps you could take in harmonizing any hymn tune in 4 parts.

1. Write in the treble clef on the upper stave and the bass clef on the lower stave. Insert a necessary key signature of the hymn and write in the meter signature.

2. Notate a melody on the upper stave with the stems up. This will be the soprano voice of your harmonization.

3. Determine the key of the hymn. Look at the key signature and the last note of the tune. The melody normally ends on a tonic note (1st, 3rd, or 5th scale degree of the home key).

4. Find the caesura point (the breathing place) and notate it with a “v” sign. Usually it is located after first four measures.

5. Determine what the most suitable chords are for each beat in the melody. Choose from the 3 most important chords: Tonic (a triad or a 3-note chord built on the 1st scale degree), Subdominant (a triad built on the 4th scale degree) or Dominant (a triad built on the 5th scale degree). If you know other chords, you can choose from them as well.

6. On the lower stave write in the bass line based on these chords with the stems down. You can make the bass line a bit smoother by using 1st inversion chords. Aim for the contrary motion with the soprano line most of the time.

7. Write in the 2 missing middle parts: alto (in the treble clef with stems down) and tenor (in the bass clef with stems up). Observe the proper voice leading: let the common notes of the chords be stationary and other notes move by a step.

Another way to connect two chords is in contrary motion with the bass. Here the voices move to the closest notes of the next chord. Avoid voice crossing, intervals of two consecutive unisons, 5ths and 8ves and forming a 5th or an 8ve parallel motion from the previous chord. The largest interval between the 3 upper parts is the octave while the distance between the bass and tenor could be one and a half octave.

Use the above steps to harmonize your favorite hymn today. Once the harmonization is complete, remember to play it on the keyboard, piano or organ. Correct any mistakes you find along the way. You can also impress your friends or family by playing your hymn harmonization for them.

22 thoughts on “How To Sing A Duet Correctly – How Do You Harmonize When Your Singing A Duet

  1. How To Sing Properly says:

    As a rule, you should never stop training your voice if you want to keep fit vocally as a singer. Just like in any other venture or sport, practice makes perfect. The more you keep training your voice, the more you learn your capabilities, and the better you become. But remember, it all starts with the beginners singing lessons.

    Singing is a great talent that has made several people famous and popular. In contemporary society, there has been many professional singers and the challenge of becoming a good singer is getting tough. For people who have passion for singing, learning how to sing well is important.

  2. How To Sing Properly says:

    When learning how to sing, it is important to listen to your own singing voice. This simply means recording your voice. Try to listen to your recorded singing voice and find out which tone or pitch you would like to improve. It is also important to know your vocal range. Idolizing or imitating famous singers may be a good idea but if you’re constantly singing beyond your vocal range, it may damage your voice. Although doing this may boost your range, it is essential to do it gradually.

    You have to understand that singing isn’t merely about your own singing voice. Great singers have their techniques, in fact, popular singers have distinct voice techniques that make them stand-out and shine above the rest. If you want to improve in singing, you have to make use of your body and not just your voice. These includes your torso, diaphragm, abdomen, neck and other parts of the body. You have to utilize them to produce outstanding sound.

  3. Frank Anne says:

    In normal speech, phonation on a single respiratory cycle is generally of brief duration – typically for no more than about five or six seconds. Breathing for singing, while based on the same natural processes as those used in speech, must be enhanced in order to accommodate extended duration and intensity, as well as higher pitches that are not generally used in ordinary conversation. How we breathe and produce our voices during singing remains in accordance with natural function, though.

  4. Frank Anne says:

    It is true that singing tasks demand greater breath management and breath energy than do speaking tasks. There is a certain degree of athleticism required of the serious singer. Nothing that we do during singing should violate the physiologic bases that permit natural functioning of the voice, and all premises, efforts and techniques that are inept or harmful should be abandoned immediately.

  5. Freund Peter says:

    While sustaining the tone, stop the lateral movement of the tongue apex. The acoustic-at-rest posture of the tongue should be reestablished, eliminating tension in the tongue musculature. The singer can then return to musical phrases, insisting that the tongue retain this freedom.

    The key in the above exercises is to keep the movements of the tongue very small and subtle. If the tip and body of the tongue are moving dramatically, the singer may end up increasing the tension instead of lessening it.

  6. Freund Peter says:

    The most important thing is that the singer finds a relaxing position and learns to keep the tongue arched, forward and out of the throat space. Depending on what is causing the tongue and jaw tension, this slight stretching of the tongue may actually increase the tension, and the exercise should be stopped if the singer finds this to be the case. For some people, though, it helps them to relax, as they don’t have to concentrate on articulating and sounding ‘pretty’.
    Tension in the Jaw

  7. Friedman Nat says:

    Numerous muscles in the neck can be affected by tension. My readers often mention feeling pain in the neck muscles just above the collarbone, and report that they look as though they are straining. Whenever this is the case, the sternocleidomastoid muscles are most likely those which are giving them problems.

    The trapezius muscle may also be the culprit, or at least a co-conspirator, in neck pain.

  8. Friedman Nat says:

    The sternocleidomastoid muscles, along with the scalene muscles – three muscles found in the side of the neck that elevate the first two ribs and tilt the neck to the sides, and are, essentially, responsible for holding up our heads – are accessory muscles involved in breathing, and they are activated to higher levels during both inhalation and phonation (the making of vocal sounds). Because these neck muscles play an important role in breathing, there will be some movement of them when the singer inhales and exhales.

  9. Frist Bill says:

    Doing so places strain on the voice, and the voice becomes increasingly strident and forced because the singer now has to call or shout in order to hit those notes without breaking. Knowing where one’s registration transition points (passaggi) are located and being aware of the natural tendencies of the voice will help a singer to make the best choices when it comes to shifting registers at appropriate places in the scale.

  10. Frist Bill says:

    For numerous reasons, it is best for the singer to cease belting and to spend some time developing appropriate middle register function and timbre – a clear, balanced tone – before the head register can be more easily and comfortably accessed. (Belting produces a less balanced tone in which the upper overtones or harmonic partials are favoured over the lower harmonic partials, making the tone of belting highly ‘chiaro’ or bright. You may need to work on resonance balancing, also referred to as formant tuning.)

  11. Fromm Erich says:

    Therefore, a small amount of sympathetic vibratory action, discernible on the neck surface, is not necessarily problematic. (This vibratory movement is often more apparent in singers with thin, long necks and in those with prominent thyroid cartilages – an ‘Adam’s apple’ – than in those with thick, short necks or with hidden or more deeply embedded laryngeal prominences.)

  12. Fromm Erich says:

    Vibrato is not simply a function of the larynx. During the execution of vibrato, periodic oscillatory movements are also transferred to the tongue, epiglottis, and pharyngeal wall. This motion is a major component of the relaxation process that comes from coordinating breath energy with vocal fold responses. Even small movements of the tongue, epiglottis and pharyngeal wall may be transmitted to the external musculature of the neck.

  13. Gerety Frances says:

    For these students who don’t tend to understand the important connection between the air that they use and the sound that they make, it requires a great deal of concentration to breathe correctly and effectively while vocalizing, and they may struggle for some time to understand how to achieve the desired results. In time, breath management will become more natural and automatic.

  14. Gerety Frances says:

    During normal demands, such as speaking or resting, we tend to inhale and exhale more shallowly and evenly because our bodies don’t require as much oxygen. Air is exchanged in cycles of approximately four to six seconds; this differs slightly from person to person, of course. During singing, however, we need to inhale quickly and deeply, then exhale slowly and steadily, in a long breath, as we sing our phrases or notes.

  15. Genet Jean says:

    Unfortunately, this vocal coach has had some bad teachers of his own in the past – he openly writes about his experiences with unsuccessful vocal training on his website – and was never given any solid instruction in what diaphragmatic breathing really is, nor what appoggio technique is.

    Then, the student is led to believe that pushing upward and inward with the abdominal muscles upon exhalation (i.e., during phonation, or singing) allows more air out of the lungs, thus creating more singing volume or vocal ‘power’.

  16. Genet Jean says:

    Of course, these assumptions are not based on either logic or scientific fact. The diaphragm is not located in the umbilical and hypogastric regions of the body, and it is the area above, not below, the navel that should be seen to expand and contract during inhalation and exhalation. Also forcing air out rapidly more often than not leads to pressed or breathy tones, which are lacking in resonance balance, are limited in volume and dynamic variation, are potentially damaging to the vocal folds, and do not regulate the airflow efficiently.

  17. Gaye Marvin says:

    accuracy and speed while singing technically challenging passages, and better breath management when singing very softly or quietly. Appoggio ensures that there is neither excessive airflow, (because most of the exiting breath is turned into tone by the efficiently vibrating larynx), nor too much resistance by the vocal folds to the exiting air (la lotta vocale).
    Breath Support During Pregnancy

  18. Gaye Marvin says:

    Acquiring the appoggio breathing technique gives the singer a longer, more reliable air supply (because the exiting air is pragmatically paced in order to meet the requirements of extended phrases, regardless of tessitura or dynamic level), greater stability of tone (because tone is affected enormously by the steadiness of a singer’s breath stream), easier execution of large intervals, improved agility, including greater clarity

  19. Gates Bill says:

    The anterior angle of the base of the arytenoid cartilage – the medial process – is called the vocal process. It projects horizontally forward and gives attachment to the vocal ligament (vocal fold), which extends from the vocal process to the backside of the thyroid cartilage. Of the paired cartilages, the arytenoid cartilages are the most important because they influence the position and tension of the vocal folds.

  20. Gates Bill says:

    The paired corniculate cartilages are two small conical (or horn-shaped) nodules consisting of pieces of hyaline (yellow elastic) cartilage that articulate with the apex (summits) of each arytenoid cartilage, and serve to prolong them posteriorly and medially. They are situated in the posterior parts of the aryepiglottic fold, and are sometimes fused with the arytenoid cartilages.

  21. Gabriel Samuel says:

    ‘Breathing Out the Voice’: In order to better understand the connection between the breath and the voice, it is sometimes helpful to exhale while vocalizing or phonating. Inhale, feeling the movement of the upper abdomen and lower ribs, and then exhale while saying, ‘Ahhh’. (This sound should have a duration of two to three seconds.)

  22. Gabriel Samuel says:

    This centuries old concept expressed by great teachers of the past such as Giovanni Battista Lamperti, is sometimes paraphrased ‘singing on the gesture of inhalation’.) Gaining better control over the muscles and diaphragm can help to slow down the rate at which you use up your air, which is ideal for situations in which notes, especially high notes, must be sustained for several measures, or during coloratura or lengthy vocal passages.

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