Who's Online Now
22 registered members (9ne, couchgrouch, Barry David Butler, Donna Dutchess, Everett Adams, Calvin, Brian Austin Whitney, 5 invisible), and 226 guests, and
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box
Member Spotlight
Doug Barnett
Doug Barnett
Glendale, AZ, USA
Posts: 469
Joined: September 2004
Show All Member Profiles 
What's Going On
Create Your Own Story
by Moosesong. 10/22/17 11:35 AM
He's .... ( withTravis)
by Neil Cotton. 10/22/17 08:47 AM
My First CD `This That and Other Things
by ant. 10/22/17 03:03 AM
Don't Be Sorry Now - Pop R&B?
by Martin Lide. 10/21/17 05:49 PM
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
by E Swartz. 10/21/17 05:00 PM
My Family Reunion
by Barry David Butler. 10/21/17 11:57 AM
Door Open Wide
by E Swartz. 10/21/17 11:19 AM
Bump in the Road
by Michael W. Brown. 10/21/17 10:46 AM
JPF Virtual Telethon II
by Brian Austin Whitney. 10/21/17 10:43 AM
I May Not Be The One For You
by E Swartz. 10/21/17 10:36 AM
Can You Catch My Soul - spiritual
by E Swartz. 10/21/17 09:55 AM
More cool lists-
by MidniteBob. 10/21/17 08:18 AM
The Lords of Time
by Moosesong. 10/21/17 07:22 AM
THAT NIGHT
by Travis david. 10/21/17 04:45 AM
Who's Going to Hold me When I cry?† Travis/ Mimmo
by Travis david. 10/21/17 04:03 AM
The truth about Music Streamers?
by Brian Austin Whitney. 10/21/17 12:00 AM
Underage Thinking
by couchgrouch. 10/20/17 04:23 PM
MAN OF MANY HATS
by F Williams. 10/20/17 03:50 PM
When I Turn An' Walk Away
by Johnny Daubert. 10/20/17 09:46 AM
Gord Downie gone
by MidniteBob. 10/19/17 08:28 PM
Whats been done to Me
by Gavin Sinclair. 10/19/17 07:04 PM
The Keepers
by lane1777. 10/19/17 02:58 PM
Exception
by lane1777. 10/19/17 02:41 PM
Silence
by lane1777. 10/19/17 02:36 PM
Marble
by lane1777. 10/19/17 02:32 PM
Most said
by lane1777. 10/19/17 02:29 PM
Desert Flower
by beechnut79. 10/19/17 12:21 PM
Emotions Can Run High
by beechnut79. 10/19/17 12:12 PM
'' I will never leave you''
by beechnut79. 10/19/17 12:10 PM
Financial prophecy
by Ray E. Strode. 10/19/17 10:48 AM
Top Posters(All Time)
Calvin 19,165
Kevin Emmrich 10,529
Jean Bullock 10,330
Kaley Willow 10,240
Travis david 10,237
Two Singers 9,571
Joice Marie 9,186
Mackie H. 8,744
Mike Dunbar 8,574
glynda 8,560
Tricia Baker 8,318
Colin Ward 7,804
Corey 7,357
couchgrouch 7,205
Wyman Lloyd 6,578
Mark Kaufman 6,428
Joe Wrabek 6,400
Dave Rice 6,152
ben willis 6,065
Lynn Orloff 5,788
Louis 5,718
Linda Sings 5,601
niteshift 5,323
Vicarn 5,213
KimberlyinNC 5,210
Derek Hines 4,893
DonnaMarilyn 4,605
Blake Hill 4,528
Bob Cushing 4,342
Bill Osofsky 4,199
Cindy Miller 4,178
Tom Shea 4,173
Neil Cotton 4,078
nightengale 3,964
TamsNumber4 3,962
Roy Cooper 3,891
Caroline 3,865
Kolstad 3,759
Dan Sullivan 3,710
MFB III 3,687
Dottie 3,427
joewatt 3,411
Bill Cooper 3,279
beechnut79 3,225
John Hoffman 3,199
Skip Johnson 3,027
Pam Hurley 3,007
Terry G 3,005
E Swartz 2,893
Harriet Ames 2,868
PopTodd 2,864
Nigel Quin 2,802
MidniteBob 2,654
Tom Tracy 2,558
Polly Hager 2,526
Jerry Jakala 2,524
Al Alvarez 2,499
Eric Thome 2,448
Hummingbird 2,401
Nelson 2,392
Stan Loh 2,263
Sam Wilson 2,241
Judy Hollier 2,232
Erica Ellis 2,202
Wendy D 2,151
TrumanCoyote 2,096
Marty Helly 2,012
DukeWill 1,984
Ray Thyer 1,929
Clint Anglin 1,904
cindyrella 1,888
David Wright 1,866
Clairejeanne 1,851
Cindy LaRosa 1,824
maccharles 1,768
floyd jane 1,713
Ronald Boyt 1,675
Noel Downs 1,620
Iggy 1,592
Cal 1,574
Rick Heenan 1,561
Jack Swain 1,554
Pete Larsen 1,537
Ann Tygart 1,529
Tom Breshers 1,487
Tom Franz 1,451
RogerS 1,445
Ralph Blight 1,440
Chuck Crowe 1,435
Kenneth Cade 1,429
Rick Norton 1,427
bholt 1,411
Letha Allen 1,406
Stan Simons 1,402
in2piano 1,399
mattbanx 1,384
Jen Shaner 1,373
Charlie Wong 1,347
KevinP 1,324
Vondelle 1,316
Tom W. 1,313
Jan Petter 1,300
scottandrew 1,292
DakLander 1,265
GocartMoz 1,261
Janice & Bud 1,242
Ian Ferrin 1,230
IdeaGuy 1,209
Glen King 1,209
PeteG 1,195
AaronAuthier 1,177
Diane Ewing 1,158
summeoyo 1,083
Gerry 1,082
BobbyJoe 1,075
joro 1,045
S.DEE 1,040
yann 1,037
Tony A 1,016
argo 986
peaden 984
Wolvman 960
Jak Kelly 912
IronKnee 894
lane1777 892
krtinberg 890
Drifter 886
Petra 883
RJC 845
Brenda152 840
Nadia 827
Juan 797
TKO 784
frahmes 781
teletwang 762
90 dB 745
tbryson 737
Andy K 733
Andy Kemp 732
Jackie444 720
ant 710
3daveyO3 704
Dayson 703
Dixie 701
Joy Boy 695
Knute 686
Lee Arten 678
Katziis 652
R.T.MOORE 638
quality 637
CG King 622
douglas 621
Mel 614
NaomiSue 601
9ne 589
Shandy 589
Ria 587
TAMERA64 583
Pat Hardy 577
qbaum 570
nitepiano 565
pRISCILLA 556
Tink2 553
musica 539
deanbell 528
RobertK 527
Irwin 524
Roderic 522
BB Wilbur 511
goodfolks 499
Moosesong 498
Zeek 487
Stu 486
Steve P. 481
KathyW 462
allenb 459
MaxG 458
Philjo 454
fanito 448
trush48 448
R&M 444
dmk 442
arealrush 437
DGR 436
avweek 435
Stephen D 433
Emmy 431
Rob L 426
marquez 422
kit 419
Softkrome 417
kyrksongs 415
RRon 408
Laura G. 407
VNORTH 407
Debra 407
eb 406
cuebald 399
EdPerrone 398
Dannyk1 395
Hobart 395
Davyboy49 393
Smile 389
GJShades 387
Ezt 384
tone 380
Marla 380
iggyiggy 378
coalminer 377
Cecilee 376
java 374
spidey 371
sweetsong 370
danny 367
Jim Ryan 360
papaG 353
Alek 352
Z - man 350
John K 348
JamesDF5 347
Jaden 344
ddreuter 341
TheBaz 340
Steggy 339
leif 339
tonedeaf 336
rickwork 334
Eddie Ray 332
Johnboy 328
Bob Lever 328
Helicon1 327
lucian 326
Muskie 321
kc 319
Z. Mulls 318
ptondreau 313
ONOFFON 312
Chris B. 310
trush 304
ed323 297
Ellen M 293
lizzorn 291
nicnac49 290
pomeranj 289
Char 286
ktunes 285
mastrose 280
pammie 279
Deej56 278
Register Today!
Welcome to the Just Plain Folks forums! You are currently viewing our forums as a Guest which gives you limited access to most of our discussions and to other features.

By joining our free community you will have access to post and respond to topics, communicate privately with our users (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other features. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free; so please join our community today!
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#591525 - 02/29/08 11:21 PM Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
How many of you like vocal harmonization in music and have such songs?
Seems to be a great way of grabbing the ear to make song.
I have noticed songs like that from Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers, to folk and country rock like Buffalo Springfield, Poco, and The Eagles. 3 part vocal harmonies are imbedded all through the pop scene.

I have 2 such songs I did that with. Including the first song I ever wrote before I had anything to record into.
An all acoustic track with 3 part harmonies. Recording to myself - tenor, alto, and baritone.
Though I am only alto, I tried learning vocal stylings when I first wrote.
I re-recorded in 10/2005. It is called "Walls".
I have another one called "Through The Darkness" I did less than a year ago that is more of a straight pop/rock song.
What are yours of 3 part harmony or vocal harmonization in general?
It seems like good reference point for someone getting into songwriting and I plan on doing some more of it.

I have had this idea of an accopella jam betyween members.
That would be fun.
I would like a soprano singer also and have female singers on it.
Then someone could add guitar or other instrumrnts down the line.

Edit: There is a third song I did with harmonies I forgot to mention called "Sliding Away".
I thought at the time with it I was on to something.
But the rythmic attack was of a dead thud.
Ryrhmn is the hardest of me to get.
Maybe that is why harmonization seems so essential to me.

#591579 - 03/01/08 04:46 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Lady Fitzgerald Offline
Serious Contributor
Lady Fitzgerald  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Tempe, AZ , USA
I love vocal harmony! My late band did nothing but three (occasionally four) part female a cappella harmony at Renaissance Festivals in CA (think Renaissance Andrews Sisters). I did all the arrangements and even wrote one of the songs we did (I've written a couple of others that are halfway decent, two more that stink, and several parodies including one we performed).

I'll be looking for a high harmony singer, low harmony singer and lead singer a little later in the year to start a new group doing similar work in AZ, Ca and NV only concentrating mostly on humorous songs.


Jeannie

#591581 - 03/01/08 05:01 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Lady Fitzgerald]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,401
Hummingbird Offline
Hummingbird  Offline

Top 100 Poster

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,401
Victoria, B.C. Canada
I love harmonies and layering voices. I think voices can act like instruments in some cases. In my trio two of us can harmonize by ear and we have a lot of fun because, although we practice, there's always a little improvisation going on - keeps it interesting smile


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#591582 - 03/01/08 05:08 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Lady Fitzgerald]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Lady Fitzgerald:

That sounds like it will be a fun experience.
I don't mind the mood, serious or funny, even though I do mostly serious lyrics I would like to just enrich myself with that kind of music.
Vocals with a tad bit of instrumental accompaniment, kind of like the Beach Boys in a sense but not limited to a certain type of vocals.
I love all kinds of different influences, even though I hav'nt really studied them in depth.
But the harmony type of songs have always stuck in my head the most.
I would like to do recordings like that with someone(s).

#591583 - 03/01/08 05:14 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Hummingbird:

I am planning on doing an accopella with some guitar or keyboard song for accompaniment.
I would love help with the vocals when I do that.
I hav'nrt done that all that much over the years and am open to suggestions.
I would love the experience.

#591626 - 03/01/08 12:16 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Lady Fitzgerald Offline
Serious Contributor
Lady Fitzgerald  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Tempe, AZ , USA
Vikki, I personally have no doubt the human voice is not only a musical instrument, it's the most versatile musical instrument especially when one remembers words are not the only things that can be vocalized.

Uh, Matt, I always thought a cappella meant without instruments. This is not to say having the singers sing their parts without an instrument playing their parts but having an instrumental accompaniment wouldn't sound good. My personal preferance is strictly a cappella. For me, the downside to a cappella singing is the difficulty of finding singers good enough to be able to sing their parts independently and are willing to work for the peanuts I can pay them.

I prefer more serious music than most people but our audiences prefered the humorous stuff. They would actually prefer downright raunchy music but I have my limits.


Jeannie

#591638 - 03/01/08 12:58 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Lady Fitzgerald]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Hi Matt, very good post.

Harmony is the secret weapon. It amazes me how many folks will spend a bundle on a demo. They'll want drums, bass, keyboard, two guitars, steel guitar, fiddle, mandolin, and strings. But they only hire one singer. Think of your favorite hit songs. How many had only one singer, I'd guess less than 10%.

In college, I sang a lot of madrigals, as well as broader choral work. What a wonderful opportunity that was. The strongest musical experience of my life, so far, was directing a choir for the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. It was art, social interaction, and spirituality. After leaving there nearly thirty years ago, many of the old choir still get together at each others' houses to sing and harmonize.

How about a JPF Theory and Education forum MP3 harmony project? We could have someone sing a public domain song (not a cover tune, maybe an original, but not for demo purposes, just to sing) and then we could add harmonies and pass them on as email. It would be like a chain letter of harmony? What do you folks think about that?


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#591645 - 03/01/08 01:21 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
Yep take away harmony and backing vocals and you usually have a pretty dull song.

#591650 - 03/01/08 01:42 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Lady Fitzgerald Offline
Serious Contributor
Lady Fitzgerald  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Tempe, AZ , USA
Is there an easy way to post sheet music on here? I tried on another post and it disappeared in a few days.


Jeannie

#591865 - 03/02/08 10:26 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Lady Fitzgerald]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 177
Split Level Offline
Serious Contributor
Split Level  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 177
Nashville and U.K.
I play lead guitar and vocals in my own outfit, the harmonyís include my son who has similar voice characteristics, and this helps a lot giving a lot of warmth to the sound.

The Everly Brothers had marvelous voices for harmony.
I have never heard anything since them that comes up to the warmth of their two voices.

Roy Orbison double tracked his own harmonyís on records,
Nothing elaborate but it worked.

For me some Country Bands sell because of their Harmony not particularly their songs.

I think with a demo if itís for an artist you should be very liberal with the back up vocals.

A different matter if you are selling a groups sound like The Beatles , ďBeach BoysĒ (just to mention a couple of older bands) for example .

A lot of people spend big money getting poor to good songs demoed with elaborate harmonyís, I have listened to a lot of these through my past job as a song screener, with E.M.I.

I say that if a country song can pass the test thumbs up with one vocal and one instrument . then you know you have a potential hit.

Some song contests say our judges pay no attention to the quality of the demo, if only that were true, itís only natural for a judge to feel better about a Full demo, But to generalize these people who pay out big money are fooling themselves ,

I would rather hear a song in itís simplistic state and judge it that way. What is important is a competent pianist or guitarist and a very good vocalist

Different matter if you are recording to sell to the public, then give it everything.

Back to the harmony itís knowing where to harmonize in thirds or fifths or fourths , When people write their songs they should consider these points and mark the places where the song needs that extra voice or voices.

SPLIT





Have been working at E.M.I. Hayes U.K. in many departments starting as Tea Boy and worked through to A and R, New Artist Management,
Co Writing , with Boy Bands, and some solo acts
I have always played in bands,

SPLIT LEVEL
psuedonymn of course to many thieves and robbers on the web these days
#591866 - 03/02/08 10:30 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Split Level]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 177
Split Level Offline
Serious Contributor
Split Level  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 177
Nashville and U.K.
Back to your post,

I have never heard three part harmony in the EveRly Brothers or Roy Orbison, the only song of Orbisons that includes three part is ANYTHING YOU WANT co written with the Travelling Willberries.

THE EAGLES yes .

SPLIT


Have been working at E.M.I. Hayes U.K. in many departments starting as Tea Boy and worked through to A and R, New Artist Management,
Co Writing , with Boy Bands, and some solo acts
I have always played in bands,

SPLIT LEVEL
psuedonymn of course to many thieves and robbers on the web these days
#591873 - 03/02/08 12:22 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Split Level]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Lady Fitzgerald Offline
Serious Contributor
Lady Fitzgerald  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Tempe, AZ , USA
Just to fool around, I used to add a third part while listening to Everly Brothers recordings.

When I harmonize, any interval is fair game (except minor seconds; too jarring even if resolved) as long as it fits the music.


Jeannie

#591894 - 03/02/08 01:10 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Split Level]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 177
Split Level Offline
Serious Contributor
Split Level  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 177
Nashville and U.K.
Yep take away harmony and backing vocals and you usually have a pretty dull song.
_________________________
Hi Jim,

Re your Quote

Thats only if you write a dull song in the first place, or are you reffering to most of the chart stuff?

I was solo for some ten years, packed them in every night,
because i chose songs that were great songs.


I was on a show with a solo act and he was shitting himself because his reverb had packed in. he could not entertain without it.

I never used any voice effects, why because I had and Have a Great voice, I've got older and richer so now I'm spoilt playing in a band with my son and average gear. The son has a Marshall cheap amp, and a crapy cheap Fender, but he's a great giuitarist and he sounds fabulous, he plays in many bands as a session guitarist, my point if you've got talent you dont need all this extra crap.

Would you go out without top line fold back, well we do ,
for smaller venues biger venues supply all the gear,
Groups today are spolit for gear , I remeber when the Beatles first started their gear was crap, but they came across because they had talent.

If the song is a good one it dont need a lot of harmony live
recording is another matter.

SPLIT







Have been working at E.M.I. Hayes U.K. in many departments starting as Tea Boy and worked through to A and R, New Artist Management,
Co Writing , with Boy Bands, and some solo acts
I have always played in bands,

SPLIT LEVEL
psuedonymn of course to many thieves and robbers on the web these days
#591935 - 03/02/08 02:13 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Split Level]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Lady Fitzgerald Offline
Serious Contributor
Lady Fitzgerald  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Tempe, AZ , USA
Originally Posted by Split Level
If the song is a good one it dont need a lot of harmony

SPLIT


True, a good song doesn't need a lot of harmony, but almost any song, good or bad, sounds better with good harmony. And if the harmony is good enough, the song doesn't need instumental back up to sound good. In many cases, it can sound better a cappella.


Jeannie

#592180 - 03/03/08 01:37 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 24
rnorman Offline
Casual Observer
rnorman  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 24
Can't Imagine listening to any Bee Gees song without their 3 part harmony as well as listening to any group that focuses on harmony to carry a song.

Rick

#592620 - 03/04/08 10:05 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: rnorman]  
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,524
Jerry Jakala Offline
Top 100 Poster
Jerry Jakala  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,524
Pinellas Park.FL USA
Harmonies help put a finishing touch on a lot of songs as well as take the song to a better more listenable place.
After having a few friends put harmonies on some of my own songs it is like "hot dam".
What a difference!
Harmonies are like spices in food.
Learning when to add them or when to leave them alone is all in the ear of the beholder.



http://www.jerryjakala.com
http://cdbaby.com/cd/jakalajerry2

The difference between genius and stupidity is that there is a limit on genius.-Albert Einstein
#592951 - 03/05/08 05:47 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Jerry Jakala]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Nothing more simple yet drawing to the ear.

#593233 - 03/06/08 12:56 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
I also worked as a solo, for about fifteen years. I would encourage the audience to sing along. While playing a single act in the clubs, often members of the aforementioned choir would be in the audience. You can't imagine the faces of the "unsuspecting" when I'd ask for folks to sing along and we'd get beautifully rehearsed four part harmony.

I loved being a single, and did fairly well at it. But I missed singing harmony. For me, singing lead is fun, singing harmony is funner.


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#593443 - 03/06/08 03:48 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,428
Mark Kaufman Offline
Mark Kaufman  Offline

Top 40 Poster

Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 6,428
Minneapolis
I think harmony is my favorite aspect of music, if I had to choose a favorite. When I was wee, my mother would sing as she drove. When she sang "You Are My Sunshine", I started harmonizing and she was thrilled. Moments like that just set the hook in deeper.

I love Emmylou Harris. Notice how often that superstar will join someone else, simply to sing harmony? She spends more time doing that than she does headlining, I think. God bless her, no one does it better.

Mike, count me in! I love your idea...and there are so many different ways to harmonize on the same song. The notes you choose color the song in different ways. It would be fun to send the same song to different people and hear the different ways they choose to harmonize. smile

#593566 - 03/06/08 09:58 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Mark Kaufman]  
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
BIG JIM MERRILEES Offline
BIG JIM MERRILEES  Offline

Top 20 Poster

Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 8,463
Edinburgh, Scotland. UK
I love harmonies. The Beatles used it especially in their early days. Most Rock bands who I listen to and respect use three or four part harmonies Queen, Yes, ELP, Thunder etc etc. It adds depth to any vocal performance.

#594119 - 03/08/08 04:30 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 387
Brenda Lowry Offline
Serious Contributor
Brenda Lowry  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 387
Louisiana
Waving both hands in the air, jumping up and down.

Great vocal harmonies. It just doesn't get any better. The world needs more harmonies....5ths, 3rds, counterpoint....

Mike, I love the harmony project idea.

Bren


Brenda

"Well behaved women seldom make history" -- L. T. Ulrich
"...so make sure you misbehave and have Big Ovaries" -- Blue Merlot

http://www.BlueMerlot.com
http://www.Women-at-the-Well.com
http://www.CDBaby.com/cd/BlueMerlot
http://www.ileauxcannes.com

#594224 - 03/08/08 02:38 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Brenda Lowry]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Thanks Brenda and all. I'll have a little time next week, I might post a song. We can start simple, it will be some "public domain" folk song. My thinking is if we get the system down with enough participants, maybe we could add vocal harmonies to the JPF theme song, with Brian's permission of course.

Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#594402 - 03/09/08 12:18 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,406
Letha Allen Offline
Serious Contributor
Letha Allen  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,406
Michigan
Hi Mike,
I think these are my favorite posts. When we get the opportunity to participate and see what happens. I also enjoy singing harmonies, my mom started teaching me when I was 12, and it is one of my favorite things to do. I just wonder how many parts we could get lol..

Anyway, thanks for posting and I look forward to watching and listening.

Letha

#594410 - 03/09/08 12:54 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Lady Fitzgerald Offline
Serious Contributor
Lady Fitzgerald  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 276
Tempe, AZ , USA
Originally Posted by Mike Dunbar
Thanks Brenda and all. I'll have a little time next week, I might post a song. We can start simple, it will be some "public domain" folk song. My thinking is if we get the system down with enough participants, maybe we could add vocal harmonies to the JPF theme song, with Brian's permission of course.

Mike


I would love to get involved with something like this, Mike, except MP3s tend to be a little large for my pokey dialup connection. Is there any way to post sheet music here or attach PDF files? I tried doing that here http://www.jpfolks.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=541396&page=1#Post541396 but everything disappeared after a few days.

(edit) For anyone who gives a darn, I opened up a Photobucket account and uploaded the images of the sheet music there and linked this site to them instead of the Yahoo site I was using (I'm finding the name Yahoo is quite appropriate for them). The images are back up now at the site posted above. It will be interesting to see how long they stay up.

Last edited by Lady Fitzgerald; 03/09/08 11:05 AM.

Jeannie

#595763 - 03/12/08 11:25 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Lady Fitzgerald]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6
evbro Offline
Casual Observer
evbro  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6
For me personally, vocal harmonies are one of my favorite things in music. When done well they just instantly GRAB me. The Beatles often ignored the "rule" of introducing harmonies slowly as the song progresses and came right out with strong harmonies from note 1, but it still worked because 1) The song was great and 2) it was a killer harmony!

#595908 - 03/13/08 10:58 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: evbro]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,323
niteshift Offline
Top 50 Poster
niteshift  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,323
Sydney, Australia
Yep, it's the harmonies or harmonics which give a good song the extra sparkle.

I was taught a few years back now to, more often than not, to add the relative 3rd to any end phrase, or a phrase which needs a lift, as a ghost vocal. Although you can't often hear it as such, it does work. I almost do it instinctively now, and will usually try to blend inversions of the lead vocal line. Lots of fun.


cheers, niteshift

#595970 - 03/13/08 02:13 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: niteshift]  
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,554
Jack Swain Offline
Top 200 Poster
Jack Swain  Offline
Top 200 Poster

Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,554
Berwyn, IL, US
Roy Orbison had plenty of three part harmonies in the background vocals. There were not singing his lines, they were singing the background parts, but there was definitely three part harmonies. Watch the video called Black and White Nights which was a Roy Orbison concert where he had a whole lot of famous musicians accompany him, including James Burton, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Waits, J.D. Souther, T-bone Burnett, Jackson Browne and others. There were three girls singing the backup parts, as well as some guys singing the background vocals. the three girls were Bonnie Raitt, K.D. Lang, and Jennifer Warnes and they sound beautiful. If you are familiar with the songs, you will realize how closely the background vocals came to the original recordings.

Last edited by Jack Swain; 03/13/08 06:41 PM.
#596270 - 03/14/08 07:45 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Jack Swain]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Roy Orbison could have been a hit with his voice and the harmony vocals alone in my opinion.
I like recording the Moody Blues type of stuff where the vocals are added in as the song goes along with the heavier strings, but I would like other people than me singing harmonies when I can get those compositions or a time agreed upon.
I like hard rock/heavy metal equally where the harmonies are raving in the chorus a lot.
So I thnk a lot of putting the harmonies in a chorus to a quiet, strings type song.

#598705 - 03/21/08 02:26 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,639
Samuel Harris Offline
Top 100 Poster
Samuel Harris  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 3,639
Pleasant Hill, Oregon
For all the discussion of harmony, I haven't seen a discussion of how to "write" it. I do harmony parts but I don't know how exactly I do it- apart from the fact that it generally falls as thirds and fifth etc. Usually I can get pleasing harmonies over my own voice track by simply singing an alternative melody over the base track. If I avoid singing the same notes in the same places as the lead vocal, then it usually works. But how do you get the most interesting harmony? It happens a lot but I don't see it as science but just another aspect of art- I honestly don't know (objectively anyway) why one harmony part works better than another- do you? Or is it just like melody- a bit mysterious?


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#598724 - 03/21/08 03:29 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Samuel Harris]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
It's an art that utilizes a physical principle (the overtone series), just as painting utilizes the light spectrum. There's a lot to it, but the simplest form of harmony can be demonstrated by the harmonized scale.

If you play a guitar or piano, let's harmonize the F scale (it's not that hard on the piano, and works out well on the guitar). Play the scale: F G A Bb C D E F. Now play two notes at the same time: FA GBb AC BbD CE EG FA. You've just harmonized in thirds (one of the most common harmonies) Now let's harmonize a chord...play three notes at the same time: FAC GBbD ACE BbDF CEG EGBb FAC you've harmonized the scale with chords (Fmaj Gmin Amin Bbmaj Cmaj Dmin Ediminished Fmaj) OK, one more for fun. Hamonize in sixths. FD GE AF BbG CA DB EC FD (see, you used a sixth...FGABCD 123456 FD 16...to harmonize the F scale in sixths.

Now your assignment, Joe and anyone else who wants, harmonize a scale in fifths (hint, it will sound funny without those thirds...FAC...135...FC...15).

This is a start, a bit more of theory like this and a few rules which can be broken (like the fifths sounding wierd...as a rule, you don't use fifths to harmonize in parallel...they sound wierd...but when you want wierd, you do wierd) a bit more theory and a few rules (echo?) and then it gets into the art of it, meaning, it's your turn to boogie.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#598725 - 03/21/08 03:30 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Samuel Harris]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline


JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
It's an art that utilizes a physical principle (the overtone series), just as painting utilizes the light spectrum. There's a lot to it, but the simplest form of harmony can be demonstrated by the harmonized scale.

If you play a guitar or piano, let's harmonize the F scale (it's not that hard on the piano, and works out well on the guitar). Play the scale: F G A Bb C D E F. Now play two notes at the same time: FA GBb AC BbD CE EG FA. You've just harmonized in thirds (one of the most common harmonies) Now let's harmonize a chord...play three notes at the same time: FAC GBbD ACE BbDF CEG EGBb FAC you've harmonized the scale with chords (Fmaj Gmin Amin Bbmaj Cmaj Dmin Ediminished Fmaj) OK, one more for fun. Hamonize in sixths. FD GE AF BbG CA DB EC FD (see, you used a sixth...FGABCD 123456 FD 16...to harmonize the F scale in sixths.

Now your assignment, Joe and anyone else who wants, harmonize a scale in fifths (hint, it will sound funny without those thirds...FAC...135...FC...15).

This is a start, a bit more of theory like this and a few rules which can be broken (like the fifths sounding wierd...as a rule, you don't use fifths to harmonize in parallel...they sound wierd...but when you want wierd, you do wierd) a bit more theory and a few rules (echo?) and then it gets into the art of it, meaning, it's your turn to boogie.

All the Best,
Mike


You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.
-niteshift

Mike Dunbar Music

#598744 - 03/21/08 04:51 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Mike Dunbar]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Something that definately engages the ears.
Many musical purists will remember a band like Poco for those albums leading up to Legend.
But everything melded and became a hit for them with those vocal harmonies in "Heart Of The Night and "Crazy Love".
There is a certain challenge from a good composition to a bad one with the song and vocal harmony.
I grew up listening also to a lot of music that did'nt have harmony vocals also, such as new wave and punk. Even though many of those kind of songs also have it.
Harmonies seem to be a good way to structeralize songwriting. Whether one decides to use them in a recording or not.
Where the start, end, and beginning is seems to come out more fully.
I am getting into some ballad writing more.
Even a synth string or other acccompanying keyboard seems to have it's roots in a Beach Boys or Roy Orbison song.

I listened to Genesis's first album called "From Genesis To Revelation". The band recorded it crudely and independently from a school friends wax turntable.
Their 1983 release sounded very similiar in musical design to me.
Outside of using the synth more for harmony and the eighties recording technology.
I wonder if they titled that album just Genesis for the back to basics approach.
Genesis were one of the first prog bands and that sounded even more complicated than Yes in the seventies.
But I could almost picture an updated version of those songs off the first album after "That's All" and "Home By The Sea 1&2".

The synth has seemed to have replaced harmony vocals, I noticed this especially since synths is what I first played.
Even though it is remarkable what Genesis became from their humble beginnings, nothing can replace our god given instrument attactched to us.

#600477 - 03/26/08 09:42 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,558
Tom Tracy Offline
Top 100 Poster
Tom Tracy  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,558
Lumberport,WV, USA
I stumbled across this recently - If you like vocal harmonies there's a CD from Todd Rundgren you HAVE to hear. It's cleverly titled "A CAPPELLA" - There are NO instruments on the entire CD. Ever sound is done by the human voice (maybe clapping and slapping). There are many different styles of singing harmonies on it.

When I got decent recording equipment, I experimented with harmonies. I'm singing 8-part harmony in the style of Ladysmith Black Mambazo as an experiment on a tune called "The Rocks and Stones". The recording has a bit of extraneous noise and is only one verse. I'm not thrilled with the final mix either, but it was purely for experimentation purposes.


I have the song posted on soundclick if you want to check it out, but you don't have to. I'm not a street teamer. (not the live version, I think it's the last track on the SONGS page).

Last edited by Tom Tracy; 03/26/08 09:47 AM.
#600902 - 03/27/08 03:14 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Tom Tracy]  
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
mattbanx Offline
Serious Contributor
mattbanx  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,384
Northern Minnesota
Todd Rundgren is something of a producer too.
It is surprising how many songs I have listened to over the years that have his name in the production credits.
So you can't go wrong if that is what you get in to.

I hav'nt heard of any of these harmony styles.
Sounds almost Gregorian Chant like with the names.
This could really expand the horizons.
Even with other instruments.

#600912 - 03/27/08 04:05 AM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: mattbanx]  
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 61
Indigo_of_STO Offline
Serious Contributor
Indigo_of_STO  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 61
USA - Northeast
I enjoy vocal harmonies and its something that I am trying to do more of. 2part harmonies are a bit easier for me to do, but the 3part harmony chords are very tricky for me, when singing my own backups. Harmony is beautiful indeed, it helps breath live and personality into the song. 3 cheers for harmony, yay!

#1010623 - 06/02/13 09:43 PM Re: Vocal Harmonies In Songwriting [Re: Indigo_of_STO]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,208
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,208
Indianapolis, IN USA
Where's Matt at these days?


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney



Support Just Plain Folks

We would like to keep the membership in Just Plain Folks FREE! Your donation helps support the many programs we offer including Road Trips and the Music Awards.


Membership
Join Just Plain Folks
to receive the free
JPNotes Newsletter!
*this is separate from
message board registration*

Newest Members
Fdemetrio, sravy, NielsA, sevenoak88, ClaytonBlas1
20952 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums116
Topics117,034
Posts1,102,054
Members20,952
Average Posts Daily23
Most Online1,506
Mar 16th, 2017
Just Plain Quotes
"We are all millionaires, billionaires even, because right now we have today. And today is worth more than all the wealth we can imagine. So spend today wisely. Spend tomorrow wisely. Enjoy the wealth of today, and realize it is worth far more than all the money and possessions of tomorrow and beyond." -Brian Austin Whitney
Today's Birthdays
Ms.Goody Haines (60)
Popular Topics(Views)
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0