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As a vocalist, it's essential to not only be able to sing in a solo setting, but also perform with other singers and instrumentalists as well. When performing in an ensemble with multiple vocalists, it’s sometimes the case that the singers will all sing the same notes of a melody in unison. However, more often than not, vocalists in an ensemble will sing melodic lines that complement one another alongside the piece’s primary melody. This common practice is referred to as vocal harmony.

 

In this online vocal lesson, critically acclaimed multi-instrumentalist and ArtistWorks instructor of bluegrass vocals, Michael Daves, teaches the basics of vocal harmony, explains the concept, and provides a handful of helpful exercises so that you can not only sing harmony parts accurately and in tune, but also begin crafting your own.

 

LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to sing in the bluegrass style from a master vocalist like Michael Daves? Try some free online vocal lessons now!

 

“When learning how to sing vocal harmonies, it’s important to understand how the harmony parts relate to the chords of the song and also to the melody,” Michael explains. “I want to give you the behind-the-scenes look so that you really understand what’s going on on both a theoretical and technical level.”

 

What is harmony?

In its most general terms, harmony is the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes intended to produce chords, chord progressions, parallel melodies, and counter melodies. These note combinations are typically intended to have a pleasing sonic effect. In the context of bluegrass vocals, harmonies most commonly occur in the form of parallel melodies and counter melodies that highlight the primary tune of each song.

 

“A great way to start internalizing various vocal harmonies is to take each root note of the major scale and practice singing the next chord tone up from that note,” explains Michael. “It’s a fantastic way to practice your technique, and, as it becomes internalized, will also allow you to begin predicting in advance what the next harmony note in a melody will likely be.”

 

To learn more and unpack critical exercises to help you begin constructing vocal harmonies, dive into this online vocal lesson from Michael Daves:

 

An Introduction to Vocal Harmony with Michael Daves:

 

 

LEARN MORE:

Have you always wanted to learn how to sing in the bluegrass style? Through our comprehensive online vocal lessons and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned musicians, like Michael Daves, and get personal feedback on your singing.

 

Michael’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner vocal methods to advanced performance techniques, classical bluegrass tunes, music theory, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced singer, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as vocalists and musicians.

 

Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!

 

READ MORE:

ArtistWorks Summer Series—Week 6: Michael Daves

Bluegrass Jamming Skills: Jam Protocol & Etiquette with Michael Daves

Michael Daves Celebrates 2,000 Video Exchanges!

 

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