Here at MayosMusic, in addition to offering great guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo and autoharp lessons, plus complete luthier services that include guitar, string instrument and amplifier repair/restorations, we are also a great resource service. Below is a discussion on creating perfect vocal parts.
Vocal – This is your star attraction.
Start with a strong lead vocal. The lead vocal must be in
pitch, be delivered freely and expressively but still stay true to the
melody, show emotion, and use dynamics.
Tracking – To record a second time the lead
vocals, note-for-note, one duplicating the other. Since it is
impossible to recreate an exact performance, those slight differences
in time and pitch will produce a natural chorusing effect that enhances
tonality, richens up the sound and often smoothes out the rough edges
of a less than perfect performance. However, this technique
can reduce the intimacy and emotion of a great performance.
Tracking Octaves – A duplicate vocal sung an
octave higher or lower
Instructor's Final Note:
- Single Harmony Lines – The simplest of harmony lines and yet a
thing of beauty. Listen to the Everly Brothers, Simon
& Garfunkel, and many Beach Boys, Beatles, and CSN/CSNY
tunes. It can be effectively used in the entire song, just in
the verses or chorus, or in single lines.
- Multi-Part Harmony – Building a vocal chord around the lead vocal and
with respect to the chord structure. Using intervals of 3rd,
5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, etc. above or below the lead vocal.
Crafting good multi-part harmonies can be tricky and I recommend
writing or charting out the parts.
- Counter-Part Lines – A vocal line that is sung in between or through
the melody line such as an “echoed line” or also different lyrics from
the lead. Examples such as “ohhs” and “ahhs”, a call and
answer lyric with the lead vocals, or a “voice in your head,” “friend’s
advice,” and “he said, she said” (though different from a duet),
etc. Listen to the Beach Boys, the Temptations, early Bob
Marley, and many others.
- Block Vocals (aka Chorus) – Other voices singing with the
lead. Singing in unison can be very effective, and is one of
the most common methods for backing vocals in a chorus section of a
- Processing & Mixing – Backing vocals will always benefit from
EQ, Compression, Reverb, etc. which is determined by the producer,
engineers, and artists, and dependant on the vocalist, mics, equipment,
and miking technique.
A good band instrumentally, but with very poor vocals will be precieved as a very, very bad band. Bad vocals are the number 1 thing to ruin an otherwise good band.