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Cello Lessons: Singing While Playing: Harmonizing Scales

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[MUSIC]
One really important musical skill that
I've been developing because of singing
while playing is
the ability to think in two
separate melodic lines, at the same time.
In my cello training,
I wasn't really developing that as
much as maybe like a pianist would
get to develop with different hands.
So, a great way to work on
this is harmonizing scales.
This will work on our ear, it'll work on
our coordination, it's a really great
way to get to know, well, a scale.
So let's just take the major scale.
And these are some of the harmonies that
you wanna get used to playing and singing.
We'll start simple.
We'll just sing in unison.
I'll do a G major scale one octave up and
down and
I'll sing the root of each note as we go.
[MUSIC]
La, la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
Singing in unison is a really great
exercise to connect
your ear to your hands.
It's working on your
ear hand coordination.
But we're gonna quickly move on.
The first harmony we wanna
work on is the third.
So if I'm playing a G
the third would be a D.
[MUSIC]
One, two, three.
So let's find the B in our voice.
[MUSIC]
La.
So that we're creating a really
nice third with our cello.
And I'm gonna walk up the scale
diatonically singing the third above
the note I'm playing all within
G major will sound like this.
[MUSIC]
La, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la.
We can invert the third and
we can get the sixth.
So I'm gonna sing the third again,
but I'm gonna, the same note.
We'll start on B with our voice, la, but
I'll play the cello an octave higher.
[MUSIC]
So that we'll actually get,
we'll be singing a sixth below.
It'll sound like this.
The cello is this note and
then the vocals is la.
[MUSIC]
La, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la.
Okay let's move onto the fifth.
I'm, gonna sing a D.
Find the first vocal note with me.
[MUSIC]
Now we'll walk up the scale.
Ready and.
[MUSIC]
La, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la.
Again not all these
intervals are perfect fits,
because we're staying dytonic to G major.
It's early in the morning.
My voice is sounding like what
Darryl Inger calls the utility voice.
Even if your voice isn't beautiful,
you can still do this exercise and
kind of like scratch your way through,and
really just try and hold these harmonies,
so that we're really developing
our ears through this exercise of
thinking of these two
notes simultaneously.
So don't worry if it's sounding
as bad as I may be sounding.
[NOISE] Next, let's do the fourth.
So if I play a G, I'm gonna sing a C.
[MUSIC]
La, let's find our vocal note,
with the cello and now we'll walk
up the scale and la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la, la.
Now I'm gonna do the sixth again,
but I'm gonna sing above the cello.
So I'll sing an E as I play the G.
La.
Ready and, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la.
Now we're getting into
the potential dissonant intervals.
Let's do the seventh next.
So the seventh would be an F
sharp on the first note.
[MUSIC]
La.
It's got a nice feel to it.
Let me walk up the scale so
you hear what it sounds like.
Ready?
And.
[MUSIC]
La, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la.
We're now getting into the realm of
pre-concert practicing that will clear
out any dressing room of band mates.
If you ever want a dressing room
to yourself do these exercises.
Okay we'll end with the second.
This is the last interval.
So I'll sing an A just above the G.
La.
Now walk up the scale.
Ready, and.
[MUSIC]
La, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la, la, la.
All of these intervals can
be done in any key and for
your voice it may be more
comfortable not to do it in G.
Luckily for me and
I think most males actually,
G is a pretty comfortable key and
it just so happens to be a great key for
cello so I tend to start all my
vocal exercises on the open G.
But obviously females will have
a different range for your voice,
particularly.
But try it in different keys and
test yourself.
For most of these intervals, I was
singing above the note I was playing.
And if you reverse that, like if I sang
the scale note, the fundamental scale
note and then did the intervals with the
cello, it kinda reverses the coordination.
And really, I just want you to
think of this as a springboard for
your own exploration and you'll start
getting better at hearing all of these
different intervals, which will come
in handy no matter what you're doing.
Even if you're not singing,
it'll be great to really form a close
relationship with all of these intervals.
[MUSIC]