Tuesday, May 31, 2011

singing a simple harmony

Singing harmony can be as simple as singing a three note bass line.  In today's lesson I will show you how to do this with the song "Skip to My Lou".  The chord progression goes back and forth between the I and V chords.  Since the I and V chords share one tone ("so" or D in the key of G major), you could sing this note throughout the song and be singing harmony, but this would get monotonous and you would not get the feel of the chord changing.  A better way to do the bass line is to use the common tone and then add another tone from the chord as it changes.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

solo sight singing

Try your hand at sight singing this mystery song

Friday, May 27, 2011

practice with sixteenth note rhythms

Today's lesson gives you practice with reading sixteenth note rhythms as you sing "Red River Valley" while tapping the rhythms for "Skip to My Lou".  It's not as hard as it seems.  It's kind of like rubbing you head and tapping your stomach, but with different rhythms.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

sixteenth note rhythms

Today's lesson uses the song "Cripple Creek" to practice rhythms with eighth and sixteenth notes.  It is notated with 8/8 and 4/4 time signature.  The difference between the two is that in 8/8 time the eighth note gets the beat and in 4/4 time the quarter note gets the beat. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

ear training with dulcimer

I am teaching a workshop tomorrow on playing the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, so I thought I would do an ear training lesson today using my dulcimer.  The dulcimer is well suited to solfege singing because the frets are arranged so that you play a major scale when you start at the 3rd fret and play consecutive frets through number 10.  If you tune the dulcimer strings to DAA then you can play melodies on the A string closest to you and let the other two strings (D and A) sound a drone throughout.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

intro to sixteenth note rhythms

This lesson is an introduction to subdividing the beat using the quarter note as the beat.  You'll practice various rhythm patterns with eighth and sixteenth notes and learn how to notate and read the rhythms in  "Skip to My Lou".

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Michael Row - part 2 - rhythms

Here is part two of notating "Michael, Row You Boat Ashore." 

Monday, May 16, 2011

notating "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore"

Today I found a video that I recorded over a month ago where I show how to notate "Michael, Row Your Boat Ashore" in the key of C major.  I am not sure why I didn't post it.  It could be because it ends very abruptly.  I am posting it today as it will be good practice with notating a song that you already know the melody to.  Try to write it out on staff paper before you watch the video. Don't worry about the rhythms; just try to get the melody down.  The first three notes outline the tonic triad (d, m, s or C, E, G) and the only skips in the melody are between those same three notes.  Everything else is stepwise motion.  Good luck!  The next lesson will add the rhythms.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

notating Big Ben tune

Today's lesson shows you how to sing and notate the mystery song from the last post.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

sight singing a famous London tune

I just returned from a wonderful visit to England and Wales and was thinking of what I could post today, music wise, related to my visit.  I heard beautiful choir music at Christ Church Cathedral and Exeter College's Chapel in Oxford, but I did not record these as both were part of Evensong services.  Then I thought of the perfect tune that I heard in London.  It is very short and can be heard in London every day.  I won't give any more details as it will give it away.  Challenge yourself to figure out the tune before watching the video.  It only uses do, re, mi and the so below do.  Pick any pitch to be the tonic (do).  You might want to follow the notes on your tone ladder sheet.  Each line has the same rhythm pattern, three quarter notes followed by a half note.  The video is pretty cool and has many related videos that are interesting too. 

d   m   r   s
d   r   m   d
m   d   r   s
s   r   m   d

YouTube of mystery song