There are millions of songs in the world to add harmonies to, but a few popular ones are very special to me. My favorite thing in music is writing and singing harmonies, so I'm a big fan of songs where the harmony parts are just begging to be sung.
Some of them are easy, while others are very challenging yet rewarding once you play it through a few times to find the right notes.
The tracks below have a soulful range of a few popular genres. If you know any of these songs, try a few of them out loud to practice your harmonizing skills.
If you don't know them, it will be even more fun of a challenge to see how long it'll take you to find the right notes. I'll rank them by difficulty below, with the hardest one being last. Happy harmonizing!
This song has a classic R&B flow that I would imagine myself being asked to sing on the spot in an audition to be a background singer for Lucky Daye.
I know that's a very specific daydream, but I'm a huge fan! The lyrics and melody are simple enough to pick up quite easily, and you can have a lot of fun blending in smoothly.
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Genre: Musical Theatre
This song is a bit tricky because of the lyrical flow, but the harmonies can come easily with a few parts here and there that will pull out a challenge.
You can try grabbing some harmony parts from the choir voices towards the end once you get in tune with the simple chord structure of this song.
This song is lovely to get through and harmonize if you can make it without crying.
The music video for this release really got to me, and ever since I watched it, I choke up on this song like a little wuss. It's fun to attempt, especially on the "Moooove mountains" sections.
This one is a real challenge. It may seem easy on the hook because of the backing vocals, but it's actually hard to follow the harmony lines perfectly.
Not to mention that it's only right if you belt out insanely high notes to match Sia's amazing vocal energy here. Try your best but don't beat yourself up if you get lost.
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This is a tough one that I'm almost ready to master, but I'll need a few more dozen times to go over it to catch every harmony I'm trying to add here.
There is a lot to find, almost to the point where it's overwhelming, and you just say, "screw it, I'll do the main melody." But it's so rewarding once you're able to catch some of these beautiful harmony parts!
So you may be thinking, where are The Beatles' songs? Where are the classics? This is a very subjective list from a female soul singer, so if it doesn't quite match your usual style, challenge yourself with these!
I would suggest when singing harmonies, try the harmony above the melody first, then try doing the harmony below the melody, which will be a bit more of a challenge.
The reason for this is that usually, the above harmonies follow minor or major 3rds (in terms of the note intervals), while the harmony below is often a combination of minor 3rds, major 3rds, major 4ths, augmented 4ths, and so on.
If you're just starting out with finding harmonies by ear, try just learning the chorus. Often, a harmony line is provided for you to sing along easily with.
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To check and see if your harmonies are correct, consider finding the sheet music to the song you're trying out and playing it out on a piano or guitar!
That particular sheet music may not be the only correct answer to the harmony options, but it can give you a good fit if someone with a good ear writes out the music.
As a session singer, writer, and producer that has worked with over 300 clients to provide high-quality jingles, singles, and features, Yona spends her time creating and marketing new music and helpful resources for creators. Check out Yona’s latest releases on her Spotify, her Youtube and share if you like it!
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