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Great Exercise in Musicality


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  • Great Exercise in Musicality

    We have a disc of random tunes in the car for my 3 year old, and one of the tunes is "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." He digs it, my wife (a singer) always sounds awesome singing along. On a whim, I thought it'd be fun to sit down and learn the melody.


    It's not a complicated or fast melody, but listen to how she bends into and out of notes, her awesome vibrato, and great phrasing. It's a wonderful vocal performance. Trying to copy that was pretty challenging, and I'm not there yet, but it's such a great exercise. It's really honing my ears and hands in on details; not just learning the notes, but how to really apply the notes. Every note counts in her performance, and you can hear it. I want my guitar playing to have that same quality.

    I've read a million stories about guitarists who learned vocal lines, and it always seemed like a "neat thing to do" but was never a priority. I was too busy with guitar-centric things, or general theory. Wow, what a difference spending a couple hours on this has made. It's opened up my ears as much as any single thing I've ever done. I'm definitely going to be doing more of this type of practice - listening to great vocal parts and trying to emulate them on guitar. It's not just generically working on vibrato or phrasing, or working on those in a narrow, guitar-centric way. It's a very concrete way to hear an example of "what good sounds like," and being given a blueprint of how to get there and apply it to your playing.

    I recommend anyone take a little time to find a vocal melody they love, and learn it on guitar.
    Multiple award winning blues/rock/country at http://www.zeyerband.com or http://www.reverbnation.com/zeyer.Check my solo (instrumental rock) projects at: http://www.reverbnation.com/vincedickinson"Music is like the English language - it's just full of rules that need to be broken or you aren't hip.""It doesn't take talent to upgrade your playing. It takes patience" - Kenny Werner

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    • #3

      It's a great one to start with, too; one of the all-time classic melodies.