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jggunn

english accompaniment

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Does anyone play the melody for accompaniment rather than chords? If so, how is it done? Note for note with the voice or how? Are there any examples to listen to? Thanks

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I do this mostly for haunting ballads and songs that are usually done acapella where the timing and melody can wander at the whim of the singer.  Doesn't have to follow the voice exactly and add a changing (sparse) drone or two, either high or low or both.  I see you're in Maine;  lots of great songs from the north woods lumber camps are good this way. Search for "the Lumberman's Alphabet" or "the Spring of '65", or try a nice slow "Rollin' Down to Old Maui" .  Singing like that with the fiddle is great too.

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Playing the same melody along with the voice does risk muddling the sound a bit, making it more difficult for listeners to hear the words.  Instead, I sometimes play through the melody just on the concertina for a verse and chorus, then sing unaccompanied on the verses and the first time through the chorus, then play along on subsequent choruses. (particularly in a situation where other people are joining in on the choruses, such as a shanty.)  Then I perhaps play through the melody of the verse again with just the concertina somewhere in the middle, if the piece warrants it, and play verse and chorus again at the end.  This is a good test of whether you can hold your pitch without dropping after singing a few verses!

 

Not exactly what you were asking, and I play Anglo, not English, but hopefully useful.

 

If you can play softly enough, then playing the melody while singing can work, but be sensitive that while you know the words, the listeners don't yet, so you need to sing out, and clearly.  Even better if you can weave a counter-melody instead of playing the same main melody as your voice.  Such a counter-melody can then be played along with the main melody for any instrumental bits too, if you are up to playing both together, but the combination will likely be too much to sing against.  Sorry no specific examples to offer.  Perhaps try playing the tenor lines in Christmas hymns while singing the melody to get an idea of the style?

Edited by Tradewinds Ted

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