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Thread: Being your own accompanist

  1. #1
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    Default Being your own accompanist

    I have been singing baritone in Church choir for years, I cantor at Mass all the time, and recently I've even had the opportunity to sing solos and duets with a good pianist and everything, just like I was a real singer.

    I have also accompanied actual professional singers for years, and so I know that I'm not going to be moving to New York and auditioning for anything either, but...

    I play classical guitar, and there are a lot of pieces for voice and guitar. There's the songs of John Dowland, all sorts of Lieder, sets of songs....just loads of great material. Also, that type of singing suits me better than trying to sing an operatic role.

    so now that gets to my question...does anyone know of any guitar players that sing and accompany themselves? Clearly I'm not talking Johnny Cash or the Beatles ...I mean a classical performance of serious repertoire with one person playing and singing.

    I'm going to give it a try either way, but I was wondering if there were any recording artists that did this with actual pieces, rather than pop singer style. I've not ever seen or heard of a performance like that, but then maybe I just don't get out as much as I used to, so maybe there is someone that I just have not come across yet?

    anybody tried this themselves?

  2. #2
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    Well, a year and a half later, I can report back on how this went....

    It depends on the piece. Shocker

    The Dowland songbook has real potential. The thing with those songs is that the lute part is written like a "shell". The player is expected to elaborate on what is written, and so its a little easier to play and sing since I can work with the guitar part a bit if I have trouble phrasing something while playing the accompaniment.

    that's the real problem that I ran into...rhythm in the guitar part that isn't in sync with the vocal phrasing. Its like patting your head and rubbing your tummy, all while chewing gum.

    I played a set of 6 songs in Italian set by Mauro Giuliani, and those might actually see the light of day later this year. I'm doing a benefit concert for a local radio station, and my good friend is catering the show and Denny is Italian, so I may play some of these for that, just because I know Denny would enjoy something like that. But I found singing in Italian to be easier than singing the Dowland songbook.

    Finally I worked on a set of Lieder that was arranged for guitar by Napoleon Coste. This was really fun, but my German diction sucks, so I was constantly running to my book on German diction

    So the result of this experiment was that this is something I could do, but I found that memorizing the vocal part first before even picking up my guitar worked out the best for learning these sort of pieces. When I tried just reading through, especially in Italian and German, reading the words, the melody and then sight reading the accompaniment, that was a lot of things to try and do at sight. It was much easier to read through the pieces in other languages when I had memorized the words first
    Last edited by Nate Miller; Jan-15-2018 at 19:41.

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