Duets Are Good For You

Chris and Carole Beatty Valentine

Valentine’s Day brings to mind images of people in love. I relate to that since I’m in love with my wife, Carole. She’s also my Christmas Carole, since I proposed on Christmas Day. We’ve traveled the world together teaching and helping vocalists for many, many years, and we’re still going (though a bit more slowly).

Personal Duets, Vocal Duets & What They Have In Common?

But, what do "Personal Duets” and Vocal Duets have in common? Quite a lot. If a marriage is to survive and be healthy both members of the team have to be acutely aware of what’s going on in the other’s life. There also has to be a lot of give-and-take. Two people who live as “soloists” will never live happily ever after.

Equally true, singers who aren’t willing to give up some of their individual uniqueness in favor of the blended sound are what I call, "Two people who just happen to be standing in the same place at the same time while singing.”

In the Vocal Coach Complete Performance CD I make quite a point of demonstrating numerous ways singers make a unified, blended sound all but impossible. I then work through the solutions, and just as in marriage there are some skills that must be learned and applied. Here are a few:

  1. Listen to the other person or people. If you’re too busy featuring yourself you can never, ever be a good team player.
  2. Be quick to yield some volume and vocal qualities for the sake of the whole.
  3. Eye-to-eye. During rehearsal, and occasionally during performances look each other in the eye, and observe each others faces. You will “become one” more quickly with oneness of sound, diction and phrasing.

We are all individuals and always will be. But, those who learn to become team players will lead happier lives and be more valuable partners in all aspects of life.

Have a wonderful rest of your life. If you’re fortunate enough to be sharing it with someone special, as I am, know that you are blessed!

3 comments

  1. Hi Coach!
    A really beautiful tribute to your sweet Carole!

    As I read your blogs, I am amazed by how many good, performance techniques are also used good practices in songwriting. In singing, we call them duets, but in songwriting we call it co-writing. I often find that my co-writer is my counterpart. That is, God seems to lead me to writers who are strong in areas where I am weak. And after the song is finished, we usually remain good friends; therefore, a personal duet.

    I laughed with a recent co-writer when he called and asked for shared custody of our song-child. Similar to being parents, we share the custody of our song via the byline!

    CC

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