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Beatles harmony tutorial videos
December 23, 2012 7:43 PM   Subscribe

Galeazzo Frudua, of Bologna, Italy, possesses an uncannily good ear for harmony, and has produced a series of videos that painstakingly and expertly analyze and demonstrate for you the vocal harmonies employed in various Beatles songs. His perceptive commentary, his very, very capable singing voice, unassuming manner, impressive video editing skills and, hey, his charming Italian accent all combine to create tutorial videos that are fun and educational viewing. Start with the first one he made, for Nowhere Man, and then, well, just check 'em all out. You won't be disappointed.
posted by flapjax at midnite (36 comments total) 128 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome videos - although just getting one of the harmonizations correct for nowhere man would probably require a few years of work for me!

Can many people just pick up harmonizations / harmonize naturally or is it something as rare as having perfect relative pitch?
posted by Riton at 7:53 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is pretty fantastic.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:54 PM on December 23, 2012


besides being an accomplished musician, Frudua is also possibly one of the best luthiers (if not THE best) in Italy, specialising in electric basses and guitars, played by the likes of Ron Wood, David Rhodes, Steve Lukather, etc.
posted by _dario at 7:54 PM on December 23, 2012


And then I immediately went to find 'Because.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:58 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


(hit "post" too soon: his guitars, basses and amps are here)
posted by _dario at 8:00 PM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had a weird dream the other day about traveling back in time and impressing Thomas Tallis with Because.

idek
posted by elizardbits at 8:05 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can many people just pick up harmonizations / harmonize naturally or is it something as rare as having perfect relative pitch?

It's not hard if you have a bit of an ear, and some experience. I sang a lot growing up and did jazz choir in H.S. and college, but haven't done much since. More years than I'd like to admit later, and I can still pick out tenor and baritone parts pretty easily.

Harmonies are a kind of language. Spend some time learning the grammar and a few phrases and it can open up quickly.
posted by calamari kid at 8:19 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


What makes it for me is his accent, like I'm getting schooled by an intense music teacher over on a visa who wants to stay, and really gets into telling losers like me how to sing.
posted by jscott at 8:20 PM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


It really is something you're part born with, but requires practice to be adept at. I'm mostly deaf in one ear (all high freqs are gone) and have a hell of a time with understanding lyrics, so I compensated by learning harmony. Apparently, singing (not in the choir) at church growing up, I'd drive the folks in the pew next to me (whether it be my sisters or my classmates) nuts by always singing harmonies instead of the main melody.

It really helps to know the idioms of the music you're working in to get the harmonies right. Beatles music has a lot of sevenths and non-parallel lines. Classical stuff, not so much.
posted by notsnot at 8:35 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


The middle-eight of "Nowhere Man" where he includes a faithful double-track of Lennon's lead is where the magic really starts for this boy.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 9:16 PM on December 23, 2012


The middle-eight of "Nowhere Man" where he includes a faithful double-track of Lennon's lead is where the magic really starts for this boy.

You'll find many other examples of pinpoint attention to performance detail and minutiae in Frudua's videos. The guy pays serious attention to what's going on!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:34 PM on December 23, 2012


This is great. Thanks!
posted by zennie at 9:35 PM on December 23, 2012


Thanks for this, flapjax. I hope I can convince this guy to make some more videos like these but with Todd Rundgren songs.
posted by MattMangels at 10:24 PM on December 23, 2012


Thanks. You just saved me an ask.metafilter question!
posted by Kerasia at 11:10 PM on December 23, 2012


The dude is great - thanks. As a full-blown Beatles guitar bore, his stuff about the special tuning on the Framus 12-string that John plays on 'Help!' blew me away.

A bit like the debate on some forums about how many millimetres the bridge should be offset when you 'Lennonize' your Rickenbacker 325. (Mine is 3).
posted by colie at 12:53 AM on December 24, 2012


Just watched the 'Nowhere Man' video and am besotted! Absolutely love this! Thanks flapjax!

I've always thought 'From Me To You' has a fascinating 'harmony swap' in the verses. John sings the melody throughout, and Paul the harmony, but because the melody goes high in the second line ('If there's anything I can do'), Paul sings a low harmony there, whereas in the first line ('If there's anything that you want') he sings a high harmony - it's like they cross paths mid-verse to get to their respective parts.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 1:14 AM on December 24, 2012


Harmonies are a kind of language. Spend some time learning the grammar and a few phrases and it can open up quickly.

Yup. If you can detect pitches and intervals on a basic level (as in you can tell if something is higher or lower) you can probably pick it up. It's a skill like anything else. I was much better at it when I was actively performing in a barbershop quartet. Though I never quite got to the level of skill that Mr. Frudua has. These videos are great!
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:42 AM on December 24, 2012


Fantastic post. Thanks flapjax!
posted by vacapinta at 3:19 AM on December 24, 2012


Thanks so much, so well done, so thorough, makes me want to get my guitar out again.
posted by oshburghor at 3:49 AM on December 24, 2012


It's stuff like this that makes you appreciate the complexity and craftsmanship of truly great musicians even if you're not particularly into their type of music. Thanks, flapjax!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:55 AM on December 24, 2012


Yeah, not disappointed at all. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Delighted?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:57 AM on December 24, 2012


The outtake recordings, which were released as part of the anthology cds awile back, have some great harmony isolations too, like "Because".

Fun post, thanks.
posted by nowhere man at 4:47 AM on December 24, 2012


Oh man, these are amazing! What a great post.

I also love his mannerisms, such that when you see the harmony in a triad of videos on the youtube screen, all three "hims" finish the line and glance at the camera the same way at the same time. It made me smile again and again (which is my mannerism of how to interact with my laptop when people are positively charming on YouTube).
posted by iamkimiam at 5:29 AM on December 24, 2012


I did a fair amount of transcribing once upon a time. Understanding harmonic structures helps a lt, of course, but it is most useful to be able to follow the "melody" of each individual voice. In doing this, you have to be able to listen for the distinctive timbre of a particular voice or instrument and focus on that voice or instrument only. I found that using headphones and scrubbing back over the same musical phrase over and over until I got it right was the best method for me. When you can really focus your mind and ears on one singer, you can even start to hear distinctive features of articulation, accent, etc. unique to that singer.
posted by slkinsey at 7:06 AM on December 24, 2012


He's even got You Never Give Me Your Money!
Great post, thanks.
posted by lbebber at 7:37 AM on December 24, 2012


In an interview around 1965 Paul claimed he could hear a whole song in one note. He may have been smoking a lot of pot at the time but I think he meant something about how the harmonies give a song its texture more than anything else.
posted by colie at 9:20 AM on December 24, 2012


Is it so wrong that I'm reminded of that Father Guido Sarducci routine where he sings a medley of Beatles tunes?
posted by jonp72 at 10:54 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just thought I'll mention that at 0.24 in the video of the second link the man in the window, who will throw the box, gives Galeazzo the bird, italian style. Grat post, Flapjax.
posted by francesca too at 1:40 PM on December 24, 2012


If you're a beatles fan try listening to their records in mono, left or right channel only. In some cases it's like getting two quite different minimal remixes. Works wonders on strawberry fields for me.
posted by 3mendo at 3:00 PM on December 24, 2012


If you're a beatles fan try listening to their records in mono, left or right channel only.

Don't you mean stereo rather than mono?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:14 PM on December 24, 2012


It made me smile again and again (which is my mannerism of how to interact with my laptop when people are positively charming on YouTube).

Kinda like this?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:00 PM on December 24, 2012


His vocal timbre even shifts ever so slightly to match the Beatle he's singing. Some of it is maybe just the effects of singing higher or lower, but I swear there's more to it than that.
posted by eritain at 5:33 PM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I swear there's more to it than that.

I agree. Sometimes there are moments, fleeting moments but moments nonetheless, when he nails McCartney's timbre.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:57 PM on December 24, 2012


Lennon's, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 PM on December 24, 2012


Wonderful find - thanks for posting, flapjax!
posted by Quietgal at 9:32 AM on December 28, 2012


You're very welcome, Quietgal. It'll likely be my third-from-last post to Mefi. (There have been 2 others since this one).

All the best to you!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:17 AM on December 30, 2012


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