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David's Tip of the Day: Vocal Fill Challenges

David Barrett Admin's picture

The most basic way of playing with a vocalist is to play when they're not singing, called playing "fills." This naming comes from the idea that you're "filling" the holes left by the vocals.

The first challenge is to know when to start playing (this tends to be fairly intuitive) and when to stop playing (which is a little less intuitive... it's easy to play too long and step on the next line of the vocals).

There's a simple answer... sing the vocals.

Here's the study song I've provided for you in Accompaniment Study 4 (where fills are the focus). First, sing along to the track with Jon. Next, sing along and when not singing play harp fills. Once you feel pretty good about that, stop singing and focus on just playing the fills. After doing this a number of times with the study songs you'll acquire the feel of where, and how long, to play.

"I Want You With Me" Lyrics By Jon Lawton & David Barrett

Verse 1
I got up this mornin', I had lovin' on my mind
Yes, I got up this mornin', and I had lovin' on my mind
And if you don't know by now, I want you with me all the time

Verse 2
Cause I love the way you love me, ah it's just so nice and kind
I love the way you love me, mama it's so nice and kind
I was born to love you, I want you with me all the time

Verse 3 (@ 2:06 after guitar solo)
Now I know plenty women, I gotta leave them all behind
Yes, I know plenty women, I gotta leave them all behind
I hope they all just disappear, cause I want you with me all the time

Verse 4
Every time I sea ya, cold chills down my spine, I just gonna have your lovin', I want you with me all the time Ah baby, I got lovin' on my mind
Uh if you don't know by now, I want you with me all the time

Verse 5 (3:46 @ after harp solo)
And if I can't have your love, I know I'll surely lose my mind
If I can't have your love, I know I'll surely lose my mind
Because your lovin' makes me crazy, I want you with me all the time

Verse 6 (vocal chorus)
I want you with me, I want you with me, I want you with me, I want you with me,
I want you with me, I want you with me, yes I want you with me, I want you with me, But if you don't know by now, I want you with me all the time