I’ve Got a Friend Who Is a Singer…..Wedding Singer With String Quartet
By vaughan • 29th January 2013 • Posted in: Wedding String Quartet Useful Info
From time to time, we are approached by a couple (who have already booked us for their wedding) with the idea of a wedding guest or friend singing in the ceremony, accompanied by the string quartet. Very often, this idea is inspired by seeing a modern piece of music listed on our playlist page and wondering whether they might like to have the words sung, instead of an instrumental string quartet arrangement. It may be that the couple have a friend who is a professional singer, or a keen amateur and that person naturally wants to contribute to their friends special day!
Having a vocalist sing with the string quartet can work really well, but there are a few points to bear in mind to avoid any mishaps on the day itself.
Generally, if the singer wants to perform a modern rock or pop song with the quartet accompanying them, we will have already written the vocal line into one of the instrumental parts, so the player who has the main tune at the time that the voice comes in will need to play very quietly so as not to compete with the vocalist. In terms of pitch, we will almost always have arranged a modern piece to the exact same pitch as the original track (as it is painstakingly done note for note… by ear!), so it is important that the singer can reach the same range as the original artist. As the quartet can only play the notes that are written on the score, it would be wrong to assume that we can just move the pitch up or down to another key on the day to suit a particular singers vocal range…..if the key needs to be changed, we would need plenty of advance notice of this to potentially re-arrange the piece and print a new set of sheet music before turning up at the wedding.
It’d also be wise for the singer to rehearse with the quartet before the ceremony and in the past, we have all arrived at the venue an hour early and found a quiet room to rehearse in. As this means that the quartet will effectively be booked for an extra hour than originally agreed, a small additional amount may have to be charged. If the singer is a very ‘last minute’ idea, then we will need to check that all the musicians who have been booked for the wedding can make the new, earlier start time before agreeing. Most of our players have very busy diaries and frequently fit wedding work into the same day as other professional playing or teaching work, so being asked to arrive an hour earlier than originally scheduled can sometimes prove difficult.
So yes, the wedding singer performing with a string quartet can be a lovely touch for the ceremony, but like all aspects of planning a wedding, the earlier on it is arranged, the more smoothly it will go on the day itself!
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