How to Learn Singing “Jamaica Farewell” from Harry Belafonte

Learning How to Sing “Jamaica Farewell” by Harry Belafonte

“Jamaica Farewell” by Harry Belafonte is a song rich in storytelling and traditional calypso rhythms. In singing this song, the unique “call and response” vocal technique is showcased. This technique was widely used in African and Caribbean music and can also be heard in songs like “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by Harry Belafonte and “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys.

To start learning “Jamaica Farewell”, you need to understand the structure of the song and analyze the specific demands it puts on your voice. You can use the tools of Singing Carrots to search for the song, see its key, tempo, vocal range, and to follow along with the lyrics and melody line.

Understanding your voice

Check if the song’s vocal range matches yours with Singing Carrots vocal range test. If the song’s range is outside of your comfortable singing zone, you may need to transpose the song to a different key.

Vocal technique

“Jamaica Farewell” requires clear articulation to ensure that the storyline and the song’s character come through. You can practice your articulation skills with the Finger Bite video. Initiating notes cleanly is essential in any song but especially important in the call and response style of this song. Practice vocal attack with the Glottal Onset video.

With this song having such a strong storytelling component, emotionality plays a key part. Not only should you understand the lyrics but also feel them and express them in a meaningful way. Emotion-control can be improved with Relaxing Breath video.

Consistent rhythm is also important for this song. Ensure you’re hitting the right pitches at the right times with the Pitch Accuracy Test and Pitch Training game.

Resting and Practice

Remember that practice and rest are equally important in singing. Rest helps prevent vocal damage. In practice, start with vocal warm up of 3-Minute Warm-Up video, and distribute your effort effectively with the ‘How to learn a song effectively’ article.