A series of elementary rhythm and harmony exercises based on Ben E King’s masterpiece. These exercices are intended to serve vocal teachers and students across  PFCF programs and beyond.

Tools

How to practice this song ?

One music teacher + group of students (between 4 and 30)

Material needed:

-Speaker
-Audio Player
-Tablet,  or video projector

A Soundtrap session for this lesson including all audio files is available for all PFCF teachers.

(To request access to the Soundtrap session please email francois@playingforchange.org)

Lesson structure:

Rhythm exercices

Harmony exercices

-Intro /Verse / Chorus

>Each exercice a shows music score and corresponding audio files

Download all audio files:

You can also download all the audio files from this lesson here

 

 

Lyrics

[Intro]

[Verse 1]
When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we'll see
No, I won't be afraid
Oh, I won't be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

[Chorus]
So darlin', darlin', stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Oh, stand
Stand by me, stand by me

[Verse 2]
If the sky that we look upon
Should tumble and fall
Or the mountains should crumble to the sea
I won't cry, I won't cry
No, I won't shed a tear
Just as long as you stand, stand by me

[Chorus]
And darlin', darlin', stand by me
Oh, stand by me
Woah, stand now
Stand by me, stand by me

A  - Basic Rhythm exercises / Rhythm awareness:

Here is a series of  rhythmic exercises based on the song to be executed over the bassline audiofile.

Bassline in G (written in F clef):

Students will clap on different rhythmic patterns over the bassline during one cycle of 8 bars:

1 - All students clap on beat 1 during one cycle of 8 bars. 

Use a speaker and sing along!

> This should be repeated with all students, some students individually , and small groups of students.

2- All students clap on beats 2 and 4 (also called the “upbeat”).

3- All students clap 2 eighth notes on beat 2 and clap 1 quarter note on beat 4

4- All students clap beat one and the “and” of 2 

  5- All students clap on beat 4

 

Adding Melody / Harmony

Now that the students can feel and understand the rhythms of the song let’s dive into harmony:

  • Everybody sings the simplified bass line: beat 1 and & of beat 2 with the sound "Doo".

This should then be executed while clapping on beats 2 and 4 of each measure

  • Practice individually and all together. 

 

One interesting way to practice this is with a group is  to do 2 measures per student and create a circle so each student gets to sing only 2 bars and follow the exercise.

  1. Assign a bass group and divide the rest of the class in three groups to focus on the vocal harmony: 
  •  Voice 1 (high) 
  •  Voice 2  (mid) 
  •  Voice 3 (low)
  •  Voice 4 (Bass)

In order to assign each group of students according to their appropriate voice, practice each voice part with all students before you assign them to voice 1, 2 or 3.

  

      INTRO 

Each group sings the sound “Doo” until the first verse. 

Here are the 4 voices from high to low:

     

And the voice 4 (simplified bass line):

Then practice all parts together on intro

This should then be executed while clapping on beat 2 and 4 of each measure

  1. On the verse, the bass group sings the full bassline with the sound “Doo” and voices 1, 2 & 3 sing whole notes with the sound “Ooh”.

 

VERSE

         Voice 4 (full bass line):

          Voice 1:

            Voice 2 :

              Voice 3:

Practice all parts together on the verse.

This should then be executed while clapping on beat 4 of each measure:

 

CHORUS  

On the chorus, the bass group keeps singing the full bass line with the sound “Doo” and voices 1, 2 & 3 sing "Stand By Me", using two different rhythmic patterns: the first one start on the first beat, and the second start on the second beat.

Then practice all parts together on chorus.

This should then be executed while clapping on the following rhythm with two eighth notes on beat 2 and a quarter note on beat 4:

>> Practice the whole song from the top 

>> Assign a lead singer (it could be the teacher to begin with) and practice the whole song from the top with the lead singer.