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Arts & Entertainment

Duets Part 1: Rehearsal Prep

Christina Aguilera

Lesson time 9:14 min

Master creating an unforgettable duet as Christina teaches you what to look for in a duet partner, how to perfect your timing, and how to navigate the rehearsal process.

Christina Aguilera
Teaches Singing
Christina teaches you her unique vocal techniques in over 3.5 hours of voice lessons and exercises.


This is Collin Smith, the fabulous, talented, one and only, who actually joins me for the song "Say Something" while I perform it on stage. Can't always have A Great Big World join me, and he does an awesome job at it. And also joined by Stanley on the drums in the back there, who has a big cymbal crescendo moment in this song. It's a really big moment. But no. In general, this is a piano ballad, so make sure the throats are clear because you can hear everything. It's such a naked song. We're going to give a try here and get into sort of our rehearsal process. I think one of the things Colin and I try to do, eye contact is very important to sort of try and gauge, OK, what's your next move? It's reading with the eyes sort of and trying to figure out the next move. But also working with someone who has just a good ear and a good sense of timing anyway, which Colin does. But it's all in delivery. It's a conversation. And so if the two of us are not falling, tempo-wise, you gently approach and be like, OK, on this line, (SINGING) I'm still learning to love. Maybe the approach at "still," I mean, there's so many ways to end that. So if we're doing our own independent thing, maybe somebody's doing, (SINGING) I'm still learning to love. Maybe it's an ad lib. Or maybe he would be doing that and I would say, OK, why don't we both try (SINGING) I'm still learning to love. Drop off a bit so we're both ending on that same timing. It's a conversation. It's something that if you approach it in a non-stressful way, nobody likes to be criticized and nobody wants to feel like somebody is better than the other person. It should feel like an equal playing field and a love. It's a communication and it's creating something magical together for people to enjoy. So it should never be an ego thing. I love collaborating with people. I love duetting with people and having a good time and sharing this thing that we love to do called music. So it should have a good energy to it. If it doesn't, those are the people that I probably am like, probably not going to do a duet with that person again because it should have a fun energy and a positive feel to it. When things become too much of a weird competition, that's not fun. I like to have a good time and be in support of the person I'm working with and vice versa. So let's get into it and give a little example. But you'll see as the song begins, it's very still. It allows you a breathing room, yes, and sensibility to get into the song. [PIANO PLAYING] And you want to rely on your piano player, too, to have a good sense of timing. (SINGING) Say something, I'm giving up on you. I'll be the one if you want me to. Anywhere I would have followed you. Say something, I'm giving up on you. And I-- The contact. So you want to make your contact. One second. Yeah. Raise my...

About the Instructor

Christina Aguilera teaches you how to expand your range, find your voice, and master the techniques that have earned her five Grammy Awards. In her first-ever online singing class, you’ll learn warm-up exercises, breath control, vibrato, her signature growls, and hear Christina break down her biggest hits. You’ve never had vocal lessons like this before.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Christina's class was amazing! It took way too long to get to the rich information she generously shared about singing techiques but once the class got there - it was amazing. I would cut out most of the beginning where she is talking about drinking tea and coffee and honey. It's just not that important. Once she is with the students, that's the best part!!! Really great from there on.

Love Christina. I'm not even really a singer but this was so great to watch, and there's alot to learn from her, outside of just singing.

To interconnect the dynamics of music performance and inner self-togetherness in conjunction with the technicality of singing. HF

I feel more prepared as a singer, and what I've learned has also been applicable to my acting. Christina Aguilera is an expert at performance skills and really delves into what it means to be self-expressive in healthy way. Thank you for changing my life and enriching my career!


Chava G.

Preparation, rehearsal, inner metronome, 1,2,3, keep time in the head, timing is crucial to performance, yes Ma'am!

A fellow student

I took the masterclass and learned a lot. Presently i am trying to learn to sing melody playing guitar chords, i used to blend my voice in the chords. It was easy for me and i discovered the melody of a chord is arpeggio. But i did create melodies to my own songs and i want to sing them too. The feeling is cool and music is beautiful then. .I guess i just have rehearse a lot. Thanks

Rachel M.

You should know, thanks to your singing lessons I was able to land a job working a ghost tour as this Civil War widow telling the story of a deadly battle, and she comes out of the vineyard singing a haunting song. Every night while waiting for the first tour in the vineyard, I would whip out my phone and earbuds and listen to your warm-up track (and warm-up along with it of course). Made me feel more confident and ready for each tour. So thank you.

Natalie F.

She's so smart! And yes I love how she says that it's important to not approach it in a stressful way because I have seen it can ruin and/or diminish the quality of a great partnership which can create beautiful and exciting new things!

A fellow student

Hi I am in Pakistan, so most probably we'll have to do it online. Is any body interested in a duet? Just to give an idea of my voice, here is a pop song in my National language (Urdu). We can of course pick an English song of mutual choice, I like Bon Jovi and Classic Rock etc.

Kristine K.

I'm not technically trained either. I love that she isn't and is teaching this way!

Beatriz V.

Timing is really important for any music you'd like to sing, but is not ideal that you count 1, 2, 3... like Christina. It doesn't work every time. This especifique song was written in 6/8, which means is a duple meter, BUT you can subdivide and count it as if it were a 3/4 (a triple meter). It is important to know music theory to apply your "inner metronome". Songs written in 4/4, for exemple, must be counted as 1, 2, 3, 4... If you count 1, 2, 3... you WILL be out of time. It bothers me that Christina doesn't have technical training, or any musical knowledge. Meter is one of the most simple things you learn on music theory! I mean, if a professional singer doesn't know what a 6/8 means, they will devalue this knowledge. And make other musicians devalue as well. And it also applies on the technical training. No one will learn how to sing just by following their feeling. Technique is the FIRST thing you gotta get if you want to become a professional singer.

A fellow student

Hey guys, yes timing is crucial for any song, if any one wants to duet sometime, I be a great duet for someone, the key for timing is 1,2,3 which I found helpful, the timing is the one I'm mastering, which back then while on xfactor t.v audition 2011, I sung eye of the tiger by survival, with the backing track I was on key but slightly out by one beat..bummer, Now I'm focused as ever to get my tracks and songs that I love to sing on point and it sounds better and especially to the listeners, as I can feel the song also which helps. Great tip, for the timing, I know now to count 123...excellent :)

Ella F.

I loved this lesson because it taught me a lot about finding my inner metronome. I also liked the short resemblance to led zepplin. I love that band

Ray U.

Here's Christina also doing this with Big World: