Hey guys. I recently joined a 5 piece ska band as a guitarist and background vocalist, and I've been asked to harmonize my vocals against the lead singer. I was just wondering if you guys have any tips on hearing the harmony notes or anything else, because I've never really tried this. Any tips on how to practice or anything?
I have to write out my harmony parts in advance, and learn them at home. I just haven't gotten the hang of improvising harmony parts.

One thing to decide in advance is whether you will harmonize above or below the lead singer... if he has a voice that's a lot higher than yours, you might want to sing below his notes, or vice versa.

Also, maybe try to get a recording of his vocals and sing along to it at home to find good notes.
a good way i find to practice hitting a harmony note, instead of his note, if that happens to be wats troubling you, IS:

find out what he's singing. lets say he does a whole line of verse singing a G.

play a G on your guitar (i guess Low G if he's lower than you, higher up if he's higher)

then pick a harmony note, like the 3rd, 4th, 5th or something nice sounding of G, play that note.

lets say you pick a D (5th fret A string). now play that note and sign along to it a few times.
now keep singing, stop playing the D, and start playing the G while holding that D.

now use this for as many intervals as you feel like, to get the hang of singing harmonies.

good luck
One of the most important things to learn to harmonize vocals (and for that matter, guitar solos!) is to be able to 'hear' the notes of the chord you are singing or playing over.

Lets say you have a song and at some instant a G chord is being played and your singer is singing a G. You can sing a B or D and it will sound splendid. A great way to practice 'hearing' chord tones is singing in your car (preferably alone, because you'll suck at first and make a lot of mistakes!) to songs that you are fimiliar with, and trying your best NOT to sing the same not the singer is singing, but still notes that are within the background chords. When you first begin, slower songs in Aeolian and Ionian are probably easiest.

Make sure you fimiliar with the way each interval sounds, also.

Good luck, man. Harmonizing vocals, while challenging, is beautiful and a lot of fun!

think thirds
like in the 1,3,5 chords
of 5ths
then just practice playing a note
and singing the third to it
EX: if you play a G
you would harmonize with a B
or a D
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