How To Sing On Pitch – How To Sing In Tune – Ken Tamplin Vocal Academy
How to Sing on Pitch
While some people are born with a natural ear for music, melodies, and pitches, others struggle to sing in tune. If you have a hard time matching pitches, it is possible to develop your pitch recognition.Through regular practice and heightened self-awareness, you might become a pitch-perfect singer!
Developing Your Aural Awareness
Match pitches on a digital tuner, piano, or guitar.The ability to hear, recognize, and then match a pitch with your voice is a fundamental ear training skill. While some people have a natural ear, others can learn to develop pitch recognition. However, about 1 in 20 people are “tone deaf” (a condition called amusia) and cannot learn this skill.
- Find a digital tuner, piano, or acoustic guitar. Digital tuners are ideal for this exercise because the tool tells you if you are too sharp or too flat. If you don’t have access to any of these tools or instruments, there are several vocal match websites and apps available for you to choose from.
Select a target note.A target note is the musical note that you wish to match in pitch. You can choose any note within your vocal range—you could start by trying to match pitch with the lowest "C" in your vocal range. As you move through the exercise, continue to pick random notes that fall within your vocal range and attempt to match their pitch.
- Play the target note on the digital tuner, piano, or guitar.
- Listen to the pitch carefully. Try to hear the note in your head. This ability to hear, or visualize, a note in your head is called auralizing. This skill is developed over time and through persistent practice.
- Sing the target note. If you are using a digital tuner, look at the screen to see if you have perfectly matched the pitch, if you are flat, or if you are sharp. If you are off key, slide your pitch up or down slightly until you perfectly match the pitch. This can be tricky and often takes a lot of practice.
- Once you have matched pitch, select a new target note and repeat the process.
- It may take you a while to find notes that are within your vocal range and you are comfortable singing. Don’t be afraid to experiment with notes in different octaves.
Sing major scales.Scales are musical exercises that go up and down in a predetermined pattern. Major scales are the most predictable and familiar. When you sing scales, you can focus on mastering a specific technique, such as vibrato, overcoming a certain problem, like pitchiness, or increasing your vocal range.
- Play a major scale on a piano or acoustic guitar, find an online video of a major scale, or use an app to play one. The C Major scale is an excellent place to start. The C Major scale follows this pattern: C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, C, B, A, G, F, E, D, C.
- Listen to each pitch and visualize the note in your head.
- Play the exercise and sing along. As you move up and down the scale, focus on matching and maintaining each pitch.
- After mastering one major scale, move on to another major scale. Repeat the process.
Sing major arpeggios.Arpeggios, like scales, are musical exercises. Instead of moving up and down from pitch to pitch, arpeggios go up and down in intervals. Practicing arpeggios will not only improve your pitch, but they will also enhance your ability to jump from one pitch to another pitch as you sing.
- Play a major arpeggio on a piano or acoustic guitar. Basic arpeggios follow this pattern: 1, 3 (Major Third), 5 (Perfect Fifth), 8, 5 (Perfect Fifth) , 3 (Major Third), 1. Start with the C Major arpeggio. It follows this pattern: C (1), E (3, Major Third), G (5, Perfect Fifth), C (8), G (5, Perfect Fifth), E (3, Major Third), C (1).
- Listen to each pitch and interval. As you hear the notes, visualize the pitches and intervals in your head.
- Play the exercise and sing along. As you move up and down the arpeggio, strive to match and maintain each pitch. Pay particular attention to hitting each interval.
- After mastering the C Major Arpeggio, work on another Major Arpeggio. Repeat the process.
Correcting Your Pitch
Stand in the correct singing posture.If you are struggling to sing on pitch, your posture may be to blame. When you stand in the correct posture, you will have an easier time producing the right pitch and controlling your voice. To stand in the correct singing posture:
- Place your feet slightly apart with one foot just in front of the other front. Transfer the weight of your body from your heels to your toes.
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees. Never lock your knees.
- Place your hands at your sides. Keep your hands relaxed.
- Your stomach should be flat and firm, yet expandable.
- Pull your shoulders back and down.
- Your chest should be held high.
- Keep your chin parallel to the floor.
Correct a sharp pitch.If you are singing sharp, you are singing above the intended pitch. This may be caused by tense abdominal muscles, a locked jaw, or lack of focus. You can correct for these problems by:
- Relaxing your muscles and softening your tone.
- Singing with less force.
- Monitoring your jaw for tightness and relaxing it when it begins to tense up.
- Working on your breath control.
- Monitoring your voice closely and remain focused.
Fix a flat pitch.If you are singing flat, you are signing below the target pitch. This may be caused by fatigue, inability to focus or support your breath, singing outside of your vocal range, relaxed facial muscles, or the inability to properly monitor your voice. You can correct your flat tone by:
- Improving your breath support.
- Visualizing approaching the pitch from above instead of below.
- Keeping your chin parallel to the floor.
- Raising your eyebrows and or smiling.
- Changing the key of the song.
- Monitoring your voice closely.
- Getting adequate rest before a performance or lesson.
Record yourself singing and listen to the recording.This is a great way to determine if you are on pitch, as it can sometimes be difficult to hear yourself while you're singing. Record yourself singing scales, arpeggios, or even a song, then play back the recording. Listen for notes that are off pitch so you can correct them the next time around.
Explore the concept of audiation.In the 1970s, Edwin Gordon developed the term audiation. The concept of audiation pertains to the concept of auditory imagery, or the ability to hear, or visualize, sounds in your head. In order to understand audiation, work through the exercise described below:
- Select a song that is incredibly familiar to you. It could be your nation’s national anthem or a song from your childhood, like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
- Don’t hum or sing this song. Instead, think about it—visualize the familiar melody in your head.
- The ability to hear this song in your head without humming, singing, or listening to it, is called audiation.
Sing a familiar song out loud.Select a familiar song—it can be the same song you choose before. Find a quiet spot where you can focus and sing without being disturbed. Once situated, sing the song out loud. As you sing, commit the following to your memory:
- The melody.
- The pitch of each note.
- The intervals between each set of notes.
Sing every other line of the familiar song while visualizing the rest.When you feel confident in your knowledge of the song, enhance your audiation skills by visualizing a small portion of the song. Starting at the top of the tune, sing every other line out loud. When you are not singing, visualize the line of the song in your head.
- The first note of the lines you sing may be extremely challenging to sing in tune. As your audiation skills improve, however, you should be able to hit the note right away.
- Continue to count as you visualize the lines.
Sing only specific words of the familiar song while visualizing the rest.Once you have mastered singing and visualizing alternating lines, you can attempt a more challenging audiation exercise. Select a few words to sing from each line.
- Sing the first word of the song.
- Visualize the portions of the song that lie in between the words you have chosen to sing.
- Try your best to hit the correct pitch of the words you are singing.
QuestionI wanted to learn guitar, but I have a very bad voice. Whenever I sing while playing guitar, my friends laugh at me. What should I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerWhen you practice guitar, you don't 'always' have to sing. The best solution is to be the best guitar player you can be and give your voice time and practice.Thanks!
QuestionHow long will it take to improve my pitch if I practice almost everyday?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should see improvements pretty quickly, like within a week.Thanks!
QuestionDo I always have to sing in tune?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNot necessarily. If you're singing in choir, or for some other kind of organized performance, you will probably be expected to, but if you're singing for yourself/writing your own music, you can make it sound however you want.Thanks!
QuestionCan I take from this that, with practice, it is possible for just about anyone to learn to sing in the correct pitch? I can't get a single note right - am I wasting my time, or can practice fix this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSome people are born tone-deaf (unable to carry a tune) and if you are, it is unlikely you will ever be Able to sing in key. However, some people can learn to sing in pitch with lots of practice.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I improve my voice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerJust keep practicing. Maybe get a teacher and get help from friends by letting them listen to your songs.Thanks!
QuestionI can sing almost any high pitch notes, but when I start with the low notes, sometimes I think I am straining my voice and I run out of air. What do I do?BrigirlCommunity AnswerThis is completely normal. You are most likely a soprano. You should definitely keep practicing with your low voice, but stop if you feel like you're straining. It would also help if you sang scales starting with high notes and ending with the lower notes so you can slowly work your way into it.Thanks!
QuestionDo they make a machine to sing through that improves pitch or sound quality?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, it;s called auto tune. Some Hip-Hop artists use it but, for quartet singing, you can hear the difference instantly. Also for pro singers, it is a slap in the face because you are really not singing. The computer is doing it for you. It's cheating.Thanks!
QuestionHow could I change my pitch within a few seconds?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerSimply sing higher or lower!Thanks!
To sing on pitch, start by standing in good singing posture, with your chest held high and your shoulders pulled back and down. Then, practice matching your voice to a pitch on a piano, acoustic guitar, or digital tuner. Next, move on to singing scales, since they make it easy to hear when you’re a little off. When you feel confident with those, try some arpeggios, which are a little trickier because they jump from pitch to pitch. Finally, consider recording yourself as you sing, so you can play back the recording to figure out where you might need extra practice.
Video: How to Fix Flat Singing - Sing On Pitch - Felicia Ricci
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