If you have started your singing journey and have hit a hurdle with pitch, then do not feel alone as there are plenty of singers out there that also have hiccups on the pitch. The good news is that pitch is fixable and you can work on making sure that your vocal performance gets better.
In this article, we will explore how you can fix your pitch and different exercises you can include in your daily routine.
How to Sing on Pitch
If you are struggling with pitch when singing a whole song, then you are not the only one. Many people struggle with pitch and identifying when they are going out of pitch. Many successful singers have also previously been challenged with singing in the correct pitch. Learning how to pitch control is a skill that takes practice and time, but the good news is it is repairable!
Sometimes not knowing how to control your pitch can happen gradually to you during a song. You may be able to start off with a perfect pitch, but it may slide during the performance. Most people believe that having a singing skill means that you are naturally born with that talent.
This is not the case as singing in pitch is something that can be gradually learned and the vocal technique can be massively improved. You may hear some of your famous singers on the radio and think that the talent comes easy but behind the scenes, there will be hours of training and a vocal coach that will help them prepare and develop their voice daily.
Can I Biologically Sing?
With all that being said, it is important to know if you biologically sing. There is such a thing as being “tone deaf”. This is a condition that can happen but it is very rare with less than 3 percent of the population experiencing tone-deafness. Being tone deaf means that there is an issue with the brain called amusia. Amusia can affect some musical inabilities to do with rhythm.
If you have tone-deafness you are unable to hear the difference between two different pitches. For example, if someone played a middle C on the keyboard and then played the B below, you may not be able to tell the difference. If you can not tell the difference between two different pitches, it can be hard to then sing those two different tones.
How to Tell if You Are Tone Deaf
There is a very quick and fast way to tell if you are tone-deaf. There are simple hearing tests that you can take on the internet that can tell you if you are tone deaf or not. These tests do not need any musical knowledge and are not musicians in any way.
The test will only look for your biological ability to identify different pitches. The test will not show any health issues to do with your ears as it is only designed to test if you can tell the difference between two pitches. This is a simple test that will not take long and once you have taken the test, you will know how you can then improve your pitch identifying skills.
Finding Your Vocal Range
Once you have found out that you are not tone deaf, you can then begin your journey to improving your pitch. The best way to start improving your pitch is to first work out what your vocal range is.
To find out what your vocal range is, you will need to know how to match the note you are singing to the correct note on the keyboard.
Here is how to correctly match your pitch:
- Aim to engage your ears as much as possible when you are aiming to do this activity
- Take your time when matching up the correct note
- Have a vocal coach help you to make sure you are doing it correctly
- Aim to match the note and if you are off, then try to adjust your note to match
Once you have learned to match up notes correctly to a keyboard, it’s time to work out your vocal range. Knowing what your vocal range is will help you know what your voice can achieve and what it can not. There is no benefit to straining your voice as your pitch will not get better this way.
Here is how to work out what your vocal range is:
The first step is to match the lowest note you can sing to a specific note on the piano. Try to make sure that you accurately match the lowest note you can sing to the right note on the piano as this will give you a clearer guide of your overall vocal range. You should match your lowest note to the note you feel is the most comfortable to sing and should never strain your voice.
For example, If you can sing a B2 comfortably but can just about reach an A2, do not count the A2 as your lowest note. The B2 should not be counted as your lowest note as you have had to strain your voice to reach it. This information will then tell you what your lowest point is as part of your vocal range and you will be able to use this information to correctly choose songs that do not go lower than this.
After you have matched your lowest note, match the highest note you can sing to a specific note on the piano. Just like before, try to make sure that you accurately match the highest note you sing to the right note on the piano as this will give you a clearer guide of your overall vocal range.
You should always match your highest note to the note you feel is the most comfortable to sing. It is easier to strain your voice when singing higher notes and you may feel you want to push your vocals but you should not do this.
For example, If you can sing a B6 comfortably but can just about reach a C6, do not count C6 as your highest note. This information will then tell you what your highest point is as part of your vocal range and you will be able to use this information to correctly choose songs that do not go higher than this.
Singing in Tune, Tips, and Tricks
To start learning the correct pitch, you will need to get started and get stuck in! Getting stuck into different activities that can help you control your pitch better is the only way you are going to improve your pitch.
Here is a list of tips and tricks that may help you control your vocal pitch better:
- Match your pitch to a digital tuner
- Match your pitch to an instrument or an app
- Record yourself singing in order to match your pitch
Match Your Pitch to a Digital Tuner
A digital tuner can be a handy piece of equipment to practice with if you struggle with your pitch. Using a tune can help you match the note that you want to sing to the one you are singing. The way a digital tuner works is very similar to how it works on an instrument, such as a guitar.
You can sing the song you are wanting to replicate and the digital tuner will tell you if you are sharp or flat. You can then use this information to correct your pitch. When using a digital tuner as part of your daily routine, you will find that you are able to improve your pitch quicker over time.
Match Your Pitch to an Instrument or an App
If you do not have a digital tuner available to you, then there is an even simpler way of doing the same exercise. Downloading an app that is designed to hear your pitch and tell you how to correct it can be a great way of working on your pitch in real-time.
Using an app for this activity is less costly and you will not have to rely on anyone to help you as the app will be able to guide you. The app will choose notes that are within your comfortable vocal range for you to practice. The app will also have different activities and exercises you can practice to help you further develop your skill with pitch.
Record Yourself Singing in Order to Match Your Pitch
Recording yourself singing and listening back can be a quiet way to see if you are singing correctly in pitch. Once you can hear the mistake you are making, it is easier to correct it. Sometimes when we are singing, because we are concentrating on a lot of different elements like breathing, following the melody, and copying the lyrics, we can go off-pitch without realizing it.
Hearing the places that your pitch is altering can help you correct it. It is best to try and identify which notes you were singing off the pitch as they are the notes you should start working on first.
Singing on Pitch During a Song
If you are finding it hard to stay on the pitch during a song or find that your pitch is slipping halfway through the song, it may be time to press the pause button. If you struggle with pitch, jumping into songs and trying to just push through will not do you any good.
The best way to start performing songs when you struggle with pitch is to first choose songs that are easy to sing. Secondly, when learning a song it may be helpful to break the song down into sections. Once you have broken the song down into its different parts, you can start to learn each section individually. Singing the parts individually will help you discover which line and word you are struggling with regarding pitch.
Here are some different tactics that you can try in order to correct your pitch during a song:
- Try to sing one line at a time and see which words you are pitching incorrectly
- Choose to only sing a couple of words in the phrase you are trying to copy and only focus on the melody
- Visualize the song’s lyrics and melody and work out where you need to make changes in pitch to be able to follow the melody
- Write out where you need to work on your pitch on a piece of paper in front of you. This may help you to follow the track easily
- Always pick songs within your vocal range or a song that has a melody that remains within one octave
How to Fix a Flat Pitch
If you are singing a note flat, there are some little exercises and tips to try to be able to easily raise your pitch. If your singing voice is flat that could be caused by other elements other than not being able to hear the pitch. It is best to take an all-around approach and try to support your vocal.
Here is a list of things to try if you are singing your notes flat:
- Focus on your breathing and try to breathe from the bottom of your stomach
- Visualize how you are approaching the pitch. Imagine you are approaching the note from above the note rather than below the note
- Keep your head up and chin straight while you are aiming for the note
- Try activating other muscles in your face such as your mouth and your eyebrows. Try raising your eyebrows or smiling when you are approaching the note that will help you to relax your vocal cords.
- If you are still struggling to reach the note, try to change the key of the song to fit into your vocal range more comfortably
- If your voice is tired, it could affect the way you sing. If you know you are meant to sing a song that you struggle with, it is best to allow your voice to rest
How to Fix a Sharp Pitch
If you are singing a note sharp, there are some little tips to try to be able to easily fix your pitch. Singing sharp could be caused by your body being tense when approaching the note. This is a very easy fix and often fixing sharp notes is easier than fixing flat notes.
Here is a list of things to try if you are singing your notes sharp:
- Relax the muscles in your face and neck by massaging them before you sing
- When you are attempting to sing the note, try to sing the note more gently or quietly
- Aim to relax your jaw when you reach the note
- You may be stinging the note top sharp if you are out of breath when approaching the note
- When you approach the note, try to make sure you are also focusing on your breath control
Pitch Singing Exercises
Getting stuck into vocal exercises that can help you with your pitch is the most beneficial thing you can do for your singing. Using these exercises every day will help you improve quickly.
Here is a list of methods you can try daily to improve your pitch when singing:
- Practice scales
- Learn how to control your vocal
- Use solfege
Practicing major and minor scales will help you not only match notes but also be able to intensity the notes you are singing. You do not need to be a music theory expert to introduce yourself to scales. Scales are a sequence of notes that are in a particular key. For example, in C major the scale would be sung like C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C.
Once you have reached the octave above where you were starting, you would now sing the sequence back down, in a descending pattern such as C, B, A, G, F, E, D, and C. These musical exercises will help you overcome your issues with a pitch while also helping with certain techniques like vibrato and vocal range.
Learn How to Control Your Vocal
Learning how to control your voice is crucial. You need to understand your voice in order to be able to control it. Firstly sit down and work out what areas you are struggling on, when it is you got off the pitch, and if you tend to mainly go flat or sharp. Once you have worked this out, you can then start a plan on what you need to do to improve your pitch.
Solfege is a teaching technique that teaches you how to work out what note you are singing. The solfege system uses syllables and matches them with notes on the C major scale. This method helps you easily memorize and remember what note you are singing and also will be able to help you control your pitch. For example, solfege uses the syllables Do, re, mi, fa, so la, ti in place of middle C, D, E, F, G, A, B.
Here is a video tutorial by Ramsey Voice Studio explaining how you can use vocal exercises to help with your vocal pitch:
How to Sing in Pitch Quickly
If you are needing to learn how to control your pitch quickly and want to know what the best way is for a quick pitch fix, then we have two activities for you to try.
The first activity is making sure that you target specific notes when you are practicing. This means your only aim while you are practicing should be to replicate specific notes on the keyboard. It is best to pick notes to replicate in a vocal range that you struggle with. For example, if you struggle with higher notes, try to replicate as many of the higher notes as you can within your practice period.
Here are some basic steps to get you started when learning how to target specific notes:
- Select the target note you want to replicate on a digital tuner, piano, or guitar.
- Do some ear training. Listen to the note repeatedly and aim to be able to hear the note in your head.
- Sing the target note until you have perfectly matched the pitch.
- Depending on if you are flat or if you are sharp you will need to either slide your note up or down to reach your target note. This skill will take time and a lot of practice to be achieved quickly.
- Once you have matched the pitch of your target note, you should try to select a new target note and repeat the process.
The second activity you can try is to start to build up your repertoire of songs that you can sing. These should be songs that you should not struggle to sing or struggle with the pitch. This will not be an easy task to start with and therefore you should build these songs up slowly and carefully pick them.
Here is a list of things you should try while picking out the best kind of songs for your repertoire:
- Make sure that you find the correct songs for your vocal range
- Trying out different genres will help you choose which genre is the best for your style of voice
- Record yourself singing a selection of songs to see what parts you struggle on
- Record yourself singing a selection of songs to see which songs suit your voice the best
- Practice with a backing track
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
If you do naturally struggle with staying in the correct pitch while singing a song, you may have to exclusively work on your pitch before attempting to sing a whole song. Once you have worked on your pitch for long enough and have gained some knowledge and practice, you will most likely find singing a song a lot easier.
When you start to get the hang of how to control the pitch of your voice and follow melodies correctly, you may find that one thing that holds you back in your vocal range. If you are attempting to sing songs that are above or below your vocal range, this could be the reason that you are singing out of pitch. When your voice can not reach a note, it will sound flat. Improving your vocal range is a great idea and will need daily practice in order to be able to reach some higher notes.
Pitch Is Fixable
The biggest message of this article should be that pitch is fixable! There are so many singers that give up because they struggle with pitch and believe that they will never be good singers. This mentally is wrong and you should not give up on singing because you struggle with pitch. There are many exercises you can include in your daily routine that will help you develop your pitch skills.
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