If you’ve been told you can’t sing because you can’t match pitch, well I’ve got news for you! You haven’t found the right teacher…yet. I’ve worked with many students who struggled to match pitch or even to follow the melodic contour (shape of a melody) in a song. You CAN do it! You can use these strategies at home or with the help of a patient, and competent vocal coach:
1.Pitch matching warmups.
I’ve created a set of warmups of varying melodic contours that utilize descriptive words to explain what is happening in the music. For example: “going up and going down” sung to a melody that-you guessed it goes up and down. We pair these with images that represent the music (for example, for going up and going down-I draw a hill) and movements that match the descriptive words (bringing the hand up and down in alignment with the musical notes and words).This is a very effective way for students to conceptualize the spatial relationships between pitches and understand when and how to move their vocal pitch. Try them out here, for free!
We do a lot of listening in lessons with students who are working on pitch. It’s a lot of “I sing twice, I play it on the piano twice, you sing it with me twice, you sing it with the piano twice”. Students can practice hearing the melodies and recreating them in small, easy to process chunks.
3. Vocal tuning apps.
Never underestimate the power of a good app! Most of my pitch-matching students wouldn’t be able to detect problems with notes on their own with at home practice. Using an app like “SingTrue” helps them with real-time visual representations of where their voice is compared to the note they are trying to hit. The power of bio feedback!!
I create a lot of videos using our repetitions from step 2, and pitch matching warmups from step 1. These allow the student to practice their techniques at home. Greater frequency = faster results.
Not all pitch issues are related to ear. By working on proper breathing habits, laryngeal relaxation (the muscles that support and move the cords) and understanding how resonance (vibration of sound) moves in the body the singer is able to create the right technical environment to help them match pitch. Sound is a matter of physics in many ways, which means that you breath needs to be moving the right speed, your cords need to be thinned or thickened the right amount to receive the air and your sound must be directed into the correct bones of your face or chest so that pitch can be matched.
Do you or someone else you know love to sing but can’t match pitch? It’s not hopeless! Reach out today and let us help!!!