How to Sing in Tune
Best Practices for Singing notes in Tune
When you are a novice singer, you find yourself with a lot of challenges before you. One of the first ones is how to sing in tune. Singing gets real only when you get the hang of complete vocal range and train your voice to sing in tune.
The vocal ability needed for this task doesn’t only depend on your pitch and singing lessons, it needs a lot more work than you think, but it’s not that hard to work when you have the right guide to get you through it.
This guide will help you understand the key exercises that will lead you to sing in tune. So, let’s get started!
Start vocal tuning from the top
There are a few things you should go through before you can perfect the singing in tune. And these things are crucial for you to go through lessons for singing in tune faster.
Find a starting note
Every singer has its own unique range of tones he can sing. Naturally, every singer struggles with the notes outside of his natural range, and the less practice one singer has, the easier is to go beyond his range of notes.
To find your starting note, try to speak with your relaxed voice like you would in a normal conversation. Then try to talk WITHOUT adjusting your pitch, RATHER talk in a monotone way. After that, try to say “laaaa” the same way, completely monotone. This is your starting note.
This is the note that is the most natural for you, and you will be able to maintain a steady pitch with it very easily. From this point, you can go up and down and explore your own natural tone range.
Try to alternate your voice to determine whether you're in tune.
If you haven’t had a lot of singing classes before, exploring your tone range might seem a bit strange to you. But, in reality, it’s not that hard at all, you just have to let yourself go. You don’t become a singer instantly, even if you have a talent and an amazing singing voice, there still are some exercises you should do before you can sing the song you like just like the original singers.
Take some time and be your own teacher and try to alternate your intonation and match the pitch of the opposite gender, for example. Your ear should be enough to match the tone of other people and reproduce a similar sound with your vocal cords.
Experiment a little bit this way, and you will see that you have more control over your voice than you thought, and you’re not like those horrible singers that keep you awake at night. Along the way of playing around with your pitch, you will realize that pitch control is just about practicing to hit the right notes on the first try.
After you got the idea of the ability of your vocal cords, it’s time to pay attention to the 2nd biggest thing in singing.
Don't forget about your hearing when learning to sing in tune
Ears are extremely important when you want to sing in tune. The two most important things that determine can you sing in tune or not is your vocal control ability (making your vocal chords produce the exact tone you want to), and your ears, which are actually the most important part.
Every person has some sense of pitch detection after you hear the voice of children and compare it to the voices of grown people, you can clearly detect the difference in the pitch of those sounds. Everyone has that basic sense, and you can make it better with ear training.
Ear training is very important in the music industry, that's something you will hear from every singing teacher when you start learning to sing. A good singer has to have perfect pitch sensitivity. You can only sing the note correctly if you know what that note is by hearing it.
You should practice singing and hearing what you sing at the same time, and along the way correct your tone as you hear it going off the pitch. Take a reference note and try to match it, practice makes it perfect. You can grab an instrument, piano, for example, play few notes and try to match them with your voice.
Learn pitch matching
To be a good singer you must have the ability to match the pitch of every note spot on, or you will sound like you're singing off key. Take the previous advice with an instrument and spend a bit of time doing it. That's the first step in good vocal control.
Pitch match training comes with a lot of benefits; it improves both your pitch matching and your hearing.
There are a few ways to check yourself if you are matching the pitch of the tone:
Listen to yourself when singing in tune
You probably heard how it sounds when someone sings out of tune. And usually, the person is not even aware that they sound horrible. They just go full on, without realizing they are completely off-key. The solution is very simple; just listen to yourself while you sing.
This is why some people hold their hand close to their mouth, and behind their ear, so they can notice the imperfections clearly. Don't allow yourself not to pay attention to the sounds that come out of your mouth.
When you start singing, you should ignore everything except the sound of your voice. Learn to focus only on your singing and ignore everything that might distract you, later you will be able to do it even in a crowd or outside of the isolated room.
After some time of actively listening to yourself, you will be able to automatically adjust your pitch on the go. Just remember that the ears are 80% of your pitch matching.
Record your voice when trying to sing in tune
Recording yourself is the best step you can make in the learning process. There's only that initial fear that singers tend to have of recording themselves. Don’t worry; no one is confident in their own voice on the start.
If you feel a bit of discomfort when you’re supposed to record yourself, remember that you will be the only one that will hear it and that you can always delete it later. Make the best of it, and make it a practice to eliminate stage fright.
As you get used to hearing your own voice, you can try to develop your unique vocal style. Since all voices are unique in their own special kind of way, analyze your own and see what makes it stand out from the rest.
An easy way to see how your voice is different, try to sing the songs of your favorite artists and see how they compare and what sounds different when you perform them.
Training with a tuner
As we live in the current peak of the technology, we should make the use of it. And one of the fastest ways to improve your singing ability is to utilize the digital tuner. Digital tuner lets you choose a starting note, play it for you and then listen to you reproduce it, signalizing is your reproduction below or above the note set.
Usually, they are used by players to tune an instrument, but it can be used by singers as well. It’s recommended that you learn to sing with a tuner, especially when you want to learn how to sing in tune. At the beginning of learning, getting the control over the pitches can be very challenging, and the digital tuner helps with it greatly.
It will improve your ability to hear and recognize a note instantly, so you will be able to reproduce it much faster. And with time, you will be able to recognize a note and sing it instantly.
Learn vocal control when singing in tune
After you’ve mastered pitch matching for a single note, it’s time to move on to a couple of them at the same time, so you can be ready to sing songs. As a singer, you should develop the relative pitch. Relative pitch is an ability that lets you recognize notes BASED on the entire concept of the song.
It’s the ability to hear the notes and move from on to another smoothly and in tune. The other important part needed for the smooth transition from note to note is vocal control. When you develop the good relative pitch, it allows you to manipulate pitch with vocal control.
Observe your volume while tuning
The difficulty of keeping a steady tone DEPENDS greatly on the volume of your singing. If you start losing the control of your pitch or if you start missing notes, try to adjust your volume.
Play with volumes a little, and find the one that sits perfectly with you.
Vocal strength and tune
Vocal cords are a muscle, and as such, they can be trained and strengthened. But, also, they can be over-trained and stretched. You should be careful with excessive vocal training, especially if you’re a complete beginner.
You can build your vocal strength gradually over time, and with it, you will build vocal endurance as well. Give your vocal cords time to adjust to all the changes and don’t force them.
At the same time, work on your breath control, you diaphragm needs some strengthening too. You can try to adjust your throat, head, and tongue to get a more powerful sound as well.
Take a break when you're tired
Whether you’re working on your vocal strength or just singing in tune, REMEMBER to stop and take a break, no matter how enthusiastic you are. Every practice and training needs rest for the results to appear. Otherwise, you could make things worse, break your voice and ruin your vocal range.
Then you will be able to sing just a few children’s songs until you recover. Breaks are definitely not a time wasted; they are actually the time when all of your training starts to have an effect. But, if you still think that way, then observe them as the time for you to listen to the songs you recorded, note the imperfections and make them better next time.
Learn to sing in tune
If you went through all of the things above and you still find it difficult to sing in tune, there are few other things you should check and some more advanced things you can do, so don’t give up yet!
Make sure you're not tone deaf
Some people biologically just can’t sing in tune. Tone deafness is part of the condition called amusia, where a person who suffers from it, is unable to sing in tune and even lacks the rhythm. If you are tone deaf, you just can’t hear the difference between pitches.
In practice, this means if a person played two similar notes, you wouldn’t be able to tell was it the same note or two different ones. That also transfers to singing. If a person with tone deafness tries to sing a couple different notes without the ability to completely tell them apart, it sounds completely off-key.
Tone deafness is very rare, and only around 3% of total population have it, so make sure you’re not tone deaf, which is not likely the case, the problem must be in something you are able to improve.
In order to proceed with the improvement of your ability to sing in tune, it would be best that you take a tone-deaf test and make sure this is not the core of your problem.
Pitch matching advanced
You got an insight on how you should practice pitch matching, and if you didn't manage to do it solely on those instructions, we should dig a bit deeper into the matter.
Let's go deeper into these three methods:
Digital tuner, as mentioned before, is the simplest and best tool for pitch matching practice. It's very simple to use it and correct your singing to match the notes. Most of them should be able to play the note you want for you; it would be much easier if you get one that has this option.
If not, you will need an instrument to record the note and then try to match it. While you're trying to match the note, continuously monitor the tuner's display.
Follow these instructions:
What you might be missing, and what is very important is that you have to carefully listen as you sing. Don't completely rely on the display of the tuner. Always listen to your voice and check if you're singing too high or too low.
This is a great way to train yourself to be your own tuner. With time, you won't need the assistance of a digital tuner.
Pitch matching with an app
You can use a similar method with an app for your phone. Probably this is the most convenient way for everyone since it's easily accessible. You can download any app you like because there's a lot of them, and they are very similar, take SingTrue for example.
This app chooses notes automatically which are in your singing range. It's full of fun exercises, and instead of a display on a digital tuner it shows you an entire graph of the history of recording and how you did try to adjust your voice.
You can also try some other fun ways to practice; Theta Music has a lot of them, here's an example.
Match pitch with a recording software
To do this kind of exercise, you will need a computer, a microphone, and recording software. Adobe's Audition is one of the best, but there are some free alternatives that are just as good, Audacity for example.
Set up an application you chose and connect the microphone
Do this multiple times, until you make it perfect. Be sure that you sing a tune that is in your vocal range.
Master vocal control
Vocal control is very important if you want to be able to sing in tune. Handling leaps in pitch are one of the most challenging things for a beginner. Going from one note to another is not that much of a challenge, except where there's a leap between them.
Since you've already covered the basics of vocal control, try some of the advanced exercises below.
Use a scale when you try and sing in tune
You're probably familiar with the concept of a scale. Practice by singing a series of notes up and down. Scales are mostly used an as a warmup, but they are good exercises in this case. Practice various scales to improve your vocal control.
If you can't handle an entire scale at once, try to divide it into two or three parts and practice them individually. When you're able to go up and down the scale without any issues, you're ready to move to the next exercise.
Solfege is very useful for vocal control practice. It's basically the same principle like a scale, but you say the name of the notes instead, do-re-mi-fa for example. Sing a few scales and do some leaps on your own, you can practice vocal improvisation and bring the vocal control to a higher level.
To sum all the lessons and prove to yourself that you can sing in tune, pick your favorite song and record yourself. When you listen to the recording, you will realize that you sound way better than your first recording.
The next step would be that you master a few songs, 3 is plenty. Then make those three songs your little performance act and record yourself performing. Listen to it and observe what you need to improve. And most of all, don't delete your recordings, no matter how bad or how embarrassing they might be.
They will be a proof of your progress and encouragement for progress.
Why can't I sing in tune?
A: There are a few possible reasons; most probably you just need a bit more practice. You might be tone deaf, but there's a low chance for that.
What can I do about it?
A: There's a lot of different exercises you can do to improve it; Learning pitch matching, vocal control, etc.
What is tone deafness?
A: It's a condition where a person cannot detect the difference between similar notes.
What's the most important thing to do to learn how to sing in tune?
A: Hearing is definitely most important. Training your ears is just as important as training your voice.
How can I improve my vocal control?
A: By observing and adjusting your volume and through vocal strength training.
How can I learn pitch matching easily?
A: By using some kind of tool to help you; digital tuner, recording software, etc.
How do I warm up?
A: You can do something simple like solfege.
How do I breathe?
A: Take a deep breath like you're about to go diving. Then control the air you let out.
How do I keep my voice clear and healthy?
A: Don't smoke, at all. And drink very responsibly. All of these things can have an impact on your vocal performance.
How can I increase my vocal range?
A: Practice makes it perfect. Start with the lower notes from your vocal range, then move up to higher ones. Practice one side of your range at a time.
CONCLUSION: singing in tune can require some practice...
Hopefully, now you know how to sing in tune, and you've made serious progress. Take as much time as you need, not everyone's progress goes at the same pace. Don't let failures to discourage you, and continue to practice no matter what.
If you're ready to take the next step, checkout online courses for learning to sing.