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singing intervals

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I've been singing Swedish traditional music with a vocal ensemble this spring. I sounded good in the ensemble, I think. The leader (the teacher) was happy with my singing. At home when checking with a tuning app (on cellphone) I could not sing the correct intervals. Eg. I was supposee to sing G-E but would hit Eb instead of E. After some practice and testing I hit E. Is ensemble singing easier? What is going on?

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It does not have to do with a specific interval but a melody line within a song.  If you are going to practice with scales or intervals use an app that PLAYS the scale or interval so you can hear the change and not have to guess the pitch while looking at sheet music or "hearing" the song from your memory.

There is also the possibility that the actual words, syllables or vowels you are singing are throwing you off.

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I agree with MDEW that you need to be practicing with something playing back that interval to get it stuck in your head. I would add, as a teacher, I've seen with 8 out of 10 students that a 6th interval is incredibly difficult to sing. I don't know exactly why. At first, I thought it had to do with bridging properly, which is something you want to check, since usually using a 6th in a melody involves crossing your passaggio. However, since it doesn't always do that, and yet still seems to be a problem interval for most students, it's possible that it simply has to do with the dissonance of it at such a large jump in pitch. If that is the case, and this is what has helped my students, then you need the repetition to get the muscle memory and get the interval stuck in your head.

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6 hours ago, Draven Grey said:

I agree with MDEW that you need to be practicing with something playing back that interval to get it stuck in your head. I would add, as a teacher, I've seen with 8 out of 10 students that a 6th interval is incredibly difficult to sing. I don't know exactly why. At first, I thought it had to do with bridging properly, which is something you want to check, since usually using a 6th in a melody involves crossing your passaggio. However, since it doesn't always do that, and yet still seems to be a problem interval for most students, it's possible that it simply has to do with the dissonance of it at such a large jump in pitch. If that is the case, and this is what has helped my students, then you need the repetition to get the muscle memory and get the interval stuck in your head.

Good point. I did not think of the interval in terms of G being the root of the scale and E being the 6th. I was thinking of the G as being one of the notes in a chord and E being a note in a separate chord in the over all chord progression.

This would also lead to WHY you were able to sing the interval with the ensemble . For one, you had other singers singing that note along with you and you could hear the "Chord" being produced by the different singers. And ,if you were singing by yourself, you could "Hear" the chord played by the instruments.

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11 hours ago, Draven Grey said:

I agree with MDEW that you need to be practicing with something playing back that interval to get it stuck in your head

You mean building muscular memory, then that would depend on the persons memory of relative pitch

 

11 hours ago, Draven Grey said:

, I've seen with 8 out of 10 students that a 6th interval is incredibly difficult to sing. I don't know exactly why. At first, I thought it had to do with bridging properly, which is something you want to check, since usually using a 6th in a melody involves crossing your passaggio.

I think a 6th is just such a large jump that the vocal chords are having to strech and or compress in such a short space of time that its a lack of muscular coordination that hitting the correct note therefore after is so dificult 

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10 hours ago, Lord Zefron said:

You mean building muscular memory, then that would depend on the persons memory of relative pitch

 

I think a 6th is just such a large jump that the vocal chords are having to strech and or compress in such a short space of time that its a lack of muscular coordination that hitting the correct note therefore after is so dificult 

I don't mean muscle memory when talking about getting the pitch in your head. Singing in pitch is first an aural skill, not even a hearing skill as much as a listening skill. However, when I mention muscle memory at the end of what I wrote, I'm talking about the particular interval jump mentioned, G to E. You can train the muscle position of specific pitches with a generalized/neutral sound color as well. In my post, I was talking about both, first learning to hear the dissonance of the interval, and after getting that stuck in your head, practicing that part of the song over and over to learn the feeling of it as an automatic response.

As for the jump. Moving across one of the bridges, I would agree that the muscle positions change quite a bit for a jump like that. I would add that I've also seen the same issue much lower in the chest register, where the muscle changes aren't nearly as extreme. I would also add that, while I used to think difficulty on a 6th had to do with a quick muscle position change, that idea hasn't held true for a 5th or 7th. Only the 6th seems to be the difficult interval time and time again.

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If you are having difficulty in making the pitch change in relation to a scale degree, switch it up by practicing the interval as a chord change. ex  use the chord progression of a G major to an E minor  You would be singing the Root note of G followed by the Root note (Octave)of E minor. More likely than not, the interval of a 6th  indicated a chord change anyway.

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On 6/7/2018 at 4:28 PM, MDEW said:

It does not have to do with a specific interval but a melody line within a song.  If you are going to practice with scales or intervals use an app that PLAYS the scale or interval so you can hear the change and not have to guess the pitch while looking at sheet music or "hearing" the song from your memory.

There is also the possibility that the actual words, syllables or vowels you are singing are throwing you off.

So you don't like practicing intervals but rather melodic lines? I myself don't sing intervals but rather  lines. C3-E3-G3-A3 would have intervals but it's more than just intervals. Is this what your talking about? Isn't drilling intervals just missing something about real melodies?

Today I tried C-D-E-G. I played C-D-E on the piano and had G silent only singing it. I ended up (according to my tuner app) a bit higher than G. When singibg C-E I sometimes come a bit high. Is this common? Does this have anything to do qoth tge fact that a natural third is higher than a equal temperament third or is this just a technique issue?

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