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Preparing for an Audition Part II: In tune or not in tune, that is the Question

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Do you remember my horrid rendition of Aerosmith's Dream On from the last lesson? I thought I would go down in the vocal hall of shame, but, fortunately for me, I wasn't the only terrible performance of the day. Do you happen to know of anyone who sings horribly out of tune and doesn't even realize it? Read on

If you read the last lesson, then you know how I botched my performance of Aerosmith's Dream On during my vocal review at the Musicia's Institute. Each week we would have to sing a song for a vocal review. After I had finished, the next singer gave a repeat performance of the same song. She sounded so bad that I could hear dogs howling from Orange County. She was so terribly out of pitch that you could barely recognize the song. She was reprimanded for her terrible performance. I felt so sorry for her. I knew how she felt inside.

One of the students made the comment that they couldn't believe she actually got into M.I. He let it slip that some of teachers had said they knew for a fact that after actually hearing certain individuals in person, someone else had to have sang their taped audition that was sent to the school for acceptance. Well, enough gossip. The fact is that her main problem was singing on pitch. If she would have worked on correcting her pitch problem, I believe she would have done fine. Pitch problems can be tough, but they can be overcome.

Some people don't realize how out of tune they are actually singing. Stop using Tone Deaf as an excuse. Very few people are tone deaf; that's just an excuse for either pure laziness, or perhaps the fault of an untrained ear.

If your friends are telling you that you can't carry a tune in a bucket, then I'd suggest recording yourself and listening back to the performance to hear what they are hearing. If you are following these lessons, you should have all ready recorded yourself from the last lesson. Did you happen to hear somethin different then what you thought was coming out of your mouth? Let's say you did. What can you do to remedy the situation?

The best solution to correct a pitch problem is pitch matching. Pitch matching is a simple way to tune your voice. You can practice tuning your voice by using an electronic tuner. You can purchase one at your local music store. When practicing pitch matching, sing a note into the tuner and watch the gauge to tell whether you are in tune, sharp, or flat. If you are sharp, try lowering the pitch. If you are flat, just raise the pitch until you are in tune. If you practice every day with different pitches, you will teach your brain pitch memory and the less you will sing out of tune. If you are recording yourself and you can figure out what notes you typically sing sharp or flat in that particular song, you can practice tuning those notes until you feel comfortable singing the song.

A neat little device to help you practice pitch matching is the Sabine MT9000. This small handheld electronic device is a chromatic auto-tuner, advanced metronome, and tone generator. If you have an iPhone or a Droid, there are plenty of apps available you can carry right on your cell.

If you wish to learn other techniques involving pitch matching, and correcting pitch problems, check out my book Raise

Your Voice.

Jaime Vendera

Author of "Raise Your Voice", "Mindset: programming Your Mind for Success" and "Online Teaching Secrets Revealed"




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