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Singing in tune

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I have put a lot of effort on my technique since I started my vocal education and had some gains for the time I spent.

But the thing is that singing in tune was something I never considered as a real challenge, but I have been proved wrong.

Many songs I tried and failed to sing in tune because of a bad ear. So has anyone tackled this problem successfully? What methods or books have you used?


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No matter what you'll try - you'll need a lot of practice and repetition. So maybe jut try practising scales... do it slowly, make sure you'll hit every note... and do it A LOT. Then play with melodies, try to harmonize chords with your voice (if you play the root sing the 3rd, for example...), etc...

The other thing is relaxation. It's easy to be stressed while singing - hitting notes, using your body correctly, singing over the band and hearing yourself... my teacher insisted I'd start learning with quiet songs - I'm talking real ballads here. Just to focus on the notes and intonation and not on keeping up with the tune or the other instruments...

I'm going to post a disclaimer here - I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to singing, however, I have a lot of experience with the guitar (including teaching) and I think I'm pretty observant...

So basically: start slowly, practice a lot and be as relaxed as you can while you're at it. It worked pretty quickly for me.

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The number one thing you can do is hearing and repeating acapella. Meaning, listen to the phrase in the song, hit pause. Then sing it back. If that is too hard for you, then do a scale and do it that way. If you only sing with the melody or with the singer you will not build pitch. I know because I was almost completely "tone deaf" when I started and sang along to songs and scales and it didn't help. I have also helped train singers who other teachers wouldn't touch because they were "tone deaf" also.

This is the best advice you're likely to get, and I suggest you follow it to the letter.

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Singers sing by feel. So, especially if you can find a teacher or a friend with accurate ears, practice with them and when you are on the money, they should tell you so and then, you memorize what the note felt like. After a while, your ears will re-calibrate themselves.

Also, protect your hearing. I am a firm believer in earplugs. I even wear them when I am mowing the lawn.

In 1997, I got to see Ted Nugent at what was then the Coca-Cola Starplex at Dallas Fair Park. And I wore earplugs. And my ears thanked me. And I still enjoyed the music.

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