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Can you use a guitar tuner to help you sing in tune?

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Jarom
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It probably depends on the tuner. The guitar tuners I've had could never reliably indicate vibrato. They are designed for a straight tone note, and even that can take awhile to register and stabilize.

The best methods I know of are:

1. Ear training: Learn to hear how far apart notes are so you can better visualize space in your head:

 http://www.musictheory.net/exercises/ear-interval

The second part, would be fine tuned ear training, learning to hear sharp/flat notes. I like to bend my voice up and down to a sustained pitch.

2. Scale/Melody/Arpgeggio exercises: Basically you would slowly and precisely sing along to a notel to a piano or something that is in tune. I'd recommend doing this on every vowel.

3: Instrument Interplay: Try to sing the next note you're going to play on an instrument, or vice versa. Or Sing a sequence of notes that were played on the instrument, or play a sequence of notes that were sung.

4. Modern Software: I haven't really tried any of this software, but someone mentioned a program called Tartini: http://miracle.otago.ac.nz/tartini/

But anything that has a visual of pitch in space and time, would be really useful. So you could see pitch contours. Melodyne (superior vocal tuning program to auto tune) would actually be helpful not as a fix but as a study aid of visualizing the notes. It's an extremely powerful pitch correction software that corrects formants and is almost undetectable to the average ear, even if bending a pitch an octave:

 

Some vocal teachers have even used them to tune a students pitch perfect and then have the student sing back matching their own perfect pitch.  But if you go far enough down that route, you won't even need to sing in tune as they have live plug ins to do that kind of stuff now too.

I generally prefer when vocals are some degree out of tune. I think each phrase in each song, by each singer, will have a pocket that is most expressive be it 10 percent flat, sharp, on the nose, etc. I pretty much stopped listening to mainstream music after vocal tuning became mainstream. They even tuned Joe Strummer posthumously. I could see how these programs would help, but I'm a bit weary of them destroying more humanity in vocals, robots correcting human beings, and people imitating robots to better 'express themselves.' It's soul destroying for me.

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There are some apps out there like tuned xd.  That have tuners you can sing into and it will tell you if you are sharp or flat.  I believe it's a great idea to build the neuromuscular synapses and create the muscle memory required to sing on pitch without thinking about it if you have pitch issues that's how you get better. 

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There are some apps out there like tuned xd.  That have tuners you can sing into and it will tell you if you are sharp or flat.  I believe it's a great idea to build the neuromuscular synapses and create the muscle memory required to sing on pitch without thinking about it if you have pitch issues that's how you get better. 

I know about tuned xd and would really love to use it, but I can't because I don't have an iPhone or iPad.... Do you know of any apps like it in the windows store? The guitar tuner I have been using is called modtuner. Do you know anything about it and is it any good for singing? Tuned xd or an app like it is what I need right now so if you know of any please let me know

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I'd give a definite recommendation for that Tartinini (it's free). I tried it today and my vibrato can exceed one semi tone when I get it going fully. It' funny to try to get the straightest tone possible too.

It gives a visual graph like auto tune, and no matter how straight tone I try to sing, it never flat lines. Is always fluctuating no matter what. I think it would be educational for any singer, as the voice merely approximates pitches. It never fully flat lines like a lot of other instruments.

I can see my pitch drifting away if I sing too long without a reference note too (don't have absolute pitch, just relative). But yeah, it confirms what I thought, was 'in tune' for a vocal is very relative. As they are never in tune anymore than a fleeting moment. The straightest tone trying to flat line the pitch sounds unnatural and forced too. :P

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I know about tuned xd and would really love to use it, but I can't because I don't have an iPhone or iPad.... Do you know of any apps like it in the windows store? The guitar tuner I have been using is called modtuner. Do you know anything about it and is it any good for singing? Tuned xd or an app like it is what I need right now so if you know of any please let me know

Try Tartini if you have a windows computer with a mic somewhere. I don't think it has a 'test' like right or wrong button, but I'm impressed.

If you get a reference pitch (piano), or even a virtual one, you can test yourself and watch it waver. 

http://virtualpiano.net/

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Wow, I thought my major third sounded great in my head but was repeatedly of tune, but it turns out I was singing in just intonation:

http://www.phy.mtu.edu/~suits/scales.html

So keep that mind some of the intervals in equal temperament will be different from what will sound most harmonious acapella.

Maybe Dan is right that it might be best to get 'equal temperament' just stuck in your head. Cause with western music, you're gonna have to sing out of tune. If equal temperament is your auto pilot, with less pull towards just intonation it might be easier.

 

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I suppose you could but you shouldn't. Guitar pedals and systems are designed for the circuitry of guitars, not microphones and the voice. That being said, using a tuner app. is VERY helpful and I have actually been using one more frequently in my studio with students that have pitch issues and recommending them. But, just go to any app. store and purchase a simple $2-$5 tuner app. that you can sing into. I use an app. in the Mac app. store called "pro tuner" on my phone and iPad in the studio. Its ok, but there must be 20 of these things... 

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