Singing on pitch is every beginner singer’s goal.
And if you’re just starting out with your singing lessons, hitting the correct notes might be challenging.
But if you start with the right exercises, it soon won’t be.
In today’s article, we’ll take you through all the necessary steps to improve your pitch and sing in tune!
Singing on Pitch
If you’re having a hard time hitting the right notes, don’t worry – most beginners struggle with this.
Singing on pitch (or in tune) is not easy in the beginning.
In fact, it might be quite challenging, even if you have a good musical ear.
But all of that can be fixed in an easy way.
Find Your Vocal Range
Before tackling specific steps and exercises for improving your pitch, you need to know your vocal range.
Truth be told, many people sing off-tune because they’re not familiar with their specific vocal range. And that’s one of the first things you should do if you want to improve your voice.
Vocal range is a measurement of the distance from the lowest note to the highest note you can sing.
A very common male vocal range is C3-C5. And a common range for women is approximately A3-A5. So, the average male vocal range is about 1.5 to 2 octaves, while the average female vocal range is about 2 to 3 octaves.
Most people have a 2-octave vocal range, meaning they can comfortably sing across 2 octaves of vocal range.
However, some professional singers have a vocal range of over 4 octaves. Some of the most impressive vocal ranges of famous singers include:
- Mariah Carey: F2 – G7 (more than 5 octaves)
- Ariana Grande: D3 – E7 (more than 4 octaves)
- Michael Jackson: Eb2 – F#6 (more than 4 octaves)
- Beyoncé: A2 – E6 (more than 4 octaves)
And vocal ranges are normally categorized into 8 common voice types.
If you know what your vocal range is, you can easily classify your voice:
- Bass – E2-E4
- Baritone – A2-A4
- Tenor – C3-C5
- Countertenor – E3 – E5
- Contralto – E3 – F5
- Alto – F3-F5 (or D5)
- Mezzo-soprano – A3-A5
- Soprano – C4-C6
Each voice type has specific abilities, characteristics, and tone.
Bass, countertenor, and contralto voices are pretty rare, while you’ll hear male tenors and female sopranos quite often.
A mezzo-soprano voice type is also common in popular music. Some of the famous mezzo-soprano voices in the music industry include Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Beyoncé.
Once you find your voice type, you’ll be able to choose songs to sing more easily.
And picking the songs suitable for your vocal range and voice type is very important.
That way, you won’t hurt your voice – singing outside of your vocal range can be dangerous for beginners.
Plus, you’ll be able to improve your voice in an effective way. Every successful singer started out by bringing the best out of their natural voice.
And that’s the first step toward improving your pitch.
You should stick to the notes you can sing comfortably first, and then you can work on extending your vocal range, singing high notes, and so on.
Take it one note at a time and you’ll be able to sing in tune in no time.
How to Sing on Pitch
Some people are able to sing in tune with ease, while others need some time to improve their pitch.
The thing is, singing is both a talent and a skill. That also means anyone can learn how to sing.
And anyone can learn how to sing in tune.
And the easiest way to do that is to follow these easy steps:
1. Select the note you want to sing
First of all, the note you’re trying to sing should be in your vocal range.
If you sing a note that’s out of your vocal range (and comfort zone), it will be much more difficult for you to sing that note correctly.
2. Play the note on a piano or guitar
Play the note you chose on a piano or a guitar. Alternatively, use a digital tuner or a piano app. The important thing is to hear that exact note clearly and loudly.
3. Listen to the note
Before trying to match it, listen to the note carefully for a moment.
And although this might seem unusual at first, try to imagine the note in your head. This is also called auralizing.
Picturing the note in your mind will help you execute the next step.
4. Sing the note
This is the most important step – sing the note to match your voice to the pitch you played.
5. Listen to your voice and correct the pitch
If you’re using a digital tuner, look at the screen to see if you have perfectly matched the pitch.
But if you play the piano or guitar, you’ll need to listen to your voice carefully.
You’re probably very close to the correct pitch, but you might also want to fix it.
6. Correct the flat note
If you’re signing below the target pitch, it means your note is flat.
If that’s the case, you’ll need to bring your voice slightly higher.
7. Correct the sharp note
And if your note is sharp (you’re singing above the pitch), sing lower until you match the note.
While correcting sharp and flat notes in singing, pay attention to your muscles and your breath. Also, make sure you’re standing in the correct singing posture.
All of this may affect your pitch.
8. Remember how to sing in pitch
Once you have found the correct pitch, try to remember how you felt while singing in tune.
For example, some people feel like their voice is slightly “vibrating” when they’re in tune.
And you might feel something else completely. The important thing is to become aware of it.
Eventually, muscle memory will do the job and you’ll be able to sing in tune effortlessly. But until that happens, visualizing the note and remembering the feeling can be very helpful.
Once you achieve the correct pitch, select a new target note and repeat the process.
Steps for improving your pitch might be easy, but the whole process can be long.
You’ll have to be patient and persistent, especially if you want to be able to sing through your whole vocal range comfortably and confidently.
Singing in Tune
It’s true – you can’t learn how to sing in tune overnight.
However, if you incorporate vocal exercises into your daily routine, you’ll be able to see the results sooner than you think.
So how can you know you’re singing in tune?
Well, that’s sometimes hard to tell, especially if you’re a beginner.
The easiest way to determine whether you’re singing the note correctly is by using a tuner app on your phone. The app will immediately let you know if you’re out of tune.
Alternatively, you can record yourself singing. You can then play the recording over a backing track to see if you got to the right pitch.
In the beginning, you’ll most likely have to correct your pitch just a bit – singing flat notes is, for example, very common among beginners.
But over time, you’ll get very close to the right pitch.
And before you know it, you’ll be singing in tune!
Taking Control of Your Voice
Besides adequate daily exercises, learning how to sing on pitch requires having good control of your voice.
After all, that’s one of the most important things every aspiring singer has to learn.
Taking control of your voice will allow you to transition from one tune to another smoothly.
So if you want to be able to move across a range of pitches with ease, you should definitely work on this skill.
And one of the easiest ways to work on this is to practice scales on a daily basis.
Singing scales is popular in singers’ warm-up sessions, and maybe you’ve encountered it too. Either way, try to add this simple (yet sometimes demanding) exercise into your daily practice.
While you’re practicing, you should also think about the correct posture. This will soon come automatically to you, but in the beginning, you need to remind yourself to keep a straight back, relaxed body, and chest held high.
Developing Aural Awareness and Audiation
Another thing that will help you improve your pitch is developing aural awareness.
Ear training and aural skills will allow you to identify pitches, intervals, melodies, chords, rhythms, and so on.
Developing these intricate skills takes time, but there are several things you can do to strengthen your aural awareness.
For starters, you can take advantage of all the apps and technology you have at your disposal. There are so many useful programs nowadays, and good software can help you develop your pitch recognition.
A digital tuner will also come in handy during your practice as it will tell you if your pitch is too sharp or too flat.
Furthermore, you can download a singing app designed specifically for practicing scales. Singing scales will not only help you take control of your voice but will also strengthen your aural skills.
Once you feel confident with singing basic scales and melodies, you can move on to more complex stuff.
Singing vibrato and arpeggios is great for developing aural awareness, and it’s also helpful in extending your vocal range.
Recording yourself is important for every singer, regardless of their level.
Sometimes it’s hard to listen to yourself carefully while singing because you’re focused on your voice, notes, and lyrics. But if you record yourself, you’ll be able to notice your weak spots – and that will also help you listen to yourself a little better next time.
All of this will also help you develop audiation.
Audiation is the ability to hear the song in your head without actually singing it.
And many claim it’s the foundation of musicianship.
Visualizing notes and verses of the song you’re currently working on is indeed very beneficial.
Firstly, audiation will bring you a lot of extra practice time. It’s a technique that allows you to practice from literally anywhere – because you’ll be practicing in your mind.
You can work on your pitch while riding on a train, traveling to work, or walking your dog.
If you want to bring the best out of this type of practice, focus on the song you’re singing in your next practice session. It would be best to choose a familiar song.
Of course, it’s impossible to imagine a song without familiarizing ourselves with its melody, pitch, and lyrics first. So for starters, choose something that you already know by heart.
While singing all the parts, pay attention to the pitch, the intervals between notes, and the melody. Go through every line mindfully and make sure you’ve really mastered the song.
This is how you’ll be able to visualize each part of the song, even if you’re not currently singing it or hearing it.
When you feel like there are no problem areas in that specific song, you can try to visualize other notes or lines while singing the song. And singing words while visualizing the rest is even more challenging.
All of these mental exercises will help you improve your aural skills and overall singing technique.
Our minds are really fascinating – and visualizing and imagining music is more important than you might think.
Therefore, don’t be afraid to explore different exercises and techniques.
And don’t forget to take advantage of all the modern tools you have access to.
If you’re learning how to sing by yourself, online singing lessons and apps will most likely provide you with useful tools and innovative learning methods.
But even if you just want to experiment with your voice by yourself, you can easily do it if you use the exercises and tips we showed you today.
And with enough practice, you’ll be able to sing on pitch effortlessly in no time!
Can You Achieve Perfect Pitch?
With all of these vocal exercises and aural skills, you’ll be able to sing notes correctly without having to think about it.
But will you ever be able to have a perfect pitch?
Perfect pitch is sometimes a rather controversial topic among singers.
First of all, having an absolute pitch – the ability to identify or re-create any musical note by name after hearing it (and without any reference to other notes) – is extremely rare.
A commonly cited number is that approximately one in 10,000 or 0.1% of people have a perfect pitch.
Some of the famous musicians known for their perfect pitch include Mariah Carey, Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Secondly, there is research that indicates that most people who have absolute pitch have had it from an early age.
So, although it’s possible to improve your pitch with musical training, acquiring the perfect pitch is a different story. In fact, many sources claim that it’s actually impossible.
But don’t let this discourage you. Acquiring a perfect pitch shouldn’t be your goal anyway.
The goal is to bring the best out of your voice.
And with regular practice, strong motivation, and passion, you will most certainly achieve your goals. As long as your goal isn’t to sing like Mariah Carey within a week…
All joking aside, dreaming and setting goals is important for your success, just like visualizing music is important for improving your pitch.
Singing on the pitch is challenging for singers, especially beginners.
However, hitting the correct notes is a skill that can be learned.
First, you need to find your voice type and vocal range, and then you can proceed with specific vocal exercises and singing techniques.
With proper tools and regular practice, anyone can learn how to sing in tune.
And if you follow the steps above, you’ll get there sooner than you think!