Today I am delighted to announce a new app from Easy Ear Training. It’s called SingTrue™ and it can teach anybody to become a confident, capable singer and musician. This is an app for complete beginners who think they’re “tone deaf” or “unmusical”, and for musicians who want to improve their ears and use their voice to enhance their musicianship.
The app will soon be publicly released in the App Store. We’ll be issuing a press release, sending out emails and doing all the important things you do to officially launch a new project.
But first I wanted to personally announce it here on EasyEarTraining.com, because this is a project I’m hugely excited about, and personally really proud to add to the Easy Ear Training range.
Why is this such an exciting project? Because it’s the culmination of our last 5 years experience designing new ear training methods and talking with thousands of musicians about what it is that enables you to become confident, creative and a “natural” musician.
On the face of it, SingTrue is an app that teaches you to sing. And it certainly is that! But it’s much more than that too.
It turns out that singing is actually vital for all musicians who want to achieve their full potential. It’s an integral part of effective ear training. Whether or not you ever intend to sing in front of another person, or get up on stage with a microphone, if you want to feel truly musical, you simply must develop your voice.
Convinced? You can jump straight to the app info!
Not All Singers Can Sing
I grew up singing. I sang in primary school, and then I was in Junior Choir, followed by Intermediate Choir, Senior Choir, Chapel Choir, two Barbershop groups, countless musicals and operettas, including (my proudest moment) playing The Mikado in a Gilbert and Sullivan production in my final year. Alongside all that I learned to play clarinet, guitar, saxophone, and piano, passing numerous grade exams along the way.
With that background, you’re probably thinking “That’s a guy who never had to worry about singing in tune, or whether he was musical…”
Most of the time I felt like a bit of a fraud.
I’d look at the musicians around me who could sight-sing or improvise or play by ear, and I’d think “they’re the real musicians.” Any time one of my fellow singers in choir would make a snide comment about someone singing out of tune or hitting a wrong note, I’d feel simultaneously relieved that they weren’t talking about me, and anxious that another time they might be complaining about me to somebody else.
I’ve written about this more in our Crash Course, so I won’t dwell on it here.
Suffice to say: it’s not just those who don’t sing or play instruments who get intimidated and feel like they’re not musical enough.
Good vocal control and accurate pitching is a bugbear for many able musicians. You only need to be told you’re out of tune once to worry about it forever more.
Ever since my choir days I’ve wished there was a way to really hone your vocal control. Some private way to practice until you knew for sure that you were always in tune and on key.
(Oh, and if it could teach you to sight-sing too, that would be amazing. It was always a mystery to me how people could glance at the notation and know how far to leap from note to note…)
Most Musicians Don’t Sing… But Every Musician Must
Over the last few years with Easy Ear Training, I’ve learned countless surprising lessons about what does and doesn’t matter in music education. What holds some musicians back and what lets others succeed beyond their wildest dreams. As we’ve developed new apps and eBooks we’ve always tried to reflect these learnings, to make our ear training material as effective and powerful as possible.
In the last few years our focus has changed.
We started out making ear training tools for musicians who knew that they wanted to do ear training. This broadened to making musicianship methods which helped musicians develop their instinctive understanding of music, through their ears.
But more and more, as I answered students’ questions, by email and on our forums, I found I was recommending they sing. Sing to improve their interval recognition, sing to understand how basslines worked in songs, sing to improve their ability to recognise chords and harmonies by ear. And it really seemed like the musicians who made fastest progress with ear training were those who weren’t afraid to use their voice to train their ears.
Throughout it all, our mission has been to help musicians to feel more musical. To help them feel like they are a “natural” after all. To help them gain that instinctive musical understanding that they admire in other musicians around them.
Could singing be the missing link?
Singing As The Gateway To Music
With the launch of Tone Deaf Test this year we broadened our focus one step further, aiming to help people who considered themselves completely unmusical realise that music might be for them after all.
The results of the test speak for themselves. With over 40,000 tests taken, just 2% of people have proven to be truly “tone deaf”. The rest are perfectly capable of becoming musicians, with a bit of ear training.
To develop the test we researched the scientific studies on tone deafness and read countless articles and forum posts about the topic. Since then we’ve also talked to many people who’ve taken the test. One thing really stood out: there are actually two issues here:
- Hearing the differences between pitches
- Using your voice to sing in tune
Many people use the term “tone deaf” to refer to #2 – when actually true tone deafness is solely about #1. If you can do the “ear” side of things, you can certainly learn to do the “voice” side.
And as the test shows, 98% of people can do the “ear” side of things. That means there’s an awful lot of people out there who consider themselves “tone deaf” but are actually perfectly capable of becoming great singers and musicians.
All these people simply need a helping hand to develop their ears and their voice.
That was the origin of the project I’m announcing today:
The app that can teach anybody
to sing in tune.
SingTrue is a new interactive app for iPhone which trains your ears, your mind, and your voice to help you become a strong, accurate, confident singer and develop the instinctive understanding of music that lets you play by ear, improvise and create your own music.
At its core, SingTrue is about learning to sing in tune. Many musicians and singers struggle with accurate pitching. SingTrue uses the iPhone’s microphone and sophisticated signal processing technology to listen to you sing and give personal feedback to help you improve. You can actually see how your vocal pitch varies and how close to the target notes you are. There’s no more need for guessing and fumbling as you sing. After practising with SingTrue you will be able to hit every note perfectly, every time.
We weren’t satisfied with that though. Since singing is the heart of good musicianship, we saw enormous potential to take things a step further. That’s why SingTrue also includes exercises to develop your musical ear. Using the powerful solfa approach, SingTrue teaches you to recognise notes by ear. Starting from the very basics of pitch sensitivity like our Tone Deaf Test, the app leads you through developing a really strong sense of relative pitch, and gaining the skills needed to play music by ear, sight-sing from notation, and improvise freely to express your own musical ideas.
Throughout it all, SingTrue tracks your progress in detail, with points and awards to show clearly where you’re making progress and where you should focus next. Videogame fans will love the user profile screen where you get a detailed breakdown of your “character” as a singer!
SingTrue went through a month of exhaustive testing with our wonderful beta team to make sure we ironed out the bugs and refined the learning experience to make it fun and truly effective. Here’s a few comments they sent us along the way:
It’s Almost Here…
SingTrue has been submitted to the App Store and will be released very soon. If you want to know as soon as it’s out, you can register here to get immediate notification (just log in with Facebook and click the “Notify Me” button). While you’re there, please take a moment to vote for SingTrue!
We believe this is an app that can truly help a huge number of people get involved in the wonderful world of music.
So if you know anybody who could do with some singing practice… Or have a musician friend who wants to have better ears… Or you just want to support this mission and help us make more musicians, please help us spread the word:
1. Share SingTrue on Facebook:
2. Share SingTrue on Twitter:
I’m really excited to share this new app with you very soon. Until then, please spread the word and visit singtrue.co to learn more!
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