Many singers want to improve their ear for music so they can sing better, and they’re right that ear training is the key. But what kind of singing ear training can you do?
The short answer is: Focus on pitch.
Specifically, singers should use ear training to develop their sense of relative pitch. This helps a singer in a number of ways:
A more accurate sense of pitch helps a singer to hear whether they are singing in tune and correct any pitching errors.
Pitch ear training builds this core sense of pitch.
More powerful musical expression
Having strong relative pitch skills allows a singer to artfully manipulate pitch (e.g. with slides and vibrato) for the sake of musical expression, creating more powerful performances.
Leaps between notes can strike fear into the heart of even accomplished singers.
The key to confident sight-singing is to develop interval recognition skills so that you can look at those pitch leaps, know how they should sound, and so sing them directly with confidence.
Singers rarely sing completely unaccompanied. Whether singing in a choir or small a cappella group, performing with a band, or having a full orchestral accompaniment behind them, a singer must be aware of how their part fits in with the overall harmony.
Chord ear training can help build this key appreciation of musical harmony.
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