If you haven’t already, take a tone deafness test to ensure your ears are capable of letting you sing in tune.
Because you know your ears can judge pitch well, you can now use them to evaluate your own voice. There are two ways to do this:
- Listening while you sing
- By recording your voice and listening after
Different people will find one of these methods helps them more than the other, so we recommend trying both.
1. Listen while you sing
Play a reference note (e.g. a piano note or the tone produced by a digital tuner) and try to sing along with it. It is important to sing for long enough that you have a chance to listen carefully to your note and the target note and try to judge whether they match.
You can also use a digital tuner to practice adjusting your pitch to match a target note, which is helpful because you get clear visual feedback as well as what your ears are telling you.
2. Record yourself singing and listen back
Use a free audio program like Audacity to record your voice. You can use the same exercise as #1, singing along with a target note, or you can play a few notes and then try to sing them after.
Listen to the recording and try to judge whether you were in tune or not. If you have difficulty you can ask a friend to listen to the recording too.
Master pitch and then move on
If your ears are in good shape, it shouldn’t take much practice to start getting control over your vocal pitch. You may find these tips on singing in tune helpful, and some pitch ear training might also refine your skills.
Once you have mastered the pitch aspect of singing, there are still other aspects of the voice which differentiate an average singer from an excellent one, such as tone, phrasing, expression, enunciation, and much more. But without accurate pitching, there is no point practising these other aspects – your voice will still sound amateurish (and possibly even unpleasant) to your listener!
Focus on accurate pitching first, and the rest will follow easily.
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