With a strong vocal foundation and making space, a singer can produce amazing effects. What’s more, good technique can help you keep singing for a lifetime.
Every musician should be using their voice to train their ears. This goes double if you are "a singer"!
There is a fundamental connection between your ear, your "mind's ear", and your singing voice.
You don't need to be a singer to practice ear training with your voice. If you are a singer, there are particular areas of ear training which can help you improve your skills.
Singing is the best way to improve your ear for pitch, and pitch ear training is the best place for most musicians to start improving their ear. Once you have learned basic control over your voice's pitch, it becomes a powerful tool for all your other ear training, including relative pitch (e.g. intervals), dynamics and tone/timbre.
Ear Training for Singers
There are several key areas which singers may want to focus on in ear training:
- Pitch: accurate pitching of notes, and precise control over variations in pitch (e.g. vibrato) are essential to any singer, and pitch ear training helps develop these skills.
- Relative Pitch: judging the distances between notes reliably and accurately helps you sing melodies which have leaps in pitch, and it makes sight-singing a breeze. Use relative pitch ear training to learn how.
- Solfège: One powerful approach to learning relative pitch skills involves naming each note in the scale. The most popular system is "moveable do solfège" and it's never too late to train your ears with this system.
- Active Listening: If you sing in a band or choir it's vital that you learn how to listen well to the rest of the music while you're singing. Blending and balancing your voice with those around you requires this kind of active listening.
SingTrue is the app which can teach anybody to sing. Even if you're worried about being "tone deaf" or you've been told you're "out of tune" or "off key" when you sing, this fun interactive app will quickly get you singing perfectly!
Solfège is a very powerful system for learning relative pitch, by giving each note a name (do, re, mi). It's never too late to try learning this way, and many of the most capable and proficient singers use solfège to sight-read and perform music.
Get started with "Solfeggio and Ear Training".
There are extra skills you need to sing in a choir, and most of them boil down to listening skills rather than singing skills. Explore choir singing ear training to find out how you can become an expert choral singer.
Learn useful choir ear training exercises in "Practical Listening Skills for the Developing Choir" or get inspired by "The Choir Who Can’t Sing".
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