Seasoned singer, arranger, and choir director Ben Parry talks ear training, approaching singing, and the unique requirements of a capella.
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.
Training for Singers
There are several key areas which singers may want to focus on in their 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 interval ear training to learn how.
- Solfa: One powerful approach to learning relative pitch skills involves naming each note in the scale. The most popular system is solfa, or “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.
Free Course: Learn to Sing
Singing Training at Musical U
Inside Musical U you’ll find a set of training modules for developing your voice, from the fundamentals of singing in tune through to developing a good-sounding voice and gaining rock-solid confidence to sing in front of people.
This roadmap will help you learn to sing.
It won’t make you the next X-Factor superstar, but if you’ve ever thought maybe you can’t sing, you’ve worried about singing “in tune”, or you feel you just don’t have a “good voice”, this Roadmap will let you put those fears to rest once and for all.
You’ll also learn to relate singing to the wider world of music. If you play an instrument this will help you relate singing to what you already know and understand on your instrument. If you don’t play an instrument it will help you feel comfortable and confident singing in a musical context, such as with a backing track, a real band, or performing on stage.
Singing Training Modules
Learn the power of using solfa for your musical training and how solfa syllables can help you with intervals, chords and melodies.
After completing this module: you will understand how to start from the tonic to build and recognise intervals, chords and simple melodies with solfa.
Learn the 16 factors which contribute to having a “good” singing voice, identify which might be holding you back, and discover practical techniques you can use to improve them.
After completing this module: you will understand how to develop a good singing voice.
Learn how to match pitch with your singing voice.
After completing this module: you will be able to easily and reliably sing back a note you have heard.
Learn the fundamentals of controlling your voice when you sing, including breath support, accurate pitch leaps, and how to evaluate your own singing to keep improving.
After completing this module: you will be able to produce clear accurate notes when you sing.
Learn how to sing and play an instrument at the same time, for example to accompany your singing with chords on a guitar or piano.
After completing this module: you will be able to accompany yourself on an instrument while you sing.
Free Course: Learn to Sing
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