Have you been told you’re out of tune, or tone-deaf when you sing?

Do you enjoy singing… but worry that it doesn’t sound good to other people?

There are two factors which determine whether you can sing in tune or not, and the good news is that both are within your control.

One of them is big and the other relatively small – and you might be surprised which is which!

Vocal control (i.e. making your vocal chords reliably produce the note you want them to) is important, but your voice is actually only about 20% of the challenge of singing in tune. In fact the far more significant factor is… your ears! 80% of singing in tune relies on hearing what pitch you are singing, and what pitch you should be singing.

20%: Controlling your voice

You might think that singing in tune is solely a matter of training your vocal chords. In fact this is quite a small piece of the puzzle, and it’s a part of the problem which doesn’t take long to fix.

If you can change your speaking voice to be higher or lower – for example to pretend to be speaking as a woman if you’re a man, or vice-versa – then you know you have some control over your pitch. Controlling your singing pitch is just a matter of refining this control and practising hitting notes exactly first time, rather than wandering around in pitch until you hit the right note.

If you’re worried you can’t sing in tune, this aspect of the problem (cont