“Am I Tone-Deaf?”: 3 Steps To Prevent That Awful Out-Of-Tune Moment

simon cowell

How can I tell if I'm getting the note right? Can anyone sing in tune, or can only some people do it? I think I'm tone-deaf, is that a thing? Head VoiceHacker Matt Pocock took on this question for Vocalzone's VoiceHacker blog.

Pitching - the ability to find a note and sing it - is fraught with difficulties for most singers. There's a huge pressure from society and popular culture on the ability to sing in tune, mostly perpetrated by overly harsh critics (read: high-beltlined pitch terrorists) like Mr Cowell, pictured above. Modern TV Talent Judges are not constructive mentors, they are pitch terrorists.

Pitch is considered to be one of the fundamentals of good singing, and so when a singer goes out of tune it can feel like a crushing blow. This is because people consider pitching a note to be a mental faculty, that only happens in the mind. They feel like that they should automatically be able to do it, like breathing. But as Matt says in the main article, they're missing out on a crucial step:

There is a great misunderstanding about tuning. Most people think of pitching as a two-step system, that goes something like this: 

  1. You hear/visualise how high the note has to be pitched.
  2. You sing the note. 

But there is a crucial step in between the two:

  1. You hear/visualise how high the note has to be pitched.
  2. You prepare your body to sing the note.
  3. You sing the note.

So, this preparation, this 'feeling of the note' instead of just the 'hearing of the note', is the crucial piece of understanding. Check out how to get yourself feeling the note at Vocalzone's main blog.

Are you a working musician looking for a warm-up routine? A teacher with a long drive to work every morning? A public speaker looking to get in the zone before the big presentation? Warm up your commute with VoiceHacker’s free download of our Driver’s Warm-Up Routine: a 10-minute warm-up designed by experts to get you ready to hit the big time from the comfort of your own car. Take the wheel. Master your voice.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *