What is Pitch and Why Should I Care?

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The ability to match pitch or sing a certain desired pitch correctly is the most important skill a vocalist can cultivate and learn. Pitch, simply defined, is the frequency of a sound. Lower tones (think the keys on the left half of the piano as compared to the right) and higher tones (keys to the right half of the piano) vibrate at different speeds, and each note either played or sung has a distinct frequency. Singers need to be able to re-create a given musical note by comparing it to a reference note. This is called relative pitch which is different than perfect pitch (the rare ability of a person to identify or re-create a given musical note without a reference note).
Think about being on pitch as hitting a bull’s eye on a target. The area outside of the bull’s eye can mean a sharp pitch (the note is sung too high) or a flat pitch (the note is sung too low). The sweet spot is the bull’s eye! Have you ever heard someone refer to a singer as “pitchy”? That means they are off pitch on certain notes in the song and that translates into a less-than-pleasurable experience for the listener.
So now that you have a better understanding of the meaning of pitch, a likely question is how do I know if I’m on pitch? There are several computer applications and hand held devices that can test your pitch. Another way is to engage a singing coach who can help identify any issues in your pitch matching and assign you exercises to improve your sound. One thing you can do today is set up a free voice consultation with us at Peak Music, and our Master Certified Voice Coach will give you immediate feedback on your pitch matching.
Here are some other tips:
  1. Gently warm up your voice with scales for about 5 minutes
  2. Check your posture – you should be standing up straight yet relaxed with your hands hanging softly at your side. Your head should not be bent down or extended too far up. Pay attention to your posture as you sing and correct it if necessary.
  3. Do daily voice exercises. Enroll in our FREE beginning singers course which has voice exercises to improve your pitch and range. Singing songs is not the same as doing vocal exercises! You can sing a song as a reward for doing your voice exercises!
  4. Work on your ear. Singing exercises will help you tune up your ear so you are able to better hear pitches. The only way to sing a correct is to hear it first!
There are other more advanced techniques such as vowel substitution (see our blog entries here and here).
We encourage all local singers from Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Cohoes, Latham, Watervliet, Clifton Park, Colonie, and surrounding communities to come in for a free voice consultationif you are serious about improving your pitch and upping your singing game!