Singing on Pitch

Are you sometimes just a little out of tune?  Do you feel like you’re just a little ‘flat’?

Could be your cheeks have something to do with it.  Watch this short video (under 2 minutes!) for some tips, or read on for more depth!

Singing on Pitch is a combination of listening, focus, and face.  Obviously, you need to be listening to the accompaniment or the singers around you to be in tune with them. It’s the first step I take my clients through if they are having trouble singing in the same key as the music around them. For more information on that topic, read this article or see this tip (coming soon).

The second element of improving your intonation is your mental focus. If you mind is wandering, your pitch might wander.  Clear your mind of distractions, and if something comes in, gently send it on its way in a bubble.  Stay focused on the task at hand.

The most important and quick fix to intonation is in your face.  Your face is the location of two important ‘resonators’ for the voice.  The primary resonator is your mouth- it shapes the sound like

English Horn and Oboe

Note the different bell shapes

the bell of a horn. Think of the difference in the sound between an oboe and an English horn, for instance.  The secondary resonators in your face are your sinuses. If your pitch is a little flat, chances are so are your cheeks – and your cheeks are right there, on top of your sinuses.  For your sinuses to resonate freely, you have to lift the cheek muscles and tissue up slightly.

Technically, it’s the overtone series that your body creates that indicates whether you sound ‘on pitch’ or not. If your cheeks are flat, chances are your tone is flat, too.

There’s one other bonus to always singing with a slight ‘smile’.  You don’t look like a zombie. It’s a little creepy, like watching the early attempts at digital animation of real people…  Remember “Polar Express” and how the kids faces look flat?  If your face is engaged, your audience will be engaged.  So remember what Annie says, “You’re never fully dressed without a smile!” And keep your intonation spot on!!

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