Almost everyone can sing, and very few people are tone deaf and completely unable to sing. However, many people have been told, often when they are children, that they cannot sing, and they have believed that ever since.
This often means that they cannot sing in tune (hold a tune) or sing the same notes as other people around them (matching pitch).
Singing in tune is a matter of voice/ear coordination [a bit like throwing a dart to hit a bullseye is a matter of eye/hand coordination], and this can be practised and improved.
This page consist of a series of exercises which, if practised for as little as five minutes four or five times a week, will improve matters greatly.
The first thing you probably need to do is just increase the range of notes you can sing. If you never do more than talk, your vocal muscles won't be very exercised
(just as, if you sit in an armchair all day, your sprinting ability won't be impressive).
Firstly, just sing any note which comes easily to you, and then slide your voice up and down. Something like this:
Sliding Exercise 1
If you haven't done any singing for some years, and don't feel confident about using your voice, it's worth doing nothing more than this for a few days.
When you can slide your voice up and down over quite a range, it's time to start on the exercises below.
These depend on you listening to a note, then singing any note of your own and sliding until it's the same as the sounding note. You are then matching pitch. You can even practise sliding in and out of pitch several times.
This would sound something like this:
Sliding Exercise 2
Sliding Exercise 3
The following notes for practising are also given their letter names. If you are unsure about the naming of notes and where they come on the stave, please follow this LINK.
This first group uses notes that are middle of the range for altos. Practise each one several times over a few days
until you feel confident about matching pitch fairly quickly. You can do them in order or randomly.
C# - Db
D# - Eb
F# - Gb
The following examples introduce some lower notes
and you may have to practise some more note-sliding to get to these lower ones.
Low G# - Ab
Low A# - Bb
Finally, the notes of the upper alto range. Occasionally, you will be asked to sing notes higher than these, but if you can manage these examples, higher notes will be not problem.
As you sing these, try to keep your jaw and throat relaxed.
G# - Ab
A# - Bb
Via this LINK you can find a number of well-known Christmas carol melodies to sing along with as additional practice.
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