Have you ever told anyone you're tone deaf-or incapable of carrying a tune? Its usually the surest way of getting out of singing for someone, but is there such a thing as "tone deafness"? I doubt it. How can someone be born with the ability to hear, but not comprehend music?
In ten years of teaching voice I haven't been able to place a single person in that category, and yet here in Australia most people have serious inhibitions about their singing capabilities.Like many singing instructors, my own experience involves training people to hear themselves, hear music and to gain control over their instrument. I think with proper guidance, and the right encouragement, people can learn just about anything.
I would not have taken on students with serious difficulties in pitching their voice if I didn't begin with a simple premise: Most of the world's people sing. Music making and singing is common to most religions and indigenous cultures for example.These environments provide a supportive musical education for most children, who grow up regarding singing as natural a skill as speaking.
Having said that, there will always be people with strengths or talents in some areas and not in others. Being able to draw something in perspective does not necessarily make you an artist, just as learning how to sing in key doesn't necessarily make you a great singer, but its a very important start.
A common singing problem is simply not listening to yourself.
Put on one of your favorite songs and then ask your self ; how many voices are singing at any one time? What, if any are the different harmony lines? How many instruments can you hear? Can you separate them out? Can you really hear the bass line?
Tap out its rhythm and sing it in the comfortable part of your vocal range. You may be singing along to songs and either drowning out your voice by the sheer volume of the music, or ignoring your voice by focussing entirely on the lead vocal or the music in general.We've all heard people sing out of tune while listening to music through headphones. They're out of key primarily because they cant hear their own voice.
There are other classic reasons why people sing out of key.
Most music today is sung in high vocal ranges, for anyone with a low vocal range, especially most men, this is confusing. We all have a natural range of about 8-12 notes where it feels relatively easy to sing. Men's voices usually sit an octave (eight notes) below women's. Once you relax and get comfortable with that you will recognize that not all songs were meant for your voice, at least not in the original key that demands you strain out of tune to reach the melody.
Once you're comfortable with your natural range which tends to be in the speaking or "chest" register of your voice, you can start to expand your range to sing higher in what we call our head register. In the chest register the sound reverberates from the air in your chest and mouth. It also resonates from your throat where we often speak. Singing and speaking from the back of the throat strains the vocal chords which is why learning to sing or developing a professional speaking voice involves projecting the sound forward.
In our head register the sound reverberates around our sinus cavities, that is our nose, nasal passages and forehead. Children sing and speak naturally in this area. Unless you've never stopped, you'll have to rediscover this voice to properly extend your range,stop straining your vocal chords and singing out of key.
The best way to overcome difficulties with singing in key is to get singing lessons.
We dont all have the time or money to pay a full time professional singing teacher. For some people it can also be an intimidating process to sing in front of a complete stranger. Now there is another way to take singing lessons.
You can learn how to sing in the comfort of your own home with your pc on the internet. I have created Explore Your Voice especially for people who feel they need to take their time and get a feel for singing lessons. It's based on over 10 years as a professional vocal instructor and I use some highly effective and innovative methods to bring out your own unique voice.
Kate Slaney - exploreyourvoice.com