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How To Sing In Tune (Even If You Completely Tone Deaf…)

How to sing in tune

Learning how to sing in tune for a beginner is the most important thing when you are singing.

Like, even if you are completely nasally and you’re singing as quietly as a mouse, you aren’t going to sound horrible if you’re on pitch the whole song.

But that’s not our goal.

We want to sound amazing whether it’s karaoke night with your friends or belting out your favorite songs in the car.

That’s why in this step-by-step guide I will show you how you can sing your favorite songs in tune with a proven system even if you are completely tone deaf.

So let’s get started.

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Can Anyone learn to sing in tune?

learn how to sing in tune

Yes, anyone can learn to sing in tune if you can speak to someone.

But first, let’s define what singing in tune actually means.

Singing in tune, or being on pitch, means that you are singing each note behind each word correctly.

Music Notes

And the goal to sing well is to make sure that you hit each note correctly.

As simple as it sounds, it can get a bit hard singing in tune (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading this guide!)

These are the most common reasons why you sing out of tune:

  • The song is too fast…
  • The song is out of your range…
  • You can’t hear the right notes in the song…

It’s already hard enough to sing the correct note accurately, but when you make it harder by singing faster and out of your range, it starts to explain why you are singing out of tune…

Which is perfectly normal if you haven’t practiced singing.

And chances are, you aren’t tone deaf because it only affects 5% of the population, but if you’re still curious you can take this tone deafness test just to double check.

So now that you know what singing on pitch means, it’s time to get started on improving your voice.

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Find A Song You Want To Sing In Tune

Elvis Presley Singing

If you want to learn how to sing in tune, then you probably have a song in mind.

Any song can work, but I always recommend finding a song that you can comfortably sing without changing the keys.

This is because we want to focus on being able to stay on pitch in our comfortable range before going to our higher range since it’s easier.

So for our example I am going to choose “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley since I am a big fan of his songs And his vocal range is within mine since I am a baritone singer….

Now when you’re choosing a song, make sure that you can sing the entire song (including the chorus) where you can hit each note pretty comfortably.

If you can’t find any songs like that within your range, then later on I’ll show you how to change the key so that it fits your voice.

But I prefer not to do that when you are a beginner singer because when you drop or raise the key too much, the voice becomes distorted, and it becomes more difficult to find the pitch.

When you drop the key too much, the voice becomes slightly distorted and it could be difficult to find the pitch.

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1. Find The Notes Of The Song

Music Notes

The biggest mistake I see when people are trying to learn how to sing in tune is to use only their ears.

If you haven’t practiced singing, then that probably means that your ears have not developed yet.

You won’t be able to tell just from your ear alone if you are singing on pitch or not yet.

That’s why when you are starting out as a beginner, even if you are completely tone deaf, you want to make sure that you can visually see if you are hitting the pitch or not.

So the easiest way to find the notes of the song is to go to Music Notes and type in your favorite song.

Make sure that you are choosing a music sheet that’s meant for singers like below…

Can't help falling in love music sheet

After you do this, read the music sheet and figure out what notes you have to hit for the song.

If you don’t know how to read music notes, then you can check out this quick guide here.

So for this example, let’s go with the first three words in our example song “Wise Men Say” in the key of F Major are…

Wise-men-say

So the following notes we have to hit to sing in tune are:

  1. F3 (Wise)
  2. C4 (Men)
  3. F3 (Say)

Now that you know what notes you have to hit, then you want to visually see whether you are on pitch or note with this pitch finder tool below…

pitch-finder

Ideally, you should line up the arrow to the note you are singing (as you can see I’m slightly flat…)

And when you are starting out for a beginner, you want to do this for every single note.

It’s a lot of work and that’s why I recommend just working on a few phrases a day.

Over time, you are going to notice that you will need to rely on this tool less as your ears become better.

But let’s say that the song you want to learn isn’t online and there aren’t any vocal sheets.

Then you have 3 options:

  1. Figure out the notes yourself by ear 
  2. Get your vocal teacher to help you find the notes…
  3. Or just find another song that you can find online…

But when you are learning how to sing on pitch, remember to have fun and to break it into small bits so that it is not overwhelming.

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2. Sing The Song As Slow As Possible

slow down the song to sing on pitch

When you can sing a couple phrases while being pitch accurate, then it’s time to listen to the actual song at a very slow speed.

This is because now we are ready to add the rhythm and tempo of the song without relying on the visual pitch tool.

Plus, learning how to sing it slowly helps build the muscle memory for you to naturally hit the correct notes without thinking about it.

It’s like learning a piano: When you are trying to play a song, you don’t just try to play it at full speed, even if you’re missing almost all the notes.

Nope.

You learn a couple phrases very slowly, and once it becomes natural, you speed up.

It’s the same thing with your voice.

We’re going to assume already you know how to breathe properly with proper posture and just jump right in to learn how to sing on pitch.

So here’s how to sing the song as slow as possible:

  1. Go to Youtube and type in your favorite song you want to learn (In my case it’s going to be “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley)
  2. Go to settings on the bottom right and click on playback speeds and set it to 0.25 (Or you can use the keyboard shortcut “shift” and “<” which I use…)
  3. Sing a couple phrases and repeat it multiple times in slow-mo.

You can find the settings on Youtube on any video below…

Youtube settings

You want to sing it multiple times because you will naturally correct yourself when you are off pitch.

And over time, you will develop a sense to where the notes are, how far apart they are from each other, and the tempo between each note without having to think about it.

It’s all about putting in high-quality repetitions so that you can ingrain this into your muscle memory.

When you first listen to it at this slow speed, it’s going to sound pretty weird (but you get used to it pretty fast…)

The next step is to record yourself and hear yourself singing in slow-mo.

  • Do you sound like you’re in tune or are you not hitting some notes correctly?
  • How long does it take for you to find the correct note and sing it?

If it’s the first question, go back to the pitch finder and make sure that you are hitting the right note.

Otherwise, just practice finding the notes with your voice and you will become naturally faster.

Remember that if you are a beginner, it’s going to take some time to develop the pitch accuracy and ear to make sure you hit the right notes.

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3. Lower The Key At A Comfortable Voice Range

Sing in a comfortable range

The next thing that you want to make sure when singing in tune is that the key fits your voice.

What it means to lower a key is to make all the notes in the song drop by 1.

So if you are singing a song with 3 keys down, then that means every single note drops by 3 and vice versa.

Simple, right?

We want you to sing at a comfortable range so that you can focus completely on pitch without having to worry about your upper range for now.

This is because learning to be on pitch in your upper limits is something else you have to train for since it’s harder to have more control up there.

The way to change keys by using the free Transpose chrome extension so you can lower the key on any Youtube song below…

Transpose chrome extension

Ironically, you want to not change the Pitch function but the Transpose above it (since the pitch is changing something else…)

And you want to lower it by however many keys you need to sing comfortably.

This is also important to know which key you need to sing when you go out to karaoke.

What you want to focus on now is to sing the song slowly at a lower key for the whole verse.

You want to hit each note and slightly exaggerate so that you develop your ear and make sure you’re hitting each vowel correctly.

Once you can find the melody and you know it by heart now, then you can start increasing the key to its original key.

And what you’re going to notice is that it’s exponentially easier to sing in the original key once you get the melody down in an easier key.

And that’s because you trained your voice already in knowing how far the notes are from each other, and all you need to focus on is doing it in a higher range now.

Pretty cool, huh?

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4. Gradually Increase The Speed Of The Song To Its Original Speed

Increase the singing speed

You are already making a lot of progress in learning how to sing in tune if you’ve been following this guide correctly.

By now you should be able to:

  • Know which notes are in the song…
  • And be able to sing the melody…

Now the exciting part begins: Singing the song at original speed.

And I’m going to show you how to do it systematically for any singer.

Here’s how you do that with Transpose Chrome Extension:

  • First, start at 25% to make sure that you hit each note perfectly.
  • Then increase by a small amount (1 or 2%) and try to sing that same phrase slightly faster.
  • Then keep going until you are back to the original speed like this…
Dropping the speed

That’s it.

The reason you want to start slowly is to double check that you are hitting each note correctly.

And by incrementally increasing the speed, you can notice when you are struggling when it gets too fast.

Plus, you are getting high-quality repetitions in your voice by singing the notes correctly on pitch.

You also develop your ear-pitch coordination so that it will be easier to find the notes for future songs.

It’s a very simple but very effective singing exercise to help you learn how to sing in tune with your favorite song.

If you’re already an advanced singer and can already hit most of the notes already, you can start at 50% and increase it by intervals by 5% instead.

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5. Work On Getting Your Falsetto To Pitch

How to stay on pitch with falsetto

Once you can develop singing on pitch with your chest voice, the next step is to learn how to sing in tune with your falsetto as well.

If you haven’t developed your falsetto yet, then you can check out this guide to learn how to do so.

But it’s the same steps for learning how to sing on pitch with your chest voice:

  1. Slow down the song to 0.25
  2. Make sure that you hit each note properly
  3. Speed up the song gradually to original speed

If you’d like, you can also do singing exercises like singing scales with different mouth positions to stay on key (which you can just find on Youtube…)

And once you become proficient in falsetto, you can start doing cool things with your voice like:

There are a lot of cool things to make you sound awesome once you have your foundations set.

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6. Build Your Song Repertoire

Build a song list

Once you know how to sing in tune for that one song you’ve been training for (hopefully you’re actually following this guide…)

Then you want to build a song repertoire list to impress your friends.

I’d say focus on working to sing in tune for 3 songs, since that’s going to be plenty if you’re a beginner.

This is really important when you want to show off during a karaoke night and show people that you can actually sing well since you have been practicing and already prepared.

When you have some songs that you can confidently sing, it’s just going to build more confidence to sing more.

Plus, it also trains you to sing without the help of your favorite artist and just singing with a backing track.

The more you sing and practice, the more songs you can sing during karaoke to bust out whenever it’s karaoke night.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know I’m singing in tune?

There’s two ways to know if you are singing in tune:

  1. Record yourself and see if you sound good (Do this if you trained your ears…)
  2. Or use a pitch finder tool and to find the notes and to see if you are visually hitting them.

Otherwise, you can hire a vocal teacher and he can tell you if you are singing in tune if you don’t want to do it by yourself.

Why Is Singing In Tune So Hard?

Singing in tune is hard because it’s already hard enough to be pitch accurate on each note.

And then it becomes even harder because:

  1. The song is too fast (making it harder to hit each note accurately…)
  2. And the song is out of your range

Which requires a lot of practice to gain the control to be pitch accurate.

That’s why we focus on lowering the song speed and decreasing the key to a comfortable vocal range so that you can focus on staying on pitch first.

How Can I Improve My Vocal Pitch?

The best way to improve your vocal pitch is to do constant high quality repetitions of singing on pitch.

I go over this in my guide, but what you want to do is find each note and make sure that you are hitting the note correctly before moving onto the next one.

Conclusion

Hope you found something in this step-by-step guide to learn how to sing in tune, even if you are completely tone deaf.

The first step for singing a song in tune whether you are in a car or at karaoke is to practice being on pitch by seeing visually where your pitch is at.

Then you can make corrections along the song by making sure that each note that you sing is pitch accurate.

It takes a lot of work in the beginning, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to impress your friends during karaoke night.

Let me know in the questions below if you have any questions about singing in tune.

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As a seasoned musician with multiple years of experience, Anthony writes about tips and tricks to improve your craft whether you are a singer, pianist, or guitarist here at Melody Beats.

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