What to do when someone says you sound ‘Pitchy’
Has someone ever told you your singing is ‘Pitchy’? Now maybe the time to take a seat back and listen to what this person has to say. Always take this comment as constructive criticism, it is a sign you need to listen to your voice and the music you are singing. Being ‘Pitchy’ is not something you can take lightly, it’s something you need to fix!
What does being pitchy mean?
Being Pitchy is a term used when some notes sung are either Flat (slightly lower in pitch) or Sharp (slightly higher in pitch) This happens when you are not singing on the centre of the note. Creating a sound that doesn’t quite fit in with the key or notes of the scale for that song.
So, someone has told you your singing is ‘Pitchy’ and now having listened to their comment and understand the term of what it means to sound Pitchy you can start to rectify the problem.
1/ Remember Everyone has off days. It may be a time where you are dealing with a lot of stress or simply haven’t sung for a while. The key thing is to relax and take your time, listen to the notes and concentrate.
2/ Even Pop stars have trouble with pitch, things are fixed in the recording and mixing process by pulling the offending note up or down electronically. This is one of the reasons sometimes the single version that is played on the radio doesn’t sound as good when performed live, although technology is now used to ‘autotune’ singers whilst singing live.
Take a Listen to the song to the right, this is Taylor Swift Live back when she first came out, don’t get me wrong i like Taylor Swift. This is an example of someone sounding a little Flat, which happens when you cant quite get to the note and are singing slightly under.
So How can we Fix This?
When you are experiencing constant pitch problems, there are some steps you can take straight away to help you. Firstly, see if you have the ability to realise when you are singing off pitch. As a singer you will notice almost instantly when you have sung a note slightly wrong, if this is not the case you may be something called ‘Toned Deaf’ when you cannot differentiate the sound as being in tune or out of tune.
If this is conclusion you come too, i have to say unfortunately there is a long way to go, which the outcome may be that you are never able to hear the difference between notes. Don’t worry singing may just not be your thing! Much like some people aren’t able to become athletes or mathematicians, it takes hard work and sometimes a natural ability to start with.
So on with the tips to help you achieve the notes you want to get in tune.
Perform Singing Exercises
Singing exercises and warms ups are generally performed to piano, take the time when singing to listen to yourself and think:
- Does this sound the same note as the piano is playing?
- Is my teacher stopping me?
- Do i sound like the demo my teacher has just given me?
Visit a Singing Teacher
Having someone you trust to give you criticism is a must. A teacher will stop you when you are going wrong and point you in the right direction. They will give you exercises to practice (Make sure you do them – No Skipping!) as these will help you in areas that become troublesome.
Correct Breathing, Posture and Technique
Keeping your posture and breathing space free is essential to helping you reach those problem notes on pitch. If a note is a little high and you keep singing it on the flat side, take a bigger breath with support and correct posture will help take the train off and release that top note a little easier. Check out my Breathing Techniques Blog