Pitch Matching to Improve Vocal Skills

When singing and taking voice lessons it is foundational to have good pitch. Pitch matching is a basic skill and this article outlines some basic concepts.


Finding Your Natural Range

Pitch Matching
Match The Pitch

Starting on middle C on the piano, play the note and then match it singing one of the vowels; I believe O is a good vowel to start with. Repeat the note on the piano several times to make sure you are matching that note with your voice. Listen closely to yourself and the piano, your ear is your greatest asset in this process. After you match the pitch of middle C, work your way up the scale, one note at a time. Use a light, breathy sound to make sure you don’t strain your voice at this point. You are just getting a sense of your basic range, so keep it light.

After going up the scale to where it is comfortable, then work your way down the scale. When it gets to where you can feel you’ve hit the “bottom” of your voice, you’ve got a good sense of your natural range.


Matching Pitch – Pitch Matching

Within this natural range you have found, start by playing a note that is close the middle of your range. After playing the note, match it with your voice while holding the note. After you have been successful with this exercise, try the next step. Play a note and release the note, THEN match the pitch on a vowel sound. Play the note again to make sure you have correctly matched the pitch. Doing these exercises several times a day will really help to hone your pitch matching skills, and improve your tonality.


Finding The Harmony

The next leap in matching pitch is picking out the harmony notes, or a note within a chord.  Start this exercise by playing a chord such as a C chord= C E G on the piano. Pick out each note with your voice, starting with the bottom note, in this case, C. After you hit the note with your voice, play it on the piano to make sure you got it right. Good Job! Now move on to playing the chord and then trying to pick out the middle note (or the top note next, since for most, picking out the middle note will be the hardest). Play the note alone on the piano and see how your matching skills were. Did you get the middle note you were shooting for? If not, try again. It might take practice, but this is helping to greatly improve your harmonizing skills, which is am important part of any group singing.


Singing The Chord

Lastly, take these exercises to the next step. Play a chord, then release it. Using your voice, sing the whole chord, starting with the bottom note and working up in thirds, which is the intervals of a chord. Be sure and try this exercise with several different chords. C chord is a great place to start, but practice with other chords also which are in the basic range you have found for yourself is the first step we talked about in this blog.

These exercises will help with your pitch, pitch matching, and finding harmonies. In another blog we will talk about improving range.

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