10 Reasons You Can’t Hit the Right Pitch

10 Reasons You Can’t Hit the Right Pitch

The human voice is quite different than other instruments. For example, on a fixed note instrument like a guitar or piano, you simply pick which string or key to play. But when it comes to your voice, you first need to picture the note you want to hit in your mind and then let your vocal cords intuitively adjust their shape and the airflow over them to recreate that note. And after nearly ten years of singing and playing guitar, I can tell you that the voice is one of the hardest of instruments to master.

A common problem that a lot of beginner singers have is that they aren’t consistent with their pitching accuracy. This in turn leads to a lot of beginners quitting before they even have a chance to become good. So if you’ve ever head that singing is something that you are either born with or not, please forget that drivel. You can learn to be a great singer. All it takes is correct practice and dedication. And in today’s article I want to walk you through ten reasons why you may be having trouble with hitting the right pitches as a singer.

1. You’re tensing up

We may not think about it, but there are a huge number of muscles apart from our vocal cords that are involved in the singing process. Everything from our tongue and jaw muscles, our facial muscles, our neck muscles and our core muscles all have a bearing on our tone production. And if any of these muscles are tense, they can drag down our vocal abilities. So when singing, focus on putting yourself in a completely relaxed frame of mind. Your body will follow, and you will notice a distinctive improvement in your pitching ability.

2. You’re not breathing correctly

When we sing, exhaled air passes over our vocal cords causing them to vibrate. This is what produces our singing and speaking voice. So if we are either taking in too little air, or letting that air exhale over our vocal cords inconsistently, we are affecting our ability to pitch notes correctly. So focus on practicing correct breathing technique and you’ll notice how much easier it is for you to hit notes accurately.

3. You’re singing with poor posture

Singing with poor posture is one of the biggest killers of correct breath support. And a lack of correct breath support is almost always involved in poor pitching accuracy. You might not be able to hold perfect posture every time you sing, but try to at least ensure that you’re holding a posture that does not affect your ability to breathe correctly.

4. You’re not warming up your voice

Our vocal cords are like any other muscle in our body. They need to be warmed up sufficiently until they are able to function correctly. Most singers who forgo warming up their voices before performing or rehearsing are usually the ones who suffer from poor pitching accuracy. The rule of thumb that I like to follow is that I try to warm up for at least forty minutes before training my voice, and at least an hour before performing.

5. You’re not training your vocal cords

Like any other muscle in our bodies, our vocal cords too need regular and consistent training. There is a saying that it takes at least 10,000 hours of practice to master something, so you should ideally be aiming to practice at least four hours each day, every day. And remember, consistency is crucial when it comes to vocal training. The voice is a muscle that can degenerate extremely fast, so you can often lose even a month’s progress just by loafing off for a couple of weeks.

6. You’re not using your registers correctly

Our singing voice is divided into chest, head and mixed voice. These three registers are simply a categorization of where our voice resonates in our bodies when singing specific notes. For example, when singing very high, notes resonate in our head cavities, hence the term “head voice”. A lot of singers who have problems with pitching accuracy on certain notes are often singers who haven’t strengthened all three of their registers equally. So by trying to sing certain notes using the wrong register, they’re effectively trying to use a part of their voice which is ill-equipped to sing that note. This in turns results in poor intonation.

7. You’re not training your ear

Singing, at its very core, is simply the act of being able to hear a note in your mind and replicate it with your voice. So to sing with perfect intonation you need perfect harmony between your ears, your mind’s ear and your voice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you need perfect pitch to become a great singer. But simple ear training exercises like playing a note on the piano, hearing it, playing it over in your mind’s ear and replicating it with your voice can go a long way towards improving your pitching abilities.

8. You’re not practicing perfectly

There’s a saying that practice makes perfect. That’s actually not true. Practice makes permanent. The only thing that makes perfect is perfect practice. So be critical and unmerciful when you practice. Work on every little pitching detail and don’t let any sort of poor pitching slide. You’ll actually notice more improvement in your pitching abilities by learning to sing one song perfectly rather than by learning to sing fifty songs poorly.

9. You’re picking songs out of your range

Another occasion where singers suffer from poor intonation is when trying to sing songs which are out of their range. It’s true that you can work on improving your range, but in any given instance, you should never try to sing songs that are beyond your pitching capabilities. Not only do you risk injuring your voice but you can also suffer a serious blow to your confidence which can then carry on to your future singing efforts.

10. You lack confidence

A lack of confidence can be one of the most devastating things to any singer. Since the voice is such an intuitive instrument, even a tiny twinge of self-doubt can sometimes result in poor performance, which can then snowball until an entire vocal performance is ruined. But here’s the catch, the only true way to build confidence is through competence. So pay attention to these ten things and work on consciously addressing them. And I guarantee that you will become a better and more confident singer in no time at all.

Quick Singing Tips: The Essential Guide for Guitarists Who Want to Sing
Quick Singing Tips: The Essential Guide for Guitarists Who Want to Sing

Inside this FREE guide, you will discover how to become a better singer using an insider's action plan to increase range, clarity, and quality.

Download now!