Sliding Up and Down on Pitch - dummies

By Pamelia S. Phillips

Sliding up and down on pitch while singing gives you the chance to hear a pitch from an external source, such as a piano, and then sing that pitch or slide around until you match it. Sliding away from the right note allows you to hear the vibrations of your voice clashing with the wrong note and then match the right note.

With practice, you can match any pitch, but start in the middle part of your range and work your way up.

  1. Play a note on any instrument.

  2. After you play the note, feel it in your body — visualize yourself singing the note before you actually sing it.

  3. Play the note again and sing it.

    If you didn’t match the pitch, slide up and down until you match it.

    You can keep playing the note on the piano until you match it. How do you know when you’ve matched it? You’ll hear that the vibrations of your voice and the vibrations of the note sound similar. The sounds will blend together.

  4. Play a different note.

  5. Visualize it and hear the note in your head before you sing it.

  6. Now sing the note.

    If you miss again, slide up and down until you match the pitch.

If you sang the correct note after some practice, good for you. Play the note again. This time, intentionally slide above the note or higher than the note, and then slide back down and match it again. The next time, try sliding below the pitch and then back up to match it. This exercise trains your ear to hear the matching vibrations of your voice and the instrument.

You can also ask someone to sing a note and hold it out. Listen to the person sing the note for a moment, and then try to match the pitch. Make sure that the note isn’t too high; matching pitches that are close to your speaking range is easier than matching pitches that are outside your speaking range.

As your partner sings, try sliding around until you match his pitch. If you still aren’t sure, ask him to tell you when you get it right. This buddy system is beneficial for you because your buddy can be the pitch monitor. As you explore pitch, find a buddy of the same gender: It’s usually easier to match the pitch with someone who’s the same gender.