Singing by ear is often the focus of any short-term singing course offered today. It’s not only because it is a basic lesson, but it is the foundation of any singing course on the planet. By learning to sing by ear, it would be easier for you to move on to more advanced singing techniques. At the same time, when you know how to do this method, you can practically perform in different crowds with different accompaniments because you already know how to control your vocal chords and read notes at the same time.
To learn singing by ear can be a tedious process, but here are tips that may be of great help:
- Study interval training.
Every song is made up of a combination of intervals, so it is important to have a feel of how far each pitch is between another, whether it be a fourth, fifth, sixth, major or minor seventh, etc. It is a core competency of a good singer to be able to sing in clean intervals, and at the same time knowing the intervals helps a lot in reading sheet music, as you get to hear what is happening in a piece.
You can practice interval training using different interval charts that may be given to you in class or through supplemental modules online.
- Look into the scales.
Learning to read musical scales can be difficult at first, but you’d be amazed at how reading scales helps a lot in improving your singing abilities. You may want to begin slowly by going through major and minor scales, and once you have gotten a good grasp of it, you may speed up your practice in an upward and downward motion.
- Practice singing arpeggios.
Another great exercise when learning to sing is the arpeggios, or broken chords that are intended to be sung in an ascending or descending order. This is done to improve pitch accuracy and voice control since you will be singing over a large range of chords, and as well as honing your ability to connect pitches.
- Listen actively.
When learning singing by ear, you should be conscious in listening to the way other people sing their songs. Try to find out what the artist is doing in terms of technique, such as singing in head voice or chest voice, the transitions between notes, and breathing intervals. This even includes hand gestures and the way they open their mouth when singing. Once you start observing how others do it, you can now apply these to your own singing and see which works for you and which do not.
- Hear yourself sing.
When singing by ear, it is a must that you know your own voice. Hence, you may practice by facing a corner and start singing a song, so you are able to hear yourself better. This exercise likewise sharpens your awareness towards your own voice, as by the you can identify the issues and areas that you need to correct and improve.
- Try to match the pitch of an instrument.
When singing by ear, it is also important that you are able to match your voice with the pitch of an instrument. You can practice by singing with instrumental accompaniment, such as a piano or guitar. You may also do drills by playing a single pitch and matching it with your own voice.