Train Your Internal Hearing And Sing On Pitch

vocal technique Sep 21, 2023

One of the most common hurdles for beginner singers is singing on pitch. Many think that singing on pitch has to do with applying the right vocal techniques. And while that's partly true, there's another important element to it that is often missed: training your internal hearing!

Beginner singers often make the mistake of overexerting their voices when a note gets shaky. Instead of pushing harder, we'll explore a different approach today. Another common error is over-activating the muscles around the larynx when dealing with shaky notes, leading to strain. Additionally, many beginners struggle to hear whether they're singing on pitch or not. That's where we'll start – developing your inner hearing is a critical step towards becoming a trained singer.

Trained singers can recognize when they're off-pitch and use diaphragmatic breathing to stabilize a note. They understand that consistent practice, even with seemingly simple exercises, is the key to mastering their singing.

Today, we're diving into the "Sing Yourself to Freedom" formula, with a focus on the Vocal Technique pillar. Vocal technique is all about building the tools and techniques that lead to vocal freedom. And what is vocal freedom? It's the ability to sing high, low, and all the notes in between effortlessly, without strain. It's about having the power to sing what you want, how you want. So, let's explore it further!


The Two Phases of Singing

Singing involves two crucial phases: internal hearing and vocal production. Phase one is about understanding where the music is going, what pitches you need to sing, and phase two involves making your vocal cords vibrate to produce sound. Today, we're merging these phases into one exercise, and it's going to be a game-changer!

Before you dismiss this exercise as too simple or potentially boring, remember that "simple" doesn't mean "easy." There are nuances to discover here, so stick around!


The Pitch Stabilization Exercise

Here's the exercise: Play a note, and your task is to first hear that note in your head. Then, you'll sing it out loud on an "SOVT" sound – that's short for Semi-Occluded Vocal Tract sound. We'll use sounds like "brrr," "vvvv," or "zzzz." These sounds help stabilize the pitch without activating the muscles around your larynx. The key here is to engage your diaphragmatic breathing rather than pushing from the throat. Finally, we'll open it up and sing the note on an "ah" sound.

The "SOVT" sounds act like training wheels, guiding you to find the right pitch. When we remove them and transition to "ah," you'll feel the full potential of your voice. Got it? Great! Let's give it a try.


Exercise: Singing on Pitch

Play a note. First, hear it in your head.

Then, sing it on an "SOVT" sound, like "brrrr."

Transition to "ahhh" and keep it steady.

Hear it in your head... Then, sing it on an "SOVT" sound

Transition from  "brrr," to "vvvv," to "zzzz."

Keep it rock-steady:


You've successfully practiced keeping those notes stable, and it's not as easy as it seems, is it? But remember, this exercise is all about honing your diaphragmatic breathing and developing your inner hearing.


Applying the Technique to a Song

Now, let's put this technique into practice with a song. We'll focus on a single sentence from the chorus of "Blinding Lights" by The Weeknd. The line goes: "I'm blinded by lights."

Our goal is to apply the same steps we just practiced – hearing the melody in our head, using "SOVT" sounds to stabilize the pitch, and then singing the actual words. Ready? Let's go!

First, let's hear it in our head:

Now, let's do it on an "SOVT" sound together.

Start with "vvvv":

Transition to the actual words with the same intensity and diaphragmatic control.


This process you've just learned is a framework you can use when tackling tricky parts of any song in your repertoire. Whether it's a challenging chorus or a complex verse, slow it down, hear it in your head, stabilize it on "SOVT" sounds, and then sing it with the words. Simple, right?


Your Homework

Your homework for today is to take a song you've been working on and apply this technique to a challenging section. It doesn't have to be the entire song – start with a specific part that you find difficult. Try it out and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I'm eager to hear about your progress!


Exciting News: Free Training!

Before I go, I want to share some exciting news. We have a free training coming up called “DISCOVER THE MOST POWERFUL VOCAL TECHNIQUE" In this training, we'll dive even deeper into building your vocal toolbox, filling it with techniques and tools that will set you on the path to vocal freedom. It's entirely free and will be a valuable addition to what you've learned here today.


Thanks a million for hanging out with me once more this week. Your enthusiasm and support mean the world to me, truly!

There's a whole world of vocal wonder waiting for you there. Until next time, keep those vocal cords humming and those spirits soaring! 🎤✨