How to Match Voice to Pitch on Piano

Learning to match pitch with piano requires developing your sense of hearing.

Learning to match pitch to the piano while singing can cause problems for singers who have limited experience singing with pianos. A piano accompanist often doesn't play the same notes as the vocalist. The vocalist must know his part extremely well before attempting to play with an accompanist. Ironically, a vocalist will first double-check and learn his pitches by checking them with the piano before attempting to sing the song in performance. This solo practice will ensure that the vocalist has memorized the music and is ready to sing with piano. 

Step 1:  Learn to sing the song without piano first. Play each pitch on the piano, or locate a recording if you do not have piano skills. Sing along with the recording until you have learned all the pitches in the song.

 Step 2:  Memorize the song. Take it one phrase at-a-time and avoid trying to memorize the whole thing at once. Once you have memorized one phrase, move on to the next and then add both phrases together. Do this for the entire piece. 

Step 3:  Match your voice to the piano by listening to the pianist's accompaniment and singing your part along with it. If you still have trouble matching pitch, have the pianist play the first chord as well as your pitch. Once you get the first pitch, the rest of the piece will be easier to sing.

If you have trouble staying in tune, have the pianist play a single pitch and try to match the pitch. Bring the pitch slightly up to make it sharp and slightly lower it to make it flat. Listen to what a flat and sharp pitch sounds like to improve your ability to match pitch with piano.


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