How to Sing in Perfect Pitch without a Reference Note

(Last Updated On: August 24, 2021)

Perfect pitch is also known as absolute pitch, where a singer can sing out any notes that been played on the musical instrument precisely without any former reference tone. It can be considered as one of the most valuable skills that a very competent singer must have. Sadly, very few singers in the musical industry possess this kind of talent.

The quality of a singer depends on his ability to sing in the right pitch and rhythm. Now to sing a song in the right manner so as to soothe the listeners’ ear is not all that easy task. One needs to practice a lot to sing in pitch. Now in order to have the ability to sing in the right pitch without a reference note, you must use a tape recorder. The best thing about a tape recorder is that you can play your voice back and rectify your mistakes. Moreover, tape recorders are very portable and handy. You can take it with you wherever you go.

What Is Perfect Pitch Means in Singing?

Going out of pitch in singing is going off-key. In other words, it means that you are singing slightly different than what you really intended to. Mostly, people who have the least interest in singing might have heard of “absolute pitch” or “perfect pitch”. Pitch usually begins with tone. Now, if a person sings in perfect pitch, it would mean that he or she can recognize any note or pitch that is audible to the ears. Additionally, people having perfect pitch can easily make out as to what kind of note is being played on a particular instrument. Hence, singers with this kind of talent are highly respected and coveted.

Just as any other ability that pertains to music in any form, it also stands for relative pitch, which is really difficult to describe. On the basic singing grounds, it is believed to be an ability to recognize or hear a particular note that can be used as an initial point to start with.  This makes the person sing other notes with ease. It is essential to train your ear if you need to identify the notes that you can hear.  A relative pitch is considered as an instrument or equipment of the people that play something by ear. It is extremely necessary to have a certain degree of this kind of pitch to be able to sing properly the notes that are displayed on a music sheet. It can bring a turning point as far as your professional singing career is concerned.

No doubt, there are people who cannot sing and are worried about it.  Though there are only a few of them, yet they are hesitant to sing. You must be aware of the fact that anyone who can speak is able to sing anyhow. For instance, if a person who is not capable to sing in perfect pitch the right way can never be considered to be incapable of learning as well.  So, if you are feeling any such thing then just cast away all the associated fears and just step ahead to the valuable knowledge or techniques that can help you in singing.

In addition to that, some of the abilities that we normally incur are to a certain limit hereditary in us.  So, we can never possess a complete ability or inability, be it in case of singing or anything else. Nothing is impossible, with practice; everyone who has the least interest in music can learn to sing in perfect pitch, doesn’t matter, if it is to a certain degree only. Even, they can be cured of stage fright.

Henceforth, a perfect pitch that is required for an effective singing may not be a hold of everyone but can be a basic ground to act generally in singing. It involves great fun as well as a nice experience. So, it is a requisite for a professional career, but if you do not possess this kind of pitch, don’t worry, you can still make a difference by practicing. This will help you to enjoy your performance later as well as help you to win over your audiences.

Exercises to Train You Singing in Perfect Pitch

1) Musical Instrument Note Mimicking Exercises

Another thing that can help you to polish your talent is the use of instruments. You can practice on a piano or a violin or a guitar. It is advisable not to use any wind instruments. You can easily avail yourself with virtual instruments through different websites. Playing on musical instruments will help you to improve your listening capability and eventually your pitch.

While practicing on musical instruments the foremost thing to do is to play a ‘C’ note in your desired octave. Now after hearing the sound you should try to play it again accompanied by your voice. If you will sing with an instrument you will learn to sing in the right pitch. The best thing about using an instrument is that you can adjust it according to the mood of your song. Of course, you need a lot of practice to attain perfection.

After you have finished with C note you take one step forward to play a C chord having C, E, and D notes. Use the same process of listening and playing on your own. Since you have attained some knowledge from the earlier episode, you must sing in E note along with the instrument. Push yourself to sing all the three notes one after another. Once you have identified the notes and sang the song without any confusion you attain the ability to sing in the right pitch without a reference note.

Besides practice, you also need experimentation to attain mastery over a subject. So after trying a proper hand over different notes you need to repeat the exercise again and again. From now onwards if you play a C chord try an octave that is out of your range. By doing such experimentation you would be able to identify notes and octaves much quickly and accurately.

As said earlier the ability to sing in the correct pitch without a reference note requires a huge amount of practice. If would not practice properly your voice would become rusty and you would tend to forget the earlier steps. You also need to have a tremendous amount of patience.

2) Notes Vocalizing Exercises

If you want to learn the essential elements in music, you have to comprehend the relationship in pitch by listening to the music keenly.

Perform singing exercises to determine the sound of each individual note and analyze their relationship. To blend nicely with the overall harmony and accompaniments in music, you have to ensure accuracy in hitting different pitches that comprise a particular song. To attain this, you have to perform intense training and be able to recognize intervals and pitch.

Moreover, it would be better if you also learned the proper way of vocalizing different notes, and making the necessary corrections when you sound off-key.


Reasons You Are Out-of-Pitch / Out-of-Key

1) Tone Deaf

If a person is tone-deaf, they really can’t fully appreciate music as much as other people can.  They can’t distinguish between different musical pitches, you see.  Someone who is truly tone deaf can’t reproduce sounds or songs that they hear.  So, if you can recall and reproduce songs that you hear, you probably aren’t actually tone deaf.

In singing, you may encounter the so-called tone-deaf, and this is the answer to the question of many people on why unable to sing in pitch. A lot of singers experience this problem. It’s hard for them to distinguish the difference between a specific musical pitch or frequency and another. They cannot sing along with others in harmony, or to be an accompaniment of some musical instruments.

People afflicted with tone-deaf can hear music and other sounds such as street noise, road traffic, and different audible sounds, but they cannot distinguish one pitch from another. This is why unable to sing in pitch can lead them to a special remedy called ear training. This kind of training can assist you in singing on a pitch. It can guide you in developing the areas in your singing activity that you’re lacking.

It may be surprising for you to know that some people can listen to music that sounds in their head when it’s not being played anywhere. In this case, they feel comfortable to sing on pitch. This is like many composers who can compose symphonies through their brains without really involving their ears. This is similar to recalling certain tastes and smell like a chef without the need to taste the stuff.

2) Jumping Notes

Ask yourself – are you really familiar with the pitches or notes that you’re singing?  Do you have any idea on what specific voice range the song is having?

For instance, the song that you’re singing may have plenty of pitch jumps that contain a lot of changes in pitches that you’re not familiar with. To iron it out, you have to take the right training in music intervals and scales. If you follow this, you’ll be able to improve your skills in singing different pitches.  Moreover, you will know the best way to vocalizing a variety of tunes in a song.

3) Vocal Positioning

Are you aware of the vocal positioning or vocal register that you must use when you’re singing some pitches?

This is a sample case – if I ask a man to sing a high note of ‘E‘ or ‘F‘, it could be possible that he may not be able to grasp it, and will tend to go out of tune because he may not be aware about his high vocal register, his head and nasal vocal ranges.

Therefore, you can take some applicable training to find these singing positions and vocal registers. Vocal warm-up exercises can also help you hit high pitches very well, while not sounding too much out of tune for those notes.
It’s also possible that some singers lack the knowledge about breath support that is essential in reaching or projecting some notes that they sing.  This is especially true in the case of higher ranges in their voices that may cause them to produce wayward notes that are out of tune.

4) Blending into Music

You could have neglected the good habit of listening to your voice and blending with music while you sing, which is considered a very important factor in singing. In some cases, singers focus too much on what they are singing rather than blending beautifully with the accompaniment that causes them to go out of tune without noticing in. And their singing voice is deviated from the keys of the song.


Final Thoughts

The 2 common mistakes that are usually encountered by singers that are associated with pitch are hitting the wrong notes which are different from the ones being aimed at, either higher or lower notes. If the singer is singing higher notes, it’s considered to be sharp, while in the case of lower notes, it indicates flat.

People who want to impress the audience should sing in pitch properly, and the way to do that is to know about pitch recognition.

So, you really can sing in pitch. It just takes time and practice. Be patient. Learn to be prepared for any situation. Practice different techniques. Use these tricks and tips, and your ability to sing in pitch without a reference note should quickly improve!

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1 thought on “How to Sing in Perfect Pitch without a Reference Note”

  1. “Tone Deaf” is a harmful and derogatory phrase which will put a lot of people off singing for life who, with sufficient coaching, coaxing and practice, could learn to sing perfectly adequately. True Amusia is rare and usually caused by other underlying issues (and yes, I do have experience of coaching someone who genuinely is amusical).

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