How to Sing in Tune

Discover the three factors that affect vocal pitch and sing-along with these two fun exercises to help get your pitch back on track.

Being about to sing in tune is an absolute must for any singer.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful your voice is, if you can’t sing in tune then you will sound terrible. Not because your voice is ‘bad’ per se, but because you will clash with the rest of the music… and believe me, even the most non-musical audience member can tell when something is out of tune or ‘off pitch’ as we call it in the music industry.

The problem is, when you’re just starting to learn how to sing, pitch accuracy can often be an issue. One of the most common questions I get from singers is ‘Why do I sing off key?’ or ‘Can anyone learn to sing in tune?’

So how do you fix your pitch? Is it possible to develop this skill or are you forever doomed to sing slightly flat or sharp? Never fear! Pitch accuracy CAN be developed and in today’s video I’ll explain the three areas of singing that affect pitch and I’ll take you through two simple exercises to use to help get your pitch back on track.

Nicola x

How to sing in tune – Three simple steps.


One of the vital parts of sounding good when you sing is to make sure you are singing in tune – or on pitch as well call it in musician speak.

So what this means is that you are matching the note that you need to sing exactly. many singers tend to fall flat of the note – which is when you are slightly under. Or you may sing slightly above which is singing SHARP – but most commonly singers fall flat.

And this occurs for three reasons:

  1. There’s not enough air flow/ breath support
  2. There is not enough space in your mouth when you are singing
  3. Your need to develop your musical hearing.

So let’s break this down:

1. Breath support and airflow

As a singer you are a wind insturment. So you need air flowing through your instrument so that your vocal folds can vibrate and produce sound.

This means that if there is not enough air, your vocal folds can’t do their job properly and you end up straining your throat to compensate and the result is singing flat.

So your first step is to learn to breathe properly for singing.

2. Raise your soft palate

If you have ever been inside a big cathedral  or any room that has a high rounded ceiling, it usually has that nice reverb echo when you speak loudly. The sound is amplified and it sounds nice and resonant. The same goes for your voice.

If you create more space in your mouth, your sound quality will improve. However if you’re not opening your mouth enough and your soft palate is lowered, then what is doing is squashing all the sound down which results in a flattened pitch.

So to get that nice rounded mouth you need to raise your soft palate. I teach you how to do this inside my Singing Academy along with some fun exercises to help train your muscles to remember to keep the soft palate raised when you sing.

3. Improve your musical hearing

Training your ears is vital not only to singing in tune, but it also increases your versatility as a singer.

If you have good musical hearing, you will be able to sing vocal harmony, improvise with ease, and sing in tune of course. Additionally, your appreciation of music will increase because you will be able to hear all the different sounds and instruments that don’t jump out at the listener straight away. You’ll be able to listen deeper into the music and hear things most ‘surface listeners’ don’t’.

You’ll also know if your accompanist plays a wrong note, and you will be able to start your songs easily after recognizing your start note from the piano intro. There are truly so many benefits. After all, music is a hearing art form.

Here are two ear training tools you can use that I love and have personally used:

The David Lucas Burge Perfect Pitch Ear Training Super Course

The David Lucas Burge Relative Pitch Ear Training Super Course – Level One

If you want a really good intro to ear training, these two courses are the BEST. I love the second one for Relative Pitch… because you need that more as a singer than trying to get Perfect Pitch. It breaks down ear training into really easy steps. While I was training at WAAPA (the West Australia Academy of Performing Arts), this was recommended to me by another student and I’ve been using it ever since.

Did you like this video?

Please let me know if you found it helpful in the comments below or if you have requests for any future tutorials.

Have a fantastic week!

Nicola xx

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