3 Common Reasons for Pitchy Singing and How to Fix It

I know that having pitchy singing can be really frustrating but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Today I’m going to give you 3 common reasons for pitchy singing and how you can fix it.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzWhKDRHVq0&w=560&h=315]

Experiencing pitchy singing makes you self-conscious and that really take the fun out of singing. It can even make you think you do not have a good voice and make you want to quit all together.

Before it gets to that, let’s look at three common reasons for pitchy singing and how to fix it. Here is reason number 1


#1 Reason for Pitchy Singing: You Have an Untrained Ear

The first thing to look at when experiencing pitchy singing is your ear. As singers, our instrument is different than for an example the guitar. Unlike the guitar, we cannot see the notes we are playing, we can only hear them. This is why your ear is so important. It is literally the only tool you have, that can tell you if you are on pitch or off pitch.

Reason for pitchy singing untrained ear

If you are having trouble telling if you are on pitch or off pitch there can be two reasons. Either you are tone deaf or you just have an untrained ear. Now very few people are tone deaf, but it is common to have an untrained ear.

Let’s do a quick test together to see if you can tell when I sing in tune or out of tune. If you can hear the difference, then you are not tone deaf. You just need to train your ear a bit.


Tone Deaf Exercise

I’m going to sing along with a piano note three times. Two of them will match the piano and one will be off. Let’s see if you can recognise the pitch that is off. Play the track below.

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So hopefully you you could tell which pitch was of? Let me know in the comments section. And guess what, if you can hear that then your pitchy singing is not due to tone deafness. It might be that you need to train your ear a bit more though.


Quick Ear training Exercise

Below is a quick exercise to train your ear. This is how it works: Two pitches will be played and you have to hear if the second pitch is higher, lower, or the same as the first one. Use the multiple choice form and then hit submit to see if you got it right. Have fun 🙂

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#2 Reason for Pitchy Singing: You Forget to Use Your Ear

Even though your ear is trained, you might be forgetting to use it. This is the most common reason for pitchy singing that I see in my students. To sing on pitch you have to know what the note is before you try to sing it.

It’s ok to just go for it if you are enjoying yourself and you’re really feeling it. Please do, but then that should not be the time where you judge yourself on your ability to sing on pitch right?


To use your ear, sing the note in your head and then imagine singing it before you sing it out. So there is two steps to this.

  1. Find the note in your head with your trained ear
  2. Imagine singing the note so that you can adjust the muscles of your voice to sing the right one.

The more you practice, the better your muscles get at adjusting themselves to sing the pitch you want. I can feel my muscles adjusting when I think of different pitches, and that is were you want to get to.

I’ve made a short vocal exercise track that you can use to train your pitch.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwCD9JjHUDY&w=560&h=315]

If you want to download the piano track from this exercise for free. You can find it here:Vocal Exercise Tracks


#3 Reason for Pitchy Singing: You Choose Songs that are Too Hard for Your Current Level of Vocal Technique

Lack of good vocal technique like air support or resonance in your voice can lead to flat singing. Bad vocal technique usually happens when you sing songs that are too difficult for your level of skill. To fix this I recommend that you choose an easier song that suits your current level of skill better.

I have some song suggestions here: 5 Easy Songs to Sing for Females

Think about it, you wouldn’t start off with the hardest piano song when learning how to play the piano right? Mastering the voice does take practice just like any other instrument.


Practice Your Pitch to Become a Better Singer

I think that because the voice is an instrument that we use every day, many think that either you are born a good singer or not. Yes, some people might be born with a physiology that makes for a great tone naturally. But pitch is one of those things that come with skill and practice.

So pick a song that fits your level of technique. One where you have time to use good breath support and time to use your ear to identify the pitch before you have to sing it. Master that song, and then move on to something harder step-by-step getting. This way you can grow your skillset just like learning any other instrument and you will stop singing out of tune.

So those are the three most common reasons for pitchy singing that I see in my students

  1. An untrained ear
  2. forgetting to use that ear and
  3. singing songs that are too hard for your current level of skill


I hope this gave you more of an idea of what to work on to improve your pitch when you sing.


Improve With the Vocal Quest Book

If you want to continue to improve your voice I recommend that you check out my book, Vocal Quest, because it has tons of exercises that guide you to grow step-by-step.

Buy the Vocal Quest book now

The book prepares you to take the Trinity Rock and pop exam. The exam is available around the world and it will give you a diploma that proves your skills as a singer.

Link to the book: Vocal Quest

Link to information about Trinity and the exam: Trinity Rock and Pop


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