The Unconservatory  

(The Myth of "Perfect Pitch"..... and How to Get "It," by Kirk Whipple)

VII. A great tutor: your voice
A special way of improving your tonal memory is to become very aware of the qualities of your voice, its range and how a variety of reference tones physically feel when you sing them. Begin by identifying the limits of your vocal range. Do this at different times of the day. You may have noticed that your voice is lower in the morning after a good night’s sleep. So, your lowest "morning frog tones" are lower in pitch right when you wake up. Similarly, your highest vocal tones will be higher after you have been awake for awhile. Light vocalizing like talking and humming will raise the tessitura, or comfortable singing range of your voice.

With your pitch pipe or keyboard handy, you can determine the pitch of your highest and lowest vocal tones. With practice you can interpolate to find other pitches between the extremes in your vocal range and use them as reference pitches. Notice the physical sensations of different pitches. Sung tones resonate in your body in various ways depending upon their frequencies and how they are produced. For example, tones in your high register will resonate more in your head while you will feel those in your low register more in your chest. Singing tones on an open vowel such as "ah" or "oo" or humming will also change what you feel physically and, perhaps, how you perceive the sung pitches. If you like to sing you may prefer to discover and label your "library of remembered singable pitches."

Next installment:
Using your instrument as a teacher

Other installments:
The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 1

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 2

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 3

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 4

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 5

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 6

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 7

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 8

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 9

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 10

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 11

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 12

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 13

The Myth of "Perfect Pitch" - 14

Table of Contents

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Updated: July 25, 2004 (KB)

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