Using The Success Of Instrument Methods
People are very successful at learning to play guitar, piano and other instruments – even without the help of an in-person teacher. Students can usually get to a decent level on an instrument, using website articles, YouTube videos, books, video courses or software. An in-person teacher ofcourse will be much faster, and guarantee that you have no plateaus – but you will still learn songs if you are dedicated enough, without in-person.
This is not true to the same extent with singing. Even with an in-person teacher, you still might not achieve success with your singing. Personally, I have taught many students that have come from a background of lessons, and have gaps in their singing which their prior teachers were unable to address. These students were dedicated, paying time, putting in the practice, but not seeing as much results as they could have seen.
The reason why success in singing is much more difficult to attain, than success with an instrument, is because measuring how good you are at an instrument is easy to do, whereas, measuring how good a voice is, is way harder.
Measuring an instrument versus measuring a singer
It is easy to tell if you are playing an instrument properly. You simply have to press a note done on a piano, or press a fret down on a guitar. If you don’t, the note won’t play. If you do, the note will play. If you play the wrong note, it is clearly visible. You don’t even need a teacher to tell you – you can easily look at a guitar tab, or at sheet music and see what note you are meant to play. There is no guessing.
So playing a phrase or section of a song is simply a matter of learning where every note is, and then pressing all those notes down hard enough, and then memorizing where the notes are. Anyone can do this without a teacher. They just have to repeat it hundreds of times, and gradually can learn a full song.
The harder part that a student may not be able to learn on their own, is rhythm. Rhythm is the time a note starts and ends, which also means how long a note goes for. All notes have a precise time they must be played, and must be ended. This is very hard for a student to learn on their own. It is possible – there are many books on rhythm and tools such as metronomes. But when it comes to trying to learn any song you want on your own, this can be a very difficult task.
Rhythm is the point where many self-learning students give up, or stick to easier songs and never advance. For example, a guitarist can play the chords and strumming or fingerpicking pattern at the same time. So they quit, and stick do basic sounding down strums or finger plucks. A pianist has to play arpeggios or chords rhythm with the left while playing a melody rhythm with the right hand – so they quit, because this is super hard to do without any guidance.
But with guidance, it is fairly guaranteed that no matter how bad you might be at rhythm, a teacher will be able to break it into small enough chunks that you learn it. After all, you can watch your hands play, and the teacher can easily see where you are playing to fast or slow, or the wrong note.
Back to singing – singing the right note is the part that is hard to measure – because the learner can’t see their note – and neither can the teacher. The teacher can see the note in their mind, and have a close idea of whether a singer is too high (sharp) or too low (flat), or on the wrong note entirely (off key). But this is hard for a teacher to communicate clearly to the student, because the degree to which the student is sharp, flat or off key can vary greatly. They could be a tiny bit sharp, or very sharp.
This literally is never a problem with a guitar or piano. You are either playing the right note or you aren’t. Simple. Nothing in between.
This fundamental stage – singing the right note – is why people struggle to learn to sing to an advanced level in all aspects of singing, on their own, and even with a teacher.
A solution for singers to learn more effectively
The strategy for learning instruments is already proven successful – so let’s keep using it. Using sheet music or tabs to learn one note at a time, and gradually adding more notes, using metronomes and music player to play at different tempos to bring up your speed on those notes that you are learning – until you can combine all chunks of a song into one final professional sounding piece.
Let’s keep all that, because it’s a measurable strategy that works gradually, and is fun.
But it’s not measurable or fun when it comes to singing. The solution I have created is to see the notes of the voice, the same way you see the notes of a piano or a guitar. If you can simply use the same notes from the sheet music, put them into Singing Pitch Trainer, and then learn to sing them accurately with the feedback that Singing Pitch Trainer gives you in a real-time, you know have a way to measure yourself, as opposed to guessing what you sound like, or relying on a teacher to try to communicate with you how sharp, flat or off key you are, and then them having to demonstrate to you the correct note with their voice or on a piano over and over.
Now you can know how you are going, every single time you sing a note – the same level of certainty that you have when you are learning an instrument – meaning you will get the same level of success.
To learn more about Singing Pitch Trainer, please see the menu on this website. Good luck with your singing journey.