A very common issue among singers is having your notes come out just a little flat.
If someone has ever told you you're singing flat, they mean that you are singing a note lower in pitch than the note intended.
So essentially, if you're flat, you need to bring your voice slightly higher to get the correct pitch. Easy enough, right? Actually, that is not the case at all.
However, it is possible for you to improve your pitch accuracy. It will take some vocal training and effort, but it is definitely doable.
And keep in mind that singing flat doesn’t mean you are tone deaf or a lousy singer.
It just means you are a little bit off when it comes to your pitch, but no one has a perfect pitch when they first start singing.
To help you out, we will discuss four tips to stop singing flat in the article below.
Table of Contents:
- What Does Singing Flat Mean?
- Why Am I Singing Flat?
- How To Stop Singing Flat
- Am I Actually Tone Deaf?
- Can I Achieve Perfect Pitch?
- Study At An Accredited Music College
What Does Singing Flat Mean?
When you sing flat, you aren't singing in the correct pitch. You are singing lower in pitch than you should.
This can happen for several reasons. For example, you may not be using the muscles around the throat to produce sound or you might be using your head voice instead of your throat voice.
Here are a few more reasons singers sound flat:
- Poor breathing techniques
- Not knowing how to position the diaphragm properly
- Poor posture
- Getting tired too quickly
- Having weak abdominal muscles
Fortunately, this can easily be corrected with practice and pitch singing exercises.
Why am I Singing Flat?
As we mentioned, poor breathing techniques are a common reason why singers are flat. This causes vocalists to lose tone and volume.
When you breathe correctly, air moves into the lungs and travels down the trachea, where it reaches the larynx.
From there, it goes up the esophagus and into the pharynx. Once inside the pharynx, the air passes over the vocal folds, creating vibration and producing sound.
If you place the tongue too close to the roof of the mouth, the air does not travel to the larynx. Instead, it flows directly into the nasal cavity.
This creates a vacuum effect, pulling the soft palate downward, closing the upper part of the oral cavity, and preventing airflow.
As a result, the voice becomes flatter. To fix this problem, use the following tips.
- Place the tip of the tongue behind the teeth, just under the lower lip.
- Breathe through the nose while keeping the lips closed.
- Keep the head upright and avoid leaning forward.
- Avoid talking during practice sessions.
- Practice every day.
- Be patient. You'll eventually master pitch control.
Let's take a look at the top reasons singer go flat.
The Reasons Singers Go Flat
Some singers aren't born with great voices, and others haven't developed the skills necessary to make their voices sound good.
And some singers unfortunately never learn how to use their singing voice properly and always sing at an incorrect pitch.
You've probably never heard of them.
But even among those who know what they're doing wrong, most still struggle to find the motivation to practice.
Let's take a look at four ways you can stop singing flat.
How to Stop Singing Flat
Tip #1 – Sing with a More Open Mouth Position
Opening your mouth wider to sing is one of the most essential tips to improve your vocal range. If you’re struggling with singing flat, you may be singing with a narrow mouth position.
Try opening up and singing with a more open mouth to see if this helps correct your pitch issues.
You don't want to close your lips too tightly because it limits the airflow and makes it harder to produce good sound.
Also, try to keep your jaw relaxed during singing.
Tip #2 – Use Your Core
Having a solid core serves several purposes.
One is to help you sing better.
Instead of pulling your power from the throat and neck, you’ll want to ensure that your sound is generated from the core.
You should be physically engaging your abdomen!
Stand up with good posture and put your hands over your abdomen to ensure you engage your core for proper support. There are additional core training exercises you can do to assist your singing.
Tip #3 – Gently Roll Off Your Vowels
When coming off a vowel and going into a consonant, singers may produce flat sounds.
Instead of firmly pronouncing the consonant, maintain an open mouth position and use your lips to introduce the consonant at the end of the word softly.
As you roll off your vowels, it helps to think about how you might say those sounds naturally.
Tip #4 - Work with a Vocal Coach
A vocal coach can help you with your flat singing and teach you how to sing properly.
Your coach will work with you to figure out why you sound flat and train you to sing properly. They will ensure you don’t end up sounding like a robot.
Many things can go wrong with your singing, and there are many reasons why you might sound flat.
Some people have problems with their throat muscles, while others have trouble breathing. Sometimes, singers just aren’t used to being loud enough.
These are all possible causes of flatness, and they can affect anyone regardless of their experience.
A vocal coach can help you identify and correct any issues. The best way to know whether you need a vocal coach is to ask yourself questions, such as:
- Is your voice getting tired quickly?
- Do you feel like you can’t hit specific notes?
- Are you unable to sing loudly without feeling pain?
You probably need a vocal coach if you answer yes to any of those questions.
Am I Actually Tone Deaf?
If you feel like you're not getting any better, you might start to think you are tone deaf.
However, true tone-deafness is rare, only affecting around four percent of the population.
And most of these cases are a result of brain damage. If you struggle to sing notes in tune are more likely to be "tone-shy."
Incorporating daily mental exercises of mentally creating and matching notes can help in most cases. A tone differentiation trainer can also help.
This pitch training will refine your ability to hear subtle pitch shifts and identify when there is a wrong note.
Can I Achieve Perfect Pitch?
Perfect pitch, or “absolute pitch,” is the ability to sing any note at will, on the spot, without a reference note.
No piano, no guitar, or tuning fork.
You instinctively know how to sing the right note perfectly on pitch.
Perfect pitch is a very controversial topic. Some people think you have to be born with it, while some scientists think it doesn’t exist at all.
So don’t worry about achieving the perfect pitch. You don't need perfect pitch to sing perfectly in tune.
Anyone that's been singing longer than a couple of weeks can learn to sing in tune with practice and experience.
Attend at an Accredited Music College
Now that you know why you are most likely singing flat and how to correct it, what's next?
You could use your new skills to belt out the perfect pitch every time you sing in the shower.
Or, if you're passionate about your craft and envision yourself as a professional singer, you can utilize this information to land a successful vocal career in the music industry. But, how?
Attending an accredited music college like the Atlanta Institute of Music and Media is one of the best things you can do to become a professional and well-compensated singer.
AIMM has two programs with a vocal concentration that will help you expand your range, perfect your pitch, and completely master your singing abilities.
If you're purely interested in expanding your singing skills, the Performance Certificate in Vocals is perfect for you.
On the other hand, our Music and Technology Associate Degree: Vocal Concentration gives you an additional skill boost by teaching you how to track, mix, and master music like your favorite professionals.
So, what are you waiting for? Put yourself in the best position to become a professional singer!
Click below to begin your enrollment at AIMM today.