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Thoughts on tuning and pitchiness in Skype sessions

Posted by Gillyanne Kayes on 9/24/2013 to Teaching and performance thoughts

Accurate pitch-matching in Skype lessons

Gillyanne says:
I'm doing a lot of teaching by skype these days.
The sound over the internet isn't the same as live acoustic sound, but then again, as teacher I am used to homing in the sounds I am looking for. The ear is a highly sophisticated mechanism and I find my Skype sessions work really well.

Some clients who either don't read music or perhaps don't have a keyboard available, need to have their start notes cued in for warm-ups and songs. If you are working on songs I highly recommend that you cue not just the start note but its context. So if the melody starts with 1/6/5 of a diatonic scale, sing those three notes, not just 1.

Why is this important? Because our perception of pitch is context-specific - you don't hear the note in isolation. When we're talking about pitch, it's on a scale of low to high, and the direction of the phrase is critical. The first phrase will often carry information about key, mode and even timbre that can help or hinder a singer's tuning.

Singing the first few notes to your singer makes a huge difference to the way they 'hear' the start note, and the accuracy of their tuning will improve.

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