beginners' intonation training apps?
  • Geremia
    Posts: 194
    What are some good, free apps or computer programs to help beginning singers with intonation?
  • davido
    Posts: 533
    This might be the wrong approach for a singer with intonation problems.
    Unless the singer has hearing loss, intonation problems are the result of faulty vocal technique, issues which need instruction to resolve. The human body will try very hard to properly match or reach pitches to the point of creating tension and injuring itself. So trying to match a synthesized computer pitch will not solve the real problem for folks: faulty technique.
    The tried and true methods for intonation issues are personal or choral vocal instruction. (And knowing exactly what one is to sing before opening one’s mouth - insecurity can contribute to intonation problems)
  • EarMaster. Far and away my top recommendation. I use it school-wide, for K-8 and adults. It is cheap ($4 a month) and worth $100 a month. Take a beginner singer, and put them through built-in the starter course, with your guidance.

    SingTrue is useful. However, you'll spend a few bucks on that too. You can spend $4 for a very, very limited solution (SingTrue) or a $4 a month for a few months on a hugely powerful, total solution in EarMaster.

    @davido I disagree with your assessment. I did my Master's thesis on the subject, and there are many, many individualized factors beyond vocal technique, a substantial number which can be addressed via a program EarMaster. (There are other programs, like through MusicFirst, which offer similar, though less substantial, solutions.) Of course vocal technique is a huge part of the pie chart, but it's not the whole pie.
  • davido
    Posts: 533
    sergeantedward, is your research thesis available?
  • donr
    Posts: 969
    I use and have used a free guitar tuning app to fix some of my own pitch issues. Some people have no idea they are sharp or flat, they just sing as if everything is just fine. Some people have issues with hearing the pitch and recognizing that that the pitch they are singing does not match the one they are singing. So they have learned the pitch wrong for their whole lives.

    If your student(s) down loads the app, plays a pitch on the piano or other app or instrument, sings that note, then checks it against the tuner, they will see that they are sharp or flat and can adjust accordingly.

    Only by knowing where you are can you know how to fix it. Once they begin to learn what the note should actually sound like, will they be able to sing it properly.


    I have suggested this to some members in my choir and I can tell who is doing it and who is not.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 652
    I know a guy who diligently taught himself to sing in tune using a guitar tuner and keyboard. It worked! But it required a huge effort on his part and I don't know many people who would stick with a project like that.
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,412
    i tried out a tuning app recently and was SHOCKED (but not that much) about how out of tune I sing and a lot of things in my life became a lot clearer
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 860
    This is probably one of those both/and situations. Nothing can replace the human interaction of private voice lesson, but as a supplement such tools are useful. I work with a lot of voice students who are not musicians (i.e. seminarians). I can't simply give them some sheet music or exercises to practice on their own between lessons. I have found 3 programs all of which have pros/cons and limited success.

    Ear Master
    Auralia & Musition

    Of course the biggest issue is getting them to do the work. Too many expect miracles in just a lesson or two.

    Another option would be to record some sight reading exercises.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,393
    Do you believe . . . in Auto-Tune?