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An audio of myself singing to Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy": my bad guy cover

I have been singing for a year and 4 months now. When I started I had no knowledge of pitch, tone and dynamics. I was an upstraight atrocity vocally. As of now, I have been practicing for around 2 hours each day. I have been with a vocal coach since I started, but somehow I feel like my pitch inaccuracies issue has never been taken seriously. I feel hopeless, and feel trapped in terms of my vocal abilities.

Can you guys help me by providing critiques and advice on what I should do to fix this issue?

Edit: I have also recognized that I struggle to sing on pitch in certain vowels.

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    By picking more melodic songs, you may be in with a chance. Sounds on pitch to me, but it's not the sort of melody that stretches much.If you have the same coach for 16 months, and you're still not on pitch, it may well be time to consider a different coach. – Tim May 8 at 11:13
  • Welcome to the forum! If you haven't already, you should ask your teacher about "audiation", "solfege", "sight-singing", and "transcription / dictation". Building your skills in the areas will set you up for success. – jjmusicnotes May 8 at 14:48
  • A year and four months is a great start and also still a start. My normal estimate for being competent on a musical instrument or singing is 3-5 years. The best way to speed that up is to hire a teacher. My point being that you might be at an appropriate skill level for 16 months in and just have to keep at it. – Todd Wilcox May 8 at 15:05
  • Thanks a ton for your comments. I'll try to pick more melodic songs that will help me to further boost my singing, and to actually work on pitch. I will also try more exercises such as solfeges, sight-singing and dictation. I will precisely think about these subjects and recommendations. – Music and Chaos May 8 at 22:16
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    Have you asked you teacher about focusing on pitch? If not, do so and if they don't want to, listen to their reasons why. – Karen May 10 at 2:41
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The problem I hear is that your pitch drops during vowel changes. It's especially noticeable moving through the words "bloody nose / sleepin'": "nose" is very slightly flat, as is "sleepin'". In general you're on pitch, so exercises that focus on maintaining pitch across vowels is where I'd suggest you start.

There are two exercises I've found helpful for this:

  1. Sing a e i o u (ahh ayy eee ooh uuu), slowly, on a single pitch. Pay attention to the physical actions of changing from vowel to vowel — especially yours lips, tongue, soft palate, and throat — and make sure your pitch stays up as you move through those changes. It can be helpful to sing each vowel separately at first, so you can observe how you sing each one. That will give you a target placement for your lips, etc., when you begin connecting vowel to vowel.

  2. Sing the song itself with vowels only, no consonants. This is essentially the same as exercise #1, but now within the context of the song, where your vowels may have shading they wouldn't have when singing "pure" vowels, and where the song may require changing pitch from vowel to vowel. By focusing on maintaining pitch through the physical transitions from vowel to vowel, you'll develop muscle memory that will help carry you through the consonants when you add them back in.

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  • Just had a thought - some consonants can't have pitch - can they..? – Tim May 8 at 16:08
  • @Tim Yes. Consonants with pitch are called "voiced"; those without are "unvoiced" (also, "voiceless"). This website (whitehallchorale.tripod.com/consonants.html) gives a nice, brief summary. – Aaron May 8 at 17:09
  • @Tim And just to keep things local, Todd Wilcox has a really nice post on the subject. – Aaron May 8 at 17:36
  • Thanks a ton for this. Recently, I worked on another song (Giveon's Heartbreak Anniversary), and discovered that I struggle singing the vowel "oo" with pitch accuracy. I will most definitely work on the vowel exercises while I do my daily ear trainings, and to make sure that I do not go flat or sharp. Singing the song with vowels is also a good suggestion that I will surely follow. – Music and Chaos May 8 at 22:21
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The only way to work on pitch is... to work on pitch. That is to say focus on simple diatonic exercises with some vocalization and move them chromatically up and down the piano to the ends of your range.

Different syllables will feel different and require some adjustment of the mouth to get good resonance. Interestingly enough there is a single mouth shape that helps with this for all syllables (according to my vocal coach). So you wind up learning to adjust the tongue and face muscles to generate an 'ee' or an 'ah' when your mouth is shaped like an 'oh'.

If you have a vocal coach and your pitch issues are being 'ignored' as you say then you may want to just ask for help and see how that goes. Otherwise find another coach.

A little over a year is not long. I've been at it for 3 years or more and still drift out of tune. One thing that helped me in the beginning was using an electronic chromatic tuner like the Korg AT12. It will measure your pitch when you sing into the mic and it can also be set to a drone so you can sing with it and match the notes.

Based on listening to you sample you provided my opinion is that your voice was not supported by your diaphragm more so than you were out of tune. Lacking support can cause intonation to falter. Having proper support from the diaphragm make intonation more stable.

Just keep at it and you will get better, but again talk to your coach and stress that you feel like you need help with this issue.

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    Thanks a ton for the response. I'll probably try singing different vowels in my ear training sessions. I'll also be more cautious about my support. – Music and Chaos May 9 at 18:54

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