Hi guys i'm 6 month into singing, and i have started where i wasn't able to match any pitch at all.

With the help of a piano (and a app to see if i'm correctly matching the pitches) i started to match single pitches/ scales or something like that.

I've became quite good at it, if i play a note/small melody on the piano in my range i can match it , (maybe not right away, but watching if the pitches are higher/lower on the keybord and listening to it 4/5 times and then i can match it)

But the problem comes when i hear directly a song, my ears really can't "understand" the melody even if it just the first part of a song so of course i can't match it at all ( i go up when the song goes down or something like that, i'm totally wrong).

if the same melody is played then on the piano where i can visually see the pitches than i can match it humming quite well.

Why is this happening ? is a fact that i'm a beginner and this will came with time ?

is this kind of exercise that i'm doing every day ( paly pitch/scales on the piano and then with an app understand if i can match it) is right ? or i need to change something ?

3 Answers 3


What you need is ear training. The main skills are:

  • ability to recognize what you hear (intervals, chords, rhythms, melodies)
  • ability to sing something you hear (e.g. repeat the notes or a melody you hear, repeat rhythm)
  • ability to sing something you haven't heard before, e.g. by reading it from a music score

It is normally part of education in music schools, but there are also individual courses and other materials in the internet, even phone apps. Look for ear training learning materials, or a teacher – this will help you to work efficiently.

The exercises you describe seem fine to me. Play something and then try to repeat it with voice. At the beginning go slowly, with short phrases, even as short as one or two notes. Identify parts of the song that cause more trouble and work on them more. As you get better, invert the order: first sing, and the check on piano if you sung it right.

While it's not strictly needed, it will help you to learn some basic music theory (if you don't know it yet), mainly: intervals names and how they sound, and also reading scores. E.g. if you learn that C-E is a major third, then if you need to sing D-F#, which is also a major third, you will know to sing the same thing, just starting from a different note. You write that you have trouble with "understanding" what you hear – this is exactly what music theory is for.

Concerning songs, if it helps you to play music on piano, look for scores – it should be easy to find scores for popular songs.

Issues with singing in pitch may also originate from lack of voice training. You mention that you "hum". Perhaps you're shy to sing loud and don't use good breath support? That would surely affect the intonation. This is where a singing/vocal teacher can help, and with a good teacher you can make good progress already after several lessons.

Finally, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "matching". I should mention that there are two types of hearing: relative pitch and absolute pitch. If a person with good relative pitch knows that a song starts from some note, e.g. C, and hear that first note played, they are able to follow and sing the whole song. However if they don't hear that first note (or other musical cue), they may sing the whole melody shifted up or down, e.g. starting from D or B. A person with absolute pitch doesn't need that first note. Most of the people, even most of the musicians have only relative pitch. Absolute pitch isn't really something that can be learned. Relative pitch can be trained and that's where you should put your work.

  • Absolute hearing = absolute pitch - sometimes referred to as perfect pitch.
    – Tim
    Jan 4, 2022 at 9:02

Ear training is not the real issue based on your question and description. If you can go to an instrument and find notes your ear is not bad. I have had this issue, recently starting classical voice lessons after 45 years of playing guitar, violin, and classical bass. I can hear a lick and immediately find it on the guitar, I can identify chords, inversions, modes, etc. Sometimes when I sing I can't even hear myself and have no concept of whether I am in tune. With all instruments the key is to develop a reliable calibration that connects what you hear in your head to a specific physical movement or state in your body. For guitar that is moving the hand to the correct position and getting the correct fingers to align with strings and frets (no need to look, you feel it with the correct training). Singing works the same way. It takes a lot of internal coordination, diaphragm support, mouth shape, air flow, resonance in the head, etc. If this is not all correct the not is off, the tone is off, everything is out of whack.

Are you actually taking singing lessons form a teacher or just trying to sing on your own? If the latter, I'd recommend taking lessons to be sure you learn correct technique. 6 months is not a long time to be trying to learn this, especially without help.


6 months into singing. The majority of folk will start singing when quite young, even as a bit of fun, and develop that as they get older. Not many will wake up one morning and think 'I need to learn how to sing, not having sung a note previously!'.

Right now, you seem to need to watch as notes on the piano are played, and realise that those further to the right are higher, left, lower. That's o.k., but by now, you shouldn't need to rely on visuals to determine pitch. Try getting used to playing notes chromatically on the piano, and singing each in turn as you play them. I say this way, rather than with scales, as you may only be conversant with C major, using the white keys. If you can do this using scale notes from other keys, fine, do that.

So, play and sing up (and down!) 2 or 3 notes initially, in sequence. Get used to doing this before and after the piano gets played, as well as with it. Then gradually increase the spaces between notes, over several weeks. A nice little trick is to decide on one particular piano note, and try to sing it, before playing it, every time you plass said piano. Then try to play the note you sung. Eventually, with a lot of practice, you may even find you hit the note right each time!

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