Sing Any Song - Music Skills for Singing Beginners | SINGING COACH Bea DeSousa | Skillshare

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Sing Any Song - Music Skills for Singing Beginners

teacher avatar SINGING COACH Bea DeSousa, Vocal Coach | Professional Singer

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Learn Any Song


    • 2.

      Class Project


    • 3.

      The Right Song


    • 4.

      Song Guide


    • 5.

      Your Singing Transformation - BEFORE


    • 6.

      The Mindset


    • 7.

      Vocal Confidence


    • 8.

      Managing Expectations


    • 9.

      Song Map


    • 10.

      The Basics


    • 11.



    • 12.

      What's the Pulse


    • 13.

      Find the Pulse of a Song


    • 14.

      Strong Syllables


    • 15.

      Draft Your Song Map


    • 16.



    • 17.

      Singing in Tune - The Science


    • 18.

      Why Singing In Tune Comes First?


    • 19.

      How to Train Your Ear


    • 20.

      Get Ready for Exercise 1


    • 21.

      Exercise 1 - Matching Notes


    • 22.

      Off Tune: Sharp vs Flat


    • 23.

      Exercise 2 - Match Notes Faster


    • 24.

      Test Your Ear


    • 25.

      Tone Deaf


    • 26.

      What's a Scale?


    • 27.

      C Major Scale


    • 28.

      Major Scale - Step 1


    • 29.

      Major Scale - Step 2


    • 30.

      Major Scale - Step 3


    • 31.

      Practicing Routine


    • 32.



    • 33.

      Discover the Melody By Ear


    • 34.

      Joining the Pieces


    • 35.

      Your Singing Transformation - AFTER


    • 36.

      Final Thoughts


    • 37.

      Extra Resources


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About This Class

Let's improve your singing and develop a system to learn any song! In this class you will learn practical exercises to approach any song and develop the music skills every great singer has.

Don't forget to take your Vocal Assessment QUIZ:  

You'll receive:

  • a personalised overview of your voice 
  • a short-list of songs that will fit your style, voice type and musical experience

By the end of this class you will know how to break down a song into actionable music skills and know how to practice them to improve your singing. I will provide several strategies with each exercise and guide you in a methodic and simple way through everything you need to know to take your favourite songs to the next level. 

This class is divided into the following buckets:

  1. Mindset for a confident voice
  2. How to choose a great song that suits your voice
  3. Music skills every great singer has and how to practice them + Building a song map

You'll also get a chance to take part in the Class Project, recording your own singing transformation. I'll be more than happy go give you in-depth feedback on your signing and help you choose a great song for your type of voice!

To have a complete overview of the lesson content as a cheat sheet and additional song tips, download the Class Content Syllabus, the Song Guide PDF on the Project Section under the video and the Vocal Assessment Quiz: .

I've found teaching to be one of my greatest passions and I'm very exited to continue these series of singing classes. I will be sharing with you the basics of a healthy singing technique and music fundamental skills that allows anyone to improve their voice in a short time and achieve real and visible progress! It's an exiting journey and I feel honoured to help you through yours!

I recommend you check out my other singing classes here on Skillshare where I share more about singing performance and vocal technique fundamentals. To stay tuned for upcoming classes, make sure you follow my Skillshare profile to be notified when I post a new class or check regularly Skillshare's new singing lessons at

I recommend you also check my other classes on Breathing Exercises for Singers, my class on Habits for Great Singing or if you feel you could use some help with your ear training you can check Hear It, Sing It: Unlock Your Voice with Ear Training.

I also sing regularly in several Opera Houses. If you would like to know more about me or check some of my other projects, feel free to visit my website at or follow me on Instagram at @borderlessvocals

I’m here to help you improve your singing and encourage you to take the most out of these singing classes! So if you have any doubt or question about the exercises we explore in the lessons, make sure to leave a comment on the Discussion section. If you’d like to have an individual piece of advice for your specific needs and development, make sure you take part in this Class Project. You can find it on the second tab below this class, under "Projects & Resources".

Can't wait to hear from you! Happy singing!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image


Vocal Coach | Professional Singer


I'm a professional classical singer, working as freelance with several Opera Houses.

I have a great passion for teaching and sharing knowledge and experience with others. I've coached more than 700 singers and speakers over the past 7 years. It's my mission to help others find and develop their voice.

Make sure you follow this channel and stay tuned for the classes' regular uploads.

Professional Biography:

Bea DeSousa appeared this season as Adina in L'Elisir d'amore at - Opera de Tenerife and Tbilisi National Opera and Ballet. Her upcoming projects include Elvira in I Puritani, Amore in Orfe... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Learn Any Song: Learning a new song can feel like a frustrating, messy, never ending process. So today I want to share with you exactly what you need to practice, not only to become a better singer, but also how to practice the skills you need to learn any song, no matter if it's the newest hit you've just heard or an old favorite song you've always wanted to sing. I'll guide you step by step on how to break down and learn any song in a systematic beginner, friendly, and fun way. I've been a professional singer for the past 15 years, and I'm very happy to have helped hundreds of other singers of all music genres to discover and develop their voice. To share a little bit of my background with you. I have my Master's degree in vocal performance from the University of Vienna, and I have some leading roles in many different countries in Europe. I've taught singing at the Durham University in the UK, alongside my private online vocal studio for singers and public speakers. And it brings me so much purpose to share my passion for singing, coaching people from all corners of the world. When I work with beginners, I see it again and again that one of the main reasons why they get lost is because they are simply not aware the skills they need to break down and learn a song in a fast and efficient way. And so I've decided to create this very practical class with hands on exercises applied to songs that will help you identify which skills you need to practice, not only to become a better singer, but also to become a better musician. We will learn how to practice these music skills every great singer has and create a step by step process that I call the song map that you can use every time you want to learn a new song. You have all the reasons to get excited. Because in this class, we will learn how to choose a song that fits your natural vocal abilities. Learn how to shift it to a mindset that builds vocal confidence. Learn the music and vocal skills that are a prerequisite to become a great singer. You'll learn how to build a song map that will help you learn any song. You'll get a chance to record your before and after transformation and you can share it with me for further feedback. And to finish, you'll do a vocal assessment of your own singing. I've created specifically for this class, a vocal assessment quiz. I assure you that some of the singers that I work one on one with have had mind blowing breakthroughs with some of the easy, simple exercises that I share with you today in this class. If you just got started on your singing journey or you still feel a little bit lost when attempting some of your favorite songs, this is the right course for you. I'm so happy to take you through this class where you will be practicing your vocal skills while learning some of your favorite songs in a very mindful and practical way. Let's get started. 2. Class Project: This class has a very practical hands on project. We will record your own singing transformation before and after this class. Here are the steps that we will follow. The first step is to choose a song that you'd like to sing. I will give you a list of suggestions, but you can choose any song you would like. And I will help you choose a song that fits your voice type and also your vocal ability so that anyone can take part in this class. It's going to be very beginner friendly. Then you will listen a few times to the song you chose and record your first record. Before recording, I will give you a little bit more instructions as we get into it. Then it's time to go through the step by step process that you can use anytime that you are learning a new song. And with this system, we will build your song map. You will need a notebook and if possible, a few pens with different colors. Or you can also use a drawing app on your tablet. After you've practiced the process that we will go through in this class, you will be then ready to record your after recording. And so you will be able to compare your singing transformation through this class. Finally, you can do a self vocal assessment of your musical and vocal skills with the help of the vocal assessment quiz that I've prepared for you. So the deliverables for this class project that you can share with me for further and more personalized feedback are a photo of the song map that you will draft either on your notebook or on your tablets. A recording of your before and after singing transformation. And you can have them in two separate files. That's okay. And you can also share, if you would like, your vocal assessment quiz. Ideally, I would like you to deliver the three of them so that I can get back to you with in depth feedback. However, if at the moment it is not possible for you, I understand how life can get in the way, and so please feel free to share only one or two because I'm still very happy to hear from you and give you feedback on how you can keep improving your singing. After this class, I hope you'll have a deep understanding of how to approach a song. My goal is to bring awareness of how much you can benefit from a simple, systematic process when learning new songs. 3. The Right Song: When a singer goes for an audition, we usually say that choosing the right songs is 90% of the battle. This is just as true for anyone starting their singing journey. Learning how to sing can be a long and challenging road. And your success will depend on your ability to stay motivated through those harder times. Choosing songs that you love and at the same time are attainable is the key to stay motivated. Every beginner in singing faces a learning curve. And actually we all do, because learning how to sing is a lifelong journey and it never ends. However, if you're just starting out, this learning curve could be quite steep and daunting because you don't know what to expect yet. So my goal with this class is to show you how you can actually enjoy the right weight. More simply by knowing how to choose the right songs for you at this moment. And also having a clear system on how to navigate them. Once you experience that first victory of nailing a song from beginning to end, you'll then move on to more difficult songs. But experiencing and celebrating those small victories will help you stay consistent with your practice and achieve your goals way faster. Different voices will have different characteristics and different natural aptitudes. Just like some people are better at running long distances and others are better at lifting heavy weights. There's a part of natural aptitude, but there's also a huge part of training to start with. It makes sense to start with a song that enhances your natural aptitudes and doesn't require too much acrobatics. We could say, let's start with a walk in the park, but not any park, your favorite park. It doesn't make any sense to start with songs that you don't like to sing. You should start with songs that you are very excited about. Now if you're still not sure which song to choose or your favorite songs are overwhelmingly difficult, don't worry. That's completely normal. And that's why I've created a list with practical tips and song examples that you can choose from. So in our next class, we will learn how you can choose a great song, a song that you'd love to sing and that it's also a great fit for your voice at the moment. 4. Song Guide: Let's learn how to choose a great beginner, friendly song that suits you. Choose a song in your mother tongue language, or at least in a language that you are fluent in and very, very comfortable with. This is a note, especially for those of you who are not native English speakers, just like me, but love English songs because there are 1,000 hit songs in English and we all feel like singing songs in English. However, I will say that from the very beginning, try to go for a song in your native language. This will help you so much with musicianship and how to phrase, how to guide those lines. Because music and text go hand in hand, they go together. So if you understand how the language work, you will also understand how that melody was built for that language. And of course, we have also the pronunciation part of English, which sometimes we are very fluent in English. But we do carry our native tongue when we speak English. And that can be a little bit challenging than when singing. So that's my first piece of advice. Give it a try and do some research about songs in your native language that you love. And maybe you'll be surprised by what you find. Choose a song by a female singer if you have a female voice, or by a male singer. If you have a male voice, it's much more likely that the song will fit your vocal range. Of course, in the future, you can choose any song by anyone. But in the beginning, it's quite tricky to understand or imagine how this song sung by a male singer will fit in my voice. He's singing in a different octave that I simply, by nature don't have. So we need to do a kind of translation to a female voice in this case. So my advice is to start easy and start with a singer that already sounds like you. The same goes for the type of quality in the voice. Try to listen to yourself even when you speak. Do you have a more breathy and soft voice then maybe go for a song like Norah Jones type of singer. A little bit more spoken and whispering, or do you have a very loud and strong voice when you speak or when you sing in the car? Then go for a singer that is a little bit more generous and loud with his or her voice. The point is we all imitate because that's just how humans learn and you will imitate the references that you have. So be careful and take your time to really choose good references as singers and analyze your voice. Try to recognize in your spoken voice when you sing by yourself in the shower, does it sound more like a loud sound? Does it sound like a softer sound? Do I have ease in the high notes? Do I have a more deep and grounded voice? Look for those qualities in your voice. And then look for the same qualities in the singers that you like. And try to see what would be a good fit, if you would like one approach fits all and a very safe place to start. I would recommend speaking songs. And these are a great choice because usually they are very cool and they stay within a very limited vocal range. Usually they stay very close to what is your spoken vocal range. You will recognize them by listening to the singer and realizing he's just speaking the lyrics. Even though it's a song. Choose a slower song. This will help you to focus on intonation, meaning staying in tune or singing the correct notes. And later in this lesson, I will help you on how to stay in tune and how to train your ear. But choosing a slower song will help you not only with the intonation aspect of it, but also with the articulation of the text. And just have a better awareness of the quality of your vocals. Choose an acoustic song with barely, no post production effects. We don't want to mimic literally the voice of a singer. But as we said before, having references really help. And we will to some extent, imitate someone else's voice. So you really want to understand how is the original singer using their voice? Which tools, in terms of vocal technique, are they using? How do they sound? How do they approach a high note, for example? And if you have a song with way too much vocal effects, you might end up imitating the vocal effects from post production rather than imitating the singer's voice in the beginning. When you don't have experience of working in studio or recording your own songs, it's normal that you are not aware of the huge difference that there is between the raw vocals of a singer and the vocals that you hear in the final records. This is why it's important to choose references of singers who use barely, no vocal effects. And which voices will sound as close as possible to as if they were singing just here with you in the same room with no mics, no anything. This will give you a much better perspective of how actually a singer's voice sounds. Choose a song without too much text. Articulation is one of the most difficult things to integrate with vocal technique. This is why sometimes singers are great when doing vocal technique exercises in one single vowel. But then they struggle singing a song simply because the song has a lot of texts, a lot of different vowels, a lot of different consonants that pull up the voice in all different types of directions. So you need to have already a solid awareness of vocal technique before you move on to songs with a lot of texts, choose a song without runs and riffs. If you are a fan of Mariah Carry or Christina Aguilera Wells mine, welcome to the club. Yeah. However it's best for you at the moment if you write those songs down in your bucket list and come back to them later. After you've nailed a few simpler songs, remember to start with small victories and then go from there. You'll get there. Do you remember when I was speaking before about the importance of choosing good vocal references for you? At the moment, it's very important that you don't include, for the moment, singers that use vocal distortion. I know it can be exciting to hear, especially rock singers using a lot of vocal distortion. It's exciting, I get it. But you need to be a very, very skilled singer to be able to do that sound without hurting yourself. There are many cool singers that don't use distortion in their voices. So let's start by having those as references for now and leave distortion for when you already have a good control of your voices and instruments. If you haven't yet, now is the time to download the PDF called Song Guide that you will find in the resources for this course. There you will find all the tips that I just gave you in a structured way, and also plenty of examples of different songs for different types of voices. 5. Your Singing Transformation - BEFORE: At this point, you should have chosen which song you want to use as your first song. This doesn't mean that this is the first song that you ever sang in your life, but simply that this is the song that you chose to use. During this class, we will learn how to have a systematic approach to every song that you learn. This means we will draft a song map. We will also record your before and after so that you can keep your progress. So now it's the time to record your before. Pause this video, listen to the song that you chose a few times and then record it. You don't need any fancy equipment, You can record with your phone or with the microphone of your computer, for example. You can search online for the backing track or the karaoke track of the song that you chose, and you will let it play on a separate device while recording yourself singing with your phone. If you can't find the backing track of the song that you chose, you can always sing along to the original song with the original singer as long as you hear yourself clearly through the microphone that you are recording with. As a third option, you can simply sing by yourself. And I would actually argue that the ultimate test to know if you really know a song is to sing it and nail it by yourself. But we can start easy and start with the help of the original song or of a backing track. That's a great way to start, Not that you have the recording of your before. Please name it and save it so that you have it for the ending of this class when we will record your after. 6. The Mindset: A huge difference that I see many times between people who usually don't sing and experienced singers is their mindset towards their voice. So here are some of the main differences that I often find. People who don't usually sing often think that their voice is a physical characteristic that can hardly be changed. They have this fixed mindset towards their voice, and when they don't sound great, they end up blaming it on their voice, assuming it's simply not good enough. The focus is on the voice being blank. Whatever is the narrative that they have built around their voice. Experienced singers, on the other hand, know they can train and develop their voice. They understand that vocal ability is a skill. They have a growth mindset towards their voice, and so whenever they don't sound great for some reason, they don't blame it on their voice. And instead they understand that they must be doing something wrong. So the focus is on doing rather than being. They ask themselves, what am I doing wrong? How can I troubleshoot? And this is the question I also wanted to ask yourself from now on during this class. Don't focus so much on how you think your voice is, especially if it's coming from a negative point of view. And rather, try to understand what are you doing and how is this playing a role on how your voice is sounding? Your vocal ability will depend on the conjugation of many different skills. And each skill is a small piece of the puzzle you'll need to complete, to sing with ease. A lot of these skills are mental skills. For example, ear training, meaning your ability to match notes like this, or your perception of rhythm, or the way you deliver a beautiful melody. I would say that a very high percentage of singing skills are mental skills, so the way you control your mind has a very big impact on how you are going to sing. You will find that other skills require a highly developed coordination between your mind and body, like shifting between registers, singing high notes, having a clear onset, or singing that fast run. And this is why I find singing so interesting. Because it will push you to develop that coordination between your mind and your body. And ultimately, you will learn so much about yourself in the process. It's important to learn these skills, the small pieces of the puzzle that you'll need to put together in an abstract way using vocal technique exercises or musical exercises. This way you can isolate them and track your progress. Once you have started to develop them, then it's easy to apply them to any song you chose. Today, in this class, I'm going to help you not only with how you can learn these skills, but also how you can make this bridge on how to apply them to any song. 7. Vocal Confidence: To build vocal confidence and self love towards your voice. Start with your mindset. Confidence comes from proficiency. Leave emotional judgment aside and focus on practical, achievable goals that will bring you the skills to become a better singer. Think of anyone trying to lose weight. It doesn't help if one complains. If one blames the body or the situation in which one is, it's much better to understand, what can I do? What do I have to do? What are the first steps that I can start taking today to achieve my goals? If you catch yourself having negative thoughts about your voice or your vocal ability, I would like you to stop for a few seconds and write down word per word, exactly what you thought and then analyze it. If you face your A beliefs about your voice, you will be able to reframe them in a way that is practical, constructive, and most importantly, action driven. If you catch yourself thinking my voice is so bad or I can't sing at all, I would like you to write down those thoughts and reframe them in a phrase that you write just below. I was out of tuning this phrase, or I pushed my voice way too hard on that high note. To achieve progress in singing, you need to be very specific about what you need to do differently to improve anything that comes out of your thoughts, that is slightly negative. You should always support it with a constructive question. Like for example, okay, which skill do I need to practice to make it better? Once you start getting better at these skills, you will no longer have a vague negative opinion on your voice. And instead, you will understand exactly why you sound like you do and what you need to practice to become a better singer. And this is a growth mindset and what builds vocal confidence. 8. Managing Expectations: Before we start, let's see how we can manage expectations in post production. The sound of the vocals of the lead singer and of any instrument present in the song will be processed. We add reverb, equalizers, auto tune, you name it. A song can have a lot of vocal effects in post production. It's not fair to compare our live and processed voice to the vocals of a singer in a finished song. Just like it wouldn't be fair to compare a selfie you took with your phone with a photograph taken in studio and processed with Photoshop on top of that, if you are singing a capella, meaning you are singing by yourself, you will also probably feel that something is missing. It makes a huge difference in the way you perceive your voice. If you have an instrument or several instruments accompanying the voice, be kind to yourself and remember that the vocal part is just one part of the full song. There is a lot more involved in the production of a full song. This is why I always recommend that to start with, you have references of singers that have an acoustic approach to music, meaning they have a very natural post production. Otherwise, you might find yourself trying to copy those vocal effects from post production and having unrealistic expectations for your unprocessed voice. 9. Song Map: Now that you have chosen the right song for you at the moment, and we have gone through the mindset that will help you thrive in singing. Let's go through the step by step process that will help you approach and break down any song. Each step of the process focuses on a specific skill that all great singers have. For every step, you will find a technical exercise to help you develop that skill. And then I will also give you a task to apply that skill on the song you chose. As we go through each step of the process, we will draw what I call a song map. And don't forget to take a picture of it by the end so you can always visualize what you need to have in mind to approach your song. I would also like to encourage you to share the final picture of your song map. I'm always here and more than happy to give you feedback and maybe I can help you with just some small details that can make a big difference. Ready to start? Let's go into the basic musical skills you'll need to nail any song. 10. The Basics: I know we are all excited to start singing our songs right away. But before we do that, and then start worrying about how our voice sounds, the high notes, if we are in tuned music expression, all of those things that we singers naturally worry about. It's very important that we have clear the structure of the song and the music basics that are the components of this song. So that's exactly what we are going to tackle during this class. Today we are going to see what are the music basics you need to sing any song. These include the lyrics, the pulse, the rhythm, and the melody. If those are not super clear in your head before you attempt to sing the song, then you're not giving yourself a fair chance to succeed in some music styles like classical music, for example. But not only, it is usual to have a music score. What the music score does is that it lays down all these basic music components that the singer needs to bring the song to life. However, this comes with a few problems. And the first problem is that not everyone reads music And that's okay. That's all right. You don't need to read music to be able to sing really well a song and rock it actually there are professional singers who don't read music. I'm doing this class bearing in mind everyone who doesn't read music. And we are not going to learn how to read music and we are still going to learn how you can nail that song that you chose. The second problem is that not all music genres use music scores. For some pop songs, you will need to discover all of those basic music elements by yourself and to practice them by yourself. And that's when our song map will come into play. Just another third problem for some people is that even if you read music, let's say you are a pianist or you're a guitarist, and you are okay with reading music, a lot of times that is not enough to be a singer. So as a singer, because we don't have keys or threats, we really need to have these basic music elements extremely, extremely well practiced. And so this is going to be a very practical class on how to practice all those music elements that maybe you know how to read, but you do need like an extra level of acquaintance and practice with them so that you can simply hear a song and go ahead and sing it. Let's go into it. Let's build our song map and see how we can write down all those elements into one place that will help you better prepare for your performance. 11. Lyrics: Let's grab a notebook and write down the lyrics of the song you chose as if it was a poem. Leaving a little bit extra blind space to have flexibility with our song map and all the steps that will come afterwards. You also want to consider the sections of the song, like the verse or the second verse, the chorus. Even if you're not sure about these sections, you can just listen to the song and try to divide it roughly in different sections. Translate that organization already on the lyrics that you are writing down. Make sure that you leave a little bit of extra blank space in between sections. The first exercise we are going to do to practice our lyrics is to read them out loud in declamation style. Imagine you are speaking to thousands of people, an audience, open air with no help of a microphone. This will help you not only to memorize the lyrics of the song, of course, but it will also help you get those vowels really clear and naturally. Start bringing projection to your voice. Let's see which exercises we can start doing to memorize our lyrics in a very solid and fast way. Even though lyrics are super important and every singer has nightmares about forgetting the lyrics, they are not the most important thing in our performance. They should just be given for granted that they are there and that we won't forget them. Let's go into these two exercises that will help you to have really solid lyrics and free your mental space for way more important things. Write down the lyrics section by section until you can write them all from beginning to end using only your memory. And you can use any type of paper for this, because this is just for you to memorize the lyrics, go through them over and over. One thing that you can also do when you think you already got them down is to start writing section by section, but backwards, try to see, even within a section, if you can write first the last phrase, then the before last phrase, and so on until the first phrase. This really helps to break things down, to challenge our brain and make sure that our nightmares are not coming through. Once you feel like you can write down the lyrics from beginning to end, try to say them out loud one more time in declamation style, but this time by heart. And one more time you can also try in the declamation style to do them backwards. So try to start from the last section and finish on the first section. Or even start on the last phrase of the song and finish on the first phrase of the song. Of course, this depends on how well prepared you want to be. I would recommend this to someone who is preparing for an audition or for a live event. If you just want to sing in your car and enjoy singing the song, it's enough that you have your lyrics memorized in a normal way. You don't need to go that far into the preparation, but it's an idea and you can use it if you feel like you really want to have it 100% down. And you don't want to ever again doubt yourself if you get the lyrics or not on the moment of your performance. 12. What's the Pulse: The pulse is the heartbeat of the song. It's the steady, regular beat that holds music together. It's always present in music. It's one of music's basic components. It's the first thing you should look for when listening to a song. You probably already do this naturally when you nod your head to a song, or when you tap your feet. And that's called feeling the beat, or feeling the pulse of the music. A quick note before we go on. The pulse is not the rhythm. We will see the difference between pulse and rhythm later in this class. But for now, what you need to know is that the pulse is always steady. It sounds like this. If you are familiar with techno or electronic music, I'm sure you felt the pulse. Let's hear it together. Here we go. Wait, and that's the beat. Immediately we want to node with it. We want to move our body, we want to move our feet. And if you stand up, allow yourself to kind of dance with it, but it needs to be regular. All right, so here's an exercise for you. Let's clap with the beat, all right? So ready? Are you clapping with me on that side? That's the beat of the song, that's the pulse. Now let's try double time again of time, feel it. There's no other way other than just feeling it in your body. It's awesome to start with music that allows us to feel it in a very obvious way, and then we can start translating it into songs or other genres of music where the beat or the pulse is not as obvious. Let's that next. 13. Find the Pulse of a Song: All right, so here's the song that I chose, and this is Summertime by Sandy Pierce. But it could have been any other song, because every song has a beat. So what I would like us to do is just listen to the intro and to the part where the singer is already singing with the lyrics and we are going to clap the pulse, just like we did before. Just that this example is not so obvious and has a little bit more complexity with the text and the singer and all these things that make up a song, right? So I will let you clap first by yourself so that you have a chance to do this exercise without my help. And then I'll join you. Okay, ready? So here we go. Just feel the pace. Just nod with it. I'll start clapping with it so much. And even if the song has a little break, we keep clapping. The pulse is the heart. It never goes. I'm gonna join you now. You see everything else. As we got the pulse. Are you clapping with me? You notice the song had a little break. That is the change from one section to the other, from the first verse to the second verse in this case. But we don't necessarily need to know that. We just need to feel that, oh, there was a little break between one section and the other, and the pulse is still going on. I don't stop clapping when there's a break in between sections, just like our heartbeat doesn't stop when we are sleepy. 14. Strong Syllables: Now I would like us to go through another exercise, which is saying the lyrics or singing the lyrics while clapping the pulse. And of course, you didn't choose this song. You will do this exercise with your song, and I'm going to do this exercise with the song that I chose. But I just want to demonstrate one time before you go and do this exercise by yourself. What I'm going to do is sing the lyrics while clapping the pulse. And I'm going to take a mental note of what are the syllables that fall with the pulse. What are the syllables that I'm saying when I'm clapping here on the screen, I'm going to underline those syllables. So I would go like this summer time is near, skies are getting clear, you see, everything just seems all right. But still I'm here. All right. And that was it. So you noticed the syllables that were falling together with the pulse. Not every syllable falls with the pulse. And this is going to be so important for us singers so that we have this sense of security that we are going together with the rest of the musicians, so either with a backing track or a piano player or our band. And they also know the lyrics and everyone uses the lyrics as an anchoring point. And it's true that later down the road you can have more flexibility with when you say the lyrics, and that's when things get really interesting. But don't get overwhelmed. If this sounds challenging, you will get better as you do these more and more with different songs. Right now, I'll just do the exercise with the backing track, just singing along the song while clapping the pulse, and then just taking that mental note of what are the strong syllables that fall with the pulse. Let's give it a try. Summer time is clear, skies are getting clear, you see everything. Just sees. All right. Let's see, I'm here. And that's it. So you saw on the screen how I was underlining the syllables that were following with the pulse. And now I will want to go and write this down on my notebook where I have my song map, A very quick note for us singers who listen to ourselves and can't help but judge try to not do that at this stage. As you saw, I was not putting a performance. I was not trying to be the best singer that I can. I was not thinking about how is the public going to perceive my singing. I was just saying the lyrics or singing the lyrics in this case. But you can just speak them as long as you do them together with the singer, the original singer in the recording. And then clapping the pulse at the same time. You just want to know which syllables fall with the pulse and that's it. If you got that, you got the end goal of this exercise. I'm a big fan of breaking things down, breaking things into these manageable blocks, and then starting bringing them together one by one. In this case, we were joining the lyrics with the pulse and that's it. We don't think about anything else later when all these building blocks come together. And by the way, it's a lot, it's already a lot of things. When they come together and they start working in singing almost without using any brain space, then I will have the mental energy to actually put up a performance and bring the artistic side of music and all of that. I am aware that music is about art and it's about connection and all of that stuff. But a lot of people try to skip the technical part of music and there is a very technical part of music. Just like in math, it's all about patterns. And just like in the language, we can't keep the grammar even if we are not aware that we are using grammar. We are using a system and we need to be able to use that system either because we studied it or because we intuitively understand it, but we are still using it. And once that is running automatically, then we can express ourselves using those technical parts simply as tools. I hope this helps. 15. Draft Your Song Map: Let's apply these exercises to your song map. Start by simply listening to the song that you chose several times and try clapping to the pulse of the song. Once you got confident with clapping with the pulse, I would like you to start speaking the lyrics or even singing the lyrics together with the original singer while clapping to the pulse. Do this exercise several times until you start understanding which are the strong syllables. Once you notice which syllables fall with the pulse, right, which are the strong syllables, I would like you to start underlining those on your notebook. By now, you should have on your notebook the complete lyrics of the song written down and all the strong syllables underlined. This might take some time to complete, and that's fine. That's just part of the process. Once you've got that, you can shift page and we can come to a blank page where we are going to use a colorful pen or a highlighting pen, but ideally in a different color, we are going to start writing these little dashes. I would like you to leave, if possible, exactly the same amount of space between each dash. It's ideal if you can use a ruler, but otherwise you can just make sure that you're leaving more or less the same space between each dash. As you've probably guessed, each dash will represent a beat or a pulse. Now let's write down the lyrics, again, spacing them in a way so that the strong syllables fall with the pulse, the little dash that we wrote. This way, the lyrics will be aligned in time, in a proportionate way to how we are going to sing them in the song. This is really useful to visualize when a syllable is longer or when a syllable is shorter because the pulse is always steady and we have left the same exact space between each or each little pulse. This really helps us visualize how the song and how the lyrics are displayed in time. Remember that the pulse is always regular and steady. The rhythm is a completely different story. Let's go into the next chapter to find out how you can figure out the rhythm of your song. 16. Rhythm: What's the rhythm? The rhythm is a pattern of sounds on top of the pulse as we saw before. The pulse is the steady heartbeat and the rhythm is going to be a way more complex pattern that we can either tap or sing on top of the pulse. We can find the rhythm by following this simple three step exercise. Let's find the song for our example, I want to choose different songs throughout this class so that you can see experience on that side. These basic music components apply to any song that you might choose. So this time I've chosen weight on me by D. Pittman. And we are going to start with the first step of this three step exercise, which is simply feel the pulse. And we already didn't this before, so this should come easier to you by now. Let's go into it. Clap with me. The seasons change, but I'm stuck in this better. Every little thing matters too much. And that's it for this example, we are going to use only this first section of the song. And then you can see the whole process and later apply it throughout your whole song, the song that you chose. Let's go into the second step of this exercise where we will clap the pulse of the song and simultaneously speak the lyrics of the song. And it's very important that this time we speak the lyrics and don't sing them, so it will sound more like rap other than sing. But that's fine. And what you need to pay attention to is that you are speaking the lyrics exactly at the same time as the singer. As the original singer. You'll see what I mean. Let's go one time through it. First just by feeling the pulse and then joining with the spoken lyrics, the Ssn change, but I'm talking this bad and every little thing matters too much, and that's it. And I would repeat this over and over again until I'm able to do, even without the song, just the clapping and the speaking of the lyrics together. And sing like the seasons change. But I'm stuck in this pad and where every little thing matters too much. When you got that, you are ready for the third step. We finally arrive to the last step where we will feel the rhythm. Or finally, understand what's the rhythm. It's very simple. We are going to continue clapping the pulse just like we did before, and we are also going to speak the lyrics. The only difference is that we are actually not going to speak with the actual words or syllables of the text, but we are going to say for each syllable, one per syllable. So for example, it's much easier to demonstrate than to explain it if the text is the seasons change. But I'm stuck in this pattern. I'm going to say, Papa Papa, Papa pa, pa, pa, pa pa. And that's the rhythm. Papa Papa pa, pa, pa, pa, pa, that's the rhythm. So let's try that with our song. It's much easier, I promise. It's much easier together with the original singer. And once you get more confident, then you can do it also without the song. And then you know you rock. Hey, so let's go for it. Feel the pulse, Always feel the pulse. Saas a and that's it. I'll do one more time so that you have a chance to see how it goes. Just follow along with me and know that you will do then, this with your song. Paas. And that's it. We've got our rhythm. So I was clapping the pulse while saying in Papa Papa rhythm. And that's how you know the difference between the pulse and the rhythm. If you feel like you want to continue developing your rhythm and getting it really, really secure, then I suggest that you practice other variants of this exercise. A very good one is to speak the rhythm in papa without clapping The pulse, clapping the pulse is a great way to start feeling the pulse and to have it secure. But at some point you want to let go of that. Can you imagine going on stage or singing to someone and clapping the pulse? We don't want that to happen, so we need to develop the skill of feeling the pulse internally. And that's what we are going to practice with this exercise. I'm just going to listen to the song, say the rhythm in, without clapping the pulse. I'm just going to feel it internally. Let's go for it so that you can see how you can practice that by yourself. Papa, that's it. Another variant is also to clap the rhythm instead of saying Papa. So you can try that just to challenge your brain. You can say the rhythm with Papa Pa. You can clap it, You can tap it. You can tap it with your feet, just to give your brain a challenge and continue developing your rhythm skills. I know these exercises can be challenging, so I just want to let you know that it's 100% normal that you don't get them on the first go. It's normal that you need to repeat them three times, ten times, 100 times. It's completely normal people take months and years to develop their rhythmic skills and there are resources that I'm more than happy to share with you. You are welcome to reach out so that you can practice your rhythm in a more abstract way, in a more structured way. But that's not the purpose of this class. In this class, it's everything about applying these basic music concepts in a song and to break the song down. So if you would like, please reach out and I'm more than happy to help with that. I understand how rhythm is one of the components that can be frustrating for a lot of people, so don't feel alone on that side. That's totally normal and it's a journey. Now it's time to apply these rhythmic exercises to the song that you chose in the beginning of this class. So it's ideal if you can have a device like your computer, for example, where you can play your song, the original song. And then another device like your phone, for example, where you can record your exercise. And the exercise is very simple. You're going to say the rhythm in Papa while clapping the pulse of the song. Don't forget to do it in three steps. So first you're going to simply clap the pulse of the song. Then you're going to speak the lyrics while clapping the pulse. And lastly, you're going to say the rhythm in pa, pa, pa, while clapping the pulse. And don't forget to record all of these steps so that you can listen, back, analyze, and improve. 17. Singing in Tune - The Science: What is singing in tune? Singing in tune simply means that you are singing the correct pitch, or in other words, you are singing the correct notes. And this brings us to what are notes exactly. Let's dive a little into the acoustics of music. And don't get overwhelmed if it sounds like physics, because it will, acoustics are part of physics, but I promise I'll keep it simple and it will help you understand way better why singing in tune is so important and why it is one of the most common challenges that people face when starting to sing. Back to our question, what are musical notes? Well, sound is produced by the vibration of waves. When waves vibrate at a specific speed, they produce a sound with a specific pitch. And we measure the speed at which waves vibrate in hertz. Hertz are simply the number of vibrations per second. For example, if we say that a sound has a frequency of 440 hertz, it means that the sound has 440 vibrations in 1 second. Any musical sound that we hear is producing a very specific and regular number of vibrations per second. And this is why our EU recognizes it as pitch. Otherwise, it will simply be recognized as noise. Now, the higher the number of vibrations per second meaning, the higher the number of hertz, the higher the pitch. And the lower the number of hertz, the lower the pitch. Now what is a note? A note is simply a sound with a predetermined number of hertz. Meaning, a note is a sound with a predetermined number of vibrations per second. And this has been regulated by the system of music that has developed over hundreds and hundreds of years. The Western Musical System has 12 different note names. And these note names will repeat on loop. I don't want to go too much into music theory in this class because that's not the purpose. But I do want to raise your awareness to the mathematical nature of music. Nodes are not random, they are organized in a mathematical way. For example, four has 440 hertz, as you can see here, each node has its specific number of hertz. Now let's have a look at 55 has exactly the double number of hertz as 43 has exactly half the number of hertz as a four. Every other node represented with the letter A is going to be a multiple of 440. The same happens with any other notes represented by the same letter. Notes represented with the same letter are a multiple of the same number of hertz. This is why your ear perceives them as the same notes. So if anyone tells you that you have a great ear, that means that you're picking up on these mathematical patterns without even knowing it. How cool is that? As you can see, music can be so close to math. In a lot of aspects, actually, composers and songwriters were aware of these mathematical patterns present in music since the times of the Greek Empire. At the time, music was considered one of the seven liberal arts and it would be studied together in the same curriculum as arithmetic, geometry, and astronomy. However, let's leave acoustics and physics and music history aside, and let's go back to our ear training now. First things first, you do not need to memorize the number of hertz for each note. Please don't do that. That's not useful. This is just to explain the science behind it and why ear training is so important for singers. As a singer, you are not expected to know the number of herds for each note, and you are also not expected to know the sound of each note. And I know this might sound weird, but I'll just show you an example. If I play any note here on the piano without looking at the keyboard, I don't know which note that is. I don't know which note that is. I don't know which note that is. Now I am supposed to be able to match those notes with my voice, even though I don't know which note I am singing. So let's say I play another random note. No, I should be able to match those frequencies, those number of hertz, even though I don't know the name of the notes. Now let's give you an example if I want to play here. Three. Let me look so I know where the three is. That's an three. I should be able to give the command to my voice. My ear listens to the note. It gives the command to my voice to vibrate at 220 hertz/second That's the science behind it. But on a practical level, the only thing we singers need to practice is play a note and match it with our voice. Play, listen. And that's called ear training. And now in the next section, we are going to see practical exercises on how you can practice this as a singer. 18. Why Singing In Tune Comes First?: Why is singing in tune more important than anything else? I feel very strongly about this and the reason is that if you are singing to an audience and this can be anyone, this can be your friends or your family, They might not know the song that you are singing. They might know nothing about hearts, notes, or music they might have never sung in their life. But if your singing is not following the mathematical patterns that should be present in music, the ear of your audience will pick up on it and we'll realize that the patterns are off. This is a problem because they might not be able to explain why they don't like your singing. But their ear just feels uncomfortable listening to singing that is out of tune. We humans will like patterns. When the ear notices that the patterns are off, the ear just feels uncomfortable. This is a problem that a lot of people face because you might find yourself in the situation where you have people that are quite close to you giving you feedback on your singing without knowing what they are talking about. They might come up with a narrative that your voice is not good, your singing is not good enough, that you were not born for singing all of these things that can really hurt the self esteem of a singer. So what I recommend is that you consult with a professional vocal coach or with a professional singer that can help you troubleshoot and identify what's the root cause of this problem. So why are people not liking my singing, right? Is it that I need to work on the tone of my voice? Do I need to work on my ear training like you need to see? Is it vocal technique or is it the ear? Am I not matching the notes, right? There are also other reasons why people might not like your singing. But it's important to have professional feedback so that you can take practical measures about it. You have practical steps that you can follow. And you don't take this narrative personal. It's just people identifying that you are not matching the notes. That is one of the main reasons why people don't like other people's singing voices. So has nothing to do with your voice, there's nothing wrong with your voice, it might just be that you are not matching the correct notes. 19. How to Train Your Ear: Let's see how we can practice our ear as singers in a very practical way. In the next exercises, we will focus on hearing skills and imitation skills. I know you must be thinking, what do you mean imitation? There must be a better way of learning than imitation. And that is the case in a lot of skills. But with the ear, we really need to focus on hearing and imitating. That's the way we can practice our internal ear, which is part of our brain. This is normal. This is how we humans learn. A big part of learning is learning how to imitate. This is how we learn languages. This is how we learn accents. And this is also how we can learn how to match pitch. 20. Get Ready for Exercise 1: Let's go into the next exercise where we will learn how to match single notes. For this exercise, we will need two things. We will need a musical instrument or any app that can give us a specific note. We will need another app or someone that can give us immediate feedback on whether we are singing the correct note or not. Regarding the musical instrument, it can be any piano keyboard that you might have at home. Here I have piano keyboard. Or it can also be a guitar or any other instrument. As long as you can play one note and you know which note you are playing, you know the name of the note. If you don't have a musical instrument at home, that's completely fine. You can simply download a piano app in your phone. I personally like using the perfect piano app and I always use it when I'm traveling and I need the reference for a note. Remember that I don't have absolute pitch. I am also assuming that you don't have absolute pitch, and this is completely fine, but we cannot memorize notes. This is why we always need a reference. So if I play a D here, no, I can sing a D because I just heard it. But if you ask me in 15 minutes if I can sing a D for you, I probably will not be able to sing a D. I will sing something around D, but it will most probably not be a D. And if it is, it's by chess, it's not because I know it. This means I don't have absolute pitch, And every time that I want to sing a D, I will need to first have an instrument that plays that note for me. The second app that you will need to download, it's a tuner app. You can download any tuner app. I personally like using the Nail the Pitch app, which is an app that has this graph that goes up when your voice goes up and goes down. When your voice goes down and you can see with the lines you will see in the app, it will tell you exactly which note you are singing. Another way to get immediate feedback on whether you are singing the correct note or not is to work with a vocal coach or with a friend or anyone who knows music and has a good ear and can tell you immediately if you are singing the correct note or not and how far you are from that note and helps you correct and find that note. 21. Exercise 1 - Matching Notes: By now you should have downloaded the Perfect piano app and the Nail the Pitch app. Now let's see how you can do this exercise. Let's start by playing a C four if you have a female voice, or a C three if you have a male voice. So I'll stick with four now. I will play it one more time. No, and I will check in my nail the Pitch app, if I am actually singing the C four or not. If you are singing the C four, you should see that orange line on the C four line. If you have another tuner app, you will see how it works. But the most important thing is that you have this feedback from the app that you are actually singing the notes that you played, and this is it. Now, don't worry about how your voice sounds right now. It doesn't matter if I sing or as long as I'm singing the correct pitch. Remember the conversation about the hurt? As long as I am matching that number of hurts. Meaning, as long as I'm matching that note, it doesn't matter which type of voice or tone, let's say in my voice, which tumber I am using to match that note. We will see that in terms of vocal technique. But this exercise is not about vocal technique, it's about ear training, and it's about being able to match that node. Now, we can do this with other nodes. For example, I'm going to play here, then I check it in my app. Let's say a B flat. No, it doesn't matter if you are playing the white keys or the black keys. It's not that ones are more difficult than the others. It just matters that if you play a B flat, you check for a B flat in your app. 22. Off Tune: Sharp vs Flat: Another thing that I want to show you is how it sounds when you are not singing the correct note. Because a lot of you already have a good ear. Either if you are aware of it or not, you already have a good ear. And you will be able to notice when I sing a wrong note. If I play here a D and I sing, I'm off, I'm sharp, meaning I'm too high. And now I corrected it. You can also try that if you see that you are not singing the correct note, to try to move it either up or down. So that you notice in your app as you correct, that you are getting closer to the notes that you are playing. Now, let's see another play here an and I say I'm also off. This time I'm flat, meaning I'm too low. I was singing way too low for it. I see I slided until I matched that note. 23. Exercise 2 - Match Notes Faster: The better you get at this exercise, the faster you can go. So now I'm going to play random notes a little bit faster, and I'm going to try and match them, also at a fast pace. Let's give it a try. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. That's it. With practice, you'll get better and better at this. Of course, you need to control with the app unless you are already getting better and better, and your ear can recognize if you are in tune or not. 24. Test Your Ear: I want you to know that if you are struggling with this exercise, if you are getting the feedback constantly from the app or from someone that you are singing out of tune, which sounds like if this is your case, don't worry, you are not alone. A lot of people struggle with the ear training. So what I would like is that you use this exercise as a test to know if your issues, problems, struggles in singing are coming from your ear or not. If you are struggling with this exercise, you are struggling with your ear, this simply means that you need to go into the ear training journey before you go into the singing journey, it is part of it, but it's a very specific skill that you need to have to become a good singer. Every great singer has a great ear. It's just a prerequisite to sing well, to have a good ear. 25. Tone Deaf: I already hear the thoughts of some of you saying, I think I'm tone deaf. Someone told me I'm tone deaf. Maybe my ear is just not able to hear this pitch and there's nothing I can do about it. This might be the case, but there's actually a very little chance that this is your case. Being tone deaf is a medical condition that it's called Amusia. People who have Amusia, which by the way is a very rare and serious medical condition. People who have Amusia, they perceive music as noise. Usually they don't enjoy music, so if you enjoy listening to songs, you enjoy listening to singers, you enjoy singing along. Even if you receive criticism from other people or even from yourself, this means that you enjoy music in general and your ear likes what it's hearing, it's catching on these patterns, it's just not defined enough. And that's why you need to practice your ear. And you need to practice the coordination between your ear and your voice in a very specific, well coordinated way. And this is called ear training for singers. How can we solve this ear training issue? You will need to embark in this journey and it can take you like a week or two. It might take two months, it might take six months, it might take a year. Some people do take a lot of time to train their ear, and that's fine. But one year in your life it's nothing. So if you spend one year training your ear and that allows you to sing for the rest of your life, I think that's great. I think that's a good investment. It doesn't take too many singing lessons or is not expensive. You can go out there, you can look for resources like ear training apps, like ear training websites. You can research about ear training and what it is like in more depth. You can hire a vocal coach or someone who is knowledgeable about music to give you directions on how you should practice and give you specific exercises to what your ear is struggling with. 26. What's a Scale?: What is a scale? A scale is simply a sequence of nodes that follows a very specific pattern. Today, we are going to learn the major scale. We are going to learn the major scale starting on the key of C. Even though the major scale can start on any key, why are we starting with the major scale? 90% of the songs that you will come across will use the major scale. This means that the notes that you hear in the song are simply a sequence of notes that drives through the major scale. If you know the major scale, you know the road, you recognize the patterns. The important takeaway is that notes are not random. When you listen to a song, it doesn't have random notes that sound good together. The reason that they sound good together is because they are following a pattern. They are following a scale, and 90% of the songs that you will come across will follow the major scale. If you learn the major scale, the beauty of it is that you are actually practicing a lot of songs that you will come across. There are also other scales like the minor scales, the pentatonic scales, the chromatic scale, But we are not going to go into those today. This is for a music theory course, and today we are just learning how to sing any song. And even if you learn only the major scale, you are already giving your ear a very good chance to then understand other scales even if you don't practice them. 27. C Major Scale: Let's start by learning the major scale, starting in the key of. The Reason why we are going to learn the major scale starting in the key of C is because it just makes it easier for us with the piano. Since this is not a piano lesson, I'm not going to teach you how to play the major scale starting on other keys. We are going to keep it really easy and simple and just play the major scale starting in the key of C. It doesn't matter if it's four or three. As long as it's, you are going to play all the white keys until the next, like this. And that was the C major scale, so now we are going to sing together with it. Do you probably heard this before. If you had a little bit of musical education as a child, or if you went through music school, you know the Doremi Faso Latido. The thing is, we don't need the Doi faso Latido. We just need to teach our ear how the major scale sounds. 28. Major Scale - Step 1: So let's go through an exercise that will help us memorize that musical pattern, the major scale. We are going to learn the major scale in three steps. In the first step, we are going to play the major scale on the piano and sing along using numbers. Using numbers is great because they give us a reference as we are going higher or lower in our voice, but also because they are texts. They have vowels and consonants, which our ear loves, so that it can hold onto something. It holds onto these vowels and consonants and helps us stay in tune. Just like with lyrics. But ultimately, we want to develop an ear that is independent from the text. So we will start with the numbers and later on remove them. But for now I would like you to follow along on that side. I'm going to start by playing only 12321, the first three notes of the major scale, and now we sing along with the piano 12321. And now I would like you to repeat on your side as I play. Ready? Now we are going to do the same thing until five. Let's sing along with the piano, 123-45-4321 And now I will let you do it on your side, ready? Awesome. Now, after you did this a couple of times until you get it, it can be a couple of times, it can be ten times, it can be a week. But once you get it, you move on to the full major scale until eight. And now we sing with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and now on your side. Awesome. So you can now practice the major scale as many times as you need. You can play it on your piano app, on your piano, on your guitar even, and you just sing along with the numbers. 29. Major Scale - Step 2: In the second step, we are going to let go of the numbers and practice the major scale, relying only on pitch. For that, we are going to use a single vowel, meaning you are either going to sing it using vowel o vowel or a vowel. I recommend that you start with o because it's usually a vowel that works best for most people. Starting out just like before, we are going to go through the first three notes of the major scale. First we listen, then we sing along with the piano using the vowel like this. And now I would like you to do that on your side as I play, ready. And now we are going to do the same until the number five. So first we listen, we sing along using the vowel ooh on your side. That's it. And you might need to practice this a little bit every day. I would recommend you practice this every day. Unless it's extremely easy for you already, then you're ready to move on. But if you have a little bit of doubt, I would practice every day with the piano app and singing along. Now let's move on to the full scale using a single vowel. It will sound like this. First we listen, and now we sing it in. Ooh, it's okay. Don't judge your voice if you feel it's a little bit too high and uncomfortable on those higher notes. My advice is for now, because we are not working on vocal technique, we are not worried about the tone of the voice. Just go very light, very softly so that you go into your head voice, just, ooh, I will Sound so that you don't struggle with the high notes. If you're still struggling then with the high notes, then you need to do this scale starting on the lower notes. You can start, for example, on A I played now the A major scale. So that you can see on the piano, which are the black keys that you will need to use, I will play it for more time. This is only in case you are struggling with the higher notes on the C major scale. You can do the A major scale. For other notes, you will need to either search online or ask someone how you can play these notes on the piano. But that's a piano challenge for us singers. It doesn't matter if it's or a, because we only memorize the pattern. We don't memorize the absolute value of the notes. So let's go back to our C major scale and try one more time to sing along in O. And now you, that's it. 30. Major Scale - Step 3: In the third step, we are going to learn how to sing the major scale without the help of the piano. We are going to bring independence to our ear. We will need, however, the reference note. Remember, we always need a reference ne, so that we know where to start. Once you know where to start, your ear should have independence enough to go and sing the major scale by itself. But it needs to know where to start. Otherwise it will start on a random note and just do the major scale on a random note. But for now, let's try to stick to the C major scale. So I'm going to play the C so that I have a reference and you have a reference. Ah, and we are going to try to sing the first three notes of the major scale without the help of the piano. It will sound like this. Your turn, great. Now let's do exactly the same thing for five. This is the reference note. Who. And now I'll give you the reference note. And then you can start singing by yourself. Awesome. And you can repeat this as many times as you need. And also check with the Nail the Pitch app, or the tuner app to see if you are in tune or not. When you don't have the help from the piano, let's go and try the full major scale with a fully independent ear. Let's listen to it first. Now, here's our reference note. Oh, and now it's your turn. I'll give you the reference note and you go, awesome. 31. Practicing Routine: A little reminder that ear training should be something that you come back to as often as possible. It doesn't matter if you sit for 2 hours or 3 hours to practice your ear training. If you don't go back to it in a week, or even two weeks, it's much better if you can practice 5 minutes, 2 minutes, 10 minutes here and there, but you keep it a daily activity or you come back to it every other day. It depends on how much work you need on your ear. If you are struggling with these exercises or you're still not nailing them 100% I would say it's time to practice them every single day for a few minutes. If these exercises are easy for you, then I would recommend that you move on to more difficult ear training exercises, more complex patterns, and these ones will also help you with your vocal agility. Ear training is not just for who is struggling with the major scale. It's a constant, constant skill that needs to be nurtured until our ear can do all types of patterns that can improvise up and down in whatever scale or on top of whatever backing track. That's our ideal goal, where we want to finish. But until then, I recommend that you practice step by step with ear training exercises, with ear training apps, And always asking someone once in a while for a little bit of feedback on how is your ear training going. Now let's see how ear training can help us learn any song that we'll listen to in a much more precise way and also way faster. 32. Melody: To apply our ear training to our song and make sure that we are singing in tune, we will need to discover what's the melody of the song. Vocal melodies are built as a sequence of individual notes. A good analogy that I like to use is to think of a children's drawing book. These books that have dots that you need to connect, making a line. Ultimately, these lines will represent a shape or an animal. In music it works just the same. We have the dots, which are the individual notes. And then if we connect them, we get a line which is the melody. And it works literally this way. Melodies are simply lines made up by individual notes. To learn a song, you will need to learn the melody. And to learn this melody, you will need to learn each individual notes and be able to sing one note after the other. In summary, we have the individual notes that make up a melody, and one melody after another makes up a song. A lot of times we call melodies simply musical phrases, or even just phrases. This is because melodies work just like phrases in a text. Also because melodies are highly correlated to the phrases in the lyrics. Let's see how we can find the first melody or the first phrase of your song. What are our options to find these nodes for the first phrase or the first melody of our song? I recommend three main options. And the first one is to simply search online for the name of the song or the first phrase of the lyrics of the song and the word nodes. A lot of times you will get guitar tabs where you will be able to see the notes that go with each phrase. The notes that go with each syllable of the text. The second option is to search online for music score and the name of the song, or music sheet and the name of the song, so on. You can search this also in different languages. That's also a tip. Sometimes you can find the score, but only if you search in Spanish or if you search in Chinese. It depends a lot. But if you know other languages, you can give it a try and search for the musical score in different languages. The third option is to actually listen to the song and find out. Try to figure out what are the notes that the singer is singing. And find them on the piano so that it's really clear for us and we can start building our song map. I personally like to either go for the score or if I can't find the score, or if I find that I can actually not trust the source of this score. Sometimes there are mistakes in the scores. Then I like to listen to the song and figure out the notes with my ear, and find the notes on the piano. But for this, you need a good ear and a little bit of experience. So it can be challenging. You can also ask a friend that knows how to sing, or you can ask a vocal coach to figure out the notes for you. It's very important that you have very clear what are the notes that you are going to sing, not just to have the name of the notes written down, that's just the first step. But then to actually being able to play the melody, that sequence of notes on the piano, and then being able to sing along with it on the piano so that this melody is crystal clear to our ear. 33. Discover the Melody By Ear: Let's now put into practice what we have just learned and figure out the notes of a song. Simply by listening to it, we are going to discover the melody. We will use the third option that I have just shared with you before, meaning that we will use the piano to help us and figure out the notes. To keep it simple, I've chosen the same song as before, which is read Pittman's weight on me. And at least for the first time, we will focus only on the first phrase and specifically the first note. We want to discover that first phrase before anything else. Because our ear doesn't have the capacity to memorize melody after melody after melody. If you are trying to learn songs by listening to it from beginning to end, I bet you can do it in a more efficient way. We are going to focus only on the first phrase, because once you discover the notes of that first phrase, you will notice that the second and the third phrase will probably be very, very similar to that first phrase. At least in pop songs, you will see, even if they are not exactly the same, they will use more or less the same notes. Not always, of course, But it's a tip, It helps. It works like 90 to 95% of the time. All right, so let's go into it, and this time let's figure out just the first note of the song. Ready? Let's go for it. Let's discover these notes. We will start by only listening. Don't sing alone, don't hum to it. Simply focus on listening right after we will sing using the lyrics. Because for a lot of people it is easier for the first time to have something to hold onto and sing with the lyrics. But right after you want to sing without the lyrics, so using only one vowel, I will use the vowel o to sing the melody. This is because we want to give our ear a chance to focus on the pitch and not get distracted by all the vowels and consonants in the lyrics. They can be tricky, they can play tricks on your ear. So we first only listen, then we sing with the lyrics, and then we sing using a single vowel like ooh. Let's go for it. The seasons change, but I'm stuck in this bad. The seasons change, but I'm stuck in this bat. All right? So it might take you a little bit longer to get here, but that's okay. You can listen five times, ten times, how many times you want. Listen to it right after sing along to it after you've listened. Well, once you think you got those notes, we will now try with the piano and try to figure out what's the first note. Let's listen again and focus on the first notes. Seasons change, season, who? That's the first note, who? Now, because I don't have absolute pitch, I have no idea which note that is. So I'm going to use now the piano to figure out who which note that is. Who? It's A. We figured out our first note. All right. So now from here we will figure out the rest of the notes. Freddy, let's play it again. Who is our first note right now? I would already write down in my notebook, we have the seasons change and below. And it's very important that you align those notes with those syllables. The syllable has the notes and now I'm going to try and figure out what are those notes, right? So let's listen one more time. Seasons change. The seasons change. I notice A. So did you see how I went until I find the note? That's okay. I just need to figure out that it's F sharp. So now I write F sharp below. And I go to Z, right? It's going higher, so the seasons change will be higher than F sharp. All right, so. It might take you longer, right? If you go, it's the, I hear that it's going to be a right. Because I know these musical patterns. But you can try until you figure out that's a, it's okay to play around until you figure out your notes. Or it's also okay if you know a little bit more about music to fire. Once you have the first note, you can figure out all the other notes simply by using musical intervals. That's a very good exercise in itself to train your ear. It's being given the first note in the song, that you figure out all the other notes in the song without using the piano. But that's quite an advanced exercise, I would say. It's one that we did a lot in music school as I was growing up. I didn't like it at the time because it can be very challenging. But it's an awesome exercise for our ear. So you don't need to do that. You can simply try out the notes in the piano and figure them out. So right now we have the seasons change. Those are four syllables, and our four notes are the seasons change. So it's a F sharp, and I want to write that in my song map. And after you got that, we move on to the second phrase and so on. So we got the seasons change. I'll just do it quickly so I don't take too much time of the lesson and I just want you to see the process. Just take all the time that you need. It's normal that you'll get better the more and more you go through this process. The seasons change, but I'm stuck in this bad. All right, So, but I'm stuck in this bad. Ooh. It's very important if you can almost draw the shape of the melody, that you can understand if the notes are going higher or lower. Because that will give you a lot of clues on the piano for where to find your notes, right? So we got the season. So I hear that I'm stuck in this pair is starting in the same note as the seasons. Ch, but that's the same note. So I know it will be a seasons change, but I bet that's a higher one octaves. I know that musical interval, right? So that's how I can figure out without the piano. But you can just like go on but until you figure out it's A. But I'm stuck in this. From there we are going lower, but I'm stuck in this P. So I know it will be somewhere between one A and the other. Between A and A stuck stuck in this bad. Alright, I figured it out. So now I'm going to write down these notes. Do you see how the song is more or less always using the same notes? Because it's always using the same scale. It's always using the same pattern. Which in this case is no, it's major, this pat, it doesn't matter. I don't need to know why is it D major. But I just want to leave you a little bit curious on how I can do this quickly. And this is because I know a little bit about music theory. You only need to know a little bit, I promise, right? You don't need to go down the full rabbit hole. But a little bit, that's how I get my song map. I get my own homemade score of the song. That will help me prepare and be super, super precise with how I'm singing and making sure that I'm always singing in tune. Now that we know our notes for the first phrase and we have them written down aligned with each syllable of the lyrics, it's time to go through the same process for the rest of the song. And I know this might sound a little bit time consuming for sure, or even a little bit over the top to learn a song. Promise it's not, it's just worth it because the further you go into your song, the faster and the better you will get at it. As I said before, you will notice that the notes will start repeating themselves and it will only get easier from here onwards. Once you got all those notes written down, it's important to practice first with the piano and then without the piano so that we start bringing independence to our ear. Now let's see the first two phrases, so the season stretch stoking. Now let me try without the piano. The seasons change, but I'm stuck in this pattern. And that's it. You start getting independence from the piano or from the harmony. You really know your melody. One last tip is to do this several times a day or in different days without any help from the piano. If you just go randomly, oh, and someone next to you can recognize which song you are singing, it means you are successful. You nailed your melody. And even if you don't sing the lyrics, it is recognizable to anyone that hears the song, as long as they know the song. Of course, that's a great tip. If you can sing the song starting on any note, it doesn't matter, as long as you keep that proportion between the notes. But that's a topic for another day. If you just start, ooh, you can still recognize that even though I was singing the notes in a different key, in different keys, you still recognize it was the same sort. So you can even practice completely without the piano. Once you know your melody, just go for it, sing it in one single vowel, and ask someone that knows this song if they recognize it or not. And that's an awesome test. That doesn't require a vocal coach or an app or anything too complicated. You just ask a friend, do you recognize which song this is? And you try several songs, right? That you know, that you have practiced. And if they don't recognize any song and they know those songs, it means you need to go back to the piano. If they recognize all the songs you are doing amazing. Congratulations. So this is it for our melody. Let's now see in the next chapter how we can start putting all the pieces together with the rhythm, the pulse, the melody, all of this that we have learned so far. See you there. 34. Joining the Pieces: Now that you know these Music basic skills that are essential for any singer, and you also know how to break down a song into lyrics, pulse, rhythm, and melody. It is time to give it a try and apply this process to any song of your choice. So here's a short list for you as a summary of the steps that I would like you to go through. I will be using as an example for each step, the song that we used in the very beginning of this summer time by Sandy Pierce. Step one, speak out the lyrics in declamation style. Summertime is near, skies are getting clear, you see everything seems to be alright. But still I'm here alone. Step two, feel the pulse. Summer time is near. Sky time, you see everything just se all right? Step three, speak the lyrics with the rhythm. Summer time is near, skies are getting clear, you see, everything just seems, all right. I'm here alone. Step four, speak the rhythm in Papa Papa Papa. Step five, figure out the notes of the melody and write them down. Five, step six, sing the melody with the rhythm on a single vowel like ooh. Ooh. Step seven, join the lyrics, and V, you can now sing the melody with the rhythm and the lyrics. Summertime is near, skies are getting clear, you see, everything just seems all right. But still here, you've got now all the music basics in place. You know your song inside out, and you are now ready to start applying vocal technique on your song. And most importantly, go for the fun part, which is the delivery of your song as an artist. 35. Your Singing Transformation - AFTER: Now it's time to go back to the song that you've chosen and that you have recorded in the very beginning of this class. And if you haven't done that yet, please go and record your song right away. Afterwards, I would like you to go through this process that we have just gone through step by step and repeat it as many times as you need until you feel you've nailed it down. Try to keep your recording conditions as similar as possible so that you have a fair comparison between the two recordings and you can focus on the vocal aspects of it rather than the differences in the recording process. For example, use the same devices before. Try to record in the same room as you did before. Try to use the same backing track, this is a very important one. Or use no backing track if you've used none before. These are all important for you to really focus on your voice and not on all the other external factors. Please feel more than free to share these recordings with me. I'd love to hear them and I would love to get back to you with feedback. Just little tiny things that can make a big difference. In the end, I would like you to share the before recording, the after recording. And if you would like, you can even have them on the same audio file. And also, if possible, share a picture of the song map that you have been developing throughout this class. 36. Final Thoughts: The process we went through in this class might seem quite daunting at first, especially if you didn't have a formal music education before. And this is your first contact with some music theory, with musical instruments, with singing in a more formal way. I understand it might feel a little bit overwhelming and for sure, time consuming. However, it does get easier. It does get easier and faster the more you practice it. I imagine that some of you might still be thinking that, well, my 12 year old niece listens to a song anywhere. And after a couple of times, she kind of got this song down and she didn't go through this process. I hear you some people spend a lot of time listening to music and many times also singing along. So they have intuitively developed a sense of pitch and rhythm. Just like we can pick up a language just by listening to it. We can also pick up on these musical patterns just by listening to it. Usually, these people are also great imitators. Do you remember when I said before that imitation is the key for developing a great ear? Well, some children, they pick up quickly on the notes of songs, and their ears start recognizing, putting together, and imitating these musical patterns. This was also my personal experience growing up. I was exposed to music at a very early age, and my ear started picking up on songs, pitch songs, melodies, and songs rhythms with a lot of ease. Just like I picked up Portuguese, my native language as a child, I also picked up a lot of melodies from songs later in life. As I started coaching, I realized I could not expect the same level of skill, at least not right out of the box from someone else whose life circumstances had been different than mine. Just like I had spent a lot of time learning grammar of foreign languages. As an adult, some people would need to spend some time at least learning music, basic skills, before they could go and sing a song right away. If you want to learn a foreign language as an adult, the best you can do is learn the grammar, learn the vocabulary, and immerse yourself in real life situations, be in contact with that language. The same applies to singing. In singing, this means you will need to train your ear. You will need to learn how to match pitch. You will need to learn how to feel the pulse, how to practice rhythm, and also listen to a lot of singers. As you get better and better, more and more fluent in your music skills, You will be able to learn a song after listening to it just a few times. It's just a matter of practice and time. 37. Extra Resources: Whether this class felt easy for you or a little bit difficult. We all need to keep polishing our music skills. We need to keep growing as musicians and as singers. So I recommend that you go through one of my other classes on rhythm ear training or even music theory, where I explore these topics in depth. Because on this class, we have only touched the very tip of the iceberg. Having these basic music skills in place is just the first prerequisite to sing a song with confidence. Of course, you will need to develop your voice as an instrument. You will need to develop your vocal range, projection in your voice, flexibility. And so much more that you can develop through vocal technique. And for a lot of you, you might also want to start thinking how you are going to package yourself as a singer and as an artist, developing your artistic message at the same time that you are developing your voice. I recommend that you check my other lessons on vocal technique and more advanced topics to help you put together all these little pieces for you to sing with a confident voice. As you get more and more advanced, you will notice that these are highly individual topics that need to be tailored to your voice and your specific goals. So there's nothing like working one on one with someone that can guide you on your journey. I'm always happy to hear from you to give you feedback to help you navigate singing. So feel free to reach out, take care, and happy singing.