I’ve been singing since I’m 5 or 6, can’t really remember. There is a tape somewhere from around that time when I sing some Madonna song. I am out of tune. Now maybe things haven’t changed so much since. Countless times I’ve heard from some of my teachers in the past that I’m flat without them telling me what to do with it. The question is why? What to do with that “you are flat”? Change the teacher? Is it true or could the person/persons be wrong?
My guess is that I am trying to hold on to something that just isn’t right. My tendencies are to pull up chest, that does make me flat the higher I go. Actually it’s not the higher I go, it’s around my break. I try to hang on to my chest voice instead of letting it to “float” into it’s correct place. I try to control it cause my mind tells me that that’s the correct way to go about it. I should DO something. But my mind is wrong.
My instinct told me that I really shouldn’t do any fixing my pitch at the time it is pointed out, but correct my technique in the long term. That is, I shouldn’t try and engage some muscles that might temporary help, but wouldn’t fix my pitch problem for the long haul. Finally at the IVTOM conference in May 2013, I got a verbal confirmation that I was right. It’s not really about being right or wrong, I’d say it’s about correct technique and not reinforcing bad habits.
The other thing, what many seem to miss, is that if you sing with other people, if you don’t have similar technique, you will sound out of tune. Only because some will sing with low larynx, some with high. I heard a live demonstration of this last December when Brett Manning was giving a masterclass in Budapest.
The bottom line is, please refuse to help the pitch in any way. Learn the correct technique and you will have perfect pitch.