Vocal Instruction

Tone Deaf???

Along the way you’ve probably heard someone claim that they can’t sing. “I can’t carry a tune in a bucket,” is a common refrain. Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. But too often, those that have the belief that they can’t sing also carry the misguided belief they are tone deaf.

Well I’d like to share some realities of this condition.

Tone deaf is the complete inability of the voice to rise higher or lower in normal speech. It is not a comment on the accuracy of your singing voice. The term for that is intonation.

Intonation refers to singing in or out of tune, or put another way, on or off pitch. Many people sing out of tune and then erroneously conclude they are tone deaf.  And so the singular issue may be that you do not sing well and there can be many reasons for this:  lack of voice training necessary for enhancement of vocal cord development and the vocal production apparatus, as well as the development of the aural connection of ear to the voice.

The likelihood that you are tone deaf is extremely low unless you have a severe speech impediment. If this scenario was true then you could not fluctuate the pitch of your speaking voice. So tone deaf is discernible in speech- not just in singing. Again, if your voice goes through its normal pitch fluctuation with rise and fall then you are not tone deaf.

You may not currently be able to sing, but that does not mean that you are tone deaf. Don’t let misconceptions keep you down- you too can sing. If you have ever been inclined to sing- then go for it. Take it beyond just singing in the car and find a teacher and get started with voice training.