How Do I Stay on Key and How Do I Hold My Notes Longer?

Hi, I’m 14 years old I have a habit of singing off key. My voice sounds kind of like the lead singer of “journey”. How do I stay on key and how do I hold my notes longer?



Hey Faith,


To me, staying on key is a factor of focus. At first, a singer must really focus on both the music of the song as well as the pitch they’re singing, always checking to make sure that they mesh. After you do this for a while however, it will become almost subconscious, so you won’t have to think about it hardly at all anymore.


So for a while, it’s just going to be a factor of intense focus (let’s be honest, focusing on two things at once is pretty tough). Once you get past that initial stage, you’ll be golden.


Now, there are a couple of general rules that I learned in my college vocal pedagogy class. Generally speaking (not always, you understand), if you’re singing sharp, then you’re likely singing with too much tension. If you’re singing flat, then there’s a good chance that there’s not enough breath support to carry the sound.


Now, onto holding your notes longer. A singer’s ability to hold notes is usually a factor of breath support and potentially cord closure. I’d focus on breath support first. To learn more about the breath, check out my Breathing and Singing article.


I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any further questions in the comment section below.


Vocal Coach Ken Taylor

Check out these other articles by Ken!

Singing with Emotion       and             Singing with Practice 

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