How to Find the Starting Note in a Song: Part 4

mansingingIn Part 1 we looked at “getting over embarrassment” as even the best singers hit a wrong note from time to time; and outlined steps to support hitting the correct note.

In Part 2 we expanded the discussion to include more tips and examples of how to use musical instruments/accompaniment to help find the starting note.

In Part 3 we dissected the basic elements of chord structure and introduced the confounding issues of overtones using different instruments, and impact of chord inversions.

In Part 4 we’ll explore starting notes that are not the root of the chord, but the 3rd or 5th of the chord.

In the next section we’ll go further into techniques for finding starting notes that are not in the starting chord.

As we noted in the last section, For most situations, a chord will consist of the Root note (1), a 3rd, and a 5th. For example, C –major would be C E G.
1 – C
2 – D
3 – E
4 – F
5 – G

If you are in a minor key, the 3rd would be flat (eg, a half step lower). So, C-minor would be C Eb G.

The first step of mastery is to consistently identify the root of the chord, even when play as an inversion.

Here are a few examples to play on a keyboard:







All of these examples are the chord, C major and with a little practice you will be able to pick the root (the note C) from hearing the chord.

The next steps to finding the 3rd and 5th require a bit of preparation.  A common training warm-up is to sing Arpeggios.  For example sing C, then E, then G, then E, then C.

There are lots of example of this basic practice which typically moves up a half step and repeats, eg C# F G# F G# C#, then D F# A F# D and so on.

Practicing this pattern helps to engrain the leap to a 3rd and helps the ear know where to find the 5th.  However, additional exercises are needed to practice the leap of 1 to 5, or C to G in this case.

Once these patterns become second nature, you’re ready to pluck the 3rd or 5th from a chord.  Remember – when the chord is played, you have learned to identify and sing the root… now just apply the 3rd or the 5th that you practiced in the noted exercises.

At the conclusion of this series, I will post downloads of noted exercises.

In Part 5 (which may be our final formal segment on this topic) we look at how to find notes that are not within the 3 notes of the primary triad.  Not to worry, one of the techniques that works in most cases, is quite easy.

Until the next segment, post questions and get answers.

To Your Highest Singing Results!


Categories: Find Starting Note, Singing Lessons, and singing tips.

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