Developing Reading and Pitching Skills based on Solfege
by Jesse Alexander Lyons
(Leesville, SC, USA)
The first step would be to grab a solfege educated friend and a piano. Next, learn the solfege hand signs so that you are familiar with them and can recognise them easily. Ask your friend to make random hand signs to help you with pitch jumps in solfege.
For example, I would choose a scale on the piano. To keep it simple lets choose the C Major scale. The C note is Doh, D is Re, E is Mi, F is Fa, G is Sol, A is La, B is Ti, and then it starts all over again in another octave.
My friend might make a Doh hand sign, so I would sing Doh, and then maybe a Fa hand sign that I would then sing. This will help with pitch jumps because the notes are purely random and determined by what hand signs your friend makes.
If you are not a beginner at this, you can try adding accidentals into the mix. For example, maybe a jump from Doh to Li (La raised by 1 semitone). Check your pitches on the piano every once in a while to see how well you are staying on pitch.
Thank you Jesse for yet another useful contribution to our Vocal Exercises Section! For those readers out there who would like to try out these useful training methods, do be sure to do your vocal warmups before you begin your exercises.
Also, for this particular exercise, you may also wish to get your friend to write down some solfege notes on a whiteboard for you to sing, because this would train your recognition of the solfege numbers, and their relation to the pitch that you sing!
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