Matching Pitch

What does it mean to match pitch?

Simply put; someone who can match pitch is able to precisely reproduce the note(s) she hears and discern small differences between pitches. This ability is advantageous for the aspiring instrumentalist or vocalist who wants to learn quickly and/or realize a musical idea on paper, laptop or instrument.


The Performance Ear Training study concept for pitch matching came out of teaching students to tune the guitar to itself.*  Typically the process involves matching pitches between fretted notes and open strings. 

I found that students were more successful after playing the fretted note three times before playing the open string, in effect creating an expectation in the ear. 

* Please keep in mind that this training is for all vocalists and instrumentalists… not just guitarists.

Outcomes & Sing Then Play Study Concept.

Eventually, out of my observations, came the Performance Ear Training study concept, Sing Then Play.

Through the use of Sing Then Play, you will experience an overall improved ability to detect tiny differences between pitches upon a single hearing. This will, amongst other benefits, make transcription and memorization much easier.

Another outcome (due to the feedback loop created when singing) will be that your overall intonation when singing will improve significantly.


During my time as a Professor of Music at Istanbul Bilgi University in the Republic of Turkey, I learned that Turkish music scholars had determined there were nine discernible pitches in between each of what we in the West consider semitones.

This knowledge only gave me more confidence in my pitch matching techniques because my process had helped many Turkish students improve their ability to notice even the smallest differences between notes. In addition, for those who regularly practiced Sing Then Play, their intonation and interval recognition improved steadily over each semester. 

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