First of all, there is no such thing as a condition of being tone deaf. What I mean is that really anyone can learn to hear tones and sing in tune, unless of course you are actually deaf. It’s like anything else; if you can practice it you can get good at it.
Increasing one’s ability to sing in tune starts with practicing singing unisons. Unison means two notes at the same pitch. You can actually practice this with your voice by taking your keyboard and purposely singing out of tune and then go in tune or purposely start in tune and then go out high and then back to it or purposely go out low and then back to it. And just keep doing this over and over again and again.
In other words you are actually doing what violin players, or what guitar players or cello players do, they sit down and tune their instrument (nowadays they may bypass this step, because they buy an electric tuner, and it does it for them, and then they do not develop their ear, which is a bad thing). In actual fact violinists, guitar players, bass players and cello players do this everyday. They have to physically turn the knob and tune their instrument.
Play a note on the keyboard and then slide your voice up and down (aahaahaah). Purposely start a few notes out of tune and then gradually slide your voice to the correct note. You can come up to the correct note or down to it.
You could also do this for example, sing an “A” and sustain it and then purposely play another note like a “Bb”, then go back to the “A.” Then you could play a note and sing it and then play another one and then sing it, etc.
If you have never done this, never practiced tuning your voice you might not be good at it. But, as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.
Another thing to talk about is beats. Not beats like beats on a drum. Piano tuners use this word to describe the sound caused by two notes played at the same time that are out of tune. If you have one note sounding, that note is going to be vibrating at a certain speed, such as note that is vibrating 440 times per second. (This would be “A” just above middle C)
Let’s say you come along and you sing just a note a little bit below that. In other words, you’re a little flat. The note you are singing is vibrating at maybe 437. The reason you’re not singing in tune is because the note is not vibrating at 440.
It’s impossible for you to count these numbers of vibrations, but what you can count is the sound created by the two notes sounding at the same time and the difference between them. The difference between 440 and 437 is 3 beats per seconds and you can hear 3 beats per second.
If you have an A440 and also a note that is a 437 that is trying to be an A, the difference is going to be 3 per second and you’re going to be able to hear that. If you play the 2 notes together you will hear a sound that sounds like a vibrato, a wowu, wowu, kind of sound and those are called beats. That’s what piano tuners call them.
The notes are beating, they are out of sync. What you need to do is try to develop your ability to hear those. They are somewhat subtle, but they are there. You can listen for that and then gradually move your voice a little up or down, whichever makes the beats slower. As you get more in tune, the beats will slow down. It’s going to be a sound like this, wowu, wowu, etc. until that vibrato eventually stops and that means you’re in tune.
Tone deafness can be cured!