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peter_traj
07-02-2002, 01:16 PM
has anyone heard of the perfect pitch sytem that is being advocated in some magazines.if not go to www.perfectpitch.com and have a look. let me know what you think.
see ya Peter

Guni
07-02-2002, 06:11 PM
Hi Peter,

I'm very careful with all those methods that promise you to gain Perfect Pitch. Most musicians don't have Perfect Pitch. I met 2 guys in my life that I know of having this - they were born with this gift, or curse :D . Next to naming any note they heard they had the ability to tell if a note was flat or sharp. Hehe, they really got upset when playing in a band and someone was slightly out of tune (I really wouldn't have noticed that). Well, I couln'd back this up with any medical documentation (I'll have a look around if I can find a site). I heard once that there are different varieties of 'Perfect Pitch' out there. But in general it comes down to that someone is able to identify a heard note by name.

Most musicians have a quite good 'Relative Pitch'. The difference being that you can set heard notes or chords in relation to each other, say in terms of intervals (root and fith) or in a progression (II V I). Basically, the same way you learn harmony you should learn on how this sounds, starting with intervals, triads, melodies, chordprogressions etc etc .....

Also, when playing guitar for a while you will recognise the timbre of certain notes on the guitar (which some of those 'Perfect Pitch' methods try to sell as Perfect Pitch). So ya will be able to say: Hey, this tune is in A (just to realise that the guitar is tuned down by a halfstep and it actually is in Ab). But you can hear the timbre of the instrument and know where this note is played. Same goes for all other instruments of course.

Personally, I think this is a big issue and I am not sure where this 'desire' for Perfect Pitch is coming from. Relative Pitch is your friend :D

Guni

Guni
07-02-2002, 07:20 PM
ok, I can't help noticing a few holes on this website:

"Gain a PERFECT EAR for music and play like a pro"

erm ... :confused: so without perfect pitch no pro? (I guess we should ask the pros like Neil in our powwow what he thinks :-)

and

"Did you know that you have a NATURAL, inborn ability for Perfect Pitch? But -- like most musicians -- maybe you have yet to discover it."

ouch, sorry, but this really sounds like one of those "Make $2000 in 5 days" spams I receive every day.

... and I really had some fun with the "Success Stories"

Guni

EricV
07-02-2002, 07:32 PM
Hi Guni

I agree there... I haven´t checked any of these products but I saw many of their ads and usually was turned off by them... they´re really kinda corny.
I never heard anyone tell me "Dude, I used those perfect pitch-CD-methods and it made me what I am today"... what I know is that guys like Steve Vai did it the regular way... playing, listening and transcribing as much as possible.
That is a very natural way of working on your hearing, your pitch recognition and relative pitch.
I believe that my hearing aint that bad, and all I did was constantly jamming with others and transcribing stuff, plus listening to bunches of music in general.
Really, never heard of anyone who went crazy about those "Perfect Pitch" methods, I´m sure if it was that amazing we would have heard some success stories that were on OTHER sites than theirs...
Just my opinion ;)
Eric

EricV
07-02-2002, 07:37 PM
... and you´re right about the "success stories"... this is REALLY corny. I mean, if you check user reviews of guitar gear like the ones at harmony-central, people don´´t mind giving away their name and email-addy for people to contact them with more questions....

This use of initials instead of full names is kinda... suspicious if you know what I mean ;)
But hey, that system and the ads have been around for a while... just like the ones for x ray-glasses :D
Warm regards
Eric

szulc
07-02-2002, 10:30 PM
The entire concept of perfect pitch is a farce.
What people have is relative pitch, ther is nothing sacred about the tuning we use ( 440 Hz for A), in the past it was common to use 435Hz.
Since Most of us here are guitar players we all have tuned flat or sharp a few times, sometimes even on purpose ( I like to tune down 1/2 step). A person with highly devloped relative pitch can tell that note 1 is roughly 440hz, but what about those people who grew up listening to 435 tuned instruments? When I was a child my piano was from the 1800s and was tund to 435hz ( maybe that is why I like to tune to Eb? Sure you can train your self, if you are lucky enough to have good ears, to know what pitch is what and to blurt the note name to impress your friends, but what good is it really?
Every type of hearing is based on your past experiances and you cannot assume that ANYONE can really tell the difference in frequency between say 440 and 440.1 Hz, even when hearing the two tones in succession.
I am very lucky genetically, poor tuning drives me crazy, people have "claimed" that I have perfect pitch, being an electrical engineer I know better!

There is no such thing.
Just tin ears, relative pitch, and really good relative pitch.

James

peter_traj
07-02-2002, 11:01 PM
thanks fellas, you saved me $130.

Zatz
07-03-2002, 12:13 PM
LOL guys! :D

Fun how you uncrowned the charming stupidity of perfect pitch mistery :)

Absolutely agree with you folks!
I could add just one practical advice how to improve relative pitch perception ability. You might call it my "success story" (hehe).
Here it comes. You don't even have to drag your guitar strapped over yourself all around the place to train at it. My simplest ever method is try to copy but every sound you hear whatever the source, with or without any kind of distortion. You don't have to sing it out loudly (though it would be the best way) - just reproduce the sound in your mind once you've heard it at home or in the street. Be it a car meep or anything else - every sound has its main frequency along with overtones which sometimes are clearly heard. Sing em too! Develop your volumetric perception of sound!
I for one like to sing it tune with my vacuum cleaner :). It's a terrible intensified unison noise I must tell ya :D

So have fun and enjoy music that lives within every single thing on this planet and beyond it :)

Ultra mega best regards,
Zatz

szulc
07-03-2002, 12:50 PM
It is what it is...
Just another of the plethora of ways of separating you and your money.

Guni
07-04-2002, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Zatz
I for one like to sing it tune with my vacuum cleaner :). It's a terrible intensified unison noise I must tell ya :D Oh my! I LOVE vacuum cleaners. When we bought our last one I drove the guy in the store close to suicide. I didn't care about the Watts this thing had but I wanted to listen to it. I mean, to me this is like buying an instrument and a tool for eartraining. I use the constant pitch for singing intervals to it....... mmmm, maybe it's time to see a shrink :D

Hey this would be an idea for selling yet another 'Perfect Pitch' method. We could name it "Vacuum Cleaning Part 1 - Gaining Perfect Pitch in 10 cleaning sessions".

"Ever wondered why cleaning personnel has better Pitch than any Pro musician out there ......."

okokok, enough is enough :D

Guni

Zatz
07-04-2002, 10:16 AM
We could name it "Vacuum Cleaning Part 1 - Gaining Perfect Pitch in 10 cleaning sessions".

Geez it's fun! LOL :D :D :D
Imagine funky office-cleaners on stage!

Guni
07-04-2002, 10:36 AM
LOL :D :D eyeyeyey .......

Lemme add something to the 'Relative Pitch' topic. One thing that really helped me a lot was solfege. Berklee's eartraing is based on it. In the beginning I was a bit sceptical as I did a lot of eartraining before and therefore thought why I would need something new. But after a few month I saw the first improvements and the value of this concept.

Anybody else who has experience with this ?

Guni

The Bash
07-04-2002, 11:56 AM
Yep that helped me out a lot in school. Being a guitar player I could pick things off record, but sight singing and transcribing lines out of the blue was completely new stuff. And somewhat overwhelming. The solfege was a savior. We did fixed and moveable (I to this day hate fixed.) The moveable being where the tonic is always doe.
I always stress to my students the importance of singing (even if you have a voice like a bull frog). For Example I have them practice say a one octave major scale (singing the solfege as they play each note up and down the scale). Once they get comfortable with that (And that may take a long while) I have them do the same thing only they drop every other note as they play and work it up where there playing every three, four notes and so on until they can just hit the tonic and glide up and down. Then of course using other keys as well. Then progressing to singing chords tones and intervals etc. I Still do this in fact I’ve been working on singing modes doing this (which was something for some stupid reason never occurred to me until I saw Steve Vai mention it).
It’s one thing to know the modes in theory or fret board but I think you have to really hear them to understand the big picture. I learned there sound from playing a pitch axis kind of thing against a drone note, playing over progressions or linking them to songs or licks ex. Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days” sounds Lydian. While this is a good approach and a necessary one I think its bassackwards and pale in comparison to actually singing them.
One thing I always found during improvising is “I’m probably not gonna play something I can’t sing (at least in my head).
My vote is it’s a good topic for an article.
Excellent Job with the Site btw!
As well as the Interval, triads, chord scales etc articles you did (I’ve seen them many times as I had encouraged several of my students who were prepared to take that no return leap into theory to download them from the old site. Luckly no one’s made it to chord scale three yet as vast portions of that go sailing over the top of my head :) But I’m working through it.)

szulc
07-04-2002, 12:02 PM
What are you guys talking about?
I no a little about sight singing but what is this solfeg?

MusicMuse
07-04-2002, 12:35 PM
Well, I actually tried the Perfect Pitch course. In the beginning you're given two notes, say E and F. They are played one after the other and after a few minutes, you can say 'oh, that's an E' or 'that's an F'. They are as different as two colours. But it's when other pitches get thrown in that things get interesting (confusing). What it seems to come down to is developing highly sensitive relative pitch. :)

Solfege is use of syllables in singing. Do re mi fa so la ti do. In C major, Do would be C, re would be D, etc.

Has anyone worked with GNU Solfege? It's free ear training software. Go to http://solfege.sourceforge.net/

Peace,
-Musicmuse

szulc
07-04-2002, 12:52 PM
No one ever told me what this was called

Schnautze
07-04-2002, 02:20 PM
Hi everybody,

I don't know to much about perfect pitch, but I have been working through a Bruce's Arnold relative pitch method for a while. I didn't have any ear training before and after 4 months I feel quite a lot of improvement but very slowly (30% of the CD). The CD plays a I-IV-V-I in Cmaj and then a pitch which you've to guess. Does anyone know this method or something in the same way? I think it's a good method even if it's really hard. Apparently the author says that the classic-interval is not good because you never know the relationship within the key. You guys have been in college and serious stuff, what kind of ear training do they teach over there?

I am interested in transcribing music and composing what do you recommend for those disciplines? :confused:

Cheers, take care

Guni
07-05-2002, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by The Bash
My vote is it’s a good topic for an article. Yeah, I do think so too. For quite some time now I have been thinking on how to get that solfege topic into a nice, practical article. I really wanna get that done. To me iBreathe is now the perfect environement to get serious about it ..... well, maybe a step by step approach would be best - a seies of articles with exercises on a monthly basis .....

Excellent Job with the Site btw!
As well as the Interval, triads, chord scales etc articles you did (I’ve seen them many times as I had encouraged several of my students who were prepared to take that no return leap into theory to download them from the old site. Luckly no one’s made it to chord scale three yet as vast portions of that go sailing over the top of my head :) But I’m working through it.)Thanks for your kind words Bash. To be honest I think it's really time to review the chordscale articles. It's always great to hear that the articles are helpful but there's a lot of information on those few pages, which is really hard to digest. Well, I'll review them anyway soon.

Laterz,

Guni

Guni
07-05-2002, 12:42 PM
Originally posted by MusicMuse
Has anyone worked with GNU Solfege? It's free ear training software. Go to http://solfege.sourceforge.net/
I just installed it on my Linux box and I gotta say that there are quite some nice exercises within this program. I like how they included singing as a practicing routine, not like a lot of other eartraining programs out there that just require to identify things by listening.

Thanks for the tip,

Guni

Guni
07-05-2002, 01:13 PM
Originally posted by Schnautze
Hi everybody,

I don't know to much about perfect pitch, but I have been working through a Bruce's Arnold relative pitch method for a while. I didn't have any ear training before and after 4 months I feel quite a lot of improvement but very slowly (30% of the CD). The CD plays a I-IV-V-I in Cmaj and then a pitch which you've to guess. Does anyone know this method or something in the same way? I think it's a good method even if it's really hard. Apparently the author says that the classic-interval is not good because you never know the relationship within the key. You guys have been in college and serious stuff, what kind of ear training do they teach over there?

I am interested in transcribing music and composing what do you recommend for those disciplines? :confused:

Cheers, take care

Hi Schnautze,

I don't know the Bruce Arnold method but we did something similar at Berklee. One exercise was that you get together with another instrumentalist. One plays I IV V I or I V I to establish the key followed by a single pitch which the other one has to identify in relation to the key. This is a great way of getting to feel tensions etc .....

I was just looking for the eartraining syllabus at Berklee but I couldn't find it (maybe it's time to clean up, get some vacuum cleaning action :-). As far as I do remember eartraining was basically divided into a few courses.

Eartraining 1 to 4 which were the required courses, with solfege, singing, etc ..... then there were courses on offer just for rhythmic eartraining, harmonic eartraining, transcribing, etc. .... I think it's important to see eartraining as a wide variety of skills that need to work together.

In terms of transcribing best is to just do it. In the beginning it might be hard but the more you do it the easier it will get.

uh, composition includes many different 'diciplines', harmony, arranging, etc.... again, as with transcribing I would go out and research why a song does have this effect or that feeling. Why is it in major, minor and how do the lyrics fit in. What's the chordprogression - analyse the melody (is it a melodic idea or a rhythmic idea, or both) ......... What form does the tune have? Intro verse Bridge chorus verse etc ...

yeah lemme make a note on my todo list to focus on the composition and arranging sections that are planed on iBreathe.

Guni

Zatz
07-05-2002, 02:41 PM
Guni,

I JUST CRAVE FOR COMPOSITION AND ARRANGING SECTIONS!
To me it's to most creative musical field. I've been always lacking info on this topic and would like so much to discuss it on IBreatheMusic!

Zatz.

The Bash
07-05-2002, 08:43 PM
Well, personally, I think you did a good job of cramming lots of information into the articles. One of the reasons I had them download it was you followed a very similar approach as to what I use (only better). As a result, a majority of the students have little or no difficulty until they make it to the extensions. But I’m looking forward to the revisions (teacher loves being taught as well).
One thing I liked a lot was the practical application section (using a drone note to play modal progressions etc.). It’s one thing to know the stuff on paper, it’s something else to actually be able to use it. I feel my own knowing out weighs my ability to use (maybe a lot of people feel this way) so I’d like to see more of that kind of stuff (I guess that was a hint :) )
There’s also that great Rock n Roll topic such as “Why does Black in Black sound like crap when I play a full E chord? It’s in E isn’t it?” Well yes and no. Or “What keys key’s Hey Joe in C-G-D-A-E and it’s in E? Again yes and no. Or why we use bVII in most rock/country situations or V of V chords etc. I think the practical application is where a lot of people fall off the boat.

As far as the composition thing I think Guni hit it on the head.
For example after 3 years of various Music Theory Course I often use this Highly Advanced method of randomly throwing my fingers on the guitar and moving them around till they sound good :)
And that’s a true story.
A lot has to do with what you what to write (not that you have to limit yourself to one style). For example are you interested in writing Pieces (instrumentals etc.) or songs ( with words). I’ve always been very heavy into the lyrical aspect so that’s one side of music that (to me) is important although it has nothing directly to do with music.
But if you want to write listen to great writers. If your into pop/rock (or even if your not) listen to the Beatles (you can’t go wrong there.)

Schnautze
08-02-2002, 09:13 AM
Hello All!

just to add something in this Ear training Topic.

I've been working a little with an ear training software which I beleive is excellent.

Lots of different exercices:

Interval comparisation, identification
Chords identification, inversions and progressions, scale identification and melodic dictation + Rhythm exercises (reading and more).

It's very complete you will find more information at:

http://www.earmaster.com/

You are suposed to pay for this software, it's not free but the more smarters will get for free ... if you know what I mean... ;)

that's far the best stuff I've seen in the WEB regarding Ear training software. Easy to use, you can make your own programed exercises.... god, it's sounds like I'm selling this stuff...!! I'm not all right??!! :)

Enjoy and good luck!!

Guni
08-02-2002, 05:38 PM
I am sure this is quite a good program. It reminds me of the software that I was using a lot when I started out: AURA from C-Labs for ATARI ST !!!!

My god, seems like ages ago :D Those computers rocked .. hehe

Thanks for the tip Schnautze.

Guni

Schnautze
08-06-2002, 08:04 AM
Atari!!
ha ha!! At least you didn't start with a Spectrum because I did!!

... yeah they really rocked....

You can select (in ear master) a teacher program which is really great because it's very gradual, and you don't get stuck, you always move on.

That's for ear training I mean with you ears (you don't need anything else). Another great tool is the guni's described solfege. There actually thousands of exercices regarding singing and sight singing... I have't done them yet but I hope I will one of these days... It is actually hard to find "time" for the guitar when you're seriously learning guitar and working like me at the same time.


For me ear training is like learning a foreign language, you actually learn to "understand" the words when you "sing" them or speak. The beginning very tough, and after a while it really becomes a second nature so I'm positive and I see the light at the end of the tunnel... but it's still dark.... .


See U later folks

Knightsaber
09-09-2002, 12:34 AM
i have the perfect pitch cd's and i have to say they helped alot. i haven't the the solfage (spelling?) and many other things, but i can basically pull tones of the air now. my mom tests me every now and then. she'll play a note and i'll name it, then she'll play a chord and i'll sing individual tones out of it (like an arpeggio).

I don't mean to butt in to the convo but the cd's work.

szulc
09-09-2002, 01:18 AM
We didn't say that it wasn't valuable as ear training.
What we are saying is there is no such thing as perfect pitch.
There is actually some harm you can do by learning this with the absolute reference (actual note names as opposed to scale or chord degrees)
You can develop (with good ears to begin with!) VERY GOOD RELATIVE PITCH. But you will never be able to tell the difference between 880 hz and 881 hz, and neither will anyone else.
It is my belief that you could have gained the same or better benefit by sight singing (solfege). I believe that you could still benefit by singing the number (1-7) of the scale pitch when singing exercises. Be glad you have good ears to start with (not every one is so lucky, and there is nothing that can be done to help, them including your cd's) , now make them work for you by learning scale degrees de-referenced from any key, like solfege or degree number singing. Learn cool jazz cycle exercises and sing the chord degree (number like 1357) on every note.

donsolo
10-05-2002, 09:36 PM
I don't know about you and your schooling but I was the only kid in my high school to know the do ra re ma mi fa fi so si la tae ti da do chromatic scale. My choir teacher loved it, the other kids just made fun of me and beat me up....Not really, I didn't pay much attention to the other kids in band and chorus, none of them ever got to do a concerto, arrange or compose and have it done in concert. Hee hee. Back to relative pitch, ever notice car horns?
Each one has it's own pitch. And another thing, we used to guess the pitch of the school bell to test our "Perfect Pitch."
Now, I'm in college, a non-music college and I'm losing my mind, any suggestions for good (affordable) schools in NY or surrounding area for composition?

Guni
10-05-2002, 10:05 PM
Hi Don and welcome to iBreathe!

mmm, well I think that 'affordable' might be ya problem. Most schools are quite expensive around there. Ever considered taking private lessons? Just a thought ... but maybe you want to study music at a college ... then again it has been quite a few years since I've been to NY.

Anyone who's got a hot tip for Don?

Guni

Cory
11-21-2002, 05:33 PM
Stay away from ANY program that claims to be able to teach you perfect pitch. There are many things in music that can be "learned" and many others that cannot, such as perfect timing. Perfect pitch is one such thing that CANNOT. In response to one post i have read that "perfect pitch" does not really exist, you are mistaken. This is proven by many guitar players that can perfectly tune a guitar or any other instrument to 440 without the aid of any tuning devices. While many players can get their instrument very close to true pitch, only those with perfect ears will be exactly right on 440. How about a singer who can sing for example a C note perfectly in pitch with no aid. This also is exact pitch. Another example if perfect pitch is the ability to properly "temper" their instrument, mainly those using multiple sting combinations simultaneously. This is due to the overtones generated by the harmonics not being exact interacting between the two or more separate tones produced by multi toned instruments such as pedal steel guitars. One has to depend on his ears to remove the slightest hint of discord heard between notes to be completely uniform. Relative Pitch can be dramatically improved with time, practice and patience but never to the point of perfection, approaching perfect pitch. Thanks Cory

thegnu
11-22-2002, 01:09 AM
I've thought about those perfect pitch things, and I'd like to have the CDs to see what the hell they could possibly do to train me, but you develop pitch naturally.

And I figure that any time spent practicing guitar and singing also teaches me pitch, and so why waste time on something that will ONLY improve my pitch while I fall behind on my guitar skill?

thegnu
11-22-2002, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by Zatz
LOL guys! :D

I for one like to sing it tune with my vacuum cleaner

Yeah, I fix computers, and I harmonize with the processor fans. And A/Cs. Start with unison and move off in different directions.

Joel
11-29-2002, 08:27 PM
Hi there:
The perfect pitch is a complex matter, first of all, because people tend to make a relationship with the ear. That is not true. The absolute hearing means that you are able to recognize a note alone, without comparing it with another given note. You can practice both of them, absolute and relative. The problem is in the cognitive system that you use. What Guni says it's true, very few people have that hability without practice, but it would be like comparing with the gifted authistic people that can hear a composition once and then play it exactliy the same. The problem is that the memory work better in one than it does in the other (this would be a very simple way of explaining it, because the cognitive system of the brain is very complicated and, most of all, teorethic to us). Is not a difference in the hearing (most of the times) as it is in the way of understanding and remembering. More interesting than that is that the absolute hearer can tell you the note of the "noises", for instance, the note of the knock on the door, etc. Both of them can be trained.

Zenith
12-30-2002, 12:41 AM
Hi all!

I just discovered this forum, and it's interesting to read opinions and ideas from other musicians around the world. I especially find this thread very interesting.

I don't know if there are any others on this board with perfect pitch, but I've had it for a long time now. I 'discovered' it when I was 13 years old, but I don't know exactly when I 'got' it. I've been playing the piano all my life, and even before I could walk, and I believe that's the most important factor when it comes to my hearing. I kinda support the theory that says most people are born with a perfect pitch, but loses it at an early age, because it would fit well with my experiences about developing or maintaining a perfect pitch.

I highly disagree with those of you who say that there is no such thing as a perfect pitch... Of course there is relative pitch and very relative pitch, but I would never claim that I had perfect pitch unless it was perfect. There's no problem for me to sing specific notes (as perfect as I can with my not-so-good voice) without hearing any notes on forehand, and I can tune whatever instrument perfectly tempered without any tuning aid.

In fact, having a perfect pitch gives me many advantages in practical situations like listening, performing and practicing. And the perfect pitch also gains the other factors of a musicians ear like for example the reactive hearing (the ability to almost instantly copy phrases or recognize notes), the illutional hearing (the ability to create music (and improvise) inside your mind), etc.

I find it extremely difficult to explain music theoretically on english since I'm a norwegian, but I think you get the picture ;)

RobA
12-30-2002, 01:36 AM
There have been studies done to prove that people who aren't not "born" with perfect pitch are able to gain it. And it most certainly does exist. I think the question is now can everyone learn it. You may need to be born with the "potential". I myself do not have perfect pitch.

Zenith
12-30-2002, 08:47 AM
Yeah, you might have to be born with a 'potential'. I know three other musicians who got a perfect pitch, and all of those three got theirs in an early age, about the same time as I discovered mine. So I believe one can learn it, but most easily when you're relatively young.

WaterGuy
04-08-2003, 08:33 PM
Although I think the original question here has been answered, I figured I'd toss out a few things I've found in the past couple of months during an obsessive-compulsive eartraining trip.

The original question related to the Burge perfect pitch eartraining CD's. This guy in California, Chris Aruffo, has a pretty cool site dedicated to perfect pitch. It's sort of a personal journal detailing his own experience in seeking perfect pitch. He has some facinating ideas, and the site is worth checking out. You can go through is archives and read all his entries. He recently completed a review of the Burge CD, which I think is right on point. Burge's "course" isn't very well organized or packed with information based on scientific fact. Burge just rambles on, offering his opinions and giving out excercises which you have to do on your own or with a partner anyway. If you want perfect pitch, save your money, read Chris's notes and work through the excercises.
Perfect Pitch Eartraining (http://www.aruffo.com/eartraining/)

But the general concensus of this tread was that relative pitch is probably more useful than perfect pitch. I'm inclined to join this school of thought. I've been working at the Bruce Arnold "One-Note" method for a little over a month. This method, as described above, consists of playing a I-IV-V-I chord progression to get a sense of key, then playing a note at random and figuring out (i.e. guessing at first) what that note is. The idea is that each note, say a major second or perfect fourth, has a certain sound within the key, and the eartraining centers on memorizing what those sounds are. I've limited my excercises to the diatonic major scale for now, and have improved quite a bit.

Is anyone familiar with Arnold's "Key Note Recognition" or "Two-Note Method" books? Frankly, I was not impressed with the one-note book, but would like to know what the general concepts are.

Zenith
04-09-2003, 08:28 PM
To me it seems like relative and perfect pitch are to different things. But they're also the very same thing.

When I'm identifying a note or chord without any reference note I use my perfect pitch to imagine reference notes if I can't trust my reflexive perfect pitch. In most cases I instantly know which note it is, but to doublecheck I have to create reference notes inside my mind. It doesn't matter which reference note it is, because every note has it's unique color of sound in my head. I think that's mostly due to the perfect pitch.

But in this case there's already three different types of hearing in the action; the imaginable/illutional hearing (to imagine the reference notes), the perfect pitch (to imagine the right/perfect notes), the relative pitch (to get the interval/relation between the reference notes and the played note).

The way I see it; all kinds of hearing/every aspect of the musical ear works together to create or understate the perfect pitch.

I think the relative pitch is one of the most important aspects of the musical ear, and it is also mainly based on a person's musical experience and knowledge. Especially when it comes to complex harmonies/chords. I wont say it's less useful than perfect pitch, but having perfect pitch will only gain the usefullness of the relative pitch.

It's hard to put all this in English, but I think it's great to pass on my experiences about the musical ear and perfect pitch. I could write lots of more in norwegian, but unfortunately it's not a norwegian board.

I want to add my experiences about the imaginable aspect of the ear, which I think is the most fascinating one.
I can assume that most of you have music in your head all the time. Hearing tunes and melodies in you're head. That's the imaginable hearing at work. When you're getting control of the imaginable hearing, you can compose, arrange and improvise inside your head. There's a lot of levels when it comes to this aspect of the ear, but a strong imaginable hearing combined with perfect pitch and a strong relative pitch makes you able to identify and focus on several imagined notes and individual notes in harmonies. One excercise related to this, and that I've used myself, is to imagine for example three constant notes and then move one and one after turn either up or down chromatically. If you're successful you should be able to hear the resulting harmonies before you've identified them theoretically. It also requires you to have control of maintaining a democratical focus on each note. If not you'll lose them and the harmonies will be unclear. I'm getting problems with the excercise when imagining more than three notes.

Of course this imaginable aspect of the ear is also connected to the visual imagination. Because I'm a pianist I relate my perfect pitch to a imagined visualization of the keyboard. The C note to the C key and so on. And when using the perfect pitch and the imaginable hearing related to this visualization makes it much easier to gain control of the imagined notes.

The imaginable hearing gives you also an advantage in improvised music such as jazz. When improvising chords and progressions it's really useful to be able to imagine the next chord and it's relation even before you've played it.

All these different aspects of the ear is a part of the same thing, they're also very individual. Developing a perfect pitch isn't much useful in a practical musical situation, but developing, experiencing and understanding all the different parts of the musical ear is what makes you musical. It's a process that usually takes several years or decades to evolve onto a high level.

That's about all I had to say... ;)

John Tuohy
01-15-2004, 04:12 PM
I am currently working on the Perfect Pitch Supercourse.
I've been at it for 2 months now. Do I have perfect pitch? Nope. However, I've noticed a very big difference in the way I hear notes. Sometimes, when I hear a song, (one that doesn't nessessarily have a guitar in it) a note will come out and hit me. I'll say "That was an A!!! I heard it!" It just "felt" like an A. It's very hard to describe.

I for one am going to keep on plugging with this course....the worst that happens is that my ears get better!(even if I never get perfect pitch).


John Tuohy

WaterGuy
01-15-2004, 05:11 PM
John, good for you. Keep at it.

I still haven't started in on perfect pitch training, and have continued to focus on absolute-relative pitch. But I've found that I'm much better at some keys than others. I'm horrible at Eb major. My ear just doesn't want to hear A-natural as a tritone, B-natrural doesn't sound like a typical minor 6th, F# is all wrong as a minor 3rd... etc. The colors of the tones don't mesh with their roles in scalar positions. So what I'm getting at is prefect pitch is pretty useful too.

Spin 2513
01-18-2004, 04:36 AM
Originally posted by Zenith


But in this case there's already three different types of hearing in the action; the imaginable/illutional hearing (to imagine the reference notes), the perfect pitch (to imagine the right/perfect notes), the relative pitch (to get the interval/relation between the reference notes and the played note).

The way I see it; all kinds of hearing/every aspect of the musical ear works together to create or understate the perfect pitch.

democratical focus on each note. If not you'll lose them and the harmonies will be unclear.

Because I'm a pianist I relate my perfect pitch to a imagined visualization of the keyboard. The C note to the C key and so on. And when using the perfect pitch and the imaginable hearing related to this visualization makes it much easier to gain control of the imagined notes.

The imaginable hearing gives you also an advantage in improvised music such as jazz. When improvising chords and progressions it's really useful to be able to imagine the next chord and it's relation even before you've played it.



That's very interesting , the concept of "Imagined " pitch ,and "note visualization" on the Fret/keyboard, is not some
thing talked about much .
i do that all the time , i always though that was relative pitch , but i guss not . Relative pitch is more like Solfeg, singing the tone intervals and scales. Imagined pitch is visualizing and hearing clusters and flowing movement of tones, your familiar with , by memory before you play them , or while your not physically playing your instrument .

About Absolute pitch I've heard it's good for transcribing with a half speed deck , because you can just write the notes down , without figuring out where they are on your instrument first .

All different sides of the coin

thanks Zenith

RayenD
02-21-2004, 05:36 PM
You don't want to have this so called "perfect pitch" anyway.
I can tune my guitar to standard tuning, dropped and whatever without using a tuner, name notes and what not, I was born with it.
But at the same time I just cannot listen to a lot of music because it's not perfect ("When the smoke is going down" solo by Scorpions comes to mind :) ), and have to intonate my guitar every two weeks or so. Actually I had to learn to be less sensitive to some small tuning mistakes.
It comes handy on a jams though, because you always know what notes bassman plays etc. If they nly could tune their guitars a bit more precise ;)

mjfeltnerjr
03-10-2004, 04:09 AM
I have completed the David Lucas Burge Perfect Pitch Supercourse and Relative Pitch Supercourse and I must say it works. I have perfect pitch (yes true perfect pitch) and with the help of relative pitch, I now have the power to identify any tone or chord instantly by ear. I'm a believer.

tbone28
05-12-2004, 03:27 PM
Interesting....

tbone28
05-13-2004, 12:26 PM
You don't want to have this so called "perfect pitch" anyway.
I can tune my guitar to standard tuning, dropped and whatever without using a tuner, name notes and what not, I was born with it.
But at the same time I just cannot listen to a lot of music because it's not perfect ("When the smoke is going down" solo by Scorpions comes to mind :) ), and have to intonate my guitar every two weeks or so. Actually I had to learn to be less sensitive to some small tuning mistakes.
It comes handy on a jams though, because you always know what notes bassman plays etc. If they nly could tune their guitars a bit more precise ;)
That's crazy. What? you think that people without perfect pitch can not hear when a guitar is not in tune with itself? A song in G can sound just as good in A. With perfect pitch or not. In fact if you have perfect pitch I would think you would enjoy the differences. Any musician needs to be flexible. Without flexibility music turns too technical and less creative. I say who cares about it then. Music is not a science it is an Art! I bet you get pissed when birds sing right in the middle of known pitches. Wow, I am glad I am not you. But what I do know is that you don't represent the ability of perfect pitch. What you describe is an inflexibility in thought. Good luck with that.

Usually I have found that people that make comments like that really don't have the ability or are just show offs. I am a painter also and you don't see me complaining that everyone isn't using the right frequency of red. Maybe if I wanted be an elitist prick I could do that.

Morbid
05-15-2004, 04:17 PM
Maybe theres a difference in having perfect pitch and naming a note without reference. I would like to be able to tell what a certain note is but I dont want to have the curse of never being able to tune my guitar properly. I dont have perfect pitch but I know what your saying about that Scorpions song RayenD. Listen to it at 2:49 :eek: .

jonsi
05-16-2004, 05:49 PM
We didn't say that it wasn't valuable as ear training.
What we are saying is there is no such thing as perfect pitch.


If someone says they don't know what Solfege is and then the same person says that there is no such thing as a perfect pitch should I believe this person?




There is actually some harm you can do by learning this with the absolute reference (actual note names as opposed to scale or chord degrees)
You can develop (with good ears to begin with!) VERY GOOD RELATIVE PITCH. But you will never be able to tell the difference between 880 hz and 881 hz, and neither will anyone else.


Well maybe you should part with your cash szulc and get this ear training course because then you will know what the guy is talking about. Everybody can assume that the human ear is not able to tell the difference between 880 hz and 881 hz but can this Burge guy tell the difference between an F# and C. I believe he can and I believe he can teach others the same thing. You being a writer of articles on this website, acting as an instructor/teacher should open up your mind I believe.

And I can tell you that you don't have to have good ears to begin with to establish a very good relative pitch. You can start from scratch really if you just keep at it and practice the right way.



I would like to add that there is a lot of pessimistic and close-minded attitudes on these forums, especially from people who should know better, but the problem is that they might only PRETEND to know better. Free your minds, anything is possible. And don't believe everything you read on the web...

All the best,

Jónsi

szulc
05-17-2004, 04:20 AM
Where I come from they called it sight singing, not solfege.
If the definition of 'Prefect Pitch' is that one can name a given note without a reference note played in the same hour or two previous I'll agree that it does exist. The name and connotation is that a person can distinguish between two tones smaller than a semi-tone played apart in time. The question here is what is the smallest difference between two pitiches that can be determined 1 cent? 5 cents?
I think even among those who claim perfect pitch you will find a great deal of variation in this through empirical data.
There are serious physical factors invovled here, such as how many cilia you have in your ear canal that are of a certain length. Even those with very good hearing will have some areas where ther are fewer cilia and therfore their ability to discern pitches in this frequency range is limited,
The concept of 'Perfect Pitch' is overrated and not all that useful.
Relative pitch is much more useful and practical.

I am sorry for you that you have a problem with my statements, I am an Electrical Engineer, this has taught me to be skeptical about charlatans. I have a reasonably open mind when it comes to things that can be proven with empirical data.

I am willing to bet a very large sum that you cannot take a person with 'tin' ears and teach them this. Which is the claim of the advertisers.
I am glad that you ended your statement with this skepical passage "And don't believe everything you read on the web... " to which I'll add or anywhere else.
A healthy dose of skepticism is necessary whenever anyone is trying to separate you and your money. As you can see I am not trying to sell anything here, so what motive do I have to be deceitful?

Bizarro
05-17-2004, 06:29 AM
A few points...
1. I don't have perfect pitch, but I can nearly always tell if a band is covering a tune in a different key. I can tell when a studio album is tuned funny (like a quarter tone sharp/flat). I started piano at 6 yrs old, so maybe I have A440 and standard pitches beat into my brain!
2. Relative pitch is where the money is! From improv to jamming to transcribing, it's something every good musician must work at.
3. People worry about things like perfect pitch and relative pitch WAY TOO MUCH!! There are simple ways to train your ears. Sing, transcribe, etc. You don't have to buy some magical lesson unless you feel you can't put together a reasonable plan of your own.

My 2 cents...

BTW, someone like James (I think), and lots of other people that I know, can trick others into thinking they have perfect pitch. It's something called pitch memory and good singers usually have it. Once they hear/play a fixed note, for example middle C, they can remember it for a long time, sometimes even an hour or more. If their relative pitch is really well developed they can usually identify by name the notes that they hear...

tbone28
05-17-2004, 12:03 PM
All of you make great points but some of you go overboard and take your good points too far and make them really bad advice. And you know who you are.

How many countless great musicians are there that don't have perfect pitch? ALOT - so yeah no one needs perfect pitch to become a better musician. But if you develop perfect pitch you will become a better musician than you were. It is a good skill to have. It doesn't hurt you musically, you can't hear and don't hear in Hz. It is a human skill like recognizing the sound of your mothers voice. It's more like that than anything else I can compare it to. Sometimes you can mistake your mothers voice for someone elses. So it is not perfect in that sense. Perfect Pitch is not perfect. Absolute pitch is probably a better name for it. You can recognize the pitches and enjoy music on another level.

Relative pitch is a kick @$$ skill to have. Necessary and one that every musician should have. I have heard of some born with perfect pitchers saying they don't have it. I don't believe them and I don't care.

You shouldn't either. Talking about Perfect Pitch is great and entertaining but if you are really serious trust your insticts and do what comes naturally. But naturally expand yourself. Developing your ear is never a concreate process. It's less technical and much more etherial. You have to let go of presuppositions and trust your born talents. We all have them. But trusting is hard. There comes a point though that it is very liberating.

When your ready...

szulc
05-17-2004, 01:22 PM
I am going to make one last post to this thread.
My point is this: if you take anyone with perfect pitch and play a tone that is 26 cents above a given note, say C for instance, how many are going to call it C and how many are going to call it C#? Or the reverse 26 cents below C, how many will call it C and how many will call it B? I have tried this experiment several times and the results are that some people call it C and others call it C# or B. The point is everything is in terms of a given reference. I learned on a piano tuned to 435hz so to me it would be C# or even D, because my early reference is 435 hz for A. Most people cannot tell the difference of 1 cent between two notes sounded separately even if they are close together in time. So because our reference is arbitrary, so the named note will be as arbitrary based on the resolution of the ear and that persons early reference. Eventually it all becomes very subjective based on the reference of tha particular person. If we all grew up with a 440 hz reference it would be less subjective.
Yes, within a given couple of octaves (around middle C) SOME people can learn the parlor trick of naming the given note if it is played on an insturment they are used to hearing and tuned to their standard reference. If you want to call this perfect pitch or absolute pitch go ahead, the names are at the least, misleading. If you take that person out of their normal envirnment tuning wise, octave wise or insturment wise they will not have the success they have with their comfort zone. To me this is a special case of relative pitch. The other point is that I have observed personally are those persons who cannot discern pitch at all. I have worked with several of these and tried to teach them to sing or play. There was nothing I could do to help these people. They could not discern pitches with any amount of practice.

So yes if you are born with good ears or exposed to music early, you probably can learn to name the notes of a particular instrument tuned to a particular ref within a couple of octaves around middle C. If you have not had early exposure to music or good ears you wont be able to do this with any amount of practice.

Musical abilities are like language skills if you don't execise them before the age of 8 or so you will never be able to develop them.

tbone28
05-17-2004, 02:01 PM
Wow, does that really matter?

Perfect Pitch is not perfect. One person with perfect pitch will be better than the other person with perfect pitch in determining the gradiant move from pitch to pitch. The names of the pitches themselves and their Hz rating doesn't matter to the ear. It is a human perception that is just as erronious as the human perception of visual color.

Because people don't HAVE to tune a painting to the right color frequency visual artists are given more freedom.

But...muscial artists already use that freedom. Songs on the radio are not all exactly to 440 standard. Any person with perfect pitch will glady explain this. That is why those that complain about it are full of it. They can't escape it.

Not every guitar is tuned exactly some are tuned E with a little E flat in it while others are tuned E with a little F in it. E, F, F# all have distinct qualities. They don't register to the ear as 440 hz for A.....

It is human. People with perfet pitch are not better performers, or singers........they are far FAR from perfect.

Dommy
05-17-2004, 08:11 PM
I do not have perfect pitch by far, but I have decent relative pitch and I'm getting much better at transcribing and determining different intervals. The one thing I can do, is that I can hum an A, which is from repeated tuning up with a pianist, all I had to do was remember, this is what this sounds like. Its sort of like remembering a nice walk in the park or something, you just remember a certain note vibration along with it too.

jonsi
05-17-2004, 08:59 PM
So yes if you are born with good ears or exposed to music early, you probably can learn to name the notes of a particular instrument tuned to a particular ref within a couple of octaves around middle C. If you have not had early exposure to music or good ears you wont be able to do this with any amount of practice.

Musical abilities are like language skills if you don't execise them before the age of 8 or so you will never be able to develop them.

This is what I was talking about when I said you shouldn't believe everything you read on the web. Musical abilities can't be developed if you don't exercise them before the age of 8 ??? Are you joking? This kind of attitude coming from a someone who might be thought of as a role model in guitar playing is quite simply DANGEROUS. Yes, dangerous. Imagine a beginning guitar player at the age of 20 who maybe doesn't question other people opinions as much as he/she should. I wonder if Allan Holdsworth would agree that you can't develop musical abilities if you don't exercise them before the age of 8. Allan Holdsworth started playing guitar at the age of 18.

I would like to quote one of my mentors, the genius and guitar virtuoso NEY MELLO, who said:

"By the way did you know that contrary to still prevailing ideas... you dont reduce your ability to learn with age? What confuses the issue is that so many adults have two powerfull and crippling enemies to bypass. These are the best at undermining their efforts. They are: their massive ego and their utter lack of patience"

Another quote is in order here, it came from Henry Ford who said:

"Whether you believe you can do something or not, you are right".



All the best,

Jónsi

tbone28
05-18-2004, 12:16 PM
I am with you jonsi,

What the heck!!

I do ask myself, "Self! Why do i care if these people hold limiting beliefs and try and limit what they can do?"

I don't have a good answer. I know what I believe. I know my possibilities.

I do emplore you to reconsider opening your mind and not limiting yourself.

sweetious
05-29-2004, 06:45 AM
I am sorry for the amount of criticism you guys all spat at these cds without having ever listened to them... I have them because I burned them for free from a friend out of curiosity... and was immensely impressed I respect many of you for showing obvious knowledge and musical skill and yet so ready to toss something out that you dont know about. Its like I mentioned a CD and you went and read the reviews and because the reviews were bad you said "oh yeah that CD sucks, totally unmusical..." Come on if you havent listened to it for yourself how can you judge such a thing. I have done much research on this topic and there are several universities that have proven what David Burge has been teaching, as well as my own experience of have gained a certain amount of perfect pitch and gaining more as time goes on. :rolleyes:

stratcat
05-29-2004, 09:47 AM
I dont know if you can get 'Guitar Techniques' Magazine in your part of the world but in the latest issue (june 2004) the exellent David Mead has just started a new column called Ear training.David is an exellent teacher and this
is bound to be a cheaper option.Hope this is some help.

Alan(Lost)
06-02-2004, 12:07 AM
. It's something called pitch memory and good singers usually have it. Once they hear/play a fixed note, for example middle C, they can remember it for a long time, sometimes even an hour or more

So if someone can remember a note, say 'C', all the time regardless of how long ago it was they heard the note, does this mean they have P.Pitch, at least with that note?

EricV
06-02-2004, 12:38 AM
Sweetious,
I haven´t looked at this thread in a long time, and I actually would prefer to stay out of it, because I havent tried those perfect pitch methods.
However, mentioning others judging those CDs without trying them, if you look at my posts on page 1, I simply pointed out that there are other methods, which I even consider a bit more musical, like i.e. transcribing as much as possible, especially music played on other instruments, which will also help your reading- and writing skills tremendously.
However, I stick to what I said about the advertisements, and that´s what I was complaining about back then... I don´t like these "I will show you the ancient mystery of perfect pitch and it will change your life forever".
Because I am sure that you´ll agree that this method, even though it might do wonders for some, will nto work for EVERYONE.
These ads I used to see remind me of "I will teach you how to be a millionaire", where you ask yourself "Then why does he need to sell his secret in order to make a living". They are corny, and I wonder why they aren´t mentioned a lot in the media, in interviews with musicians, or on other boards as much if they are that amazing. Because if they´re really that grand, then why hasn´t the majority caught on to it. I don´t think that this is caused by some "uninformed people" being realistic about it.

The thing is, it won´t work for everyone. A few people who obviously have found it very useful have posted here, and I think thats awesome. However, a lot of people are careful abotu products that are advertized like that, which might just be based on bad experiences in the past.
Thanks for sharing your opinion and experiences.
I just shared my opinion about this... not trying to add fuel to the fire, just trying to explain where I´m coming from
Eric

tbone28
06-02-2004, 11:34 AM
"These won't work for everyone...."

Boy is that true. The funny thing is the more intellegent (whatever that means) the more articulate the more problems people tend to have learning perfect pitch. I think the reason is they think about it too much.

I agree with the advertisements. They are marketing ploys and they work well for them. People get hooked. But getting hooked doesn't mean your going to get it. But NOT getting hooked doesn't mean your better off. I would rather HAVE perfect pitch than not have it.

Perfect Pitch is learnable. You don't have to spend alot of money to get it. Everyone has to make their own decisions regarding ear training.

The bottom line is alot of the things people have said here is really good stuff. Perfect Pitch does NOT make you a perfect artist. You can still suck. It is just a tool for music. Like learning relative pitch or sight singing or tabulature. The sadest thing is actually learning the skill and being dissapointed that it is not everything you thought it would be.

Good luck.

yssug
06-04-2004, 11:24 AM
hi this is just my view, and what i have been taught about perfect pitch etc.

there IS such a thing as perfect pitch. and u don't have to have musical background to have it, it is apparently a genetic thing. it's commonly applied to lots of people, but i think it's someone who can differentiate one note by itself; if you work out the note by finding the interval from another, this is not perfect pitch.

If you can remember one note (middle c etc) and train yourself to pick out notes from this way, it's called absolute pitch.

most importantly, perfect pitch is not necessarily better than absolute pitch, or relative pitch for that matter. it some instances it is useful, but it depends on the circumstannces, for example, transposing by voice can be harder for those with perfect pitch. My brother has perfect pitch, whilst i have absolute, and i can usually do aural tests faster and more accurately than him. but every case is unique, and i dont think u can analayse it down to hz and cents....

this is just what i have been taught and seen, hope i helped xox nicole

Metalliska
06-07-2004, 12:53 PM
My friend comes from a very musical family, he's the same age as me eighteen. Both his mom and dad are music teachers at GCSE/A level, and he's the nuts on music, even though he doesn't play guitar I ask him loads of theory stuff. I asked him if he was pitch perfect, had absolute pitch. He said more or less, all he has to do is sing the note, and the shape he makes with his throat he can recognise as a note. I don't know if that counts technically but I think he's achieving the same result by different means.

I don't agree that some people are simply good at pitch and some suck, I tend to think some people will take more naturally to some things than others, but I'd like to think that what any one person can achieve, any other can, at least with the sphere of the physically possible. I don't think a deaf person would have much luck achieving perfect pitch, but I think I can hear clear as a bell, It's just a case of training my ears and my mind to recognise tone. Think of a song that you know really well, a nursury rhyme or something. You're noodling on you guitar on day and you hit the first note of it. You think, that sounds like such and such, so you transcribe the rest. You have recognised that note from a reference within your own head, that by definition is perfect pitch, I have entirely transcribed tunes and melodies from references in my head, i haven't labelled the notes, A B C D in my head but more likely, do do dum la la, or some collection or pointless syllables. Never the less you have recognised notes from a reference in your head, that's perfect pitch, at least on a limited scale. If you can train yourself and label other sounds with names like C D E, then you can develop pitch. I used some of the articals on this site to practice solfege and I used that in conjuction with popular songs that I knew well to give me some kind of reference. If I sing the first few lines to Bryan Adams 'everything I do' (recorded in C) acappella, and then sing Do and play a C note on the guitar; perfect unison.
I think what you have to do is find references inside your own head, notes that you hear in songs all the time. Instead of thinking of it as first the note of 'Enter Sandman' intro say think of it as E.
I also do that thing that Zatz was talking about, where you sing notes you hear around, not with the vacuum though. Normally with my walkman on the bus.
Whether or not the holy grail of perfect pitch exists I don't really know, but I figure with practice and the right methods for you, you can learn to recognise most notes, at least to a certain, practical degree.

gibsg99
08-22-2004, 04:52 AM
My definition of perfect pitch:

People who have it, know exactly how these notes sound, in their heads, without holding or looking at the instrument that is playing these notes:

A, A#, B, C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#.

If you don't know the way these notes sound without a reference note, or instrument in hand, you don't have PP.

Perfect pitch is not recognizing notes at varying Hz. Who cares?
I was born with PP, and I am a guitar player, not a pianist. It wasn't learned, but I did not learn to appreciate my ability until I learned a little music theory. But I always knew that I had it. I recognize notes, like I would recognize colors.
Can pp be learned? From what I can tell from a thread such as this one, the answer is NO, as I have yet to hear from anybody that can claim to have PP from reading some books, or taking some classes.

On the other hand, Relative pitch is just as important, and is something that I feel that I am pretty good at. I don't understand how somebody with PP can lack RP? Aren't they directly related?

Voodoo-Child
11-07-2004, 10:47 AM
has anyone heard of the perfect pitch sytem that is being advocated in some magazines.if not go to www.perfectpitch.com (http://www.perfectpitch.com/) and have a look. let me know what you think.
see ya Peter
Peter, the Pefect Pitch course available at www.perfectpitch.com (http://www.perfectpitch.com/) is GOLD!

I have been working through it for about six weeks, my ear has opened up considerably, I am currently on Masterclass 6 of 24.

Perfect Pitch is colour hearing, no, not associating a visual colour with a tone, i.e. Green = G, but the sound colour of the tone. It is unbellivably logical.

Also by David Lucas Burge, is the brilliant Relative Pitch Course, I also have that, and after a month I can sing any Perfect 4th or Perfect 5th, and now I am starting on Major 3rds. The course is simple and easy, a lot of fun, and it almost guarentees success, AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW THE COURSE PROPERLY!!!

So it is well worth the price, IT IS AN INVESTMENT!!!

It is much better than any silly Internet EarTraining Program!!!

Voodoo-Child
11-13-2004, 08:23 PM
Hi Guni

I agree there... I haven´t checked any of these products but I saw many of their ads and usually was turned off by them... they´re really kinda corny.
I never heard anyone tell me "Dude, I used those perfect pitch-CD-methods and it made me what I am today"... what I know is that guys like Steve Vai did it the regular way... playing, listening and transcribing as much as possible.
That is a very natural way of working on your hearing, your pitch recognition and relative pitch.
I believe that my hearing aint that bad, and all I did was constantly jamming with others and transcribing stuff, plus listening to bunches of music in general.
Really, never heard of anyone who went crazy about those "Perfect Pitch" methods, I´m sure if it was that amazing we would have heard some success stories that were on OTHER sites than theirs...
Just my opinion ;)
Eric
Eric, I love your Articles here, and I hate to disagree with you, but I have both the Perfect and Rlative Pitch Courses, and they are working wonders.

After 6 Masterclasses on the Perfect Pitch Masterclass, I understand what Perfect Pitch really is, and yes that sounbds irrelevant, but really, unless you 'truely' understand it's true meaning, you have no help of developing it.

I am currently Practicing the 'Ear Opening Exercises', and they are really working, when I hear Two or Three Tones over up to 3 Octaves, I can clearly hear Tone, and Sing it Correctly, again this doesn't Sound important, but it really is, if you have no previous experience of Ear Training, you have to get your Ear out of the habbit of 'Horizontal' Listening.

But the ability of 'Perfect Pitch' is almost irrelevant, without Relative Pitch, because Music Moves so fast, and in an average 3-Minute song, there are just so many differant tones played.

And the Relative Pitch Course if also 'Brilliant', it is so in-depth, you must realise that David Lucas Burge is a Stunning Musician, a Pianist, he was taught by a World-Class Teacher at High School, and studied Music Theory at 3 major Universities.

He discovered how to develop Perfect Pitch, through trial and error after a rivalry with a fellow Student, who 'naturally' had Perfect Pitch, he then stumbled upon the Secret, 'Colour Hearing'.

I could go on and on, but I can honestly tell you, the course is Brilliant, and not a 'SCAM', remember you can't knock it, until you've tried it, I spent £400 on both Courses, and I am so glad I have. Why spend years Transcribing and Straining your Ears for Hours, because your will still have weakness's, when you can spend 15 minutes a day, for a few months following the Brilliantly-Structured Course, and Improve your Ears more than ever would any other way!

stratcat
11-13-2004, 09:31 PM
Man are you being paid by Burge or what?

Voodoo-Child
11-13-2004, 10:03 PM
Man are you being paid by Burge or what?
I am in-debt to him, no not that I have no Money after I bought the Course, but because he has given me a Gift, and he can give you all a gift for £400.

If you want any more proof, 2 Major Universities, studied his Methods and Exercises, both approved them, and his Courses are now widely used by many Colleges and Universities.

So next time you sit down, and spend hours trying to get your Favourite Songs Note-For Note, remember there is an easier way, if you take the course, within months you will be able to play even the hardest Song by Ear, after only one Listen.

It is not like, his course gives you little Micorbes that you put in your Ear, to develop the ability, instead they are just Exercises and that are proven to work, created by Burge's trial and error. YOU STILL HAVE TO DO THE LISTENING, but when you are doing that, you can be safe in the knowledge, that these Techniques WILL WORK!

Even If you have a Good Ear already, it probably has weakness's, the Course will 'Tune it Up', and if you already have Ear-training Experience, your Ear will already be quite 'Open', so you will just 'Sail' through the Course.

rmuscat
11-14-2004, 10:30 AM
i have just seen an ad on guitar one about this David Lucas Burge and his perfect pitch training disks.

He argues that he developed perfect pitch to beat linda. If this is truly so, it is a VERY unhealthy exercise and it's even worse to advertise that the need for perfect pitch is to outstand others (or be some kind of circus trick).

I was sorry and sad to read that, no matter how useful perfect pitch can be to musicians. I never thought i'm participating in some global competition.

anyway voodoo-child stick to it let us know your progress every few months.

Voodoo-Child
11-14-2004, 11:42 AM
i have just seen an ad on guitar one about this David Lucas Burge and his perfect pitch training disks.

He argues that he developed perfect pitch to beat linda. If this is truly so, it is a VERY unhealthy exercise and it's even worse to advertise that the need for perfect pitch is to outstand others (or be some kind of circus trick).

I was sorry and sad to read that, no matter how useful perfect pitch can be to musicians. I never thought i'm participating in some global competition.

anyway voodoo-child stick to it let us know your progress every few months.
You didn't get the Whole Story, Linda 'Naturally', had Perfect Pitch, and David, didn't, infact at this time, he hadn't even had heard of it. He Practiced on the Piano 5 Hours a Day, while Linda did Considerably Less, but she Constantly was doing better.

Then Linda's Friend said to David, 'You Will Never Beat Linda, 'Cause She Has Perfect Pitch. David Tested Linda In Front of the Whole Class, and She Immediately named or could SIng any of The Tones.

So David went Home, and tried to find the 'Secret', he got his Brothers and Sisters to play Tones for him, but that turned in to a Guessing Game, the he Discovered the Secret, 'Colour Hearing', instead of Trying to Memorize Tones, He started listnening to the 'Colour' of each Tone.

He did not Associate a certain Visual Colour with each Tone, instead he Listened to the Individual Colours of The Tones, the exercises he used to Develop his own ability, are the same ones on the C.D.'s.

After he developed the Ability, his Piano Teacher told him, that he had made 10 years of Progress in that time, and he did go on to beat Linda at a College Competition or something like that.

But back to your point, it is not about how he discovered it, who cares if was due to the fact he was competing, I mean, I don't compare myself to anyone one, and I am against competeting, but in this situation it is irrelevant.

I am sorry that you and many others, ignore this Course, because it is so ridicullasly simple, and yet you lot do things the hard way. The Course is Working Extremely Well for me, after I made that last post last night, I had just done my Exercises, and I could feel the differance in just 15 Minutes.

rmuscat
11-15-2004, 07:04 AM
hey voodoo child i'm not ignoring it. In fact i asked you to keep us posted on how it's doing on a longer span of time, rather than a week, maybe a month.

Also you might consider that some people don't afford £400. So they have no choice but to ignore it.

I was just arguing about the dangerous way the guys is doing promotion to the product, on magazines read by people of susceptible ages.

Fullstop.

Buebo
11-15-2004, 07:58 AM
Some people said things about remembering a note for a certain amount of time. I think (almost) everyone has the ability to do this but some can remember one longer than others. Now what if you can remember a note for ever? If its really lodged in your brain maybe you can use it whenever you want. And maybe with the right training you can even cram all the notes in there?
Anyone with any thoughts on this?

Greets Buebo.

Voodoo-Child
11-15-2004, 10:09 AM
Some people said things about remembering a note for a certain amount of time. I think (almost) everyone has the ability to do this but some can remember one longer than others. Now what if you can remember a note for ever? If its really lodged in your brain maybe you can use it whenever you want. And maybe with the right training you can even cram all the notes in there?
Anyone with any thoughts on this?

Greets Buebo.
Exactly, the Course is so in-depth, first it explains exactly what Perfect Pitch is, and how to develop it, then gives many 'Ear 'Opening' Exercises, these are very important. On Masterclass 6 of 24, you are given 6 of these exercises, I started them 6 Weeks ago, and I am only on the 6th Exercise, but due to the fact I have done them thoroughly, my Ear has opened thoroughly, I can pick out each indivual note, when 2 or 3 Notes are being played simultatinusly, over up to 2 Octaves!

Soon, it starts concentrating, on 'Colour' Hearing, but it really is simple.

And muscat, in answer to your points are,

1. I know many people can't afford the Course, but even those who can, seem to right it off, immediately, without really looking in to it.

2. I didn't get them from a Guitar Mag, my Grandad had the Original Course, and gave them to me, after I asked him about Ear Training, the Original Course was on Tape, and due to the age of my Grandad's set, many of the latter MasterClasses, had lots of Sound Problems. But with what I heard of the Course, I was very Impressed, so I saved up and bought the new Version.

silent-storm
11-19-2004, 05:09 AM
I have had quite a bit of experience with the david lucas burge perfect pitch cd's, and while he comes across as a real fruit with no solid facts and they aren't the end all be all of ear training, if used as a tool like any other they can provide results.

The only problem I have is that for all the excersices I've gone through...I don't remember what number I'm on because my in school ear training is much more benifitial at the moment...I've found if I don't have a partner to do them with they're pretty useless. What I've found is that on both piano and guitar, my physical memory of both instruments is so great that each drill I do I can instantaneously narrow the answer down to within a semitone or two. Thus it becomes a drill in the physical memory of my instruments no matter how hard I try and trick myself. So far that's my only beef, which isn't too bad because I have a few regular ear training partners for the in school stuff and we quite often double up on this. But it would deffinatly be my first question to anyone who said they made it through all the cd's and didn't have "perfect pitch," of which there are deffinatly more than a few out there.

mac220
03-31-2005, 01:29 PM
2. I didn't get them from a Guitar Mag, my Grandad had the Original Course, and gave them to me, after I asked him about Ear Training, the Original Course was on Tape, and due to the age of my Grandad's set, many of the latter MasterClasses, had lots of Sound Problems. But with what I heard of the Course, I was very Impressed, so I saved up and bought the new Version.
Hi there Voodoo-Child,

Just out of interest i have the tapes from years ago and wondered how different the course you got on CD is from the tapes your grandad had

Regards,

Mark

enemyOfPain
12-26-2005, 06:06 AM
Some people said things about remembering a note for a certain amount of time. I think (almost) everyone has the ability to do this but some can remember one longer than others. Now what if you can remember a note for ever? If its really lodged in your brain maybe you can use it whenever you want. And maybe with the right training you can even cram all the notes in there?
Anyone with any thoughts on this?

Greets Buebo.


I can do that. I've been able to pull up Bb instantly since I was a teenager (that's over 20 years now) thanks to having to provide the tuning note for a big band every day throughout high school. My relative pitch is very good so using the Bb I can find or identify any note. I don't consider it perfect pitch of course. But it's a handy tool -- albiet tedious when trying to silence the other tones around me to find my Bb. However when I hear a Bb in isolation, it's like hearing my name or something. I just know what it is!

Later in life, I found I could remember an A because I had it on this metronome and I used to turn it on a lot. I hear F pretty quickly too. I figure if I sat around listening to other tones isolation long enough I would get those too.

But none of this helps me when I play though. I can't stop what I'm doing to find a silly reference note. And playing is where it really matters. So the best thing I can do is try to listen and respond to what's going on around me musically. As a jazz player this kind of communication is the essence of what we do. PP is just a nice icing I lack. So be it. There are lots of other musical problems that I can solve awaiting my attention!

2manynotes
12-26-2005, 05:02 PM
yO!

Haven't been on this forum in awhile; I was reading through the first few pages of this before I got tired (not 'cause of any one response - just SO many responses - and such a short attention span :D!)


I thought I would add a bit to this idea of Perfect Pitch. I won’t say if it exists, rather that is might be possible.

I am working on my degree and apply for graduate school next year in the areas of Sensory and Perception in the field of psychology. My experience with music is not as extensive as most of you, but I do pride myself in psychology and what little I can do with music.

Looking at the problem 'of whether or not perfect pitch truly exists or not', from my perspective, is looking at what mechanical and psychological 'parts' are involved.

(I'll try not to get too technical - 'cause then you might miss the point):

There are two main theories in sensation/perceptual psychology that have, in the recent years, fused together to form a more unified theory. The two theories are:

1. Frequency Theory: The basilar membrane (in your ear - has hair attached to a thin 'skin' like layer that converts sound waves into neural energy - hair bends - sound is heard) vibrates at a frequency that matches the frequency of the original tone.

PROBLEM with this theory: Neurons can't fire fast enough to match tones at higher frequencies than about 1000 Hz.

2. Place Theory: Different frequencies are encoded at different locations on the basilar membrane. (If one location on the b.m. is vibrating the most, that one location gives the frequency of the tone.)

What this all means: When people say "people are BORN with the ability for perfect pitch" - they are in sense, or so I believe, trying to reference this (in a very convoluted and contorted way - obviously trying to make money by misguiding you).

In order for you to hear you need to 'transduce' (convert environmental sound waves - into neural /brain signals). To do this, your ear needs to be able to distinguish between certain frequencies - you brain (primarily the auditory cortex of your brain) and your ear does this sort of recognition without your assistance (higher order thinking e.g. cortex)

Is it really that simple? Are we all born with perfect pitch and can recognize certain tones (chroma’s) and identify octaves (tone height) with ease? Of course not. It is never that simple. I just wanted to enlighten some of those here who believe that the idea of being to identify tones with precession and accuracy is not possible/plausible or even likely, that indeed it my be that humans do innately have some LEVEL (different with everyone - which some of us might call relative – I’m not referencing that, rather the idea of a certain degree of pitch recognition) of pitch perception/recognition.

Most of this stuff was referenced directly or summated from:

http://www.csus.edu/indiv/b/blairn/percchap9.pdf

Please review it for further questions - or feel free to ask me. Remember Im not saying either/or just that it MIGHT be possible for perfect pitch to be something we can all learn (then again... lol)! :p

Enjoy,

-Justin

2manynotes
12-26-2005, 05:14 PM
Perfect Pitch as described by most perceptual psychologist:

"[The] ability to identify a musical note [(chroma)] even in isolation from others.

Harmonics [are] important for this ability. When presented with ONLY pure tones, accuracy drops to about 50%"

Basically, most people who claim to have a pure tone ability, do best when they have other notes to reference it, but can, and do, but not always, fail to identify tones by themselves. Again, food for thought, but not a fact carved in stone.

And one other thing:

"[A]uditory cortex [is] larger in musicians with perfect pitch".

if any of you have any idea about brain development, you'll know that this 'characteristic' (of having a larger auditory cortex) can be something you are born with (either genetics, mutation, or fetal development), or as a child, and yes - even as an adult, can be developed. Despite what most of you /might/ believe, your brain does continue change throughout your life (however, mostly it shrinks and diminishes in ability once you hit around 60-70 - then it's all down hill lol).

Good luck with this endeavor - back to the music theory board unless I provoke an unwarranted and mean response :D.

As always, take everything you hear (no pun intended) with a grain of salt.

(Referenced from: http://www.csus.edu/indiv/b/blairn/hearing3.pdf)

bnazzz
12-27-2005, 03:13 AM
Burge just rambles on, offering his opinions and giving out excercises which you have to do on your own or with a partner anyway. If you want perfect pitch, save your money, read Chris's notes and work through the excercises.
Perfect Pitch Eartraining (http://www.aruffo.com/eartraining/)


Thank you so much for this reference- I read only a tiny bit and then spent two hours using the Absolute Pitch Blaster, and I can absolutely see where this is headed. The concept of simply developing the ability to identify an indiividual pitch in various contexts by simply checking for it's presence, basically the same way we identify anything else. Recognition the same as relative, except dealing in one note at a time. It makes perfect sense, and I'm convinced it's totally possible with enough work and patience. Good link- worth a look to all those open minded enough.

leegordo
01-09-2008, 04:30 PM
leegordo ,I have already said elsewhere, that Perfect Pitch is not an essential ingredient in the quest to be a successful musician or composer. What practical use is it? maybe it is desired for some unlikely pursuit, but I can see no advantage of a practical nature that P.P. has!!

theandresanchez
07-07-2010, 05:42 PM
We didn't say that it wasn't valuable as ear training.
What we are saying is there is no such thing as perfect pitch.

I know this was posted 8 years ago, but... what?!? Are you serious?



You can develop (with good ears to begin with!) VERY GOOD RELATIVE PITCH.

Nobody begins with "good ears".



But you will never be able to tell the difference between 880 hz and 881 hz, and neither will anyone else.

Well that may be true. However, it's irrelevant. The frequency interval between 880 and 881 is musically irrelevant precisely because it is essentially imperceptible. This has nothing to do with perfect pitch. But the traditional division of pitch into octaves and then into the 12 tones is absolutely perceptible, which is why music is arranged in that manner.

theandresanchez
07-07-2010, 06:30 PM
BTW, someone like James (I think), and lots of other people that I know, can trick others into thinking they have perfect pitch. It's something called pitch memory and good singers usually have it. Once they hear/play a fixed note, for example middle C, they can remember it for a long time, sometimes even an hour or more. If their relative pitch is really well developed they can usually identify by name the notes that they hear...

Absolute pitch is essentially just that: the ability to remember how a pitch sounds like, allowing you to identify it in different contexts, independent of key. People that forget a pitch after a while are said to not have perfect pitch because they just remember the relationships between the pitches (if that much). I think it would be accurate to claim that everyone has absolute pitch, that it is the primary means by which everyone hears, and that "relative pitch" depends on it. Then again, maybe I'm just stupid and crazy. Could be. I don't know.

theandresanchez
07-07-2010, 06:57 PM
I am going to make one last post to this thread.
My point is this: if you take anyone with perfect pitch and play a tone that is 26 cents above a given note, say C for instance, how many are going to call it C and how many are going to call it C#? Or the reverse 26 cents below C, how many will call it C and how many will call it B? I have tried this experiment several times and the results are that some people call it C and others call it C# or B. The point is everything is in terms of a given reference. I learned on a piano tuned to 435hz so to me it would be C# or even D, because my early reference is 435 hz for A. Most people cannot tell the difference of 1 cent between two notes sounded separately even if they are close together in time. So because our reference is arbitrary, so the named note will be as arbitrary based on the resolution of the ear and that persons early reference. Eventually it all becomes very subjective based on the reference of tha particular person. If we all grew up with a 440 hz reference it would be less subjective.

You are talking nonsense. It's irrelevant what name you give to a frequency. It -is- itself, not its name. The classical naming system is just used to organize our understanding of relationships between frequencies.



Yes, within a given couple of octaves (around middle C) SOME people can learn the parlor trick of naming the given note if it is played on an insturment they are used to hearing and tuned to their standard reference. If you want to call this perfect pitch or absolute pitch go ahead, the names are at the least, misleading. If you take that person out of their normal envirnment tuning wise, octave wise or insturment wise they will not have the success they have with their comfort zone.

That's because we hear a given sound as a whole, not just as its pitch. So some people remember the whole sound of a piano note, within a given range of frequency. Learning that these sounds are equivalent to other sounds (the same pitch in other instruments, the same note in other octaves, etc) is something they didn't learn, but that they can learn.



To me this is a special case of relative pitch. The other point is that I have observed personally are those persons who cannot discern pitch at all. I have worked with several of these and tried to teach them to sing or play. There was nothing I could do to help these people. They could not discern pitches with any amount of practice.

While it's possible they had an actual condition, it's also possible the practice you were using wasn't effective.



So yes if you are born with good ears or exposed to music early, you probably can learn to name the notes of a particular instrument tuned to a particular ref within a couple of octaves around middle C. If you have not had early exposure to music or good ears you wont be able to do this with any amount of practice.

I think you are wrong. Obviously no amount of training will allow you to hear frequencies outside of the human range. Your body does determine how much you can hear, and some parts of your body are formed during childhood and change little with practice. However, you are giving the "good ears" idea too much weight. "Perfect" pitch is not about a perfect, computer-like ability.


Musical abilities are like language skills if you don't execise them before the age of 8 or so you will never be able to develop them.

Is that a fact? I'm seriously wondering. I suppose using language conditions the mind to operate in a certain fashion, but what is the fundamental difference between learning your mother tongue at age 2 and learning a (very different) second language at age 60?

ChrisJ
07-08-2010, 02:43 AM
I tend to avoid the perfect pitch threads simply because everybody is so stubborn and opinionated about the subject. Working with countless musicians over the years, professional musicians and educators alike, I have my own opinions on the subject simply because I know so many musicians with PP and without. My daughter has it as well as the girl who runs the vocal department at the music college I administer.

Previous quote: "Musical abilities are like language skills if you don't exercise them before the age of 8 or so you will never be able to develop them."

This is untrue. Musical abilities and perfect pitch, in my experience, don't have that much to do with one another. The words "Musical abilities" should be replaced with the words "perfect pitch" in this statement. Musical abilities can be learned at any age but I'm not sure perfect pitch can.

Of all the people I know with perfect pitch, all, and I mean every last one of them, started music around four years old. I have never met even one person who has it and developed the skill at a later age. I imagine there is such people but I have never met even one of them.

Of course there are people who have such good relative pitch that you could almost confuse it with perfect pitch. I can usually identify any pitch without a reference note. Some people think I have perfect pitch but the truth is that I have been playing guitar for so long that I have the guitar's 6th string E note in my head all the time. So the truth is I have a reference note that is only heard to me.

My opinion is that people without perfect pitch make too big a deal about it and seem to spend to much time and money trying to get it. The vocal girl who sits next to me has it and to be perfectly honest, it hasn't made her a particularly good musician. Of course as a singer, she sings with good pitch and this is important to say the least. But she moans and complains about not being able to transpose like other musicians. It is also funny to me because at the college we have ear training software in the computer labs. She nails the random pitch exercises but I smoke her on the interval tests.

JonR
07-08-2010, 02:10 PM
Previous quote: "Musical abilities are like language skills if you don't exercise them before the age of 8 or so you will never be able to develop them."

This is untrue. Musical abilities and perfect pitch, in my experience, don't have that much to do with one another. The words "Musical abilities" should be replaced with the words "perfect pitch" in this statement. Musical abilities can be learned at any age but I'm not sure perfect pitch can.

Of all the people I know with perfect pitch, all, and I mean every last one of them, started music around four years old. I have never met even one person who has it and developed the skill at a later age. I imagine there is such people but I have never met even one of them.This fits with all the research literature I've read. Most gives the cut-off age (for learning/acquiring absolute pitch) at 6, but that's presumably an average.


Of course there are people who have such good relative pitch that you could almost confuse it with perfect pitch. I can usually identify any pitch without a reference note. Some people think I have perfect pitch but the truth is that I have been playing guitar for so long that I have the guitar's 6th string E note in my head all the time. So the truth is I have a reference note that is only heard to me. I'm much the same. Last time I restrung my guitar, I decided to try tuning up with no reference (having removed all the strings first, so no reference string remained) - and I got it pretty near exact (only a few cents away from concert pitch).
I have nothing like perfect pitch otherwise - like you, I'm just used to how the guitar ought to sound.
This phenomenon of "pitch memory" must (IMO) be linked in some way with perfect pitch, but it's obviously a very narrow and limited variation.


My opinion is that people without perfect pitch make too big a deal about it and seem to spend to much time and money trying to get it.Many do, yes: because to an inexperienced musician it seems like a valuable skill. It's certainly impressive to any observer. (The 12-year-old son of the singer in my band can identify every note in any chord or cluster you play on the piano. His mother has a great ear - faultless intonation when singing - but not perfect pitch; but he has clearly picked up musical skills from her from a very young age.)
But it's little more than a party trick to a professional musician.

ChrisJ
07-08-2010, 02:47 PM
Last time I restrung my guitar, I decided to try tuning up with no reference (having removed all the strings first, so no reference string remained) - and I got it pretty near exact (only a few cents away from concert pitch).

I have also found that I can identify chords quite easily when the keyboardist voices the chords like a guitarist would.

There is something to do with timbre as well. Things translate better to my ears when played on guitar.

bluesking
07-08-2010, 03:20 PM
I have also found that I can identify chords quite easily when the keyboardist voices the chords like a guitarist would.

There is something to do with timbre as well. Things translate better to my ears when played on guitar.

Interesting.

Like Jon, I can re-string a guitar pretty close to pitch, just by familiarity (though more than a couple of cents in my case, more like 10-20).

I think you are right in mentioning timbre. For example, at different tensions the attack/decay characteristics of a plucked string do vary. Then there is the harmonic content. All of these can form subconscious cues which one could pick up on.

I wonder what our accuracy would be like if we re-strung a guitar we are not used to, with a different guage string from what we normally use. I expect it would not be so accurate....

Ultimately I guess using pure sine tones is the only scientific way to analyse this effect, otherwise harmonic content could always act as a subconscious cue.

walternewton
07-08-2010, 03:43 PM
This fits with all the research literature I've read. Most gives the cut-off age (for learning/acquiring absolute pitch) at 6, but that's presumably an average.

I heard an interesting story on NPR once about the rates of perfect pitch among music students, which said that those who grew up with Chinese as a first language (in which the pitch and inflection of the spoken word play a large role in meaning) were several times more likely to have PP.

Chordy_Ordy25
07-24-2010, 04:12 AM
Tbone28, I taught myself perfect pitch this year, and boy are you right. Perfect pitch can be learned very cheaply, but one must make the decision to be persistent in ear training, and believe that they can do it. It is a very handy skill, but requires a different mindset than RP. In my case, I've noticed learning to listen absolutely has improved my musical memory. I hear music more clearly in my head. I also have been having the experience where I can listen to a song on the radio and determine which notes would have sounded better in an arrangement; this ability had been very weak before I developed AP. So I think AP has the potential to increase musical skill. But as for increasing proficiency on your instrument- you are simply going to have to practice to get better.


"These won't work for everyone...."

Boy is that true. The funny thing is the more intellegent (whatever that means) the more articulate the more problems people tend to have learning perfect pitch. I think the reason is they think about it too much.

I agree with the advertisements. They are marketing ploys and they work well for them. People get hooked. But getting hooked doesn't mean your going to get it. But NOT getting hooked doesn't mean your better off. I would rather HAVE perfect pitch than not have it.

Perfect Pitch is learnable. You don't have to spend alot of money to get it. Everyone has to make their own decisions regarding ear training.

The bottom line is alot of the things people have said here is really good stuff. Perfect Pitch does NOT make you a perfect artist. You can still suck. It is just a tool for music. Like learning relative pitch or sight singing or tabulature. The sadest thing is actually learning the skill and being dissapointed that it is not everything you thought it would be.

Good luck.

keanuv
08-22-2011, 09:06 AM
So I know that this is kind of an old discussion. But I just wanted to add what I've learnt in my experiences.
I've read a lot of this thread, and read a lot of "Perfect Pitch doesn't exist".
I don't have perfect pitch myself but I can tell you; It definitely does exist.

I was in Creative Generation 2010 - a state schools onstage production in Queensland. We had a professional backing vocalist come in and give us backing vocalists and main vocalists some tips. Us backing vocalists then went to rehearse with her. Unfortunately there was no piano in the room. She grabbed the music book and said "Okay Bass's here is your note *sung it* Tenors *sung it* Alto's *Sung it* Soprano's *sung it*. She then began the backing CD and as we all knew it would, was in the same key.

So for anyone who says it doesn't exist, go out and get more experience in the music world. It didn't take me long, i was 15 when that happened.

The other thing is; depending on what the standard tuning always was when the person with perfect pitch depends on what frequency the person has perfect pitch to.
When it used to be 435 HZ as concert pitch i'm sure there were people with perfect pitch that could sing an A but instead of it being 440 it was 435.

As for those who say that perfect pitch would be terrible because you couldn't stand to listen to anything not perfectly in tune. I have that issue and I don't have perfect pitch. I have really good relative pitch, can pitch a c with no reference because i managed to learn it. I can tell you what strings are the out of tune ones on a guitar. I actually have physical pain when someone goes off, and i often hear voices and instruments going off when others can't. But I think this is due to the fact that I am doing music at every waking hour. I am a musician, and I am also an assistant Audio Engineer. When I'm not working on either, I am at home listening to music, and usually singing along. I can tell when something hasn't been tuned to 440 HZ - A good example of this is Leona Lewis's cover of "Run" which is a good bit flat. And it does sound wrong to me, BUT in saying that; I can't stand to listen to a singer sing out of tune with everyone else in tune, but I can listen to this song because everything is in tune with each other.

I wish I had Perfect Pitch because it would help me a lot, but it's not necessary to be an amazing musician.

So once again, just from what I learnt in my short 16 years on this planet.

JonR
08-22-2011, 06:13 PM
So I know that this is kind of an old discussion. But I just wanted to add what I've learnt in my experiences.
I've read a lot of this thread, and read a lot of "Perfect Pitch doesn't exist". I don't see where anyone said that.
Nobody denies it exists, although there is debate about how you define it, and whether it's inborn or can be learned - or whether it is in fact learned by all those who have it. (A largely pointless and circular nature-vs-nurture debate.)
And also whether it should really be called "Absolute Pitch", which is a slightly more scientific term.


As for those who say that perfect pitch would be terrible because you couldn't stand to listen to anything not perfectly in tune.Again, that's not quite what was being said. The point was that for someone with perfect pitch, it would (arguably) sound uncomfortable - though not necessarily unbeareable - if music was in the wrong key - ie, if it was all in tune with itself, but out of tune as a whole with concert pitch, assuming that was the PP person's reference.

Pretty much anyone can tell when instruments are out of tune with each other - and most people find it painful. You don't need very good relative pitch for that!
Musicians simply refine, or learn to focus, the normal human sense of relative pitch, so they can hear finer details of pitch difference, or at least identify different intervals reliably.


I have really good relative pitch, can pitch a c with no reference because i managed to learn it. That's perfect pitch, at least for that one note.


I can tell you what strings are the out of tune ones on a guitar. I actually have physical pain when someone goes off, and i often hear voices and instruments going off when others can't. Yes, that's good relative pitch.


But I think this is due to the fact that I am doing music at every waking hour. I am a musician, and I am also an assistant Audio Engineer. When I'm not working on either, I am at home listening to music, and usually singing along. I can tell when something hasn't been tuned to 440 HZ - A good example of this is Leona Lewis's cover of "Run" which is a good bit flat. Well, that's perfect pitch again.


And it does sound wrong to me, BUT in saying that; I can't stand to listen to a singer sing out of tune with everyone else in tune, but I can listen to this song because everything is in tune with each other.Right, which is as it should be.
Just for the record, btw, Leona Lewis's "Run" is about 20 cents sharp of Ab - judging from the recording I managed to access - which I guess counts as 80 cents flat of A, if you use that as your reference.;)


I wish I had Perfect Pitch because it would help me a lot, but it's not necessary to be an amazing musician. You're right it's not necessary for a musician, so in what ways do you think it would help you?
I mean you seem to have it to some degree already.

keanuv
08-22-2011, 10:46 PM
I don't see where anyone said that.
Nobody denies it exists, although there is debate about how you define it, and whether it's inborn or can be learned - or whether it is in fact learned by all those who have it. (A largely pointless and circular nature-vs-nurture debate.)

If you look back into the first couple pages of this thread there is quite a few people that literally used the words "Perfect (or absolute) pitch doesn't exist".




That's perfect pitch, at least for that one note.

I don't know if I would call that perfect pitch. I would call it pitch memory. But then again, when I check the C I'm singing it's perfectly in tune. So I dunno. Then again I can't identify a C if it's played to me (in a song) but I could probably if it was played straight out to me. I'll have to test that. I'm just not sure if I'd say someone slightly had perfect pitch. Like for one note. The people I met could pitch any note you said and identify any note pitched to them, including when it was in a song used as a chord.



Pretty much anyone can tell when instruments are out of tune with each other - and most people find it painful. You don't need very good relative pitch for that!

"Well, that's perfect pitch again."


I'm a bit confused. Your saying that anyone can hear when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other) but then you say that it's perfect pitch when i can tell when a song was not recorded in 440?????


Just for the record, btw, Leona Lewis's "Run" is about 20 cents sharp of Ab - judging from the recording I managed to access - which I guess counts as 80 cents flat of A, if you use that as your reference.;)

Haha my bad, was tired last night and wasn't thinking straight. I know it's sharp (closer than being 80 cents flat), and really obviously sharp. Forgive me for my work tired brain. :D



You're right it's not necessary for a musician, so in what ways do you think it would help you?
I mean you seem to have it to some degree already.

It would help me in a couple of ways. (I can't think of all the benefits right now) When charting for a song I wouldn't have to double check with a guitar right there, I'd use perfect pitch and relative pitch together to know that; that was a C7, A2, Em, Gsus4, etc, Just from listening. I could jam along with people a lot more easier (I know it's easy to jam already but it would be a hell of a lot easier if you could simply listen and know what key it's in and pick up the guitar and piano and not quickly listen to a plucked string to check.

Something I didn't mention before was in that same show I was in - Creative Generation 2010 - that backing vocalist with perfect pitch - she had to stand in for a song she didn't even know. She could sight read really well, so she grabbed the music book and sung the whole song. You could argue and say she was sight reading so it would be using relative pitch quickly, but when you don't know the song and it's that quick it's definitely perfect pitch.

Like I said, i just can't think of all the ways that perfect pitch would help right now. :D Just off the top of my head. But yeah like I said, it's not necessary, and I get along just fine without it, as do millions of other musicians.

JonR
08-23-2011, 12:14 PM
If you look back into the first couple pages of this thread there is quite a few people that literally used the words "Perfect (or absolute) pitch doesn't exist".OK, my bad. They're certainly wrong!


I don't know if I would call that perfect pitch. I would call it pitch memory. But then again, when I check the C I'm singing it's perfectly in tune. So I dunno. Then again I can't identify a C if it's played to me (in a song) but I could probably if it was played straight out to me. I'll have to test that. I'm just not sure if I'd say someone slightly had perfect pitch. Like for one note. The people I met could pitch any note you said and identify any note pitched to them, including when it was in a song used as a chord.Right. Pitch memory and perfect pitch are of course connected, PP being like a well-honed version of PM. (PM is like the innate capacity that those with PP have just developed to a high degree.)
In fact, there have been experiments to show that most people have a surprising level of pitch memory, but no one would claim they have anything like perfect pitch.

I have some degree of pitch memory, which has improved over the years (I can tune guitar within a half-step of concert with no reference), but nothing like perfect pitch, so I know what you mean.


I'm a bit confused. Your saying that anyone can hear when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other) but then you say that it's perfect pitch when i can tell when a song was not recorded in 440?????Yes. Because the latter requires a very high level of pitch memory - assuming you're doing it with no reference! The former only requires a very crude level of relative pitch.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you? Your statement "when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other)" is confusing. Either the instruments are in tune with each other or they're not! If they're in tune with each other they sound good; if they are out of tune with each other they don't, and we can all tell something's wrong - regardless of any relation to 440.


Haha my bad, was tired last night and wasn't thinking straight. I know it's sharp (closer than being 80 cents flat), and really obviously sharp. Forgive me for my work tired brain. :DNo problem.
If, for you, it sounds really obviously sharp - and you're using no reference! - then you have what I'd call perfect pitch. Of course, if you're comparing it to a tuned Ab pitch, then yes it ought to be obvious to someone with only average relative pitch that it's sharp (I'd say 20 cents is big enough for most people to notice).


It would help me in a couple of ways. (I can't think of all the benefits right now) When charting for a song I wouldn't have to double check with a guitar right there, I'd use perfect pitch and relative pitch together to know that; that was a C7, A2, Em, Gsus4, etc, Just from listening. I could jam along with people a lot more easier (I know it's easy to jam already but it would be a hell of a lot easier if you could simply listen and know what key it's in and pick up the guitar and piano and not quickly listen to a plucked string to check.Yes, all those things are true. But (not having PP myself) I've always thought they weren't useful enough to be worth training for; I have better things I'd rather do with my time in music! ;)
They save a few seconds at best. If you were in any situation where you didn't have an instrument with you to check: why would you need to know the key anyway? (I can imagine a situation where you're on a journey to a recording session and need to chart out an arrangement in the same key as an MP3 you have with you... an unlikely scenario for me, but I don't know about you...;))


Something I didn't mention before was in that same show I was in - Creative Generation 2010 - that backing vocalist with perfect pitch - she had to stand in for a song she didn't even know. She could sight read really well, so she grabbed the music book and sung the whole song. You could argue and say she was sight reading so it would be using relative pitch quickly, but when you don't know the song and it's that quick it's definitely perfect pitch.Right, but it's no disadvantage in that situation to get a cue note from an accompanist. It's impressive not to have to, but not a musically important skill.

I'm not arguing with your basic view. It's just that we see a lot people who (unlike you) imagine it confers some magic power on a musician, improving your skill and overall musicianship. Worth underlining that it doesn't - only relative pitch does that. PP is little more than a circus trick: plenty of wow factor, to be sure (and I wouldn't deny that) - and a minimal time-saver in the kinds of situation you outline - but no profound musical advantage (and a few arguable disadvantages). RP is the musical skill above all.

keanuv
08-23-2011, 12:36 PM
Right. Pitch memory and perfect pitch are of course connected, PP being like a well-honed version of PM. (PM is like the innate capacity that those with PP have just developed to a high degree.)
In fact, there have been experiments to show that most people have a surprising level of pitch memory, but no one would claim they have anything like perfect pitch.

Agree with you completely there :)



Yes. Because the latter requires a very high level of pitch memory - assuming you're doing it with no reference! The former only requires a very crude level of relative pitch.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you? Your statement "when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other)" is confusing. Either the instruments are in tune with each other or they're not! If they're in tune with each other they sound good; if they are out of tune with each other they don't, and we can all tell something's wrong - regardless of any relation to 440.

Haha, so sorry, i completely misunderstood what you were saying. When you said "when a couple of instruments are out of tune with eachother" i thought it was not in 440 but relatively in tune with eachother. I get that it meant out of tune with each other as in guitar a is out of tune with guitar b. etc etc.





If, for you, it sounds really obviously sharp - and you're using no reference! - then you have what I'd call perfect pitch. Of course, if you're comparing it to a tuned Ab pitch, then yes it ought to be obvious to someone with only average relative pitch that it's sharp (I'd say 20 cents is big enough for most people to notice).

Well I use no reference pitch at all and every time I listen to "Run" I know it's sharp. It's so obvious to me. Like I know they are all relatively in tune with eachother (piano is in tune with strings, and the choir etc) but everything is so sharp. Like it sounds good but I know it's not right at the same time. Hard to explain. Like I'd rather so much to listen to it tuned to 440.
And yeah I know this without a reference pitch, but I still don't know how this is perfect pitch. Unless there is varying levels of perfect pitch. But like i said before I really think that you either have it or you don't. What do you hear when you listen to "Run" with no reference pitch?



Yes, all those things are true. But (not having PP myself) I've always thought they weren't useful enough to be worth training for; I have better things I'd rather do with my time in music! ;)
They save a few seconds at best. If you were in any situation where you didn't have an instrument with you to check: why would you need to know the key anyway? (I can imagine a situation where you're on a journey to a recording session and need to chart out an arrangement in the same key as an MP3 you have with you... an unlikely scenario for me, but I don't know about you...;))

Totally agree with you. I wouldn't spend hours on hours of training to get perfect pitch (If that's even possible) but it would be useful if it was built in ;)



Right, but it's no disadvantage in that situation to get a cue note from an accompanist. It's impressive not to have to, but not a musically important skill.

The cue note absence wasn't what i was talking about. She didn't know the song and because she could sight read and had perfect pitch she was able to sing the whole song through.


I'm not arguing with your basic view. It's just that we see a lot people who (unlike you) imagine it confers some magic power on a musician, improving your skill and overall musicianship. Worth underlining that it doesn't - only relative pitch does that. PP is little more than a circus trick: plenty of wow factor, to be sure (and I wouldn't deny that) - and a minimal time-saver in the kinds of situation you outline - but no profound musical advantage (and a few arguable disadvantages). RP is the musical skill above all.

Once again, pretty much completely agree with you. RP is the most important. But PP would fun and a little time saving to have. Also helpful in situations when you have to sing acapella or if you haven't got a tuner and have to tune a guitar or any instrument for that manner. So yeah, pretty much exactly agreeing with what you said :)

Love a good discussion on things like this. :)

JonR
08-23-2011, 03:47 PM
Well I use no reference pitch at all and every time I listen to "Run" I know it's sharp. It's so obvious to me. Like I know they are all relatively in tune with eachother (piano is in tune with strings, and the choir etc) but everything is so sharp. Like it sounds good but I know it's not right at the same time. Hard to explain. Like I'd rather so much to listen to it tuned to 440. That's a definite symptom of perfect pitch!
Eg, I had no idea it was sharp, or even what key it was in, until I sat down and checked.
If you played a version to me that had been digitally retuned 20 cents down to concert Ab, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Even if you played one directly after the other, I might not be able to tell, unless I knew there was going to be a difference (so I could listen out for it) - it would be a subtle effect at least.


And yeah I know this without a reference pitch, but I still don't know how this is perfect pitch. Unless there is varying levels of perfect pitch. But like i said before I really think that you either have it or you don't. What do you hear when you listen to "Run" with no reference pitch?See above. I don't hear anything odd. I suppose I spotted - before using any reference - that it was in a different key from the original (Snow Patrol's, which is in C), and I could certainly tell that her version used some fancier chords (thanks to my relative pitch ;)). But I had no idea what key it was, and certainly not if it was sharp or flat. (I think if I had hummed along, before playing along, I might have guessed something around G or A, thanks to my crude pitch memory.)
I used Transcribe software to determine exactly how sharp it was. (My ears can't measure cents! :rolleyes:)

I guess you're right that you don't have full-blown perfect pitch if you can't actually identify every note you hear (only C?). But it seems to me like you have the basic perceptual skill - you just need to listen to different pitches to memorise them (that's if you want fully developed PP).
IOW, it's a little like someone who can see colours perfectly well, but just hasn't yet learned the names for them; you just have to attach the labels.

Certainly I'd say you have an unusually sensitive ear for absolute pitch. (Or you wouldn't even notice deviations from 440, let alone find they bother you.)
I would guess this is down to your immersion in music in various ways as you've grown, and also in your studio work. You've acquired a keen sense of what concert pitch is.


Totally agree with you. I wouldn't spend hours on hours of training to get perfect pitch (If that's even possible) but it would be useful if it was built in ;) I suspect - if you stay in the business you're in - you will develop it slowly, without trying. You will get to a point where you realise you can hear that a track is in, say, Eb, or whatever - it will just occur to you. If you did train it, you would get it quicker, but I don't think you'd find it as hard as most people.


The cue note absence wasn't what i was talking about. She didn't know the song and because she could sight read and had perfect pitch she was able to sing the whole song through.Yes, but sight-reading and perfect pitch are two different things (I know you know that;)).
If she sang it unaccompanied, it wouldn't matter what key she was in. A good sight-reader without PP could sing a song correctly, on first sight of the music, in whatever key suited them. (It's actually more useful to be able to sing in a different key from the music, because sheet music might often not be in the singer's best key for that tune.)
If she was accompanied (as I guess she was), then the only difference from someone without PP is that the latter would need a cue note, or some kind of intro from the band or accompanist. (And of course, if there was an intro before she started singing, you'd have no idea if she was singing in the right key because of PP, or because of RP - tuning herself to the accompaniment.)
Her having PP would mean she could start unaccompanied, with no cue note, and be in the right key when the accompaniment came in - or come in simultaneously with the accompaniment. That's an impressive advantage, I guess; but no audience is going to feel cheated if they hear a singer get a cue note before an unaccompanied (or synchronized) intro!

Getting back to your perception of the Leona Lewis song, have you heard the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever"? There's something rather odd about the tuning of that (due to the way it was made). If you haven't - or haven't listened closely to it - give it a listen and see what you think. (Don't look up what the oddity is first...;)) You will need to listen all the way through... I'd really like to know if you can identify what's going on. (I couldn't myself, but I think you might.)

keanuv
08-23-2011, 11:05 PM
That's a definite symptom of perfect pitch!
Eg, I had no idea it was sharp, or even what key it was in, until I sat down and checked.
If you played a version to me that had been digitally retuned 20 cents down to concert Ab, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Even if you played one directly after the other, I might not be able to tell, unless I knew there was going to be a difference (so I could listen out for it) - it would be a subtle effect at least.

I'd definitely tell the difference straight away.
It's like sometimes in the studio, I'll hear a violin playing in a song with everything else in it (bass, guitar, drums, piano etc) and know that the violin is off, but no one else will be able to hear it. I pull it in auto tune to tune it and it's like 10 cents sharp or flat - or less, but it's not by much. I couldn't understand why no one else heard it going off. The producer and the artist will have funny looks on their face, and I can hear it like nails on a chalkboard.



See above. I don't hear anything odd. I suppose I spotted - before using any reference - that it was in a different key from the original (Snow Patrol's, which is in C), and I could certainly tell that her version used some fancier chords (thanks to my relative pitch ;)). But I had no idea what key it was, and certainly not if it was sharp or flat. (I think if I had hummed along, before playing along, I might have guessed something around G or A, thanks to my crude pitch memory.)
I used Transcribe software to determine exactly how sharp it was. (My ears can't measure cents! :rolleyes:)

So weird to be reading this, because the first time I heard it, I knew it was sharp. Same with "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver. How it's flat.
I didn't know what key it was in either. And wouldn't it be nice if ears could tell you how many cents it was off :D Haha. I just know round abouts.



I guess you're right that you don't have full-blown perfect pitch if you can't actually identify every note you hear (only C?). But it seems to me like you have the basic perceptual skill - you just need to listen to different pitches to memorise them (that's if you want fully developed PP).
IOW, it's a little like someone who can see colours perfectly well, but just hasn't yet learned the names for them; you just have to attach the labels.

Certainly I'd say you have an unusually sensitive ear for absolute pitch. (Or you wouldn't even notice deviations from 440, let alone find they bother you.)
I would guess this is down to your immersion in music in various ways as you've grown, and also in your studio work. You've acquired a keen sense of what concert pitch is.
I suspect - if you stay in the business you're in - you will develop it slowly, without trying. You will get to a point where you realise you can hear that a track is in, say, Eb, or whatever - it will just occur to you. If you did train it, you would get it quicker, but I don't think you'd find it as hard as most people.

This is interesting. I'm now thinking about training myself. Cause if I have the potential but just haven't learnt how to use it properly, I'd rather train myself and be able to use it.
Another thing I'm thinking about is, the people I know and know about having perfect pitch were trained from when they were like 2 or 3 how to play the piano. So maybe it's something to do with a potential for perfect pitch and then the people that have it already were trained early, the people that don't were like me (having taken it up at a later stage (10) and not on a piano (as in a non changing pitch reference).



Getting back to your perception of the Leona Lewis song, have you heard the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever"? There's something rather odd about the tuning of that (due to the way it was made). If you haven't - or haven't listened closely to it - give it a listen and see what you think. (Don't look up what the oddity is first...;)) You will need to listen all the way through... I'd really like to know if you can identify what's going on. (I couldn't myself, but I think you might.)

I'm having trouble finding the song in the correct key (as in people put the songs up on youtube and change it by a semitone or less to avoid copyright) there is all different versions, and one of them had like a 30 cent pitch change right after the intro. If you can send me a link to a video that you know is in the correct key so I can listen for the oddity.


One more thing! I just tested my ears with a guitar tuner. I made it pitch the notes at me, but first i made it so the reference was down at like 410 HZ. I then closed my eyes and pressed the button to make it go up in cents, i stopped when i thought it sounded right. Pretty much everytime it was either 439, 440, 441. With all different notes too.

I also closed my eyes and listened to the difference between a note playing at 440 and then 441. I could tell a difference immediately. So how many cents before your ears starts to notice a difference??