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Thread: David Lucas Burge's Perfect and Relative Pitch courses

  1. #511
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    Quote Originally Posted by walternewton View Post
    I have not used the course, but FWIW I think I'd personally review the material and keep practicing until I could readily pass the test with the intervals already covered before moving on and adding more intervals to the mix.
    Thanks for your advice I hope I can get some help from someone that has done the course.

  2. #512
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    ....If you don't have perfect pitch there is a lack in your ear...

    That is the biggest piece of BS I have ever seen in a music forum. It certainly would work great as a marketing slogan though.

    In an interview, the great Joe Pass was asked whether he had perfect pitch. He said that he did not, but said he had good relative pitch.

    Good luck to anyone who would try to assert that there was a lack in Joe's ears.

  3. #513
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrios View Post
    ....If you don't have perfect pitch there is a lack in your ear...

    That is the biggest piece of BS I have ever seen in a music forum. It certainly would work great as a marketing slogan though.

    In an interview, the great Joe Pass was asked whether he had perfect pitch. He said that he did not, but said he had good relative pitch.

    Good luck to anyone who would try to assert that there was a lack in Joe's ears.
    I think so, too; however, I think those that say they have relative pitch - just don't wanna say they have perfect pitch because it's deemed as something magical. Which, now, I think I should retract from agreeing with your assertion being completely BS! He may have said in what some may find a condescending manner, but he isn't necessarily wrong.

    I have both perfect and relative pitch, but just because I may not tell somebody I have both or use one over the other, doesn't mean that I in fact don't have both.

    Since he mentioned one's ears, what about one's eyes when reading music? Some have perfect pitch via sight, but many use relative pitch - especially when notes are extremely high or low.

    Four ledger lines below the treble clef is D - a minor seventh below middle C or they could in fact use perfect pitch when using the grand staff. Four ledger lines below the treble clef = the third line in the bass clef. Or how Middle C is on one ledger line intersecting both clefs.

    Now, why would they make you memorize via pneumonic devices or the "line/space rule" for octaves? That's teaching you perfect and relative pitch by sight.

    Now, maybe JP doesn't have it, but think in relative terms does slow one down. Of course, hearing the relationships enough times, so you won't have to think about it, but this the path towards perfect pitch.

    I think what happens is one gets the perfect pitch ability first:

    "This is Middle A and this is a it sounds like." Then, you run scales, but only to hear what each note sounds like and then you learn the relationship ie: relative pitch ("m2, M2, P4, etc., from ...")

    This is where they chose which route suits them - even if they're well-versed in both and JP is right about having a good ear because perfect pitch does take time to develop.

    For me, I go with perfect pitch because relative pitch slows me down. That isn't to say I don't use it and I certainly use both. (ie: If a song starts in one key and modulates or demodulates, I can identify the key and interval shift.)

    There's nothing wrong if one can't identify a note right off the bat; however, one should want to strive to get to that point. I think that was what is meant by the "lack of an ear" comment. As I've heard it said here many time when performing: "Don't think. Play!" Knowing alleviates the problem of thinking, didn't you know? You would known have if you thought about it! (See what I did there?)
    Last edited by Color of Music; 09-11-2012 at 01:03 PM.

  4. #514
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    Hello Color of music, what method did you use to obtain perfect pitch?

  5. #515
    Registered User Color of Music's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussieaudioman View Post
    Hello Color of music, what method did you use to obtain perfect pitch?
    Repetition helps. Btw, though we call them notes, they are just labels for the sounds.

    If I referred to a C note (anywhere), let's say I call that a "Cat." If I played a D (anywhere)that would be a Dog.

    I know a cat meows and a dog barks. Heck, if I did the Pavlov experiment with the actual animals, they should meow and bark when those notes are played - regardless of register. That is perfect pitch.

    How far away is one thing from the other? How far is the cat away from the dog? (Wheter it be the animals themselves or their respective ways of "talking" from my ear)

    C-C#-D. The cat (C) has to jump over the cage (C#) to get to the dog (D) Every time a C# plays the cage rattles - every time the cage rattles, I have played or heard a C#.

    This is relative pitch.

    Now, for me, I don't know exactly what I did, but that cat/dog metaphor, certainly goes with the perfect pitch "phenomenon."

    I probably messed around on the piano alot, before I knew the names of the notes; however, I knew how they sounded - nor did I care what he names were. But as I began theory, the names started to come as well as pitch demonstration (scales) and having practiced solely for the sounds before the theory, all that was left to do was attach the names.

    I grew up around music. This was before I got the theory behind it. This was very beneficial because it helped train my ear. So, I listened and listened even if all I said was: "This note went up. That note went down." That was the start of relative pitch; however, hearing the same note more than once developed the perfect pitch ability. "That's an A. That's an E. That's a Bb." etc.

    Even now, people ask me to transcribe/pick apart/analyze songs and/or I just end up inately doing it (if it's a song I like or grow to like). It's ironic how it's fine for me to analyze theirs, but when asked to analyze mine, they look at me sideways (that is a joke)

  6. #516
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    This debate comes up regularly, of course. I agree with barrios: perfect pitch (correctly known as absolute pitch, AP) is of little use in music. If you already have it, fine (as Color of Music does). But if you don't, it's not worth the effort of learning it.

    (The evidence, btw, suggests that the potential for it is inborn in all of us, but it needs "switching on" in infancy or it atrophies; there is evidence that very young children (under 6) exposed actively to music and musical games learn AP easily, while those who aren't don't. I believe it's closely linked to language skills, the fact we find it easy to learn language by ear as infants, but much harder later. In the so-called tonal languages, like Chinese, where pitch variation can change the meaning of a word, there is a higher incidence of people with AP.)

    The point - for musicians - is that the way we appreciate music is via relative pitch (RP), not AP. A "C" note on its own, a particular frequency of vibration, means nothing; it only gains a musical meaning when heard with other notes, forming intervals (melodic or harmonic).

    We expect a piece of music to have the same impact and meaning whatever key it's played in. Keys of songs frequently have to be changed to suit different singers, and it would be confusing and limiting if - through perception of AP - they changed their whole mood or meaning. A song sung by a man would mean something different when sung by a woman. It would essentially become a different song, even sound "wrong", just as our RP recognises something wrong when the chords of a song are changed.

    If most people naturally had AP, then it would make sense for musicians to refine and develop it, in order to exploit the perception of the audience. But very few people do. (And even if they did, then the associations for each pitch would probably be subjective, different from person to person; so it's hard to see how a composer could use AP to communicate anything.)

    What EVERYONE has, to some extent, is RP - anyone (other than very rare sufferers from amusia) can tell if one note is higher or lower than another. We can all feel the effect of melodies swooping up or down; and the feelings come not from the absolute pitches of their notes, but from the relationships between them, specifically (usually) with the keynote.

    There are a few real musical situations where AP would be handy (very few), but none I can think of where it's essential. Whereas RP (to some degree anyway) is essential in all musical situations.


    Having said all that, there is a very common phenomenon known as "pitch memory", which is a very fuzzy kind of AP: "imperfect pitch" if you like, rather like short-sightedness.
    Daniel Levitin has conducted experiments with random subjects (not musicians in particular) where they were asked to sing a well-known song from memory. The songs chosen had to be well-known in one particular key, such as from one famous recording - very rarely heard in any other key. (So something like "Happy Birthday" would be excluded, while something like the Eagles' "Hotel California" might have been included.)
    It turned out that - with no immediate reference - most subjects sang the song very close to its original key, the one they were used to hearing it in. IOW, they had some way of remembering the absolute pitch of the song. The interesting result was that most people succeeded in this; not just a tiny few.

    This supports the idea that everyone has some kind of absolute pitch perception - some kind of undeveloped capacity for it. Those few who actually have fully refined - "20/20" - AP have just managed (usually accidentally in childhood) to develop that natural skill fully - probably by always having music (including singing and playing) as a natural part of their lives.

    Many experienced musicians (without true AP) would back this up. Eg, I have nothing like AP (I know, I've done tests ) - and my musical ear was terrible when I began learning (mid-teens), with zero musical background - but I can now tune a guitar with no reference to within a half-step of concert. I have a memory (somehow) of how the strings ought to sound, not just relative to one another, but in absolute terms. Simply because I've been playing guitar for so long.
    It's true I use my voice to assist - the bottom of my voice range is around E/Eb, so I can tune the 6th string to that. But even without that, I can get pretty close.

    My other related experience is with a song I knew (and played) for years - even decades! - in its original key: Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell", in C. But then I was in a band with a female singer who wanted to do the song, and she needed it to be in F.
    At first, the song sounded terrible. I thought at first it was just the way we were playing it, but actually we were playing it fine. But it just sounded completely "wrong" - the key was wrong. It felt like wearing a suit of clothes in completely the wrong size.
    However, after a couple of months playing and gigging it in F, it started to sound fine. In fact it sounded as good as it ever did in C.
    For me, this is proof of "pitch memory". My pitch memory (ingrained over the years or hearing it) first told me it had to be in C. I certainly recognised the huge difference in sound that playing it in F made. But as I got used to it in F, the memory of it in C faded a little, and I began to accept it in F. F was fine.
    If I had absolute pitch, it's likely I would never think it was fine in F. I'd always feel uncomfortable playing it in anything but C.
    With songs I know less well, or have not played much if at all, I have far fewer problems changing original keys to whatever suits a singer; I barely notice the effect.

    For that reason, I'm glad I don't have absolute pitch; and will certainly not be wasting any time trying to acquire it.

    YMMV, of course .


    EDIT: I just realised how old this thread is, and I probably said all the above way back. Apologies for repeating myself.
    Last edited by JonR; 09-12-2012 at 05:56 PM.

  7. #517
    I agree with John R. I've made bigger leaps in my understanding of the ear by not getting too attached to certain keys for songs. Any melodies, licks, chord changes etc. that I play are not fully learned unless I can start a new key and hear it before I play.

    On the side of having perfect pitch, if I imagine my guitar in my head I can hear notes and chords I play alot, like an open G chord. It does speed up learning a tune if things are standard tuning verses capoed on the 6th fret for example. I know that when I hear a famous recording in my head, Its either the same key or barely off. So there's some perfect pitch going on with me.

    I just am way more into the dark vs. bright, grounded vs. floaty, agressive vs. passive, and so on. I want tons of different emotions with music. If a C always sounds like a C then I'd run out of options pretty quick!

  8. #518
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzmaniac View Post
    Hi. I'm kinda new here in this forum thing, just registered some few minutes ago, and I thought I wanna start a forum on this subject.

    I got this Perfect Pitch course from a guy named David Lucas Burge and I started doing the exercises a few days ago. I'm now doing the exercises in the Masterclass 7. So far, I'm doing quite fine with the last drills and I pass the "verification rounds", but now I think I need help with this exercise where you name white tones on the keyboard without looking. I think one should have a good relative pitch with this one too.

    I just wanna know if there are some other guys here that tried and benefited with this course, maybe they can help me out and give some tips on how I can go about with the course. Also, are there some people here who have the complete Relative Pitch lessons by Mr. Burge? Where do I download them free? I'm broke and I can't buy it for now.
    I do remember having these and liking them... in terms of developing your relative pitch though, I find it makes a mot of sense learning stuff from records that you'd want to know anyway.. that way you can kill two birds w one stone...

  9. #519
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    i've tried David L Burge's CD's and found them to help a little. however, i experienced better results with other approaches. also, i just got tired of carrying around his CD's :/ i think i counted like 50 CD's or something! plus... at first i got a lot of insight from what he had to say, but then when it just boiled down to ear training, i got tired of him talking so much.

    i did find this to be of great help! http://www.reddit.com/r/musictheory/...esource_guide/

    above, i created an Ear Training Resource Guide that included all current ear training stuff that I found to be very helpful! there's a ton of ear training stuff online that is just old and outdated. and i spent a ton of hours looking this stuff up.

    so i really hope this saves you a lot of time, and that you find this to be a great help and point in a direction that helps you and many others looking for ear training information online!

  10. #520
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    Just wanted to share some thoughts.

    I became frustrated with ear training some time ago. I was not going anywhere. But suddenly my ears open! That's the most significant thing that has happened in my life!

    Kind regards!
    Jordi

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    Thumbs up Reviving an old thread

    Hello to anyone reading this!!

    I've gained a lot of support from this thread so just incase anyone else is reading this I thought I'd give my experience of David Lucas Burge's courses.

    I've struggled a lot with both these courses. I'm happy to go into detail if anyone's interested but basically I kept starting and stopping. Anyway about 6 months ago I decided to give the PP course a go again and I actually started making progress and kept it up. I just started MC16 yesterday and passed the Dmaj chord dril first time. Today I will do the Emaj drill and I'm confident I'll pass that too.
    About 2 months ago I started the RP course again as I was really motivated by my PP success. Now I'm on Level 2 with 3 inversion drills to pass before I move on to minor 2nds.
    I never thought I could actually make progress let alone get this far. I'm what you'd class as one of the slow ones. I've spent weeks on masterclasses before. But so long as I keep listening everyday I know I'll reach the same place as anyone else.

    If you're struggling I encourage you to send me a reply. I'd be more than happy to help.
    Whatever you do just keep going! You will get there if you don't quit.

    Ouissa

  12. #522
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    I got this course as a Christmas Gift back in December 2012. I was good at the single tones but struggled with the harmonic tones. I like this course because it supports the fact that Perfect Pitch can be developed. He used some examples in Hindemith's books to show that Perfect Pitch can be developed. I read the story of how Burge's interest in Perfect Pitch started during a rivalry with this girl with Perfect Pitch. He started with no Perfect Pitch and he developed it.

    This course is not a scam, but at the same time not the best course for Perfect Pitch. Since then I took a detour by being more realistic and developing my relative pitch. I believe it takes 15 years to develop Perfect Pitch. Once you have developed an accurate Relative Pitch, then Perfect Pitch is going to come later.

  13. #523
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    Hi Blanche,

    Yes this is one thing Burge mentions in the Power Points. If you're having any struggles with the drills you should work on you RP as that solves the problem 99% of the time.

    What makes you think it takes 15 years?

    Ouissa

  14. #524
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    Quote Originally Posted by ouissa View Post
    Hi Blanche,


    What makes you think it takes 15 years?
    My teacher told me.

  15. #525
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    I'm curious how your teacher came about with that number. It flies in the face of all the success stories of this course. I can't imagine anyone taking over 2 years unless they aren't doing the exercises correctly (like me). Some people can do it within a matter of weeks. That would someone who's ear is much more ready for PP. You could say that the first 12 Mastercalsses are gearing you up for PP. Everything after that is where you really gain and solidify the ability.

    I have a friend who didn't have PP as a child. Then around the age of 18/19 he started to hear C in every piece of music. He hasn't taken the course. But he can sing a C whenever he likes and he relates everything he hears to C. Imagine that he hears music in the Key of Ab. He works his way down from C to know which key it's in. It's a very crude method but he's someone who if they took the course could get full PP extremely quickly compared to someone like me who couldn't even sing the bottom note in a 2 note chord (like a 6th: C-A). It's all about your starting point, and for whatever reason some people are just way ahead or behind naturally. But either way 99% of people can gain it with in 1 year and the rest just need a bit longer.

    Just an update BTW:
    On the PP course I'm on MC17 with harmonic black 4s. Just passed the previous drill so I'll start this tomorrow. I can hear more and more and I think that's due to spending about 4 days just doing the meditation technique.

    On the Rp course I'm at minor 6ths. I've passed everything up to there. I just need to do some more grand and random rounds to get the interval stuck in my head. Major 6ths are easy for me now.

    If you're struggling just keep going. We can all do it!

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