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Thread: Me Attempting to get Perfect Pitch..

  1. #1
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    Me Attempting to get Perfect Pitch..

    My first and most ambitious post . what the heck While im here why not introduce my self..

    Hey, guys and gals. Im a beginner piano player hoping to bring alittle variety into this guitar infested forums. I will try to stay on this forums along as I can.

    Ok, back on topic now

    Im going to try to get Perfect Pitch on my own, even though everybody seems to go against me into getting it. Or say I can't get it because its too late, im 21 going on 22, or I must be born with it). I would love if someone offer tips while im attempting it. When I start I will spend entire year trying to get it and will post weekly updates on progress. Im also going to tell you how im doing it, and provide helpful examples to other folks that want perfect pitch.

    I would make a blog but blogs sucks at gathering a audience. so Im on these forums hoping to find a few people interested in what im doing.

    Ok hear is what im going to do for the time being:

    Instead of simply repeating a single note 1 million times. Im going to create several sound files for said note than use some flash cards to help me remember them. For example, if im studying the C Note for day instead of playing C on the piano. I will go on my computer, open up finale and create a violin, cello, guitar, flute etc... sound files and study those as well. After that I will move to the next note for tomorrow(or if I have time 2 notes a day). But before I go and study the D Notes I will review the C notes from yesterday.. makes sense?

    PS: Dont even bother into convincing I cant get it or saying relative pitch is more important. First im at the point of no return, im a stubborn fool who cant seem listen to anybody. Second, I know relative pitch is important, I already got this nifty skill covered. I want something better than that.

    I also want to know if there is any free online music tests I cant take so I can give more convincing results to this little simple experiment.

  2. #2
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    I'm not going to tell you not to try or that you cant do it. However, I wonder, why is perfect pitch so important to you? What do you hope to acheive once you attain it? What cant you do with RP that you will be able to do with PP ?

  3. #3
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    oh, learn2hear.org is a nifty little site for testing your ears. It tests RP however, not PP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JazzMick View Post
    I'm not going to tell you not to try or that you cant do it. However, I wonder, why is perfect pitch so important to you? What do you hope to acheive once you attain it? What cant you do with RP that you will be able to do with PP ?
    Just to make my life alittle easier. I dont really like running to the piano everytime I come up with a new music idea. I just want to write it out without having to worry about it sounding right. I also would like to sight read on sight alone(This will probably will take a while, but I will soon!! *balls fist*). Relative Pitch seems to have a this brick wall. You cant really move ahead without learning Perfect Pitch, because you are simply stuck at comparing notes. Its kinda like getting by with addition without learning how multiply. Very time consuming.

    Oh I look at the website... its not what Im really looking for.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSage View Post
    Just to make my life alittle easier. I dont really like running to the piano everytime I come up with a new music idea. I just want to write it out without having to worry about it sounding right. I also would like to sight read on sight alone(This will probably will take a while, but I will soon!! *balls fist*). Relative Pitch seems to have a this brick wall. You cant really move ahead without learning Perfect Pitch, because you are simply stuck at comparing notes. Its kinda like getting by with addition without learning how multiply. Very time consuming.

    Oh I look at the website... its not what Im really looking for.
    Seems like you can do everything you want with relative pitch except you may need to hear one note to prompt you to establish the key. You can write music by ear without perfect pitch and you can sight read. If you don't have an instrument to give you the pitch you can still write and read. The absolute pitch may not be the same, but you'll know how the notes sound in relation to each other. Good luck anyway though. Let us know if you are successful.

  6. #6
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    You're right if you think that most guys here do not rate PP courses as much use (if any). And actually, if you look carefully it's mostly the more experienced guys here that say that.

    And it's also true that 95% of guys here are guitarists ... that's just the way of the world. So it's possible that pianists or singers (or whatever) might find the idea of PP more appealing for some specific reason.

    One thing though - a year of trying PP is a pretty fair chunk of your musical practice time. And it's time you will never get back.

    How much do you think you could improve all other aspects of your playing if you dedicate the next year to serious practice of everything else apart PP excecises (or RP) ... rhetorical question.

    Ian.

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    Not much actually, I spend alot of time playing pieces instead of Ear Quizzes. It only takes me like 30 to hour for 1 note. 1 extra hour would make a dent to my 3 hour practice regime, but I really dont think playing for another hour would improve my playing. I can see were you going with that question though. 365 hours is a good amount of time. You can build a small cabin with that.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSage View Post
    Not much actually, I spend alot of time playing pieces instead of Ear Quizzes. It only takes me like 30 to hour for 1 note. 1 extra hour would make a dent to my 3 hour practice regime, but I really dont think playing for another hour would improve my playing. I can see were you going with that question though. 365 hours is a good amount of time. You can build a small cabin with that.
    365 hours which you could spend working on essential things like scales or arpeggios or phrasing, or learning several of the most important instructional songs/pieces, etc. Lot's of important stuff.

    It's 365 hours which won't come again.

    But we all have to make our choices ... can't do everything.

    Ian.

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    Crossroads may be right; there are lots of other things to practise, IMHO PP is rather overrated; why not concentrate on learning songs and playing? Just to balance it out, PP ( or RP even ) are fairly redundant skills on their own.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSage View Post
    PS: Dont even bother into convincing I cant get it or saying relative pitch is more important. First im at the point of no return, im a stubborn fool who cant seem listen to anybody. Second, I know relative pitch is important, I already got this nifty skill covered. I want something better than that.
    You won't believe me, of course, but - for a musician - there is nothing better that.

    And when you say you've "got it covered", do you mean you can recognise any interval, any chord type, any chord progression, with 100% accuracy? If so, congratulations, an admirable achievement - I'm envious.
    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSage View Post
    I also want to know if there is any free online music tests I cant take so I can give more convincing results to this little simple experiment.
    Seeing as you're committed to your challenge (and commendably unwilling to part with money )...
    http://www.good-ear.com/servlet/EarTrainer?chap=7

    This site is good, but only has relative pitch trainers (which I guess you don't need...):
    http://www.musictheory.net/exercises

  11. #11
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    First Week

    Well I didnít expect any results during the first week, though, I thought about a lot of things about perfect pitch. And one thing that bugged me is that being able to identify single individual notes is not enough. Because I need the ability to identify a song naming all the notes/chords/intervals. Doing repetitive flash card exercises wont help. Even if it did I would be seriously lacking in the live musical department.

    Also Flashcards was getting hard to manage( I had like 200 of them >.<) so I went and use a electronic flashcard program, and started uploading sound files and sheet music onto the card.
    Most of my cards look like this:
    Question: Identify the note(With sound file)
    Answer: -Sheet music jpeg with a note as a answer-

    Even though I made this discovery It wasnít enough. It took me 3-4 days to finally tell the difference between C and C#/Db and D but still have trouble naming them when played at random, some times I get it right sometimes I get it wrong. The overall process Is also frustrating when you get it wrong you want to shoot yourself, oh well, I cant expect to fly through this in one week.

    On Sunday I tried to expand my current method by adding intervals and chords Into my deck, And did have some success. On the first day I was able to produce C and C#/Db in my head when I think about it. Even with minor successes I still feel that its not enough. I'll think of something else later, for now this will do.

    However when I try to identify intervals and chords, relative pitch starts to kick in. but thatís ok for me. All I want to is to improve my note identification, and if I have to use relative pitch to do it so be it then.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSage View Post
    Well I didn’t expect any results during the first week, though, I thought about a lot of things about perfect pitch. And one thing that bugged me is that being able to identify single individual notes is not enough. Because I need the ability to identify a song naming all the notes/chords/intervals. Doing repetitive flash card exercises wont help. Even if it did I would be seriously lacking in the live musical department.

    Also Flashcards was getting hard to manage( I had like 200 of them >.<) so I went and use a electronic flashcard program, and started uploading sound files and sheet music onto the card.
    Most of my cards look like this:
    Question: Identify the note(With sound file)
    Answer: -Sheet music jpeg with a note as a answer-

    Even though I made this discovery It wasn’t enough. It took me 3-4 days to finally tell the difference between C and C#/Db and D but still have trouble naming them when played at random, some times I get it right sometimes I get it wrong. The overall process Is also frustrating when you get it wrong you want to shoot yourself, oh well, I cant expect to fly through this in one week.

    On Sunday I tried to expand my current method by adding intervals and chords Into my deck, And did have some success. On the first day I was able to produce C and C#/Db in my head when I think about it. Even with minor successes I still feel that its not enough. I'll think of something else later, for now this will do.

    However when I try to identify intervals and chords, relative pitch starts to kick in. but that’s ok for me. All I want to is to improve my note identification, and if I have to use relative pitch to do it so be it then.
    I am glad you are taking a pragmatic approach to this endeavour.

    Remember that life is short but becoming a good musician takes a long time. Make of that what you will, but everyone eventually discovers that, in all parts of your life (music or otherwise), your time is your most precious commodity. Its ultimately the only commodity anyone has (given enough time even money is easy to come by). Thats why most employers pay for a fixed amount of your time. In music, your time is your own to manage, not your employers (well ... unless you teach or do session work). That makes it all the more important that you analyse the value of your time, and make the most of your budget!

    As an aside I'd like to share a pet theory: There is a fundamental reason everything must die. Immortality is an impossibility, because unlimited time is the metaphysical equivallent of perpetual motion. It defies the inaliable law of entropy.

    Anyway, most of us have a pretty pragmatic attitude to all of this bollocks. I, for one, believe that you have to prioritise all of your time. One of the best ways to do this is to first cover all of the easy stuff (or more acurately the most efficiently returning stuff). The overwhelming view of most musicians (including those who have it) is that the pursuit of perfect pitch is way down this list.

    So therefore it is heartening to hear that you are not blinkered to relative pitch and are introducing it into your regime. Perhaps one day you will decide that one pursuit is much more efficient than the other. The only thing that concerns me then, is that you are practicing both simultaneously. This means you will not be able to determine which is the most efficient activity of the two. Perhaps consider doing one month of each and analysing which one produces better results?

    P.S. Take all that with a pinch of salt. Humans are fickle creatures. For example, I spent 20 minutes of my life writting this post, for no obvious personal gain. So maybe that is time down the drain. Sometimes time wasting can be fun!!
    Last edited by bluesking; 06-25-2010 at 12:16 AM.
    "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar"

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    Thanks for the advice.

    But the reason why im doing it simultaneously is because music (as in real live music) wont let me work it separately and forces you to have some sort of relative pitch. One of the reason why I accepted relative pitch is because It helps me narrow down the notes im trying to look for. It also helps me notice what key a certain melody/harmony is. Im actually starting to think its just unmusical to get rid of relative pitch, and in order to get perfect pitch you need relative pitch. Then again why perfect? whats the difference?(These questions keeps popping up in my head when Im training my ears)

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    Its Been Two weeks and it feels like a eternity

    I didn't post last week because I didn't have anything useful to say. or I can say I was unsuccessful with My ear training. I haven't really progressed that much at all. I get C, C#/Db and Bb right 100% but I have problems with the other notes. It isnt a hearing problem, Its more of a memory problem. When I play e on the piano and then play the other keys. I can easily tell the difference from e and the other notes. But when Its played at random. I easily forget what e sounds like so I just have to think really hard(Using relative pitch) to get it right.

    This kind of problem reminded me of my school days when I was like the poorest readers in class. But then I started to get a interest in books and then I started to become one of the fastest readers in class! What happened was I had trouble pronouncing words in my head and outloud. and many books introduce words I haven't even seen before. Ive come to realize that having the ability to pronounce words inside my head(silent reading) allowed me to read faster and identify hard word alittle better.

    I assume that this works for music as well, but I think it well take tremendous effort. Since It took me like 6 months of hardcore reading to be able to read fast as I do today.

    Now I'm going to try something different and has rarely been attempted by any Perfect Pitch training method. The method I'm attempting isn't anything new. I sort of borrowed some ideas from this website. well I'm not just throwing out my old method and trying a new one its more like im adding some new things too it.

    1. Instead of trying to memorize single notes by brute force, Im going to try to make flash cards with melodies on them and when I hear the melodies I will play said melodies on the Piano and then write them down on a manuscript.

    2. This will prove to be useless in the future since melodies tend to be easy to memorize. So I will throw a curveball into it by transposing those melodies into a different key.

    3. I will also make some cards with different instruments playing the melodies. The variety seems to help me get some notes into my memory. Bb and C# I can hum the notes very easily because of that.

    I will do the same for chords and intervals as well.
    Then I will test myself and see If I can get some notes right!

    Doing all this takes quite a bit of time Usually Five-seven hours a day. It is also very mentally demanding. Not only you review the material from yesterday and last week and the week before that, but you have yet another wave of music waiting to be discovered. You seem to push your musical and Intellectual abilities to the limits. This isn't something a person should be doing for a mere hobby. I really not trying to become a professional or anything, Im just explore music based on curiosity. and see If I can really get this useful ability.
    So I don't mind If I spend five-seven hours a day I spend half of that time doing unnecessary things anyway.

    I will update when I think of something even more useful, or cutting out some stuff that isn't useful

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    Quote Originally Posted by MysticSage View Post
    Usually Five-seven hours a day.
    You're pulling our legs, right?

    I don't mean to offend - but you describe yourself as a beginner pianist; assuming your ultimate musical goals extend beyond parlor tricks, do you truly think spending 5-7 hours a day to learn to discriminate between, say, a C vs. a C# played in isolation can possibly be of more value than spending that time listening to, studying, and learning to play actual MUSIC on your instrument??

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