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Thread: Perfect Pitch Club

  1. #16
    Registered User Rented's Avatar
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    Well, I also agree with all of what Bizarro said except for this bit:

    "- When you sing acapella, you don't have to pull out this dorky whistle to hear the note first. "
    So? If you're singing by yourself, it doesn't matter. If you're singing with others then you'll need a reference note for EVERYBODY to hear. It doesn't have to be a whistle...
    Why doesn't it matter if you are singing by yourself? A song sounds different in different keys, the mood can change drastically.

    You could be singing with others, but the song starts out acapella with the band joining in later in the song. Unless the singer uses a referece before starting out the song, they better have perfect pitch. Of course, its not really a problem using such a reference, so the use of perfect pitch there is debatable.

    I don't think any skill should be undervalued, though, and I am sure perfect pitch has its great uses. I just can't think of very many right now. Oh, how about a piano tuner who lost his forks?
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    Last edited by Rented; 09-12-2011 at 08:49 PM.

  2. #17
    Experimentalist Koala's Avatar
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    Didnīt even feel like posting in ths thread, but now Im with Biz.

  3. #18
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    I don't want to go down any dark paths here... It's just that relative pitch is a very useful tool that EVERYONE can work on and get really good at.
    Perfect pitch is something which is elusive and most people might not ever attain.

    I hope I didn't offend anyone. I apologize if I did.
    -Bizarro
    Google is your friend

  4. #19
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    mitch...

    no, it's not ESP. its like flipping through a rolodex really quickly and seeing one colored card jump out. its like: you hear a note and you get a general feel right away for which octave it's in, or which string it's on. that bit comes without thinking, you just know. so suddenly you just have 12 possibilities. my hand goes to the instrument and i get a strange tense feeling, pretty much what you would feel if you were aiming a gun or a bow. my hand moves toward the instrument and the rolodex flips and i just eliminate all the incorrect notes without thinking about it. i think bizarro has something here with this 'pitch memory' idea. usually when i do this i need to ground myself on the instrument first. i will have hit a random note LOWER than what i'm about to search for. at that point you can get an intuitive feel for how much SPACE is between where you are and where you need to be. no thinking about intervals is required. you feel a sense of distance between the reference note you just hit and your target note, and as your hand moves to the instrument it just knows, in the same way that you know how to aim. it feels like my interval sense is tied to whatever lobe of the brain judges distances.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  5. #20
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    oops, forgot to mention the most important part of that....

    that process described in itself above would be considered relative pitch, but once i find a reference note, i can walk away and come back a bit later and do a new tone without a new reference note, so i guess that'd be pitch memory, like bizarro says
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  6. #21
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    Bizarro if people with relative pitch can do those things I guess that proves me wrong.

    On that point of being able to transfer a song to different instruments immediately and in different keys. I'm not making that up...I can do that. The question is how perfect pitch creates this ability. Well first of all we can all (except for tone deaf people) sing a song in different keys right? (Some perfect pitch people can't sing in a different key but thats only because they don't have an relative pitch but thats another matter) If you have perfect pitch, whatever you hear you can play, because you know what note you are hearing. So consequently, assuming you know the notes on your instrument, you can just play what "you hear" inside your head--whether it be the song in a different key. This can transfer to different instruments then also. Does that make sense? I'm pretty sure thats how it works.

    forgotKing2, I certainly belive that perfect pitch doesn't mean that you are a super musician. By far the most of the best muscisians do not have pp. I just think its something that makes a lot of things easier--when it is combined with relative pitch.

    As an aside Mozart had pp which allowed him to sit and listen to a 30 minute symphony and then right it out with like only 2 mistakes at home. Mind you, that was also a very good memory! I could maybe right out the first 3 bars lol.

    Someone mentioned on the top of this page (I can't check because I'll lose what I'm writing, sorry) that there would be a sense of pride or something about playing something in the right key and I wouldn't be able to play it if it started in a different key. The opposite exactly!! I often play things in different keys because some keys seem to have a nicer ring about them. If I started playing my guitar and singing in a different key with a band they first of all, probably wouldn't know what the new key was, second of all they haven't learnt it in the new key so they couldn't play it (unless it was simple chording only--that they could transpose). The only guy that might be allright would be the drummer!

    Someone also mentioned that I wouldn't be able to play an instrument that was not tuned to even-temperment. Well, I think pp would be a huge advantage, because I'd just have to play it to know how differently it was tuned. Remember, most people with pp can hear accuracy not to a semitone, but to a 10th of a semitone. If they couldn't they wouldn't be able to tune thier guitar the same every time.

    fortymile, I reckon that there is some ESP involved in what you do. You say it isn't conscience. Well if it isn't conscience it must be inconscience which makes it something else. I suppose you couldn't rule out maybe your sub-conscience having pp and.....anyway, this is probably all crap....let me know what you think.

    Mitch

  7. #22
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    thats maybe a good way to put it. my subconscious has PP. it feels like that.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

  8. #23
    axe-swinging nutcase C-major's Avatar
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    can perfect pich run in the family? cuz my dad's got it; and it's kicks *** big time! not that people without it are inferior mucians, not at all.

    but i sometimes can nail a not really dead on, without hearing anything else but that note, and i've tuned my guitar a couple o' times just by listening (it took me a while and the guitar wasn't THAT much out of tune) so what i really wanne say is, how do you know you have it? i('m only playing for like a year and a half, and i haven't taken any lessons so far; but i do play every day for a few hours.

    Keep on roking in a free world!! bye

  9. #24
    Floydy
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    So what is perfect pitch exactly? it sounds like it can be trained, i mean someone said pp people can hear to a 1/10th of a semitone, but think like this: most musicians can guess what octave a note is in if they hear it without anything to relate it too, i mean say u went this is an e, and then played an e, most people would be able to find the right octave e, if you get me, so really pp is just like that but way more accurate, instead of saying which octave is this e you just ask what note is this, and then i guess you get even more accurate like that 1/10th semitone thing?so you know the E is flat or sharp or whatever? or am i completely wrong?

  10. #25
    Skeletor's gots da funk. Skeletor's Avatar
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    I couldn't tell you what a note is but I can match it easy. Always could.
    Moi.

  11. #26
    Registered User davidvanhalen's Avatar
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    ok man, first of all: there's a term called tonal memory, and EVERYONE has it, well except for deaf people, people with perfect pitch just have a more developed tonal memory for a lot of reason, maybe they were traine since childhood wich makes it easier to develop and it also helps if you have musicians in your family(mother or father) this is not medically proved but it's likely to be true, second of all; yes EVERYONE can develop perfect pitch, and it is usefull for things like transcrabing or whatever. however relative pitch is just as usefull or maybe more, the thing is everyone has perfect pitch or the potencial to have it, it just have to be developed, its just a memory function it's no magic or miraculous gift, its just like memorazing colors or smells, i mean you're not born being able to recognize the smell of chicken or chocolate or knowin' from memory the smell of cologne, it's deveoped by constant contact with it, it aplies to colors, tones, smells and even feelings.
    man, there's some guy who can play eruption on the violin and i can't even do it on the guitar

  12. #27
    Listener of the wind
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    A friend of mine has it and we listen to radio he can say: "The chord progression is Asus2, Eb, B and D" and when he shows it on the guitar it's correct. And sometimes when I play and he looks by he says it's not correctly tuned. And his right again.

    But seriously, I wouldn't like to have such a perfect pitch I coulnd't stand listen to music when it's not tuned after A440 or whatever. Music is expression, and the music is only 3/5 of music, the other 2/5 is the carisma, feeling and bodylanguage. It's like talking on msn, you missunderstand a lot, can't express yourself the way you want. You're limited in other words. Like when u use power-tab, the same problems accure.

    Hm, got of the topic a little, sorry

  13. #28
    I think I donīt have perfect pitch but from all these years of playing I have a good memory of that A 440hz tuning note in my ear. So if I have that note I can derive any other note from it just by going up or down the scale, no big trick...

  14. #29
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    TK, I have a similar thing with "A" myself. I can usually sing an A if I need to... I think that's because of 20 years of guitar playing and I'm always using that as a reference note for everything I do. It's probably a pitch memory thing.
    -Bizarro
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  15. #30
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    Hmmm

    Well, I'll tell you whats really cool about perfect pitch. I myself do not have it, but a friend of mine who goes to the same school does. Not only does he have it, but his guitar teacher realized this at a very young age (11) and helped him develop it. Heres some really neat things that this kid can do.

    -We were watching a performance of the Dave Holland Quintet. If anybody has ever heard them, they play very challenging music, with very out-there chord progressions. He took out a pencil and paper in the midst of one of their songs, and since he liked the song so much, he jotted down the chord progression (it was like 23 bars long or something with whacked out changes) for later use.
    -You can hold down 11 of the 12 notes on the bottom octave of the piano and say "Jon, what note am I not playing?" and he can tell you within a split second. This could be very useful when it comes to hearing dense harmony.
    -My favorite thing that he does, is on a nice day, he sits outside on a park bench with a cd player, and transcribes solos without any instrument near him. He did the entire "I Can See Your House From Here" album (John Scofield and Pat Metheny), all solos and heads in a one week time span.

    I don't know about any of you, but being able to do those things would be pretty friggin' cool. Is it the most important acspect of being a musician? Certainly not. It is an essential skill? No. Would it be fun and cool to be able to do what my friend can do easily? Yes, very much so.

    John Tuohy

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