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Thread: relative pitch

  1. #1
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    relative pitch

    i'm tring to develope relative pitch, but i've been stuck for like a month now. i have the relative pitch corse with David Lucas Burge. What do you guys recondmend. I feel like quiting because i'm stuck at idenifing perfect 4's and 5's and i'm not getting any better.

  2. #2
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Just keep plugging away. Sometimes it takes awhile to "get it" but every second of work is worth it in the long run.

    Can you sing along with scales as you play your guitar? I suggest doing that, plus try singing riffs and simple melodies as you play them (twinkle, twinkle, Happy Birthday, etc). You have to get that mind/ear/voice connection kick-started and these techniques help many people. Good luck!

    oh yeah, welcome to ibreathe!
    -Bizarro
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  3. #3
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    thanks for the advice. i've never tried singing to a scale. How long does it take to develope full relative pitch for the average person. Are we talking a month, a year or many years?

  4. #4
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    as bizarro said stick with it.

    I've been singing to scales and using software for relative pitch for a couple months now.

    And i still suck. When the intervals are restricted i generally do pretty well ... and soon as they are all mixed up together oh that is fun.

    Initially i found it very hard to distinguiish between P4 and P5.

    I suck big time!

    Stick to it. Don't quit.

    note: Yes, again as bizarro said, sing to your scales and if i may add at least make sure you can sing the Major Scale from any note given without hearing the guitar etc (basically start by learning to recall the major scale from memory).

    When i'm given an interval then, i try to sing the major scale and count where i am. If the notes match i see how much i counted and say ok this is the interval. If i'm close then it is probably a minor (interval). Well in theory that's my reasoning.

    2c from a beginner at least -- someone might think its not a good idea - so see if it works for you.
    Last edited by rmuscat; 01-02-2005 at 09:39 AM.
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

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    rmuscat, how long did it take you to get the P4 and 5's down. When you have a interval down does it jump out when you listen to music?

  6. #6
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Developing your ear is a lifelong project. You can ALWAYS get better at some aspect.

    For the P5, I remember using Twinkle Twinkle Little Star as a reference. The first interval is a P5. Sometimes P4 and P5 are tough because they are both perfect intervals and the inversion of one is the other... Ex. An inverted P4 is a P5, and vice versa.

    For me, I know the intervals by ear and it goes straight to my hands. I'm not as good at naming the intervals but I can play anything I hear (usually... ). Of course there are limits and it's not perfect, but in general my ear is decent. I've noticed that every year or two I need to figure out a challenging song to keep my transcribing skills up. BTW, I've been doing this for 20 years...

    Another thing to keep in mind. Sometimes you have a bad day. There are some days where I swear my ears are made of tin, and other days it is like I have perfect pitch.

    Keep pluggin' away and you'll be pleasantly surprised in a year or so. And don't forget: Singing the pitches really is important!
    -Bizarro
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  7. #7
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredder123569
    rmuscat, how long did it take you to get the P4 and 5's down. When you have a interval down does it jump out when you listen to music?
    its hard for me to tell you. I've got 12 years behind my back of guitar playing but i never did proper ear training until i started a couple of months ago.

    If you give me a guitar in hand i can figure out solos pretty fast, without a guitar i suck big time. Its a strange feeling. Its like my fingers know but my brain doesn't.

    When i listen to music, some of it i can "mentally" figure on guitar out. Not always though. But its too shaky to call it proper knowledge.

    And don't set a hard deadline that this has to happen by then. The process is slow and by the time you learn you'll probably won't realise.

    Take your time.

    Trust bizarro he knows his stuff much more than i do.
    Last edited by rmuscat; 01-02-2005 at 08:31 PM. Reason: bloody then & than
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

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    When someone has good relative pitch can they pick anything up by ear?

  9. #9
    IbreatheMusic Author Bizarro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredder123569
    When someone has good relative pitch can they pick anything up by ear?
    Yes, for most cases. Figuring out a Steve Vai solo will still be a pain in the butt no matter how good your ear is!!

    I play in a rock cover band and I can usually figure out a song (rhythm, bass, lead, etc) in about 10-15 minutes. For me this is faster than learning by tab. I might not get every note perfect but it will be very close.

    Back when I was just starting out it would take days (sometimes weeks!) to figure out a song for the bands I was playing in. After awhile you get really good at it, but you have to work at it. Nothing in life is free! It took a great deal of effort to get to where I'm at today. I'm definitely not the best at transcribing, but I do okay.
    -Bizarro
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    who are some of you favorite bands and players?

  11. #11
    Registered User fortymile's Avatar
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    "If you give me a guitar in hand i can figure out solos pretty fast, without a guitar i suck big time. Its a strange feeling. Its like my fingers know but my brain doesn't."

    ------>i know that feeling.

    the only intervals that jump out of me in daily life are minor third, major third, aug 4, and aug5.

    as for being able to figure out any song, if things are ridiculously fast (and even if they're not) chunking helps--making the task less overwhelming by breaking it up. by actually hearing the song as discrete pieces and labeling them as different variations on discrete concepts. setting the hard parts aside for the moment. braking up long fast sections into pieces. mimicing litle pieces and then stringing them together in memory.
    "All bad poetry is sincere" -- Oscar Wilde

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    Would getting solfware that slows down music and learning songs by ear be helpful to developing my ear?

  13. #13
    In the woodshed rmuscat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredder123569
    Would getting solfware that slows down music and learning songs by ear be helpful to developing my ear?
    shredder-dude

    from your username i get it you like shred style stuff. The only thing is that most of "shred" style playing is even hard to transcribe for good transcribers.

    I'd suggest for a start to start transcribing easy non-rapid speed playing. And don't think about those slow down programs for now. Think old school transcribing like 10/15 years ago and before. I'm sure you can think of a couple of examples to work on.

    Also no need to be complete solos or songs. Like fortymile says. Try with parts of songs or solos. The easiest parts. If you think are way too easy try out some of the more complex parts and use extra knowledge to it (e.g. if you know its withing "key" then you have less notes to care about)
    Edwin Land: Creativity is the sudden cessation of stupidity.

  14. #14
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    I have tried singing everything I play, and sometimes, naming the notes as I play them too, for a couple of days (just started seriously again after the holídays).
    I suck at the ladder, but once I got the singing thing down, then i've just gotten better and better in no time.

    And I just saw a band this evening at a high school party, and the guitarist, he sang the notes he played ("ba-dadada") as he played a solo. That was really a boosting experience for me. It was sooo sweet with some scat-singing over the guitar.

    I think it will help my ears if I sing what I play, because it REALLY helps to remember the things that I play (and sing). And if I someday can name the notes as well, then WOW. What a bright future
    "You don't fill somebody's shoes, you come with your own shoes and kick the door down!!!" - Zakk Wylde

  15. #15
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    I've found that one of the best ways to get an interval "down", is to find a tune which has that inerval emphazised. For example Beethowen's 5th symphony begins with: G G G bE. That's a major3rd. Just a tip.

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