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Thread: Identifying perfect fifth/fourth

  1. #16
    Jazzpianist Zenith's Avatar
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    Ok, that's nearly what I thought you meant about perfect relative pitch.

    I'm pretty sure that people like myself who "accidentally" develope a perfect pitch over time automatically achieves an extremely strong relative pitch too. Based on my own experiences I have no problem what so ever to release me from a tonal centre in a song, melody, chord progression, etc. and just let it flow without theoretically thinking about relations and intervals when it comes to live transposing on the piano. I have noticed a few times when I'm only a 5th away from the original tonica that I get more confused because the two tonal centres are so related, but it's fairly easy for me to "switch" to relative pitch in such situations.

    As for people who develope and achieve perfect pitch when they've only trained their ear to perfection and to reckognize notes without reference notes, I don't think they achieve more than that either. That's when I think it's more important with a strong relative pitch than having a perfect pitch which is only useful for extracting notes and put them into an absolute system. It's much more important to just listen a lot to music, working a lot with chords, progressions and scales to develope a perfect relative pitch and also maybe perfect pitch over some time.
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  2. #17
    Registered User roel's Avatar
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    Cool perfect 4th, 5th?

    Um, just a little question, well, how could we illustrate the perfect 4th and 5th in context to the R (Root I mean) are there exact or maybe static half or whole steps? pls. illustrate using a chromatic scale) thanks.
    Last edited by roel; 07-30-2003 at 10:05 AM.

  3. #18
    Registered User sarel_aiber's Avatar
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    I'm not sure I understand the question. Could you clarify? What's R?

  4. #19
    I love Guitar. UltimaRage's Avatar
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    I have some questions involving intervals.... Any help will be appreciated. Anyways, is it always 5 half steps(2 whole and one half step) from the Root to the Perfect Fourth? also, is it always a whole step from the P4th to the P5th? Or, is it just a two note interval between the Root and the P4?
    ~UltimaRage~

  5. #20
    Jazzpianist Zenith's Avatar
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    As you said, there is five half steps from root to the perfect fourth (two whole steps and one half). And two half steps (one whole step) from P4th to the P5th.

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  6. #21
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    Argh, this is frustrating. I got the burge relative pitch course a while ago and really started working on it more recently, but I'm just not really getting passed the stupid perfect 4th and perfect 5th "Lightning Rounds"...

    It's ridiculous. In some situations the two sound different.... The fifth sounds "lighter" or more "spacious" etc and the fourth has more "buzz"... but when you play a fifth down low you can confuse it for a fourth. argh.

    I've started working on other stuff in the course as well now because it is just annoying that I can't do this, but I can pass some of the other drills first time no problem.

  7. #22
    Registered User ragasaraswati's Avatar
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    P5 is a softer sound, more blended in itself, sounds more like a single note than an interval. P4 is a bit harder, brighter, its sound "projects" both to a bass-ier timbre and to a tremblier timbre, in total a more complex sound (due to a lower difference overtone and a higher additive overtone).

    Melodically (ascending) of course a P5 signifies an on-start and P4 closure (descending it is the opposite). This is not very different intervalically. P5 sounds open-ended and P4 sounds decisive, the one is suggestive; the other confirmative.

  8. #23
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    Thanks for the descriptions. Hopefully they help lol

  9. #24
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    The best forms of eartraining are transcription and improvisation. IMHO courses and eartraining software are not useless, but they are an impractical waste of time for the following reasons:

    1.) They only exercise one part of the playing loop. The full loop of ear->mind->muscles->instrument->ear is exercised when transcribing. Why not exercise all of those things at once? Its not like anyone is going to give you prizes or enjoy your ability to recognise intervals. They are going to enjoy music that you can play and/or compose.

    2.) Transcription automatically scopes you to the kind of music you enjoy. I can identify intervals rock/jazz/blues quite easily (harmonically and melodically), but I am not so hot with classical/flamenco/avantgarde. This to me is a good thing, because it demonstrates my ears, brain, hands (the full loop!) is optimised for what I want to play. I can already hear the clamour of "But I have my own style, why would I limit myself to what others have done?!?!?!" Well, if you are a musician, you must surely like the work of at least one other musician. Transcribing the entire works of that single musicians will allways teach you more than listening to MIDI tones or following a mail-order course. Also, would you preffer to be influenced by ear training software, a correspondance course author or the musicians whose work you enjoy?

    3.) Transcription is free.

    4.) Transcription is fun.

    5.) Tangible results are seen when your repertoire expands.

    6.) Backwards-engineering of compositional techniques and "getting inside the mind of the writer" becomes possible.

    Oh sure, I know these courses might help, but half an hour of transcription always beats half an hour of "eartraining". One day of transcription beats anything else you can imagine doing.

    I swear, sometimes it seems people will try anything to avoid actually playing some music. I know this because I myself am not inocent. I never lie to myself about whether I am slacking or not and whenever I have tried these exercises there is a little feeling in the pit of my stomach like "I am wasting time here, if I don't actually want to be musical right now why don't I take a break, and then do some proper transcription when I am rested?"
    Last edited by bluesking; 07-15-2009 at 10:23 AM.
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  10. #25
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyraden
    nice post....
    Please stop these inane posts. Everyone should be aware that his posts contain a hidden hyperlink, do not click this.
    "Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar"

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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluesking
    Please stop these inane posts. Everyone should be aware that his posts contain a hidden hyperlink, do not click this.
    OK, thanks Bluesking .... I have deleted all posts by "Lyraden" and banned him. He also seems to be posting the same stuff under the name "Demitry", so that's been deleted and banned too .

    Ian.

  12. #27
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    Hey bluesking,

    Thanks for the info on transcribing. That's actually really helpful to know because I just started doing a little bit of transcribing myself--not even really transcribing, just figuring out song parts. I bought this program "Transcribe" which slows everything down and seems to do a good job of it. (I've tried other ones in the past that weren't so hot.)

    Anyway, can you elaborate a bit on what exactly you mean by transcribing? What is your process? Do you listen to a whole song and actually write down all the parts on paper (or using some program)? Does the writing of the notes part help, or is that not necessary in your opinion. In other words, do you think it would be just as helpful to figure out the parts on your instrument and not bother to notate them? Also, do you use any software to slow things up, or do you just do it at regular speed?

    I also use the David Burge Relative Pitch course, and I too (like a previous poster) find myself stuck on harmonic intervals, especially 4ths and 5ths. I can nail them everytime if I mentally separate them into two notes, but Burge says that you should try to hear the different "quality" of the intervals without separating them, which makes sense to me. He says that the only way to get it is to keep listening over and over again. (Which may be true--I haven't done it too much yet.) My thought on the ear-training tapes and software is that they do serve some purpose. For example, I got MUCH better at identifying intervals after only a couple of weeks of practicing intervals at musictheory.net. Also, when I'm walking my dog, I can listen to a Burge mp3--transcribing is not an option in that situation!

    JB

  13. #28
    Registered User bluesking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb10
    Hey bluesking,

    Thanks for the info on transcribing. That's actually really helpful to know because I just started doing a little bit of transcribing myself--not even really transcribing, just figuring out song parts. I bought this program "Transcribe" which slows everything down and seems to do a good job of it. (I've tried other ones in the past that weren't so hot.)
    Good choice. I love Transcribe! I'm sure I'm not the only one here who uses it. Really usefull features (especially the pitch shift for me, as I play drop tuned).


    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb10
    Anyway, can you elaborate a bit on what exactly you mean by transcribing? What is your process? Do you listen to a whole song and actually write down all the parts on paper (or using some program)? Does the writing of the notes part help, or is that not necessary in your opinion. In other words, do you think it would be just as helpful to figure out the parts on your instrument and not bother to notate them? Also, do you use any software to slow things up, or do you just do it at regular speed?
    Well, technically transcribing means writting the notes you recognise down. I think I was playing a bit loose with terms, because I don't feel that actually writting anything down matters all that much (for me at least).

    As for what to transcribe this is really down to you. I run the full range from transcribing full songs (bass, rhythm guitar, piano, lead guitar, horn lines, even the vocal melody [on my guitar]) to just the occasional lick which I like the sound of.

    When I used to play covers with an old band I would often learn all of the instrument parts by ear and bring them to the other guys who had less time to spend on it.

    If I hear a cool lick or riff in an otherwise uninspiring song I will often learn just the lick (including the harmonic context I heard it in). I will usually use a bit of theory to see which other harmonic contexts might be OK to use the lick over, and usually record some appropriate backing to try the lick I stole over different combinations of chords.

    Normally though, if its a song I really like I will go through it as follows to form a "lead sheet" in my head:

    1.) Full harmonic context of the song (i.e. all the chords)
    2.) The most memorable melody lines (the head as jazzers call it)
    3.) The solos which I like (and that I can actually play!)

    I find this gives you enough to be able to blag the song at a jam. You can shout out the chords you learnt at step 1 to the pianist. You can then play the head yourself to make the song recognisable. Finally your own solos generally are better if you learn lots of solos you like.

    Also, with a bit of experimentation you can usually use this system to play any song you like with acoustic guitar and voice for the inevitable party moment where you are wheeled out as the token musician. Nothing worse then being a great guitarist asked to play at a party and realising you don't know any songs eh?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb10
    I also use the David Burge Relative Pitch course, and I too (like a previous poster) find myself stuck on harmonic intervals, especially 4ths and 5ths. I can nail them everytime if I mentally separate them into two notes, but Burge says that you should try to hear the different "quality" of the intervals without separating them, which makes sense to me. He says that the only way to get it is to keep listening over and over again. (Which may be true--I haven't done it too much yet.) My thought on the ear-training tapes and software is that they do serve some purpose. For example, I got MUCH better at identifying intervals after only a couple of weeks of practicing intervals at musictheory.net. Also, when I'm walking my dog, I can listen to a Burge mp3--transcribing is not an option in that situation!
    JB
    Thats all cool. Everyone should do what suits them. I personally would preffer listening to music. This always gives me more ideas and I am getting better and better at transcribing mentally (i.e. no guitar in hand) although I still have a long way to go with this. Failing all that, I'd rather play with the dog than listen to a bunch of intervals. Thats just my take mate, no offence, and if its working for you more power to you. I must admit, I have tried various ear training schemes but have probably spent about 10 hours total using them in about 15 years of playing. I find they aren't an efficient use of my time.
    Last edited by bluesking; 08-06-2009 at 01:01 AM.
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  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyb10
    I also use the David Burge Relative Pitch course, and I too (like a previous poster) find myself stuck on harmonic intervals, especially 4ths and 5ths.
    See if this trick works for you. Think of the intro guitar lick to "Photograph" by Def Leppard. It starts out with a perfect fourth then the top note drops a half step to make a M3. This is also known as a sus4 to M3 resolution.

    So when someone is playing you P4's and P5's, imagine if you can make the "Photograph" lick work in your head (or whatever sus4 to M3 resolution is most familiar...maybe a Who song?) by mentally moving that top note down a half step. If it sounds like it will work, then it's a P4...otherwise it's a P5.
    Last edited by seventhson; 09-27-2009 at 06:32 AM.

  15. #30
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    Thanks for the suggestion, Seventhson. However, I don't have a problem identifying P4 vs. P5 if I have a second or two to think about it, or if the notes are played melodically. What I'm trying to do is hear the harmonic interval and immediately know which one it is, without hearing the interval and mentally picking it apart into two different notes. That's what Burge says you should shoot for on the tapes: to hear an interval and instantly know by its "quality" whether it's a P4 or P5.

    I've definitely gotten better at it so I think he might be right: it might just take lots of practice. Interestingly, with certain P4s or P5s, I can hear it right away and know for sure which one it is, even if it's played harmonically. But others, especially higher range or lower range ones, it just doesn't "click" and I find myself trying to hear the two notes individually.

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