Welcome!
Just a few a ground rules first...

Promotion, advertising and link building is not permitted.

If you are keen to learn, get to grips with something with the willing help of one of the net's original musician forums
or possess a genuine willingness to contribute knowledge - you've come to the right place!

Register >

- Close -
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28

Thread: Absolute pitch. Finally

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    22

    Absolute pitch. Finally

    It is with tremendous joy I am able to say today: I have successfully developed absolute pitch.


    Previous ear training before starting Absolute Pitch training?
    Some relative pitch with intervals and melodic dictation in high school. No or very little sense of absolute pitch at that time.


    How long did it take?
    I first started listening to David Lucas Burge's course 22/06.07. It is today 07/03.08 so that's about 8 and a half months.


    How much time was spent practising during this period?

    20-30 minutes almost every day since then.


    Which method(s) were used?
    I completed DLB's course the autumn of 07 following his instructions carefully and using only the piano and no team drills. After that I tried many different things, among them Graham English's course and the program Absolute Pitch Blaster (www.aruffo.com), but mostly I made my own exercises. For the last few weeks I have used Guitar Master's program ToneQwiz (http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11398&page=22&pp=15). Despite a previous belief that trigger melodies were counter productive, I have as of lately come to use it with great success. (That's how one learns letters, right? A is Apple.)

    Current level of absolute pitch?
    I can recognize most notes more or less instantly without singing or comparing intervals in my head. With some, like the C, G and D, I can hear them on their own, but with most of the rest I still sometimes use the melodies. I can identify tonal masses with 2 or more tones, (the time spent increases with the number of notes). With a little conscious effort in locating the tonal centre, I can determine keys of music I hear. I can sing any note on command, any time during the day, using melodies to help remember some of them.


    It has been a long process, with A LOT of frustration along the way, but the goal is achieved in the end. I know it is a bit cheesy, but I want to thank David Lucas Burge for introducing me to the possibility of developing AP; Christopher Aruffo for some excellent research and Guitar Master and his making of the ToneQwiz program which I recommend everyone to use.

    To anyone working on developing AP: Don't give up no matter how frustrated you may become. Try different methods in addition to Burge's. Graham English's course may be ineffective and too good to be true, but take his advise and try to muster positive thoughts about AP ear training. Imagine how great it would be having it and so on.


    Thanks,
    Frod

    PS. Don't be too hooked up with the colour-hearing thing. It should be considered just one of many methods of remembering the notes, and I have personally come to believe that trigger melodies are more effective.
    Last edited by Frod; 03-30-2008 at 12:34 AM.

  2. #2
    Registered User GuitarMaster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Israel
    Posts
    27
    Great news Frod! Happy to know you've been using my program
    Guitar Hero XI

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    485
    Cool bananas.

    So how are you at transcribing large horn sections? If I sent you an mp3 of a 12 piece brass band. You could transcribe the harmony's for me right?

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    22
    Perhaps, but it would still take a lot of work. It's not like a switch has been turned on that allows me to hear everything clearly; you would probably be better than me at transcribing the brass band piece you mention anyway, seeing as I am into mostly classical music.

    Relative pitch is still my main tool in hearing, (having used it for many more years than AP) and there is still some work making AP 100% automatic and intuitive.

    This thread was merely an outbreak of joy over having achieved something that has taken a lot of work and furstration over a long time. Felt like I had to shout and tell someone.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    485
    Thats fine. I was just having a nibble

    Good to hear your making progress though. It is definitely a painful endeavor getting your ears to hear the things you want them to.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Munich, Germany
    Posts
    26
    Congratz

    So do you think you've now got this ability for good now, so that if you stopped practicing for a few months it would be as strong and as obvious as it is now?

    David

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    22
    Yes, I hope so. I will keep working on reinforcing it, though, because as much I believe it can be learned, I also believe it can be forgotten. It's the same with for example a languauge: if you don't speak it or use it at all, you will gradually forget it. But I don't think forgetting AP will be a problem in my case, as I do hear and identify tones everywhere just for the fun of it, and thus maintaining and reinforcing it automatically.

    Frod

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    U.k, H.k
    Posts
    10
    Wow, it took you less than a year!?

    I'm using Burge's method, but am making v. slow progress, Probably because I find it hard to find time everyday to do it.
    How do you memorise tones by using melodies?

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    22
    I think regular work with this is very important. Just keep yourself motivated by using different kind of exercises and try different methods; not only Burge's. His will get you on the way, but you need to figure out the rest by yourself.


    I use melodies as "triggers". Either to recall the tones, or to let the tones I hear "trigger" its respective melody. If I am really lost, I'll go through all in my head to see which fits. I usually get it before too many though.

    I have a different melody for all the twelve pitches:

    C - 1.mvt of Mozart's piano sonata no. 16
    C# - Rachmaninoff's C sharp minor prelude op. 3, no. 2
    D - Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto, 1. mvt
    Eb - Beethoven's 3rd symphony, 1. mvt
    E - Bach's e-minor prelude from WTC book 1
    F - A little melody of my own
    F# - "In My Homeland", a Lyric piece by Edvard Grieg, op. 43, no. 3
    G - The Aria of Bach's Goldberg Variations
    Ab - The brass introduction of Tchaikovsky's 4th symphony
    A - The opening of Grieg's Piano Concerto
    Bb - Another little melody of my own
    B - "In the Hall of the Mountain King" from the Peer Gynt suite by Edvard Grieg

    But you can of course find your own.

    Just keep on working, and try different things. Don't get too caught up in the Burge method; he doesn't know how YOU hear.
    Last edited by Frod; 03-30-2008 at 12:37 AM.

  10. #10
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Twickenham, UK
    Posts
    4,959
    Can you tell us what benefits it's given you in terms of your musicianship?

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    22
    It is difficult to say how much AP really has improved my musicianship. It has taken a long time, and I have of course been working with other aspects of music all along. I also find it hard to compare my current state of mind with how I was before I started developing AP. For all I know, I could have gotten all my musical thoughts, ideas etc. from piano playing and music listening; not the AP exercises. But when thinking back I do remember feeling like the ear opened, a lot, and that I could hear harmonies and contrapuntal music clearer. But that was perhaps because I started listening to contrapuntal music.
    The reason I am unsure what role AP training has played in my musical development is that I have developed quite fast in every area of music. I started playing piano and getting into serious classical music only 1 1/2 years ago, and I have improved very, very much since then. It is therefore hard to decide exactly what the AP training has done in the big picture.

    AP has become just a natural part of the whole, and I do not consider it to be an external "third party" thing that influences everything else: it is rather integrated into my musical self. But what I can say for sure is that I am now aware of key. Keys of music now mean something, apart from how many sharps of flats there are.

    And there are of course the practical and the fun aspects of AP: I can for example tune guitars quite accurately, and impress others by naming keys and car horns, and sing tones etc. I must admit that the party trick aspect was very, very appealing in the beginning. I never repressed it, and it worked great as a motivation to continue working.

    At the moment, I find it hard to be objective. I was and still am too obsessed with AP to be able to think reasonably about it. Perhaps it was really just a huge waste of time. But no, I don't really think so.


    Frod

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3
    Frod,

    First of all, congratulations on achieving AP! I stumbled upon this forum some time ago and this was a welcome thread to read (as well as the Burges thread).

    I'm currently trying to learn AP through the melody trigger method. Could you offer further details on how you used the method? For example, I'm not sure whether I should stick with a particular set of 12 songs, or try things with different sets, in order to get my ears used to recognizing the notes in slightly varied contexts.

    Besides that, I'm also curious about how you kept from resorting to relative pitch once you'd identified a note via AP. I sometimes think of a note correctly, but once I do (and verify it on the guitar), it's difficult to cleanly think of further notes without relatively comparing them to the original, now verified note.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    56
    Frod,

    Can you hear notes in a real musical context or do you still rely on relative pitch for that?

    I've read several posts of people who had suceeded memorizing the twelve pitch chromas but they were only able to recognize them in isolation.

    I wonder if it's possible to change the way we perceive music (relatively) to accomodate AP.

  14. #14
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Twickenham, UK
    Posts
    4,959
    I'm also interested in the relationship between AP and RP.
    Fade's point about remembering a pitch is interesting. Even those of us without AP can hold a pitch memory in our heads for some seconds after it's finished, in order to compare it with a subsequent one.
    When listening to music, we can be aware of the key when the keynote is absent, because of our memory of an earlier part of the music. (This memory may last for minutes rather than seconds, but then it's supported by the melodic and harmonic material, which implies key even when it's not stated.)
    So we (all) clearly have some ability to internalise a frequency - to imagine it in some way beyond its actual sound. (Of course a few seconds is ridiculously crude compared with the AP person's ability to retain it indefinitely.)

    And in response to abminor, I'd guess - in a harmonic context - an AP person could recognise key first, and then interval or chord qualities from RP.
    However, I do know that those with natural AP (learned in infancy) - as opposed to some of those who've learned it as adults, perhaps - CAN identify individual pitches in a chord.
    They don't (or needn't) work from RP, IOW. Even in an atonal cluster, they can identify each note there.

    It's still a good question, tho, how many AP people also work in RP, and which they use in which situation. Eg, if they hear C and E together, do they think "C and E" first, or do they think "major 3rd" first? Or is it both together?


    BTW, although I don't have AP, I managed to tune my guitar yesterday - after full restringing - without benefit of a tuner, within a half-step of concert. I did it because I know roughly how low E sounds. I know how it relates to my vocal range. IOW, I'm using RP (relating the guitar pitch to the bottom of my vocal range), but getting a result not too far from what an AP person could get.
    (In fact, I even guessed it was slightly flat of concert, just from the general tone of the strings - which is exactly what it turned out to be. The guitar was within 50 cents of where I thought it was.)

    Just pointing out that RP can extend into areas normally considered the domain of AP.
    I suspect some skills considered to be pure AP may be related to our conscious of our vocal range. Each pitch DOES have a single place within that range. It's just that AP people can zero right in on it flawlessly, while for others the picture is just far too fuzzy.
    At the same time, there are ranges within which we can be more accurate - generally a middle range, probably aligning with our vocal register or a general human vocal register (around the middle of a keyboard). I suspect for very high or very low notes, non-RP people might be more than an octave out - it would just sound "very high" or "very low". But in the middle we'd find it easier to discriminate - to get within a 4th or 5th, say, probably within a 3rd in the register we're most familiar with.
    And it also makes sense to me that this ability can be trained, honed. (In case there's anyone reading who still thinks AP can't be learned )

    Of course, the question is still - why? other than personal challenge and curiosity, that is. I don't see that it confers any important musical advantages - compared with RP - but I'm still interested in how it works...

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by Fade
    Frod,

    First of all, congratulations on achieving AP!
    Thank you very much :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Fade
    I'm currently trying to learn AP through the melody trigger method. Could you offer further details on how you used the method? For example, I'm not sure whether I should stick with a particular set of 12 songs, or try things with different sets, in order to get my ears used to recognizing the notes in slightly varied contexts.
    I've mostly stuck to the same 12 melodies, but those that didn't work, were swiched out. The principle of this method is simply to have something more firm to associate the notes with. It can be difficult to use their rather abstract characteristics as only reference.

    So what I did, was to sit down at the piano and play the different melodies and after each one sing back in my mind. Then I cut a piece of paper into 12 parts and wrote each note on them. Choosing one randomly, I was to, based on my memory of the melody, sing the pitch. Were I off, would I play it again, sing in my mind, and move on. Were I correct, would I reinforce and move on. After having done this 20 minutes each day for a week or so, my skill in naming notes increased dramatically.

    As for the hearing-notes-in-context-thing, it will just take practise. After a while the melodies will become so strong that suddenly, without thinking or trying, the c will sound like a c, and not sound like the start of Mozart's sonata. But don't worry if it takes a long time to achieve this, or if you seem to have "lost" it after having experiencing it once. It just takes time and regular practise for it to "settle" properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fade
    Besides that, I'm also curious about how you kept from resorting to relative pitch once you'd identified a note via AP. I sometimes think of a note correctly, but once I do (and verify it on the guitar), it's difficult to cleanly think of further notes without relatively comparing them to the original, now verified note.
    To many, including myself for a long time, this was a big issue. But the truth remains that a G is no less a G if you hear it as a fourth above the D or a minor third below Bflat. So if you just heard and identified a D and you hear a fourth above it, and before you can stop yourself, your mind automatically calculates that it must be a G... Don't be too frustrated. There are ways to counter this if it is becoming too great a problem:
    -There is the abstract way: You must relax and try to free your mind from everything, for example by focusing, in a relaxed way, on a spot in the ceiling or something other than tones, and just take your time to "let the tone come to you, and not you go to the tone," as Burge puts it.
    -And there are more practical ways: Play a tone cluster and release all tones but one. This one is identified. Or (one of my favourites) after playing, identifying and verifying a note, play another which is not identified. Focus on this note, and play another. Focus on that and play yet another, but identify none of them. When you have no clue where you are, a last tone is played and this is identified.
    Quote Originally Posted by abminor
    Can you hear notes in a real musical context or do you still rely on relative pitch for that?
    My AP is not that ripe (only started practising it about 10 months ago) that I can name any note in any context at any time instantaneously. It is more difficult to name notes in context, yes, so it simply takes longer. And my RP is still dominant in a practical sense, as I am still much more accustomed with it than AP. And I usually find the key first, and use a mix of AP and (mostly) RP getting my way around after that. My AP is not always 100% stable, for example in the ear training lessons at school when we are practising sight singing with no one bothering about staying in key, my ear can become temporary "adjusted" and recalling the tones afterwards can sometimes be difficult. But these things steadily improve with practise.


    Frod

Similar Threads

  1. David Lucas Burge's Perfect and Relative Pitch courses
    By jazzmaniac in forum Eartraining, Rhythm & Reading
    Replies: 529
    Last Post: 09-23-2017, 08:35 AM
  2. Perfect Pitch Club
    By mitchskates in forum Eartraining, Rhythm & Reading
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 07-07-2015, 06:30 PM
  3. Perfect Pitch
    By Blutwulf in forum Eartraining, Rhythm & Reading
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 01-12-2008, 02:46 PM
  4. The development of Absolute Pitch
    By Lance Percival in forum Eartraining, Rhythm & Reading
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-04-2008, 12:15 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •