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Thread: perfect pitch training disks

  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    I don't see where anyone said that.
    Nobody denies it exists, although there is debate about how you define it, and whether it's inborn or can be learned - or whether it is in fact learned by all those who have it. (A largely pointless and circular nature-vs-nurture debate.)
    If you look back into the first couple pages of this thread there is quite a few people that literally used the words "Perfect (or absolute) pitch doesn't exist".



    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    That's perfect pitch, at least for that one note.
    I don't know if I would call that perfect pitch. I would call it pitch memory. But then again, when I check the C I'm singing it's perfectly in tune. So I dunno. Then again I can't identify a C if it's played to me (in a song) but I could probably if it was played straight out to me. I'll have to test that. I'm just not sure if I'd say someone slightly had perfect pitch. Like for one note. The people I met could pitch any note you said and identify any note pitched to them, including when it was in a song used as a chord.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Pretty much anyone can tell when instruments are out of tune with each other - and most people find it painful. You don't need very good relative pitch for that!

    "Well, that's perfect pitch again."
    I'm a bit confused. Your saying that anyone can hear when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other) but then you say that it's perfect pitch when i can tell when a song was not recorded in 440?????

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Just for the record, btw, Leona Lewis's "Run" is about 20 cents sharp of Ab - judging from the recording I managed to access - which I guess counts as 80 cents flat of A, if you use that as your reference.
    Haha my bad, was tired last night and wasn't thinking straight. I know it's sharp (closer than being 80 cents flat), and really obviously sharp. Forgive me for my work tired brain.


    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    You're right it's not necessary for a musician, so in what ways do you think it would help you?
    I mean you seem to have it to some degree already.
    It would help me in a couple of ways. (I can't think of all the benefits right now) When charting for a song I wouldn't have to double check with a guitar right there, I'd use perfect pitch and relative pitch together to know that; that was a C7, A2, Em, Gsus4, etc, Just from listening. I could jam along with people a lot more easier (I know it's easy to jam already but it would be a hell of a lot easier if you could simply listen and know what key it's in and pick up the guitar and piano and not quickly listen to a plucked string to check.

    Something I didn't mention before was in that same show I was in - Creative Generation 2010 - that backing vocalist with perfect pitch - she had to stand in for a song she didn't even know. She could sight read really well, so she grabbed the music book and sung the whole song. You could argue and say she was sight reading so it would be using relative pitch quickly, but when you don't know the song and it's that quick it's definitely perfect pitch.

    Like I said, i just can't think of all the ways that perfect pitch would help right now. Just off the top of my head. But yeah like I said, it's not necessary, and I get along just fine without it, as do millions of other musicians.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    If you look back into the first couple pages of this thread there is quite a few people that literally used the words "Perfect (or absolute) pitch doesn't exist".
    OK, my bad. They're certainly wrong!
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    I don't know if I would call that perfect pitch. I would call it pitch memory. But then again, when I check the C I'm singing it's perfectly in tune. So I dunno. Then again I can't identify a C if it's played to me (in a song) but I could probably if it was played straight out to me. I'll have to test that. I'm just not sure if I'd say someone slightly had perfect pitch. Like for one note. The people I met could pitch any note you said and identify any note pitched to them, including when it was in a song used as a chord.
    Right. Pitch memory and perfect pitch are of course connected, PP being like a well-honed version of PM. (PM is like the innate capacity that those with PP have just developed to a high degree.)
    In fact, there have been experiments to show that most people have a surprising level of pitch memory, but no one would claim they have anything like perfect pitch.

    I have some degree of pitch memory, which has improved over the years (I can tune guitar within a half-step of concert with no reference), but nothing like perfect pitch, so I know what you mean.
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    I'm a bit confused. Your saying that anyone can hear when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other) but then you say that it's perfect pitch when i can tell when a song was not recorded in 440?????
    Yes. Because the latter requires a very high level of pitch memory - assuming you're doing it with no reference! The former only requires a very crude level of relative pitch.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you? Your statement "when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other)" is confusing. Either the instruments are in tune with each other or they're not! If they're in tune with each other they sound good; if they are out of tune with each other they don't, and we can all tell something's wrong - regardless of any relation to 440.
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    Haha my bad, was tired last night and wasn't thinking straight. I know it's sharp (closer than being 80 cents flat), and really obviously sharp. Forgive me for my work tired brain.
    No problem.
    If, for you, it sounds really obviously sharp - and you're using no reference! - then you have what I'd call perfect pitch. Of course, if you're comparing it to a tuned Ab pitch, then yes it ought to be obvious to someone with only average relative pitch that it's sharp (I'd say 20 cents is big enough for most people to notice).
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    It would help me in a couple of ways. (I can't think of all the benefits right now) When charting for a song I wouldn't have to double check with a guitar right there, I'd use perfect pitch and relative pitch together to know that; that was a C7, A2, Em, Gsus4, etc, Just from listening. I could jam along with people a lot more easier (I know it's easy to jam already but it would be a hell of a lot easier if you could simply listen and know what key it's in and pick up the guitar and piano and not quickly listen to a plucked string to check.
    Yes, all those things are true. But (not having PP myself) I've always thought they weren't useful enough to be worth training for; I have better things I'd rather do with my time in music!
    They save a few seconds at best. If you were in any situation where you didn't have an instrument with you to check: why would you need to know the key anyway? (I can imagine a situation where you're on a journey to a recording session and need to chart out an arrangement in the same key as an MP3 you have with you... an unlikely scenario for me, but I don't know about you...)
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    Something I didn't mention before was in that same show I was in - Creative Generation 2010 - that backing vocalist with perfect pitch - she had to stand in for a song she didn't even know. She could sight read really well, so she grabbed the music book and sung the whole song. You could argue and say she was sight reading so it would be using relative pitch quickly, but when you don't know the song and it's that quick it's definitely perfect pitch.
    Right, but it's no disadvantage in that situation to get a cue note from an accompanist. It's impressive not to have to, but not a musically important skill.

    I'm not arguing with your basic view. It's just that we see a lot people who (unlike you) imagine it confers some magic power on a musician, improving your skill and overall musicianship. Worth underlining that it doesn't - only relative pitch does that. PP is little more than a circus trick: plenty of wow factor, to be sure (and I wouldn't deny that) - and a minimal time-saver in the kinds of situation you outline - but no profound musical advantage (and a few arguable disadvantages). RP is the musical skill above all.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Right. Pitch memory and perfect pitch are of course connected, PP being like a well-honed version of PM. (PM is like the innate capacity that those with PP have just developed to a high degree.)
    In fact, there have been experiments to show that most people have a surprising level of pitch memory, but no one would claim they have anything like perfect pitch.
    Agree with you completely there

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Yes. Because the latter requires a very high level of pitch memory - assuming you're doing it with no reference! The former only requires a very crude level of relative pitch.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding you? Your statement "when a couple of instruments are out of tune with each other (as in not in 440 but still relatively in tune with each other)" is confusing. Either the instruments are in tune with each other or they're not! If they're in tune with each other they sound good; if they are out of tune with each other they don't, and we can all tell something's wrong - regardless of any relation to 440.
    Haha, so sorry, i completely misunderstood what you were saying. When you said "when a couple of instruments are out of tune with eachother" i thought it was not in 440 but relatively in tune with eachother. I get that it meant out of tune with each other as in guitar a is out of tune with guitar b. etc etc.



    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    If, for you, it sounds really obviously sharp - and you're using no reference! - then you have what I'd call perfect pitch. Of course, if you're comparing it to a tuned Ab pitch, then yes it ought to be obvious to someone with only average relative pitch that it's sharp (I'd say 20 cents is big enough for most people to notice).
    Well I use no reference pitch at all and every time I listen to "Run" I know it's sharp. It's so obvious to me. Like I know they are all relatively in tune with eachother (piano is in tune with strings, and the choir etc) but everything is so sharp. Like it sounds good but I know it's not right at the same time. Hard to explain. Like I'd rather so much to listen to it tuned to 440.
    And yeah I know this without a reference pitch, but I still don't know how this is perfect pitch. Unless there is varying levels of perfect pitch. But like i said before I really think that you either have it or you don't. What do you hear when you listen to "Run" with no reference pitch?


    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Yes, all those things are true. But (not having PP myself) I've always thought they weren't useful enough to be worth training for; I have better things I'd rather do with my time in music!
    They save a few seconds at best. If you were in any situation where you didn't have an instrument with you to check: why would you need to know the key anyway? (I can imagine a situation where you're on a journey to a recording session and need to chart out an arrangement in the same key as an MP3 you have with you... an unlikely scenario for me, but I don't know about you...)
    Totally agree with you. I wouldn't spend hours on hours of training to get perfect pitch (If that's even possible) but it would be useful if it was built in


    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Right, but it's no disadvantage in that situation to get a cue note from an accompanist. It's impressive not to have to, but not a musically important skill.
    The cue note absence wasn't what i was talking about. She didn't know the song and because she could sight read and had perfect pitch she was able to sing the whole song through.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    I'm not arguing with your basic view. It's just that we see a lot people who (unlike you) imagine it confers some magic power on a musician, improving your skill and overall musicianship. Worth underlining that it doesn't - only relative pitch does that. PP is little more than a circus trick: plenty of wow factor, to be sure (and I wouldn't deny that) - and a minimal time-saver in the kinds of situation you outline - but no profound musical advantage (and a few arguable disadvantages). RP is the musical skill above all.
    Once again, pretty much completely agree with you. RP is the most important. But PP would fun and a little time saving to have. Also helpful in situations when you have to sing acapella or if you haven't got a tuner and have to tune a guitar or any instrument for that manner. So yeah, pretty much exactly agreeing with what you said

    Love a good discussion on things like this.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    Well I use no reference pitch at all and every time I listen to "Run" I know it's sharp. It's so obvious to me. Like I know they are all relatively in tune with eachother (piano is in tune with strings, and the choir etc) but everything is so sharp. Like it sounds good but I know it's not right at the same time. Hard to explain. Like I'd rather so much to listen to it tuned to 440.
    That's a definite symptom of perfect pitch!
    Eg, I had no idea it was sharp, or even what key it was in, until I sat down and checked.
    If you played a version to me that had been digitally retuned 20 cents down to concert Ab, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Even if you played one directly after the other, I might not be able to tell, unless I knew there was going to be a difference (so I could listen out for it) - it would be a subtle effect at least.
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    And yeah I know this without a reference pitch, but I still don't know how this is perfect pitch. Unless there is varying levels of perfect pitch. But like i said before I really think that you either have it or you don't. What do you hear when you listen to "Run" with no reference pitch?
    See above. I don't hear anything odd. I suppose I spotted - before using any reference - that it was in a different key from the original (Snow Patrol's, which is in C), and I could certainly tell that her version used some fancier chords (thanks to my relative pitch ). But I had no idea what key it was, and certainly not if it was sharp or flat. (I think if I had hummed along, before playing along, I might have guessed something around G or A, thanks to my crude pitch memory.)
    I used Transcribe software to determine exactly how sharp it was. (My ears can't measure cents! )

    I guess you're right that you don't have full-blown perfect pitch if you can't actually identify every note you hear (only C?). But it seems to me like you have the basic perceptual skill - you just need to listen to different pitches to memorise them (that's if you want fully developed PP).
    IOW, it's a little like someone who can see colours perfectly well, but just hasn't yet learned the names for them; you just have to attach the labels.

    Certainly I'd say you have an unusually sensitive ear for absolute pitch. (Or you wouldn't even notice deviations from 440, let alone find they bother you.)
    I would guess this is down to your immersion in music in various ways as you've grown, and also in your studio work. You've acquired a keen sense of what concert pitch is.
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    Totally agree with you. I wouldn't spend hours on hours of training to get perfect pitch (If that's even possible) but it would be useful if it was built in
    I suspect - if you stay in the business you're in - you will develop it slowly, without trying. You will get to a point where you realise you can hear that a track is in, say, Eb, or whatever - it will just occur to you. If you did train it, you would get it quicker, but I don't think you'd find it as hard as most people.
    Quote Originally Posted by keanuv View Post
    The cue note absence wasn't what i was talking about. She didn't know the song and because she could sight read and had perfect pitch she was able to sing the whole song through.
    Yes, but sight-reading and perfect pitch are two different things (I know you know that).
    If she sang it unaccompanied, it wouldn't matter what key she was in. A good sight-reader without PP could sing a song correctly, on first sight of the music, in whatever key suited them. (It's actually more useful to be able to sing in a different key from the music, because sheet music might often not be in the singer's best key for that tune.)
    If she was accompanied (as I guess she was), then the only difference from someone without PP is that the latter would need a cue note, or some kind of intro from the band or accompanist. (And of course, if there was an intro before she started singing, you'd have no idea if she was singing in the right key because of PP, or because of RP - tuning herself to the accompaniment.)
    Her having PP would mean she could start unaccompanied, with no cue note, and be in the right key when the accompaniment came in - or come in simultaneously with the accompaniment. That's an impressive advantage, I guess; but no audience is going to feel cheated if they hear a singer get a cue note before an unaccompanied (or synchronized) intro!

    Getting back to your perception of the Leona Lewis song, have you heard the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever"? There's something rather odd about the tuning of that (due to the way it was made). If you haven't - or haven't listened closely to it - give it a listen and see what you think. (Don't look up what the oddity is first...) You will need to listen all the way through... I'd really like to know if you can identify what's going on. (I couldn't myself, but I think you might.)
    Last edited by JonR; 08-23-2011 at 03:52 PM.

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    That's a definite symptom of perfect pitch!
    Eg, I had no idea it was sharp, or even what key it was in, until I sat down and checked.
    If you played a version to me that had been digitally retuned 20 cents down to concert Ab, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Even if you played one directly after the other, I might not be able to tell, unless I knew there was going to be a difference (so I could listen out for it) - it would be a subtle effect at least.
    I'd definitely tell the difference straight away.
    It's like sometimes in the studio, I'll hear a violin playing in a song with everything else in it (bass, guitar, drums, piano etc) and know that the violin is off, but no one else will be able to hear it. I pull it in auto tune to tune it and it's like 10 cents sharp or flat - or less, but it's not by much. I couldn't understand why no one else heard it going off. The producer and the artist will have funny looks on their face, and I can hear it like nails on a chalkboard.


    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    See above. I don't hear anything odd. I suppose I spotted - before using any reference - that it was in a different key from the original (Snow Patrol's, which is in C), and I could certainly tell that her version used some fancier chords (thanks to my relative pitch ). But I had no idea what key it was, and certainly not if it was sharp or flat. (I think if I had hummed along, before playing along, I might have guessed something around G or A, thanks to my crude pitch memory.)
    I used Transcribe software to determine exactly how sharp it was. (My ears can't measure cents! )
    So weird to be reading this, because the first time I heard it, I knew it was sharp. Same with "Skinny Love" - Bon Iver. How it's flat.
    I didn't know what key it was in either. And wouldn't it be nice if ears could tell you how many cents it was off Haha. I just know round abouts.


    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    I guess you're right that you don't have full-blown perfect pitch if you can't actually identify every note you hear (only C?). But it seems to me like you have the basic perceptual skill - you just need to listen to different pitches to memorise them (that's if you want fully developed PP).
    IOW, it's a little like someone who can see colours perfectly well, but just hasn't yet learned the names for them; you just have to attach the labels.

    Certainly I'd say you have an unusually sensitive ear for absolute pitch. (Or you wouldn't even notice deviations from 440, let alone find they bother you.)
    I would guess this is down to your immersion in music in various ways as you've grown, and also in your studio work. You've acquired a keen sense of what concert pitch is.
    I suspect - if you stay in the business you're in - you will develop it slowly, without trying. You will get to a point where you realise you can hear that a track is in, say, Eb, or whatever - it will just occur to you. If you did train it, you would get it quicker, but I don't think you'd find it as hard as most people.
    This is interesting. I'm now thinking about training myself. Cause if I have the potential but just haven't learnt how to use it properly, I'd rather train myself and be able to use it.
    Another thing I'm thinking about is, the people I know and know about having perfect pitch were trained from when they were like 2 or 3 how to play the piano. So maybe it's something to do with a potential for perfect pitch and then the people that have it already were trained early, the people that don't were like me (having taken it up at a later stage (10) and not on a piano (as in a non changing pitch reference).


    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    Getting back to your perception of the Leona Lewis song, have you heard the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever"? There's something rather odd about the tuning of that (due to the way it was made). If you haven't - or haven't listened closely to it - give it a listen and see what you think. (Don't look up what the oddity is first...) You will need to listen all the way through... I'd really like to know if you can identify what's going on. (I couldn't myself, but I think you might.)
    I'm having trouble finding the song in the correct key (as in people put the songs up on youtube and change it by a semitone or less to avoid copyright) there is all different versions, and one of them had like a 30 cent pitch change right after the intro. If you can send me a link to a video that you know is in the correct key so I can listen for the oddity.


    One more thing! I just tested my ears with a guitar tuner. I made it pitch the notes at me, but first i made it so the reference was down at like 410 HZ. I then closed my eyes and pressed the button to make it go up in cents, i stopped when i thought it sounded right. Pretty much everytime it was either 439, 440, 441. With all different notes too.

    I also closed my eyes and listened to the difference between a note playing at 440 and then 441. I could tell a difference immediately. So how many cents before your ears starts to notice a difference??
    Last edited by keanuv; 08-25-2011 at 01:31 AM. Reason: Forgot to mention something.

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