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Thread: Me Attempting to get Perfect Pitch..

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonR View Post
    [Sigh]...
    It might also cause problems, because you might regard a particular key as important for the effect of the song (to you). Other people would not get that effect.
    Gotta disagree with you there... Some songs just sound better in some keys than others, and people would agree that also don't have perfect pitch. I play a lot of CCM, and sometimes I'll toss away a song b/c I can't sing it in the original key, but when I transpose, the song just doesn't sound right (mood? musically, it's ok)... Or other times, I'll transpose it and someone else will groan.

    G always sounds... happy and hokey... Drop it to F, and it sounds a bit more serious. Play it in E, and it sounds like... lighter? Cleaner? Not really sure how to describe it.

    I get what you're saying... But, I also feel like you probably have PP. :P

    I feel like those that have PP feel like those that don't just think that having PP will make you a super-star musician, and just want to express that it doesn't. But, those that don't have PP probably think that those that do take it for granted.

    Yeah, I need to work on my RP... That's the bottom line. But, why not learn PP if I am going to be spending the time to ear train?

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pscheoverdrive View Post
    Gotta disagree with you there... Some songs just sound better in some keys than others .... etc....

    ...... G always sounds... happy and hokey... Drop it to F, and it sounds a bit more serious. Play it in E, and it sounds like... lighter? Cleaner? Not really sure how to describe it.
    But that's purely subjective. G does not inherently sound happy, nor E sound lighter etc.

    Those are just subjective words that you have learned to use when describing things ... the words ("happy", "lighter" etc.) have no true relationship to whatever differences you think you can hear between different notes or keys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pscheoverdrive View Post
    Yeah, I need to work on my RP... That's the bottom line. But, why not learn PP if I am going to be spending the time to ear train?
    Perhaps PP may be more useful to singers, but as a guitarist the reason I don't do any specific PP exercises (or indeed any specific pitch exercises) is because I simply cannot justify the time spent on that ... if I practiced all the really essential things I should be practicing then I'd be literally practicing more than 24 hours a day (probably for more than a century!).

    When I say "essential" practice stuff, I mean the stuff that is absolutely essential in order to play the instrument. That means - scales, arpeggios, keys chords, timing, sight-reading, theory, all manner of technique elements such as alt. picking, sweep picking, harmonics, correct strong/accurate use/positioning of left and right hands etc. etc. ... all that stuff must take priority over any pitch exercises, because without practicing that stuff for many hours every day you literally cannot play the instrument to the level you desire.

    PP practice would only be worthwhile for me, and I think for you or for any serious musician, if it could be achieved quite quickly and easily with hardly any practice time spent on it. Otherwise I don't think serious musicians can afford to spend their valuable practice time on it ...

    ... but if you really want to spend your practice time on PP, then it’s free world of course .
     

  3. #33
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pscheoverdrive View Post
    Gotta disagree with you there... Some songs just sound better in some keys than others, and people would agree that also don't have perfect pitch. I play a lot of CCM, and sometimes I'll toss away a song b/c I can't sing it in the original key, but when I transpose, the song just doesn't sound right (mood? musically, it's ok)... Or other times, I'll transpose it and someone else will groan.

    G always sounds... happy and hokey... Drop it to F, and it sounds a bit more serious. Play it in E, and it sounds like... lighter? Cleaner? Not really sure how to describe it.

    I get what you're saying... But, I also feel like you probably have PP. :P
    I certainly don't (that's easily proved ).
    But there is a phenomenon known as pitch memory, which (apparently) we all have to some degree. It's not as accurate or conscious as PP, but research has shown that if a song is well known enough in one key, people can hum or sing it in pretty much the right key, from memory alone.
    What makes it different from PP is that the song has to be known only in that key, and the listeners can't identify the key (because they're not trained musicians). They just seem to instinctively remember where it is in register. (The implication is that this is related to PP, but is a crude and unrefined version of it.
    IOW we all have the inherent capacity for PP, but it is undeveloped in most of us. It's well known, eg, that speakers of Asian tonal languages have a far higher instance of PP than non-tonal speakers. That kind of proves both that it's learned, and that we all have the potential for it. It also suggests that PP and RP are related, aspects of the same skill. (Tonal languages don't actually require PP - only RP. But clearly the development of RP in infancy - along with language - results in significant numbers also acquiring PP, as a by-product.)

    In addition, as a instrumentalist, you will have definite associations with particular keys, due to how they feel to play: how they sit under your fingers and (perhaps) how the instrument sounds in those keys.
    As a guitarist, to me the key of E is very different from the key of F. But I know that a pianist or sax player won't get the same associations. (To a sax player E is a tough key, F is easy. The reverse on guitar.) And if I tune down a half-step, the key of E now attains the characteristics of F (not entirely, but mostly); and the key of Eb now feels like E.
    So - what does the key of E "mean"? Nothing - to anyone else.

    Pitch memory (not PP) is what enables me to tune my guitar within a half-step of concert pitch, with no reference. That's because I'm so familiar with the sound of the open strings, esp the low E, which is my lowest comfortable vocal note. I can sometimes guess the key of a song by singing along, because I know how E feels to sing (and I then use RP to estimate how far from E the keynote is). This is fun - but is no way essential - or even very useful - to me as a musician. I haven't trained for this (I wouldn't waste my time); it's just happened gradually, over a lifetime of playing guitar.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pscheoverdrive View Post
    I feel like those that have PP feel like those that don't just think that having PP will make you a super-star musician, and just want to express that it doesn't. But, those that don't have PP probably think that those that do take it for granted.
    Er, yes. I'd agree in both cases, mostly.
    Those that have "natural" PP (who don't remember having learned it) take it for granted, because it feels as natural as understanding their mother tongue (which they also don't remember learning ). They also know that it has nothing to do with musical genius. Some find it useful, others find it a hindrance. Most know very well that it's a side issue in terms of musicianship.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pscheoverdrive View Post
    Yeah, I need to work on my RP... That's the bottom line. But, why not learn PP if I am going to be spending the time to ear train?
    Because (a) RP is much easier to develop, and (b) RP is THE essential musical skill, while PP is a non-essential accessory. By all means learn it if you want (or try) - it's your choice.
    I can learn to unicycle if I want, no one's going to stop me; but at the same time, I'll know it's hardly a useful form of transport, and is just an entertaining circus trick . If I actually want something practical - say if I was training to be a cycle messenger - an orthodox 2-wheel bike is a lot more useful. The unicycle is only if I have the spare time for a bit of fun; I wouldn't let it get in the way. (The analogy fits with the tonal language phenomenon: learning to ride a 2-wheel bike will prepare you to some extent for the unicycle - and vice versa I guess - the skills are connected. Just remember which one is more useful.)

    It's obvious really. The very fact that PP is only possessed by a minority of people means that music which is to have an appeal to most people cannot have any important PP content. It can't matter what key a song is in. (Once a key is chosen by the composer, then if it's repeated often enough our pitch memory gets used to it as the "right" key for that song. But that key has no specific effect, different from other keys. The key of E might be - and in fact is - used for songs with vastly differing characters.)
    IOW, not only are all keys equivalent to the vast majority of listeners, but any PP aspects introduced by composers ("I chose the key of F for its pastoral sound") are a waste of time.
    Therefore it's actually a hindrance - in that respect at least - to have PP; it's a distraction. It's important for any musician that has PP to put it to the back of their minds, to ignore it, when composing or arranging a piece of music. It gets in the way otherwise. (The best key for any song is the one a singer finds it most comfortable or effective to sing it in: that's down to their vocal range and skill, not PP.)
    Last edited by JonR; 03-30-2011 at 09:44 AM.

  4. #34
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    Well...
    Its been year. and for those who wondering if I still at it.
    Yes im still at. been at for about 30 mins each day for a year, with occasional slip ups and days off.. I no longer do it for six hours since it seems allittle impractical, Ill get to that later.

    My results came out very weird, there are moments were I think I have pp and there are moments were rp simply takes over the whole process. I still dont think I have pp yet. Here are some of the dilemmas Im facing daily

    -when I identify the first note that gets played there is 40% chance I will get it right

    -If the note moves to a tritone or a m2/M2 I will get it right 100%(pure RP)

    -If the note moves to the rest of the intervals there is 80%-85% chance I will get them right

    -The most intervals I get wrong is the M3 and the P5

    - It doesnt matter If its up or down a octave I get the same results

    - It doesnt matter what key its in. you can go from a C major to a Bb and the results will be the same

    you may be thinking im relying to much on rp by using intervals for note identification. but this is so contradictory that pp might actually be a illusion. I'll explain;

    As said in this thread I use computer programs to randomly play notes so I can identify them. The key changes very rapidly, one moment you are in Ab major then you are C# major then you back to Ab major again. Is it really pp to be able to identify what key you are in? or is it rp?
    Like the first note you hear is a Ab than you move to Bb.. so you are feeling that you are in Ab but 3rd note surprise you with a G-/F# you know its a major Third your RP instincts tells you but, are you still thinking you're on the key of Ab or on Gb? Is this PP? well it seems like RP to me.
    There is another problem why PP might be nothing more than a highly devolved RP. suppose you memorize a note like C or something or 2 notes, c and g. when you hear something like a F# and you automatically know its a tritone of C major. Do you really need PP to do that? I mean I will still try to get it even if I didnt get it after a years work. But most of the posters here are somewhat right. you dont really need it to identify the notes.

    On the flipside there is something else I've developed which may be what I looking for. and PP may not be a illusion after all(yea i know Im contradicting myself). one thing Im able to do Is the identify the 12 notes in a octave. I may not know what the note is but I know its one of the 12 notes in middle/high/low octave, This is one of the reason i get 40% right on the first note. another thing is pitch memory Its very faint at the moment now, but Im getting to point were I can sing some pitches from memory and know exactly what they are. I always seem to get D right i also tend to get F#/Gb right too. I think I still have long ways to go. probably a few months maybe another year but I still think getting pp is quite possible. I might be close. who knows

    for those who interested in improving your rp. (I cant speak for pp since I dont have it yet) here is some tips.

    -study single notes, sure you can study chords and harmonic intervals, but you will soon realize that the only note that matter is the root note.

    -Sing, if you can't sing, sing now! I dont care if you been playing for 50 years without singing a single note. Singing will help you tremendously

    -Study the sounds of nature, take your toy piano or guitar and mimic the birds and the bees, your footsteps , your computer, the trees, the wind, every thing. people that have natural pp have been doing this all of their lives. why not you?

    -Play everything by ear, throw away those sheets, rely on your ears for everything. Im not saying give up reading music. just dont rely on it too much

    -Keep it short and simple, you dont need to do it for 6 hours, they're simply more important stuff to learn about music then 12 notes. you only need to spend like 30 mins to an hour. and it doesn't have to be complicated either. just have your computer play random notes, and guess them out.

    -and stay positive

    hopefully this will help.

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