#1
Hi, I've checked about all the ear-training threads I can stomach and decided to post this. I am looking for answers about superb levels of listening and hearing chord changes, relative pitch, etc... For example: I can hear intervals reasonably well and can distinguish triads, pick up melodies and basic chord changes quick(i.e. figure out songs given some time and a rewind button). However, a friend of mine's skills outstrips by far anyone's aural abilities that I have ever heard. He can instantly hear and perform chord analysis on a song in the first hearing. Many of us I am sure can hear I-IV-V or ii-V-I fairly readily, but his ability extends to any chord diatonic or not, be it a flatted II or a V of V. FYI he doesn't have perfect pitch, he is a bass player and has been in bands since he started playing, but he can't explain the process of how he does it, he just does it. So, does anyone here have massively awesome aural abilities of this caliber? I am a firm believer that these sort of super skills can be learned but am not convinced of the ability of ear training software to give this to me or others. Am I wrong? Any aural authorities out there?


PS another near superhuman feat I witnessed was a piano/voice teacher who did have perfect pitch repeat back to me every random pitch I played on a piano in a span of about 5 seconds. It was about 20 notes and he got all of them correct.
#2
I log into random Ventrillo rooms and blast my guitar with direct input. I was just messing around and someone in the chat had perfect pitch, it was unbelievable. I would play a random note and he would tell me what pitch it was. The only thing he double guessed was C/C# for some reason.
#3
Others consider myself having good ears, but I Also don't really know how I got that.

I know 100% sure that I didn't always have this ability.

Though I always possessed the ability to tell if something was wrong or different, it took music theory and playing a lot of guitar to distinguish what was wrong and/or different in a musical piece.

What helps is to be in it 100% for the music. Don't chat or play games while playing guitar.

You must really listen to the music and try to focus on every note in there.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#4
To gain relative pitch is actually pretty easy. Learning a microtonal instrument (your voice is perfect) will help your "ear." Just sing scales, intervals and improvised melodies, and within months you'll be able to transcribe almost any melody.

To transcribe chords is a little difficult. A guy I knew once said to listen for the melody in the bassline and then just guess the quality (IE, minor or major), but that wouldn't be very accurate considering that the best songs use chord inversions.

A lot in music is just feel accompanied with technique and knowledge. Just guess the chords and melody and chances are you'll get it mostly right.
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#5
Quote by xHellbound
I log into random Ventrillo rooms and blast my guitar with direct input. I was just messing around and someone in the chat had perfect pitch, it was unbelievable. I would play a random note and he would tell me what pitch it was. The only thing he double guessed was C/C# for some reason.

Perfect pitch must be awesome to have. Some people say you can learn it but others say you're born with it, I'm not really sure if it's worth investing time into learning if it's impossible to do so.
#6
Quote by Sleeperservice
I am looking for answers about superb levels of listening and hearing chord changes, relative pitch
This has actually more to do with your brain than with your ears. Daniel Levitin explains it rather well in this book of his. It's great at explaining all the different processes that happen in your brain when you experience music in some way or another. Unfortunately it won't learn you how to do the things you mentioned.

another near superhuman feat I witnessed was a piano/voice teacher who did have perfect pitch repeat back to me every random pitch I played on a piano in a span of about 5 seconds. It was about 20 notes and he got all of them correct.
I can do that fairly well if I get the first note right, and I don't have perfect pitch. I used to be much better at it when I was learning solfège when I was a kid. So I am convinced you have to keep training your 'ear'.

I believe there are two parts to the equation: you need to have an area in your brain that has developped an aptitude to recognise pitches. If you can recognise when someone is out of tune and when someone is spot on (within a few cents), you've got that part covered. (I don't know if you can train that. Some day I noticed that I had that 'gift'.) But next to that you need to develop a knowledge base that puts a name to each musical interval feeling (I made up that terminology but there's probably a better name for it). This, I am convinced, you need to train, either deliberately with exercices, or unconciously while learning some form of music.

I can't recognise chords other than the basic ones, but I suppose this is the next step.

I need to add two things to this (sorry for the long post). First, it's not much more than a trick. If you can sense when you're in tune or not, that's all you really need. At least as long as other people confirm that you're right.

Second, having absolute hearing (the way we call it) is often more a curse than a gift. The entire world is out of tune and we have to suffer it every day of our life.
#7
I double the above^^

I don't have perfect pitch, but because of my ears, slightly out of tune annoys me to a point where I'm tuning the guitar for 10 minutes at an end just to get it right, only to figure out that the guitar is shitty made, and you can't have every chord in tune because of the way it's built.

Unless you have that awesome fret thing Vai is using nowadays on all of his guitar necks.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
#8
I can do that fairly well if I get the first note right, and I don't have perfect pitch. I used to be much better at it when I was learning solfège when I was a kid. So I am convinced you have to keep training your 'ear'.


Thanks for the replies, I have since read like every article on wikipedia about relative and absolute pitch... fascinating. Many mentioned solfège/sight-singing as a way to gain great relative pitch. I remember when I was in choir in college many of the singers had awesome ears and could also hear the notation in their head very quick.

I suspect now that my relative pitch is probably weak. Some article mentioned that there is no human alive that wasn't born with absolute perfect pitch that has gained it according to tests conducted in some auditory study. They did mention pitch memory, which is like thinking of a song you know wherein you know the name of the first pitch and can remember how it sounds. For example Dead Can Dance's "American Dreaming" begins with a C. I think of that song and can sing a C and have it come up on the tuner. They were saying perfect pitchers don't do it that way, and it's more like they hear notes as we see colors. *shrugs* Gonna get Earmaster or Auralia now

And oh yeah, so what's this Vai fret thing?
Last edited by Sleeperservice at Aug 20, 2010,
#9
Quote by Sleeperservice
Hi, I've checked about all the ear-training threads I can stomach and decided to post this. I am looking for answers about superb levels of listening and hearing chord changes, relative pitch, etc... For example: I can hear intervals reasonably well and can distinguish triads, pick up melodies and basic chord changes quick(i.e. figure out songs given some time and a rewind button). However, a friend of mine's skills outstrips by far anyone's aural abilities that I have ever heard. He can instantly hear and perform chord analysis on a song in the first hearing. Many of us I am sure can hear I-IV-V or ii-V-I fairly readily, but his ability extends to any chord diatonic or not, be it a flatted II or a V of V. FYI he doesn't have perfect pitch, he is a bass player and has been in bands since he started playing, but he can't explain the process of how he does it, he just does it. So, does anyone here have massively awesome aural abilities of this caliber? I am a firm believer that these sort of super skills can be learned but am not convinced of the ability of ear training software to give this to me or others. Am I wrong? Any aural authorities out there?


PS another near superhuman feat I witnessed was a piano/voice teacher who did have perfect pitch repeat back to me every random pitch I played on a piano in a span of about 5 seconds. It was about 20 notes and he got all of them correct.



some people may be more gifted than others, but you can bet that anyone with a "good ear" spends alot of time listening.


Listen ....enjoy.... don't worry about it.
shred is gaudy music
#10
Quote by GuitarMunky
some people may be more gifted than others, but you can bet that anyone with a "good ear" spends alot of time listening.


Listen ....enjoy.... don't worry about it.

i agree. the more you do it, the better you get. at anything really not just music.

one thing i think helps your hearing is to tune a guitar manually as much as you can. i think its helped me a lot because the more i did it, the more i started to hear how out of tune the guitar actually is. the more i heard that, the more i had to come up with ways to double and triple check the tuning all over the neck. imo its helped me with my relative pitch. i almost never use a tuner to tune to standard or alternate tunings. i might use one to get the low E if i need to play with others. if im just jamming with backing tracks or CD's ill just tune to the song. im getting pretty good at tuning from memory though.
#11
Quote by xxdarrenxx
I double the above^^
Thanks mate. BTW, I love your piano guitar clip on the tube. Can't believe it has only 2000 views.
Quote by Sleeperservice
I have since read like every article on wikipedia about relative and absolute pitch... fascinating.
In that case, I think you'll enjoy Levitin's book.
Some article mentioned that there is no human alive that wasn't born with absolute perfect pitch that has gained it according to tests conducted in some auditory study.
Could be, but I read that a population of people speaking a language where the tone is of importance to the meaning, tend to have a much higher ratio of absolute hearing. Don't tell me that's genetics; it takes many millennia for genes to change in a population, and it wouldn't make sense since language is not critical to one's survival.
And oh yeah, so what's this Vai fret thing?
I've heard of Gibson's Robot Guitar but I don't know what Vai's using. Maybe this?

But true temperament is not the solution. It only works within one key. When you change keys in a song, some tones will be out of tune. With true temperament even more than with the even temperament that is now standard.

Here's a funny story: I once went up to a Roland technician and told him my RD-300sx was out of tune. This guy almost struck me down with lightning out of his eyes. I know now that no piano (classic or electric) can ever be perfectly in tune.