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#1
After having done much more singing than guitar or piano recently, I am beginning to recognise intervals much better. Also, sometimes if I hear a note then I remember a random song or whatever which starts on that note and so I can figure out what it is.

Is it at all possible to fine tune these rudimentary skills until I can hear or sing any note and put a name to it correctly? I'm really interested in being able to do this properly. Can anyone here do it? If so, were you just born with it, or was it an acquired skill?
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#3
Takes practice. I'd imagine in comes easier to some than others.
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#4
The consensus in the musical community seems to be that perfect pitch is something you're born with. But what you can do is fine-tune your relative pitch until it's nearly equal to perfect pitch, but you'll never quite make it (it's an asymptote in that respect). I know that's not a great job of explaining it, but that's best I can do. I'm sure someone else can fill in the gaps.
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#6
Every single note has its own pitch color Eb ( Kind of soft) F# twangy (( Like i said on my earlier post). Its very hard to describe how these pitch colors sound like. Just listen to Eb and the do it octave lower/higher. Cant you hear some softness on both those Eb. Do it with F# too and you will notice that, that twangy qulity is on all F#'s. Learn everynotes pitch color and practice and you will gain it ( IT TAKES TIME 1-5 years and you will have to do it everyday.).
#7
Quote by jani92jani
Every single note has its own pitch color Eb ( Kind of soft) F# twangy (( Like i said on my earlier post). Its very hard to describe how these pitch colors sound like. Just listen to Eb and the do it octave lower/higher. Cant you hear some softness on both those Eb. Do it with F# too and you will notice that, that twangy qulity is on all F#'s. Learn everynotes pitch color and practice and you will gain it ( IT TAKES TIME 1-5 years and you will have to do it everyday.).

I'm curious, what if the timbre of the note is changed, do you still hear that "pitch colour" you describe?

Anyways, I'm sure perfect pitch is something that you are born with. Relative pitch on the other, is probably what you are looking for, and is something that you can train yourself to do. Justin Sandercole from justinguitars.com has pretty good ear training lessons on his site, you should check those out.
#8
Quote by jani92jani
Listen to the pitch color!
Eb pitch color sounds soft F# has a kind of a twangy quality.
Now just listen!

How does this work with fixed pitch instruments?
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#10
Quote by jani92jani
Listen to the pitch color!
Eb pitch color sounds soft F# has a kind of a twangy quality.
Now just listen!


DLB. funny.

you aren't born with perfect pitch. you learn it at a very young age. the older you are, the more difficult it is -- but it is absolutely possible to learn it. note that i'm not saying it's easy. it's not even close to easy. in fact, it's just short of impossible. which means it is possible. but it will take a lot of training.

honestly, though, unless you want to go sit in a park and write music (provided you know notation and have manuscript paper), it's really just a party trick. relative pitch will serve you much better.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#11
Quote by AeolianWolf
you aren't born with perfect pitch. you learn it at a very young age. the older you are, the more difficult it is -- but it is absolutely possible to learn it.


I've been told (by several doctors, including hearing specialists) the exact opposite. What I've been told is that we're all born with a very high capacity for pitch sensitivity, but in the first few year of our lives, we lose a high proportion of the neurons in our inner ear that give us pitch sensitivity. Since neurons don't regenerate, we can never have that capacity fro pitch sensitivity again.

It seems that there is a small minority of children, which for reasons unknown, lose a considerably lower degree of these pitch sensitive neurons. They retain a very high sensitivity to pitch, and are therefore said to have "perfect" pitch.

I've also heard a slightly different position from another source, which states that while a child may be in the minority that loses less of their sensory neurons, they're brains didn't naturally develop the interpretive skills to fully utilise their higher sensitivity to pitch. It might be possible that these people could be trained to fully utilise their natural capacity

So, it seems to me that it comes down to two things, your own natural capacity for pitch sensitivity (which you cannot improve), and your ability to utilise your capacity for pitch sensitivity (which might be possible to improve). Maybe the people with the capacity for perfect pitch can learn to utilise that capacity and maybe everybody else can learn to utilise the capacity they have, but there's nothing you can do to increase that capacity.
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#12
I work usually work out songs in D minor and G minor [worked out Requiem for a Dream and Calamity by Two Steps From Hell]. You just need to think about the colours notes have.

Anyway, this guy in my music class hit a keyboard by accident and my teacher was able to work out what notes he hit in a matter of seconds.
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#13
Quote by jani92jani
Every single note has its own pitch color Eb ( Kind of soft) F# twangy (( Like i said on my earlier post). Its very hard to describe how these pitch colors sound like. Just listen to Eb and the do it octave lower/higher. Cant you hear some softness on both those Eb. Do it with F# too and you will notice that, that twangy qulity is on all F#'s. Learn everynotes pitch color and practice and you will gain it ( IT TAKES TIME 1-5 years and you will have to do it everyday.).

No they don't.

Some people do "hear" that way - it's called synesthesia but you have to be born with it, it's not something that can be learned.
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#14
u eiather got it or u dont,unfortunatly i dont have it,my mate did and was an outstanding guitarist,his sister did too,nuff said!
#15
Quote by Prophet of Page
I've been told (by several doctors, including hearing specialists) the exact opposite. What I've been told is that we're all born with a very high capacity for pitch sensitivity, but in the first few year of our lives, we lose a high proportion of the neurons in our inner ear that give us pitch sensitivity. Since neurons don't regenerate, we can never have that capacity fro pitch sensitivity again.

It seems that there is a small minority of children, which for reasons unknown, lose a considerably lower degree of these pitch sensitive neurons. They retain a very high sensitivity to pitch, and are therefore said to have "perfect" pitch.

I've also heard a slightly different position from another source, which states that while a child may be in the minority that loses less of their sensory neurons, they're brains didn't naturally develop the interpretive skills to fully utilise their higher sensitivity to pitch. It might be possible that these people could be trained to fully utilise their natural capacity

So, it seems to me that it comes down to two things, your own natural capacity for pitch sensitivity (which you cannot improve), and your ability to utilise your capacity for pitch sensitivity (which might be possible to improve). Maybe the people with the capacity for perfect pitch can learn to utilise that capacity and maybe everybody else can learn to utilise the capacity they have, but there's nothing you can do to increase that capacity.

You don't understand the function of pruning or how neurons communicate with one another.
#16
Not sure if it really qualifies as perfect pitch progress. However, over the past few months I have been trying to sing an A note then checking it with a guitar every so often throughout the day. Only with A. 9/10 I get it first time. When I started it was more like 3/10. Not really sure why I do it but I suppose its my own little experiment!
Andy
#17
Quote by RU Experienced?
You don't understand the function of pruning or how neurons communicate with one another.


I'll admit that I probably don't. I'm not an expert on neuroscience.

My understanding is, that for most people, the reduction of the total number of sensory neurons is actually a good thing. The idea being that a lower number of sensory neurons helps to make more efficent sensory apparatus which provides for simpler interpretation by the brain. If the number remains high however, the sensory apparatus, while less efficient and more difficult to interpret, retains a higher capacity for sensitivity.

If I'm wrong, or you can clarify something I'm incorrect on, please do.
My name is Tom, feel free to use it.
#19
I also have a question about this.

What I don't get is, for example, a song starts with a certain A# I recognize it, because it is the beginning of Purple Haze, but I can not recognize any A# I hear. I understand this is not perfect pitch, but if I'm recognizing a certain note without it being relative to any other note then what kind of recognition is this?
#20
Quote by guitardude12189
Dein Schwester hast kein Gleid.


not only was there no point in saying this, but your grammar is awful.

Quote by alairson22
I also have a question about this.

What I don't get is, for example, a song starts with a certain A# I recognize it, because it is the beginning of Purple Haze, but I can not recognize any A# I hear. I understand this is not perfect pitch, but if I'm recognizing a certain note without it being relative to any other note then what kind of recognition is this?


i don't know. if you can recognize that A# and only that A#, you've probably listened to the song too many times. it's probably just a case of tonal memory with an ear that has yet to be well-developed.

i don't know about perfect pitch. i'm just going by what my instructors told me. however, it's not really all that useful to have. if someone plays music behind me while i'm sitting at the piano, it takes me about 5 seconds to identify the key by ear anyway, so if i had perfect pitch, it would save me 5 seconds. really not that big of a deal, i think.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#21
Im going with Aeolianwolf on most of the points made here. It is possible to learn it, although its fairly irrelevant anyway.

To answer the purple haze question, i believe its something like this - you've heard the song so many times recognised that particular A#. Now imagine having that ability to recognise any note, because you've played every note on the fretboard so many times.

Through my own experience, with no training whatsoever, if i hear a note/series of notes i can pick it out on my guitar 9/10 times first time - if im ever wrong its only by a semitone. Same with a piano, correct octave aswell. To me that is all the pitch training i need, I know what note it is because i can see in my head where i'd play it on my guitar.

I believe its about 20% natural ability to recognise/relate pitches to notes, the rest is from playing guitar from a young age and subconsciously learning what each note sounds like, and what an out of tune note sounds like - even by the smallest of margins.
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#22
Quote by AeolianWolf
i don't know. if you can recognize that A# and only that A#, you've probably listened to the song too many times. it's probably just a case of tonal memory with an ear that has yet to be well-developed.

i don't know about perfect pitch. i'm just going by what my instructors told me. however, it's not really all that useful to have. if someone plays music behind me while i'm sitting at the piano, it takes me about 5 seconds to identify the key by ear anyway, so if i had perfect pitch, it would save me 5 seconds. really not that big of a deal, i think.


I guess the question I'm asking is tonal memory/perfect pitch. What is the difference between the two?
#23
Quote by alairson22
I guess the question I'm asking is tonal memory/perfect pitch. What is the difference between the two?

Yes
PP= Color hearing ( To be able to hear pitch color)
With tonal memory you are only able to recognize notes from you own instrument, but with PP you are able to do it with all instruments.
#24
Quote by steven seagull
No they don't.

Some people do "hear" that way - it's called synesthesia but you have to be born with it, it's not something that can be learned.


If you dont belive me, check this out!
http://www.perfectpitch.com/success.htm
#25
All of you who dont believe me, just give it a try and be suprised!
1. listen to individual notes for one week only, 10 minutes in a day.
2. DONT TRY TO HEAR IT, BECOUSE IT WILL STRAIN YOUR HEAR AND BECOUSE OF YOU DONT HEAR IT! ( Just stare at the wall and play note)
3. Play Eb and listen. Then do it again. ( Same with F#) and you will hear that Eb always has that kind of soft quality, and that F# has that twangy quality.
#26
Quote by jani92jani
you will hear that Eb always has that kind of soft quality, and that F# has that twangy quality.




If I play Eb by pulling the string upwards using my finger, it sounds 'twangy'.

If i play F# with my thumb, it sounds soft.
#27
Try to do it with a pick! Make sure that your guitar is in tune! Just Make it a part of your normal ear training and sooner or later you start to hear these sensitive pitch colors, remember its nothing too obvious (Otherwise everyone would have got it a longtime ago)
#28
Perfect pitch is very possible to learn, and all it should take is exposure to certain tones and a memory of what tones they are. Play C or any other note on a variety of instruments, and attempt to remember the pitch. Eventually after exposing yourself to all 12 tones and their octaves, you should be able to recall what note it is, assuming you've practiced enough and can make the connections.

That said, this can either be learned quickly, slowly, or not at all. The only reason that some people are able to do this at a young age is because they make the pitch correlations quickly, and are able to either name or play the pitch back almost instantaneously.

Also, the idea that Eb sounds soft or F# sounds twangy is complete nonsense. Pitch does not alter timbre, and such differences are only percieved because they variate from the pitches you're used to hearing, unless you play strictly in the key of B Major. And even then in relation to C Major, it would seem as though the Bb, D or G had a specific quality to it.
#29
Quote by jani92jani
Try to do it with a pick! Make sure that your guitar is in tune! Just Make it a part of your normal ear training and sooner or later you start to hear these sensitive pitch colors, remember its nothing too obvious (Otherwise everyone would have got it a longtime ago)


so what happens when you need to listen to notes that are being fingerpicked? go listen to your oboist friend and tell him to play some notes for you. you'll find they're all nasally and twangy (at least in a particular register). your method is limited and fails to take timbral differences into account.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#30
Your first goal is is to get 1 single note good.
So I mean I can hum all my openstrings before playing them.
You should start with E, then A then D etc.
Mainly because open strings are the most easy to remember, I didn't even had to study them they just came to me one day.
#31
Quote by AeolianWolf
so what happens when you need to listen to notes that are being fingerpicked? go listen to your oboist friend and tell him to play some notes for you. you'll find they're all nasally and twangy (at least in a particular register). your method is limited and fails to take timbral differences into account.

When you practice your ears learn to make a difference between pitch color and timber...
#32
http://www.perfectpitch.com/success.htm

"People are truly amazed when they actually experience their first taste of their own sense of Perfect Pitch"

"I never before thought it was possible to obtain Perfect Pitch, but now I know it is. (T.S., piano)"

"Once I stopped straining my ear, I started to listen NATURALLY. Then the simple secret to Perfect Pitch jumped right into my lap.

Curiously, I began to notice faint "colors" within the tones. Not visual colors, but colors of pitch, colors of sound. They had always been there. But this was the first time I had ever really "let go" — and listened — to discover these subtle differences.

Soon — to my own disbelief — I too could name the tones by ear! It was simple. I could hear how F# sounds one way, while Bb has a totally different sound — sort of like "hearing" red and blue!"

"I started to explain my discoveries to more people. I often said that "Pretty much any musician can have Perfect Pitch if they just know how to listen."

Some professors laughed at me. My words (at that time) were completely against the common understanding about Perfect Pitch."
#35
Quote by jani92jani
When you practice your ears learn to make a difference between pitch color and timber...


oh, right, because i think those two things are the same.

listen, david lucas burge, if it worked for you, great. go listen to your twangy F#s and your soft Ebs.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#36
Tone color is in the instrument, for example Piano has its own tone color and so does other insruments, but the pitch colors are the same on all instruments.

If you dont hear it your ear isint open enough, just make it a part of your normal ear training. Just listen to individual notes 10minutes in a day( You dont loose anything).
Last edited by jani92jani at Jul 25, 2011,
#37
Quote by jani92jani
Tone color is in the instrument, for example Piano has its own tone color and so does other insruments, but the pitch colors are the same on all instruments.


I agree. The tone colour of pianos is white and black. The tone colour of bagpipes is chequered red etc.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#38
Quote by jani92jani
Tone color is in the instrument, for example Piano has its own tone color and so does other insruments, but the pitch colors are the same on all instruments.

If you dont hear it your ear isint open enough, just make it a part of your normal ear training. Just listen to individual notes 10minutes in a day( You dont loose anything).


oh, yes, do school me. my ear absolutely isn't open enough. i can tell you the key of a given piece within 5 seconds, but clearly that's not good enough.

so i have to waste over an hour a week just to eliminate that 5-second time? doesn't seem worthwhile to me. but, hey, don't take my word for it - let's see what the other regulars have to say.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#39
Wow, what. I skimmed through this without reading the posters at first and thought the people posting success story pictures and links were making fun of the guy taking it seriously.

Even if you had a perfect grasp on "tone colours" (wat) that you spent five years developing, how actually convenient is it to have perfect pitch? Relative pitch is far easier and faster to grasp and in general is a lot more applicable. You never need to have perfect pitch unless your ego's so big you have to feel important by gaining an utterly superfluous skill.
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#40
Quote by Hail
You never need to have perfect pitch unless your ego's so big you have to feel important by gaining an utterly superfluous skill.




i'm serious -- i almost considered giving up music because i didn't have it. then again, i consider giving up music a lot.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
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