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#1
do any of you guys now aout that perfect pitch thing they advertise in like guitar world and stuff? i was wondering if its really worth it if any of you have tried it or know anyone who has. any thing on it would be great thanks.
#3
I haven't tried it myself, but I've heard that it's just developing an incredibly strong relative pitch. I dunno what the deal is on it, but I've also heard people say to just use a Torrent or something for it.
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#4
^ It makes the distinction in the course that perfect pitch and relative pitch are completely different things. Having very strong relative pitch doesn't mean you're close to having relative pitch. In the colours analogy that the course works around, the metaphor is that perfect pitch is like the colours on a colour TV screen, and relative pitch is the focus.

So, to someone without perfect pitch, the chromatic scale is just a greyscale, from black (the low notes) up to white (the high notes). As colours are just different frequencies of light, so notes are just different frequencies of sound. So someone who cannot identify the individual "colours" of the notes are those who don't have perfect pitch and vice versa.

Relative pitch is about the structure of music: the intervals between the various notes. More musicians develop their relative pitch more than their perfect pitch. Relative pitch allows you to get into the flow of the music and understand the structure. If we say that perfect pitch would allow you to recognise one frame of colour as red, and another as orange, relative pitch would allow you to recognise a film that shows a gradual transition from red to orange, to be a transition from red to orange.

I've just *cough* bought *cough* the course; it's very interesting at least. Time will tell if it works or not.
#6
I (honestly) have perfect pitch, and I'll tell you not to buy any product or anything. I would sit in choir in high school and I picked up different pitches and began to associate those with different words. Over the span of a couple of months, I build a library of sorts in my head and was able to recall pitches from that, and now everything I hear I am able to pinpoint to an exact pitch. Just develop your tonal memory on your own, it'll help.
#7
Quote by :-D
I (honestly) have perfect pitch, and I'll tell you not to buy any product or anything. I would sit in choir in high school and I picked up different pitches and began to associate those with different words. Over the span of a couple of months, I build a library of sorts in my head and was able to recall pitches from that, and now everything I hear I am able to pinpoint to an exact pitch. Just develop your tonal memory on your own, it'll help.


That's relative pitch, not perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify a pitch without any sort of context.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#8
Quote by Archeo Avis
That's relative pitch, not perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify a pitch without any sort of context.


Maybe I described it poorly, but I know what it is, and I have perfect pitch. I can give any pitch correctly on command, and anything I hear I can identify the pitch of without any other context.
#9
Quote by :-D
Maybe I described it poorly, but I know what it is, and I have perfect pitch. I can give any pitch correctly on command, and anything I hear I can identify the pitch of without any other context.


If you memorize the sound of a pitch and use it as a reference, you have relative pitch.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#10
I said that I originally learned what certain pitches were and was able to recall those. However, when I need to give a pitch now, I do it without consciously referencing anything.

I do see what you're saying though, if you're implying that it's different because I wasn't born with this ability and "taught myself" in a way. People I've met have stated that it's perfect pitch because I don't have any reference at the time I give a specific pitch, but you might be right. Either way it's very useful and my point was that it is possible to achieve this without any specific product.
#11
Quote by blue_strat
^ It makes the distinction in the course that perfect pitch and relative pitch are completely different things. Having very strong relative pitch doesn't mean you're close to having relative pitch. In the colours analogy that the course works around, the metaphor is that perfect pitch is like the colours on a colour TV screen, and relative pitch is the focus.

So, to someone without perfect pitch, the chromatic scale is just a greyscale, from black (the low notes) up to white (the high notes). As colours are just different frequencies of light, so notes are just different frequencies of sound. So someone who cannot identify the individual "colours" of the notes are those who don't have perfect pitch and vice versa.

Relative pitch is about the structure of music: the intervals between the various notes. More musicians develop their relative pitch more than their perfect pitch. Relative pitch allows you to get into the flow of the music and understand the structure. If we say that perfect pitch would allow you to recognise one frame of colour as red, and another as orange, relative pitch would allow you to recognise a film that shows a gradual transition from red to orange, to be a transition from red to orange.

I've just *cough* bought *cough* the course; it's very interesting at least. Time will tell if it works or not.



dude, let us know if it works or not.
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#12
Quote by Archeo Avis
If you memorize the sound of a pitch and use it as a reference, you have relative pitch.

that is ridiculous!

how else could you possibly be able to know the pitch of a note?

EVERYTHING in the world is relative, but he (sounds like he) has perfect pitch.
#13
yeah i got the relative and perfect pitch which i bought *cough*. Im in yr12 so i i dont really have the time atm
#14
Quote by :-D
I would sit in choir in high school and I picked up different pitches and began to associate those with different words. Over the span of a couple of months, I build a library of sorts in my head and was able to recall pitches from that, and now everything I hear I am able to pinpoint to an exact pitch.

That sounds like perfect pitch to me. Relative pitch is detecting types of chords, and intervals between notes. If you can think of an Eb, play it on a piano and see that they're the same pitch, then you have perfect pitch.
Quote by branny1982
that is ridiculous!

how else could you possibly be able to know the pitch of a note?

EVERYTHING in the world is relative

Do you know that the colour red is formed by light waves with a wavelength of between 625-740nm? Yet you can still recognise the colour red. Someone with perfect pitch may not know that an A is formed by sound waves vibrating at 440Hz, but they can recognise an A when they hear it.
Last edited by blue_strat at Feb 26, 2008,
#15
I think 100% absolute perfect pitch would be quite uncomfortable. Seeing that a lot of people tune their instruments relatively for convenience sake, whenever someone with absolute perfect pitch hears us play we must sound out of tune.


Would this be right? Or does perfect pitch not work that way?
#16
Apparently, people with perfect pitch don't feel discomfort at hearing instruments that are off-exact tuning, unless they're particularly pedantic. It's like seeing various shades of the same colour. That's just what Burge says, though.
#17
Quote by blue_strat

Do you know that the colour red is formed by light waves with a wavelength of between 625-740nm? Yet you can still recognise the colour red. Someone with perfect pitch may not know that an A is formed by sound waves vibrating at 440Hz, but they can recognise an A when they hear it.

well, i didn't say they knew the frequency!
the only point i tried to make is that in order for somebody to know a note is A, they must have learnt that that note is A.

Saying that that is 'relative' because they are relating it to the A in their head is a bit far fetched.
#18
Quote by Archeo Avis
That's relative pitch, not perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify a pitch without any sort of context.


Without any external context. Unless I read wrong, the context here is in his head, because he knows how it sounds already.

I also *cough*bought*cough* this course and asked about it here before, but I haven't got round to using it recently. I will start again though, thanks for reminding me.

Should you want to try before you buy - and make no mistake, if I get perfect pitch I will shell out the £100 ($200?) - Google turns up a Torrent of responses
#19
^^ I know that Archeo Avis's description of perfect/relative pitch was incorrect, but it apparently is possible for someone to know the pitch of each note. People can be born with perfect pitch or learn it very early in life, before knowing that the notes that they can recognise have names.

It's less surprising that the few have perfect pitch, than that the many don't. It's as if the majority of people are sonically colourblind.

^ Yes, I hear that BritishTelecomJUNKIE.org is a good site ...
#21
Quote by confusius
I think 100% absolute perfect pitch would be quite uncomfortable. Seeing that a lot of people tune their instruments relatively for convenience sake, whenever someone with absolute perfect pitch hears us play we must sound out of tune.


Would this be right? Or does perfect pitch not work that way?


Any person listening to music can tell if something is out of tune, people with perfect pitch can just tell exactly by how much
#22
Archeo, if you come back to this thread, check your messages -- I sent one so we could settle this debate.

And confusius, yes I can tell exactly how far out of tune an instrument is, but I'm not going to call people out on it, so you shouldn't be worried by this ability unless the person is also a complete ****. It's annoying for me sometimes because I'll hear something like a bird chirping, something dropping, or a car horn, and automatically think of the pitch because it's just a reaction now.
#24
i was told that you can't develop perfect pitch, you have to be born with it.
but you can develop very strong reletive pitch, which is almost as good.

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#25
Quote by xwearesinking
i was told that you can't develop perfect pitch, you have to be born with it.
but you can develop very strong reletive pitch, which is almost as good.


People argue over the definitions of these terms, some say you can, some say you can't.

However, in my case, whether someone says I developed perfect pitch or relative pitch, I can give or think of any pitch on command, so in effect it's the same thing.

@blue_strat: The toilet in my dorm makes a Bb.
Last edited by :-D at Feb 26, 2008,
#26
Quote by Archeo Avis
That's relative pitch, not perfect pitch. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify a pitch without any sort of context.

Not true. Perfect pitch is the ability to identify, sing, etc. notes, to recognize all notes in a chord, to hear the key something is in (accurately), and so on. The key though is that true perfect pitch is something you're born with or develop early on. If it's developed after a certain age it's usually referred to as relative pitch. I have ok relative pitch, I'm working on ear training. I can hear intervals pretty well but i can't identify pitches well, and I can't always hear individual notes in a harmonic progression. It's almost like synthesia, but not as cool; each possible "function" in a chord has a different "color" to me, which sometimes messes me up on pitch recognition. So the same pitch can have two different colors in sequence to me.
On the other hand, I know a cello player with fantastic relative pitch. I knew him before he developed it as well. He can sing pitches accurately, identify them without error, hear chords and progressions perfectly, and can even identify the key a piece is in just by listening to it. It's almost annoying since we're in music theory together, but oh well. Point being, what he has is still classified as relative pitch. It still has some limitations; he's not 100% accurate below about A1 (A 1 octave below 5th string) or maybe C2, and above about C6 (20th fret 1st string). "True" perfect pitch can't be learned, but those programs may give you REALLY good relative pitch, which is almost as good. Dunno about any particular programs though.
#27
Quote by Nightfyre
NThe key though is that true perfect pitch is something you're born with or develop early on. If it's developed after a certain age it's usually referred to as relative pitch.

Again, perfect and relative pitch are completely different things.
Quote by Nightfyre
each possible "function" in a chord has a different "color" to me, which sometimes messes me up on pitch recognition. So the same pitch can have two different colors in sequence to me.

Now that just sounds like you're mashing several ideas together.
Quote by Nightfyre
On the other hand, I know a cello player with fantastic relative pitch. I knew him before he developed it as well. He can sing pitches accurately, identify them without error, hear chords and progressions perfectly, and can even identify the key a piece is in just by listening to it.

That's perfect pitch.
Quote by Nightfyre
he's not 100% accurate below about A1 (A 1 octave below 5th string) or maybe C2, and above about C6 (20th fret 1st string)

Would you be able to tell a dark red from a dark blue if both are almost black?
Quote by Nightfyre
"True" perfect pitch can't be learned, but those programs may give you REALLY good relative pitch, which is almost as good. Dunno about any particular programs though.

I don't quite know what you think "false" perfect pitch would be, but w/e. The course does claim to help you develop perfect pitch, though, and makes the distinction between perfect and relative pitch. There's actually a separate Burge course for relative pitch; I've *cough* bought *cough* that, too.

If someone else who does actually have perfect pitch also gets in here to give us some insight, that'd be good, but otherwise let's not speculate on what it is. I'll tell you when I've finished the course whether or not it's worked.
#28
Quote by blue_strat
Would you be able to tell a dark red from a dark blue if both are almost black?


That is not really the same thing. That would be like asking someone to tell the difference between the 3rd fret of the G string and that same note, slightly bent, but really really quiet. Not being able to figure out what a note is when it is really really low or really really high is more like not being able to discern between a really really deep red color and another really really deep red color, bordering on infrared, right around 699 and 700 nm, or a really violet shade and another really violet shade right, right around 400 and 401 nm.
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#29
Quote by blue_strat
If someone else who does actually have perfect pitch also gets in here to give us some insight, that'd be good, but otherwise let's not speculate on what it is. I'll tell you when I've finished the course whether or not it's worked.


I've been in this thread all along, I'm pretty much the reason this whole relative/perfect pitch discussion started. I'm going to give you perfect/relative pitches as I've heard them defined, but also let you know why the opposite school of thought makes sense. I'm not here to say how amazing I am, but hopefully to clear things up.

As I've always heard the terms defined, perfect pitch is the ability to sing (or play, just produce in some way) a specific note on command without any external reference at the time. For example, singing a C, saying it's a C, playing a C on the piano and having those match up. Relative pitch, on the other hand, is the ability to hear a note, not necessarily knowing what the note is, but being able to correctly move a certain interval away from the given note. The strength of a person's relative pitch would control how accurately this is done, and how well this is done across any interval. So according to these definitions, I would have perfect pitch. This is the definition I used at the beginning of this thread.

On the other hand, some people (I believe this is where Archeo Avis falls) believe that if a person is not born with this ability, it cannot be perfect pitch. Because of the fact that I taught myself this skill, I'm always (either consciously or subconsciously) referencing the pitch I'm giving to some sort of internal tonal "database", if you will. Because I'm mentally making this reference, I would have to have relative pitch -- I'm always hearing a specific note in reference to another specific note, even if the notes are the same. So according to these definitions, I would have relative pitch. Very strong relative pitch, but not perfect pitch.

I believe this is where the debate stems from, hope this cleared some things up.
#30
Quote by seedmole
That is not really the same thing. That would be like asking someone to tell the difference between the 3rd fret of the G string and that same note, slightly bent, but really really quiet. Not being able to figure out what a note is when it is really really low or really really high is more like not being able to discern between a really really deep red color and another really really deep red color, bordering on infrared, right around 699 and 700 nm, or a really violet shade and another really violet shade right, right around 400 and 401 nm.


...that was complicated. It's only an analogy, I thought his worked in pretty much the same way as yours. But have it your way.

I thought the reason that notes are harder to distinguish at different pitches is due to the system of equal temperament.

For those who don't know what I'm on about-
Basically, if middle C on a piano (or at the same place on a guitar) were tuned to exactly C, and the C above were tuned to the exact same frequency, everything past a certain key would sound horrible to normal ears, let alone those with perfect pitch - you'd be in the scale of C whatever you were trying to play.
So we have to tune the notes so that they are slightly, but not really noticeably, different, to allow the intervals between them to remain the same and allow us to play in other keys.
This came into widespread use during the Baroque period (ever heard of "The Well Tempered Clavier"?).
#31
Quote by TheNthDimension
...that was complicated. It's only an analogy, I thought his worked in pretty much the same way as yours. But have it your way.

I thought the reason that notes are harder to distinguish at different pitches is due to the system of equal temperament.

For those who don't know what I'm on about-
Basically, if middle C on a piano (or at the same place on a guitar) were tuned to exactly C, and the C above were tuned to the exact same frequency, everything past a certain key would sound horrible to normal ears, let alone those with perfect pitch - you'd be in the scale of C whatever you were trying to play.
So we have to tune the notes so that they are slightly, but not really noticeably, different, to allow the intervals between them to remain the same and allow us to play in other keys.
This came into widespread use during the Baroque period (ever heard of "The Well Tempered Clavier"?).


The difference between the example I gave and his example is that his example was likening it to telling the difference between two completely different colors (notes/frequencies) while they are very quiet. In reality, the inability to distinguish perfectly between pitches below A1 and above C6 has nothing to do with volume. It has to do with the limits of human hearing, as our ability to distinguish pitches diminishes as it reaches the extreme ranges of our hearing. It's not like we can hear something perfectly fine if it's at 11 hertz, and then at 10 it becomes completely inaudible. It tapers off.

As for the explanation by equal-temperament, different octaves still maintain the same exact ratio. The ratio of frequencies between middle C and C one octave above it will always be 2:1, regardless of what temperament you use (unless you use one of those really, really weird ones that only have notes that function as octaves, but are not actually 2:1 [see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bohlen-Pierce_scale ])
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#32
On the other hand, some people (I believe this is where Archeo Avis falls) believe that if a person is not born with this ability, it cannot be perfect pitch. Because of the fact that I taught myself this skill, I'm always (either consciously or subconsciously) referencing the pitch I'm giving to some sort of internal tonal "database", if you will. Because I'm mentally making this reference, I would have to have relative pitch -- I'm always hearing a specific note in reference to another specific note, even if the notes are the same. So according to these definitions, I would have relative pitch. Very strong relative pitch, but not perfect pitch.


I wouldn't go quite that far, though I do believe that developing perfect pitch later in life would be very difficult or impossible. There are differences between perfect and relative pitch, and perfect pitch is not simply very, very, very good relative pitch. It's more than simply being able to recognize a pitch on command. Individuals with perfect pitch tend to think of pitches in very concrete and categorical terms, which is why they often have extreme difficulty with transposing instruments in other keys. At the farthest extreme, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star played in the key of E would be considered a completely different song than if it were played in A. Many people with perfect pitch actually have very poor relative pitch for this reason.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#33
Quote by Archeo Avis
they often have extreme difficulty with transposing instruments in other keys.


I was pretty active in my high school's drama department, and whenever auditions for a musical came around, everyone was all worried about the accompaniment for their solo auditions. My friend's mother was very talented at sight-reading piano, so people would ask her if she could play their accompaniment. It all worked great, but she had perfect pitch, so she had a terribly difficult time playing something in G major if it was written in A, for example.

I know I would much rather have an amazing relative pitch than perfect pitch.
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#34
ok so does this **** work or not?
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#35
So far he's (burge) just been giving relative pitch exercises claiming that it helps you open your ear more before Phase II (actually starting to develop perfect pitch) begins. I'm not so sure if I buy it, but he has 28 years backing his words so who knows? And anyway I "bought" it so I don't really care that much if it doesn't work. At least all these exercises are helping my relative pitch.
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#37
I have the Perfect Pitch course. Very long-winded, especially the first CD. He just drones on and on about how great Perfect Pitch is.

But it does work to a certain extent. Not enough for me to spend RM600 on, though.
#38
Yeah, the debate on perfect pitch is pretty controversial. Can you develop it or not... I know several people with it and half say that you can and half say that you can't.

I tried the Burge course for about three weeks. I rented it from the local library. I was really surprised to see it there and I thought I would give it a try. Well, I don't have perfect pitch now, but I only followed it for three weeks.

Personally, I think that a keen sense of relative pitch is a much more valuable ability to possess.
#39
Quote by psychodelic
do any of you guys now aout that perfect pitch thing they advertise in like guitar world and stuff? i was wondering if its really worth it if any of you have tried it or know anyone who has. any thing on it would be great thanks.


I would say its most likely a gimmick. relative pitch is what you need for music. Im not saying perfect pitch isnt a good thing.... but I think your basically just being "sold" something in that magazine.

I would recommend listening to, playing, studying, and enjoying music. I think you'll get more out of that.

Quote by Rhino 926


Personally, I think that a keen sense of relative pitch is a much more valuable ability to possess.


+ 1
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#40
Quote by Archeo Avis
I wouldn't go quite that far, though I do believe that developing perfect pitch later in life would be very difficult or impossible. There are differences between perfect and relative pitch, and perfect pitch is not simply very, very, very good relative pitch. It's more than simply being able to recognize a pitch on command. Individuals with perfect pitch tend to think of pitches in very concrete and categorical terms, which is why they often have extreme difficulty with transposing instruments in other keys. At the farthest extreme, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star played in the key of E would be considered a completely different song than if it were played in A. Many people with perfect pitch actually have very poor relative pitch for this reason.


so what your saying is, its better to have relative pitch than perfect pitch?
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