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Absolute Pitch


scyzoryk

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quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Phil:

quote:
Originally posted by zachg:

funny story- i had a chorus teacher who claimed to have perfect pitch

 

i do have perfect relative pitch though :wave:

 

i'll never forget what happened that time when she heard me saying that :D

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I've always thought I was a pitch-dummy, but I when I first listened to one of the songs I'm learning for church this week, I said "hey, that sure sounds like a low B...the original bassist must be playing a 5-string". Turns out I was right...although it doesn't happen that often. :freak: I think I recognized it just because of the unusual timbre of a low B.

 

One thing I can say though is that learning 3-4 songs an average of every other week for church really seems to be helping my relative pitch. I feel like I'm recognizing various intervals easier now.

 

Dave

Old bass players never die, they just buy lighter rigs.

- Tom Capasso, 11/9/2006

 

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Although I have really good relative pitch, my "absolute pitch" is pretty horrible. I had a friend with whom I practiced my absolute pitch. He had relatively good absolute pitch. He would play a note and I would close my eyes and try to name the note. We got pretty good, that's the result of being bored, neighbors, and bandmembers.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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Y'all are correct of course. Perfect pitch has nothing to do with our Western 440 tuning. One of the most common questions asked about perfect pitch is "if concert pitch was something other than 440, would you still have perfect pitch? Of course! Perfect pitch is a sensitivity to vibrational frequency. The fact that we have assigned specific names to certain vibrational frequencies is trivial. "Recalibrating" one's ear to accommodate a different tuning standard is likewise relatively trivial, although it does take a bit of effort at first to reprogram the brain.

 

I can remember this giving me fits when I used to learn Van Halen covers when they came out in the late 70's. They tune down a half step, so I would do likewise when learning their stuff. It was difficult at first for me to "hear" an Eb and play an E, but after a while, the new tuning just sort of sinks in...

Reality is like the sun - you can block it out for a time but it ain't goin' away...
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I don't have perfect pitch, but I have a difficult time playing my instrument if it is tuned down to Eb (or something else). I don't seem to be able to hear as well when the notes I'm looking for are in different places on the instrument than where I am used to them being.

 

The same thing goes for transcribing. I have a hard time if the cd, tape or record is not at 440 pitch. Sometimes I use my variable speed tape deck to solve this problem.

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I have perfect pitch and can tell when tuning to something other than A440. As long as the relative pitches are accurate I can deal with not being tuned to A440, its just a matter of a different starting place. Listening to the tempering on a piano, though, is sometimes painful because any tempering is a compromise. My wife used to get all over my case because of the look on my face while listening to the junior high bands my children were in. And if a band plays out of tune with itself I can not stand it. Many of the singers I've worked with over the years get pissed off at me at first when I tell them they are flat or sharp until I prove it to them using a tuner. Then they do what I tell them to do, sharper or flatter.
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Actually all modern Western instruments conform, as closely as possible, to the equal temperament tuning, not just the piano.

 

Put this on your reading lists: Temperament: the solution to music's greatest riddle by Stuart Isacoff.

Not only is it full of musical history that is generally uncollected but it's revelatory about the subject. The real reasons --- & the very inevitability of temperament--- are not what most of us would guess.

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  • 1 month later...

As I work with Eartest, I am getting closer to believe that I am developing AP.

 

I am getting over 85% working with all 12 tones, 6 octaves and different timbres.

 

Take care,

 

Elcon

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  • 2 weeks later...
I went thru the David Lucas Burge Perfect Pitch CD's everysingle day with a 3 day exception for 2 years and the only good it has done is help me hear inside chords better. I keep doing it because its a habit to eartriain everyday that I wake. I feel really pissed that I spent 180 or something on the program and hundreds of hours on doing the program which the time would be better spent on relative pitch, ( that program by the way by David L Burge is 34 CD'slonger than it needs to be) So shame on David Lucas for taking that time from me. As for the program there are really only instructions on how to do drills, I mean I could summarize on 1 piece of paper all of them, he somehow fills 11 CD's whith a whole lot of nothing:). Of coarse if you listen to pitches long enough them become familiar but, when you do them on different instruments its all out of whack again. Earmaster was a program that was cool for relative pitch but really boring. The Hearing and Writing Music book was by far the best eartraining that I have done and its only 15.00!
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There something a bit snobby about a lot of people who have perfect pitch. At least the ones that I've met.

They, for some inexplicable reason, feel the absolute NEED to tell you what notes they're hearing and that they have "perfect pitch".

 

I remember being on tour with a dude who had perfect pitch and he was constantly "informing" us what note the dial tone was. Or the hum of the neon lights. Or whatever.

And if something was out-of-tune...he was the FIRST to tell you that it was out of tune and exactly what the pitch problem was.

 

There is no "normal people" version of this behavior.

I don't walk around saying "that car is blue" or "those colors clash" or "that sign reads 'caution'". I just accept these things and I don't feel the need to point it out to people.

 

 

"Dude..the dial tone in Germany is an F# !!"

 

"Wow. You sure are cool Big Man. That's quite a gift ya got there."

"I don't play Bass..I play SONGS."
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I agree, People that have absolute pitch are so egotistic. All I hear is " I am superior because I have absolute pitch" Look at David Burge, I dont see him with chicks on saturday night, I mean have you heard this guy talk or seen his goofy picture?

 

Oops. My ego got out!

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