Perfect Pitch Lies has been set up to help musicians sort the facts from the fiction in regards to one of the more commonly misunderstood musical skills: Perfect pitch (aka absolute pitch). Understanding the distinction is critical to your ear training success.
On this site, you’ll learn everything that a musician needs to know about perfect pitch. You’ll find out the answers to the following questions:
What is perfect pitch?
How does perfect pitch work?
Can I develop perfect pitch?
Why would I want perfect pitch?
How do I develop perfect pitch?
Will perfect pitch help me achieve my goals?
Are there any other ways to achieve the benefits of perfect pitch?
So without any further ado, let’s begin busting the myths about perfect pitch! But before we start, I’ll let you know that we’ve made a free video series that covers the most important points that every musician should know about ear training. This stuff won’t help you to get perfect pitch, but it’s much more useful if you want to play or write music easily and effortlessly. It will tell you the real secrets of great musicians.
What is Perfect Pitch?
Perfect pitch, or absolute pitch as it is also known, is the ability to recognize the pitch of any tone that you hear without a reference. If you had perfect pitch, and I played any note on a piano or any other musical instrument, you would be able to tell me which note I played without relating it to any other notes, or seeing me play the note. This seems like an incredible feat to those of us who do not possess perfect pitch, but for those with a strong sense of perfect pitch, recognizing pitches is as easy as recognizing colors.
How Does Perfect Pitch work?
There are two different types of perfect pitch that people can have. Some academics have debated about whether they both count as perfect pitch, but both of them will allow you to recognize pitches, so they are equally useful to a musician. The first type of perfect pitch is a developmental phenomenon called synesthesia. When someone has synesthesia, their brain develops connections between different senses as they are growing up. This can cause some people to relate certain pitches with all manner of things, such as colors or tastes. However, this is not the most common form of perfect pitch. Most people who have a sense of perfect pitch merely possess a strong tonal memory. They have committed the sound of each pitch to their memory, and so they are able to recognize any tone that they hear. There is nothing unusual about their ability to recognize pitches; everyone has a tonal memory, but they have developed theirs to be very good.
Can I Develop Perfect Pitch?
As you might expect, the brain of a synesthete contains some unusual circuitry, and so it is not really possible to develop once you are past your early childhood. However, that doesn’t mean you cannot develop a sense of perfect pitch. You can develop perfect pitch by improving your tonal memory. Like anything else, developing your tonal memory is simply a matter of practice.
Why would I want Perfect Pitch?
Everyone will have their own specific reasons for wanting to develop perfect pitch. But I think that most musicians basically want the same thing: they want freedom when they play music. We are all used to listening to amazing singers who can interpret a song freely, in a unique and personal way. They can do this because they can transfer the music they hear internally directly to their instrument: their voice. Many musicians seek to develop perfect pitch so that they are able to recognize the music that they hear internally, and transfer it directly to their own instrument with the same level of freedom and flexibility. If you are able to do this, memorizing music becomes a matter of simply learning how to sing it, which is much quicker and easier than memorizing the notes. If you wish to improvise, you will be able to play the ideas that come to mind instantly, rather than working out chords and scales that will work over a particular chord progression. And when you want to write new music, will be able to write anything out without an instrument to check the notes, allowing you to write new music anytime, anywhere. These skills combine to make playing and writing music much easier and more enjoyable than it is for those who don’t have them. And these skills are all tied to your ability to recognize which notes you’re hearing, so it makes sense that perfect pitch will allow you to do that. So with that in mind, let’s talk about what you can do to develop a sense of perfect pitch.
How Do I Develop Perfect Pitch?
This exercise will help you to develop your tonal memory. You may be surprised by how simple it is. Play a note on an instrument (preferably the one that you play most often), and listen to it. Play it three or four times, and think of the name of the note as you listen. Do this with the same tone throughout the day, at least three or four times. If you do this every day, you will begin to develop your tonal memory, and after a few weeks, when you hear the note, you should start to recognize it.
Will Perfect Pitch Help Me Achieve my Goals?
When you work on exercises like this, your tonal memory will soon improve. However, there’s a problem: It takes quite a long time to learn to recognize each note. And it’s very difficult to recognize notes fast. A piece of music is made up of many notes, so the most important skill for any musician who wishes to use their ears to make music is the ability to identify notes quickly. The result is that you can develop a sense of perfect pitch, but you (probably) can’t develop a useful sense of perfect pitch. You will most likely never be able to develop your sense of perfect pitch to a point where you can actually identify which notes are being played in a piece of music. You may learn to recognize single notes when they’re playing on a piano, but you won’t be able to do any of the things mentioned earlier, that will free you when you play, and transform your musical ability. This fact may sound alarming. But don’t be concerned. It’s not because you can’t learn to recognize melodies and chords, because you can, and you can do it easily. It’s just that perfect pitch isn’t the answer. There’s a much faster and easier way to achieve this.
How can I quickly & easily achieve the benefits of perfect pitch?
Relative pitch is the ability to recognize the relationships between musical notes. This is a much easier way to recognize music, because the relationships are unique, and easy to differentiate from one another. Perfect pitch is like trying to recognize a person when you can only see the back of their head. It’s difficult to work out who it is because there are no defining features. Relative pitch is like looking at their face. You’re seeing them clearly, so you can recognize them quickly and easily.
How do I develop Relative Pitch?
Developing relative pitch is without a doubt the most effective way for you to improve your ears and your musicianship. Luckily, we specialize in helping musicians like yourself develop a fast and accurate sense of relative pitch.
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