Learn Perfect Pitch
This article explains a few techniques to help you on your way to learning perfect pitch, you may also hear it being called “how to learn absolute pitch” too, which is fine, they’re the same thing.
I’m going to go through some introductory material on perfect pitch, then look at how you can develop perfect pitch for yourself, and finally I’ll give you some more “extra for experts” resources, like perfect pitch software.
As a fellow guitarist, I’m sure you can appreciate the value of obtaining perfect pitch. Think of how much easier your musical endeavors are going to be when you can go from music-idea to music-notation in the blink of an eye. It’s the one thing I hated… when I had a rhythm or little riff in my head and not being able to write it down. I would try to play it on the guitar as soon as I got home and record it to my computer, but it never sounded the same.
Why You Should Learn Perfect Pitch
The biggest problem musicians have is not being able to translate their exact feelings into music. This is why learning the language is so vital. Most people think in words, phrases and sentences, they use their first language (Eg English) to do all their thinking in, it’s no wonder that perfect pitch is so rare, we’re never taught to think in more than one language. When you come up with a musical idea you See it in a Musical Language, it doesn’t have a clean symbol attached to it like a C, D or A, it’s a mixture of sounds, feelings, tone, timbre and pitch.
Perfect Pitch is being able to identify a musical note without a reference note. Basically, you can tell what any sound is in the world and classify it into the seven notes. Soon you will hear car horns, clanging cans, or even laughter as musical notes.
Another form of language is Relative pitch. Relative pitch is being able to figure out notes while having a reference note there for you. You can probably figure out if a given note is higher or lower than the C note when someone plays that note and the C note in succession. This takes little training, but is vital in helping you learn perfect pitch.
Can You Learn Perfect Pitch?
First thing’s first. Perfect Pitch is attainable. Believing that it some special gift you are born with will make it almost impossible to learn. When you were little, you weren’t born with the ability to distinguish the difference between blue and green; you have to learn that skill. Colors are just different wavelengths of light that your eye differentiates. Musical notes are just different wavelengths of sound that you must train your ear to distinguish.
Perfect Pitch Techniques
What I’d like you to do is hum a C note (scary isn’t it?), don’t worry if you don’t know how. Just try to hum what you think a C sounds like. Hum it a few times.
Now actually play a C note on your guitar. See how close you were. Listen to the C on your guitar. How does it make you feel? What emotions are attached to the sound? What does the note make you visualize? What does it remind you of? What makes the C note special? What makes it different? Keep listening to the C note for a few minutes. You’ll want to repeat this exercise a few times a day over the next few days. It should only take about 5 minutes.
It’s time to get your mind ready to memorize what you visualized. Just relax and be calm this is a piece of cake.
Ok now play random single, long notes on your guitar. Try to dissect each sound as it hits your ear. What makes one note different from the other? You are training your ear acuity. You are training your ear to be sensitive to the little changes in sound waves. Again, try this a few times a day for a few days. You will notice that your ear is more sensitive and can pick up things you wouldn’t have normally heard.
Don’t try to make yourself attach a symbol to the different notes just yet, wait until you can marry the notes from your practice to the random note on the guitar, once you are confident in your head that it’s the same note you heard when doing your exercise, when it has that same feeling, that’s when you start saying “that’s a C!”.
Tips for Perfect Pitch Training
To learn perfect pitch, don’t learn notes relative to other notes when doing your exercise. This is only useful for relative pitch and may hinder your perfect pitch education.
Practice; just as you inadvertently practiced learning colors at a young age, you must now consciously practice these techniques.
I am sure that every now and then you hear a song that reminds you of another song. This is because the two songs use the same notes, but in different ways. A good exercise is to play a song that you know starts with that note. Every time you hear that note you will think of that song and immediately identify it.
Your guitar or piano is your best friend. It is the ultimate reference point when you are unsure of which note is being played. Try to get a friend to play a random note and see if you can identify the note and the octave. You will see yourself get closer and closer to the correct note until you can easily identify and sound that enters your ear.
Try to think of everything as practice. Identify the notes in people’s voices. Try to figure out what note a click of the fingers is. Whenever you hear music or sounds, try to figure out what notes and what patterns are used.
Pick a pitch that you are comfortable with. The human ear is more sensitive to mid-range frequencies rather than high or low frequencies. Also, this will help you find your range with your voice.
The better you get at identifying sounds, the more you will want to identify more sounds, and in turn practice more and more. These techniques, if used correctly, can help you make huge gains in learning perfect pitch.
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Learning Absolute and Relative Pitch by yourself is no easy task, it’s so easy to get discouraged when you don’t have a system to follow and all the right help and advice at the time you need it.
The Pure Pitch method was developed to help everyday people achieve the skill of absolute pitch recognition even if they had no previous training.
If you’ll just take the time to follow this simple … yet revolutionary … system, you too can enjoy all the benefits of Absolute and Relative Pitch:
- Learn How To Name Any Note Or Chord By Ear
- Play All Your Favorite Songs By Ear
- Compose Songs And Melodies In Your Head With Ease
- Find Any Chord By Ear, Instead Of Searching With Your Eyes Or Fingers, and of course
- Increase Your Appreciation Of Music