Perfect Pitch...!? (Jan-26-04)

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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:44 pm

I now that people who have natural perfect pitch always complain about bad performances and the mistakes that go with them. They always complain that it hurts their ears or they can't stand it. I personally like some of those small mistakes, unless it is totally unbearable. To me if something sounds just a little out of tune from a note not properly bended note or if it is just a little out of tune in octaves or other intervals plated, it seems to give it an almost realistic and more human feel.

Don't get me wrong, it can be annoying if it is mistakenly repeated throughout a performance. However look at hendrix's solos and songs, look at some of Zappa's solo's.

When listening to some of Ney's songs from meditations there is this one part in one of his song where he is hitting some high notes at a medium tempo, they don't sound full and round and properly "in tune", but a little "rickety" since they are near the end, higher sounding part of the neck, nonetheless, my ears were a little shocked that they didn't sound "properly in tune". However since they are just a little off, the more I listened to it, the notes sounds so much more real, so much more MUSICAL. They attract my ear a little more because of this and it sounds good.

By the way, I think everyone on this forum should get Meditations! After intently reading and following Ney's advice, it is something else to hear this master at work. Ney's advice may sometimes read and ound too technical and musically dry because they are simply words. But hearing Ney play you really hear his words come to life and you can hear them. I really think Meditations is a true gem, I could go on but... I think I should buy one of Jamie's CD.

Thanks for your time and comments.

-Navanax
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:44 pm

I have been thinking very, very hard on your post and am thinking that perhaps it isn't so much that my mind is closed and yours is open wrt music that is "off" rather that you hear differently than I do. What you determine as slightly off, perhaps I hear as very off. My definition of what is "slightly off" is vastly different than yours simply because of the way I hear things.

My last boyfriend (long before I started music study) used to always say that I "heard" differently than most people. I always bought expensive radios even though I never listened to music and the TV could never be loud unless it was hooked into a really good quality audio system. I never much thought about this stuff until now.

My voice teacher last night accused me of having perfect pitch. Since Ney says this is a bogus term I won't bother to figure this out. I do believe now though that I hear very differently than most people. I think I will ask my teacher tonight what he thinks about this.

Thank you for sharing your opinion and thoughts on this. This matter is actually very important to me right now as I learn new kinds of music.

-Kfisherx
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:44 pm

Karla,

I think the term "perfect pitch" is being used in at least two different ways here. What your singing teacher meant was that you could match a pitch that you heard with your voice. What some other people mean by perfect pitch is that they can name a note that they hear. That is clearly learned because, as has been pointed out, dividing the octave up into 12 tones is not a fundamental of nature, but rather a tradition of Western music. Some other people can sing a G# on command, yet another version of perfect pitch. These are learned skills, but that surely rely on some level of genetic talent because not everyone can be taught to do them (though more people can than think they can).

I read a post from someone (I think on another board but maybe here) whose son had a very sensitive ear. He could not stand to hear something played in a different key from the original. He also could not stand to hear a guitar that was in tune relative to itself but not in tune to A=440. His ear was so sensitive that it went beyond talent to being a problem.

I have a decent ear, and I can match a note I hear with my voice, but I can't carry a tune at all (ask anyone in my family). But I don't have a tin ear because I can hear myself not carrying the tune. And I think it is genetic because one of my kids is a fine singer as is my wife while my other child sings like me and is even more rhythmically challenged.

Cheers,
Tom
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:45 pm

Thanks for the explanation of the terms. I just got back from my teacher and he put this in terms that I could understand somewhat. He said that most people do not see the world in as high definition as I do. He told me to think about it. I am an audio and video engineer. My job is to watch a picture that moves with millions of pixels and actually see the one that is the wrong color. I do the same thing with audio. I do this all day long so my hearing is super accute.

Later during the lesson he was jamming to a Blues CD that I brought in and trying to immitate the lick and he missed a note and I caught it. He stopped the track and went back and I was right. He had missed a note. He laughed at me and said that sort of proved that point didn't it?

He told me that I do hear differently than most people and that I there will be a lot of artists and musicians who do well by the general public that I might not like because of it. He wants me to remain open minded but also encouraged me to not beat myself up too much about it. He also pointed me to useful purposes for this "talent" of being able to hear stuff.

I am just glad now that I understand a little bit about why I react very differently to music than most people and that it is okay to be different.

-Kfisherx
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:48 pm

Karla,

in my opinion the quality for perfect pitch ability is measurable.
E.g. why not detune a guitar a lot, let's say a halftone or so, tune one string to perfect pitch with a precise guitar tuner and tune the other strings by hand. At last check with the guitar tuner the result - how many percent I am too sharp or flat?
In my case I am not very good. To be honest usually the worsest string is about 5 percent of a half tone away from perfect pitch, in most cases the B string has the weakest result.
In know that some pro's are in the range of 1 percent.
Normal guitar tuners have a LED for beeing to sharp or too flat with a hysteresis of about +/- 3 percent. Better guitar tuners have LEDs and another display so that you can check if it is outside of +/- 3 percent, how much it is outside.

I would suggest to detune the guitar first in that way that some strings are too low, some too high, but not much more than a halftone so that the guitar neck remains stable so that the one string tuned with guitar tuner is also stable.

Next it is necessary of course to pluck the strings with equal force because there can be a difference of some percent otherwise.

I would be interest what your result is, Karla.

-Olaf Schmidt
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:48 pm

Hi!

I want to add my own thoughts as well.

Some facts:
Perfect Pitch is the ability to hear any tone and name it by ear.
Without using the voice, simply by hearing it.
The next level of perfect pitch is when one can start to tell
if a pitch is a little bit flat or sharp.
Judging the pitch by voice, is NOT perfect pitch.
It is vocal tension pitch.
This will never be as good as perfect pitch.
Because, when once voice gets more developed, and you can sing higher than before, then you'll mess up the tones.
If the A has been the top tone of your register, and your new tone is B, then you'll confuse them, without knowing!

Perfect Pitch is the ability to hear more.
That's true. Start by doing this. This is a great exercise from my CD:s.
Take three any tones, and play them togheter, at the same time.
Now, can you hear ALL the tones??
Can you sing all the tones in order, from the bottom up?
If you can't hear all the tones, then your ear needs to open up more.
You have to work with your ear like this, and it will come to you.
And, when your ear is open enough, then you'll notice differences in the tones, very subtle differences.
But, this is Perfect Pitch!

-Jens
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!? (Jan-26-04)

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:49 pm

Jens,

You wrote:

"Start by doing this. This is a great exercise from my CD:s.
Take three any tones, and play them togheter, at the same time.
Now, can you hear ALL the tones??
Can you sing all the tones in order, from the bottom up?
If you can't hear all the tones, then your ear needs to open up more.
You have to work with your ear like this, and it will come to you.
And, when your ear is open enough, then you'll notice differences in the tones, very subtle differences."



Do you just keep doing this and attain perfect pitch?

-Alin
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:50 pm

Dudes. Thanks so much for all this great info. Jens. Cool post.

MindenBlues. I want to try your test but I don't know how to tune a guitar outside of a tuner. I haven't been doing this for that long yet. I can tune it by a piano. Would that work?

-Kfisherx
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:51 pm

Tom wrote:

"I have a decent ear, and I can match a note I hear with my
voice, but I can't carry a tune at all (ask anyone in my
family). But I don't have a tin ear because I can hear myself
not carrying the tune. And I think it is genetic because one
of my kids is a fine singer as is my wife while my other child
sings like me and is even more rhythmically challenged."



Tom, I have to disagree with the genetic explanation. You simply haven't learned the skill of producing a desired sequence of pitches in a desired rhythm. I'm certain that with an appropriate learning context you could learn those skills. You obviously have some of the elements required, since you recognize that you are not singing what you desire to sing. You just haven't learned how to adjust what you do so that you get the result you want. You _can learn that. Since you say that you can sing any note you play ( I think that's what you meant), I suspect you are doing things that interfere with the actions needed to produce a melody.

-John Link
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Re: Perfect Pitch...!?

Postby moved from old forum: » Mon Oct 06, 2008 12:51 pm

John,

I hope you are right, but I don't think so. I probably could be trained to sing better than I do, but not well. After 40-some years of loving music, playing several instruments and singing along with the radio I have become pretty convinced that I can't sing.

I think it is a mental thing. To carry a tune you need to intend a result. I think my deficiency is in this intension - I don't hear in my head correctly before I try to sing a note. In hindsight (hindhear?) I can hear what I sang and know that it does not match my memory of the song.

-Tom
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