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  1. #1
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    Default Perfect Pitch versus Relative Pitch

    Which do you have?

    Perfect Pitch - is "Color Hearing." Just like you can name visual colors by eye, you can learn to name Pitch Colors by ear.

    Relative Pitch - tells you the KIND of CHORD you are hearing. Every chord is a group of tones that creates its own special sound: Major, Minor, Augmented, Dominant Seventh, Sharp Five, Add Nine, Suspended Fourth, etc.

    You can certainly have both, and I think you can develop both too, not sure just yet. I'm pretty good with Relative Pitch, but I don't think I have all that much perfect pitch, I can learn things pretty well by ear, but I know a music teacher that does it almost instantaneously, it's quite awesome.

    There's a nice little game to sort of test for perfect pitch too:
    Perfect Pitch

    Okay, I totally put this thread in the wrong section! Moderators!?!
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  2. #2
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    I have really good relative pitch, but no, don't have perfect pitch. As long as you tell me one note for reference, I can figure the rest out by ear.
    You can't spell "justice" without ISTJ.

  3. #3
    Circus Maximus Sarcasticus's Avatar
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    I have good relative pitch too. I can tell what chords are being played on the guitar. And I can pick out a low E pretty well since it's the lowest note on a guitar. I wish I had perfect pitch though. The test confirms that I don't.

  4. #4
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    I have very very good relative pitch. And I have backwards perfect pitch, as in, if I hear a song in a different key from the one in which I learned it, I can tell that it's wrong and by how much. But I can't produce the key of the song before I hear it.

    My little brother, on the other hand, has the most incredible perfect pitch. He can hear a car honk its horn and say which notes blend together to create the sound. Or someone can go to a piano and hit 7 random keys and the same time without him looking and he can name all of them. It's crazy.

  5. #5
    ♪♫♪♫♪♫ luminous beam's Avatar
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    relative pitch lol

    that game only works for ya if you know how to play keys and know where all the notes are. also, even if someone does not know the names of the notes does not mean they can't match them singing them or playing them on their instruments. i think a majority of musicians play instruments by ear.


  6. #6
    Phantonym
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    No perfect pitch in my corner of the brain. The relative pitch thing is iffy as well. What's weird though, I played the game and got everything exactly one tone lower. I wonder what does that show?

  7. #7
    ♪♫♪♫♪♫ luminous beam's Avatar
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    ^your tone is off by half a pitch, or something haha


  8. #8
    it's tea time! Walking Tourist's Avatar
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    That's a fun game. After I made a few errors, I was able to fix them and get the notes correct nearly all of the time. I may have perfect pitch but I have to listen twice sometimes before I remember what I heard. I know that I have very good relative pitch because I sing in choral groups and I like to sit with someone who sings a different part from me so that I can know that I'm singing the right note in the chord.
    I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.

  9. #9
    Phantonym
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    Quote Originally Posted by luminous beam View Post
    ^your tone is off by half a pitch, or something haha
    Or I have lousy speakers...

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I have pretty close to perfect pitch, but it's partly learned, not inherent. "B flat" was drilled into my head so bad and I played piano for so long that I just know what the pitches are. My parents used to test me when I was pre-teen and I was almost always right on with what I thought the pitch was.

    It's bad enough that I have trouble following a piano score if I'm listening to a recording where the song was performed in a key other than what the score is showing -- it messes with my head. (I prefer to play by ear and not use music at all, if I can help it.) The same goes if an entire ensemble is in tune with each other but out of tune together (slightly over or under the stated pitch); all I hear is how "off" it is -- to the point of uncontrollable wincing/shoulder-scrunching -- if they're out of tune together.

    As a pianist (improv/jazz, etc.), I've learned to recognize various chord structures by sound and which notes are being played in the chord and in what grouping (open, closed, etc.), and I can choose as I go which type of chords and structure will best create the effect I'm looking for... it's a lot of fun.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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