Perfect Pitch 1
I have been following up on the exercises for David Lucas Burge’s Perfect Pitch Ear Training Course. The exercises are deceptively simple. Simple in concept, but very hard to master. They involve minimal physical work, but very taxing on the mental faculties. I have to admit I am not as disciplined with the follow through of the exercises as I should be, but nevertheless I have experienced a few breakthroughs worth mentioning
I have said in a previous post about hearing in music and I did mention that I have a very underdeveloped sense of hearing when it involves music. I have difficulty pinpointing pitches and have a hard time telling exactly how low or how high a pitch is.
When trying to figure out a song by ear, I tend to get confused by the chord progression. For example, I was trying to figure out which chord a song was in one time, and can’t seem to get it. I resorted to figuring out the bass notes of the sound, hoping to figure out the note colours later.
I was stumped for a long time, and after a while, frustrated, I asked my friend to help out. Turns out the chord for the part never changed throughout the whole line, and looking back I now know that I tricked myself into thinking that it was a chord change when in fact it was just a change in the arrangement. I don’t remember what it was, maybe a cymbal crash or a switch to distortion effects on the guitar, or maybe both.
That was my first painful realization of how I was not sensitive to the relationship between pitches. After that incident, I came to the (erroneous) conclusion that I was not born with good ears. Sound familiar? A lot of people feel the same. After listening to the program and how David Lucas Burge explains the myths and fact about the ears and listening, I am now open to explore my ears and to wake them up to the “colours” of the pitches.
As of now, I notice that playing by ear is easier. Before the course, I was not really deciphering the song according to the relationship between the chords. I was merely guessing which chord the song is using at the moment, and where it was headed. It took a while to get a song down, and even then, when the song involved complex and exotic colours such as diminished chords or inversions, I would get confused and stumped.
I have it much easier now, although I still do get stumped sometimes. I am more aware of the notes in the chord, whereas previously I was only able to hear the highest note or the lowest note of the chord (also can be described as the outside notes). The notes between the lowest and highest were undecipherable to me before.
I am also now aware of the pitch colours. I am not yet able to hear a note and immediately name it, but I can tell roughly where it is in a range of notes. That was very exciting for me, because I’m actually beginning to develop perfect pitch! It only works in speech level pitch; I still get stumped when I test myself on extremely high or low pitches.
That’s all for now, I will keep updating you on my progress, and hopefully maintain a consistent practice routine ;p Happy Singing!