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I recently realized my perfect pitch is a bit interesting in some ways, and wondering if anyone else has something similar to this.

I perceive notes in Do Re Mi Fa….so on at the fixed pitch (for me, C=Do, D=Re), and hear them like they are sung (for me every instrumental music has lyrics).
This works the same for any random everyday sounds too – if I hit a cup in front of me, people say it sounds like ding-, dang-, or whatever – but for me it sounds like “Mi-”.

So it seems that I do have perfect pitch.

However, my pitch is not THAT perfect. I sometimes find my pitch perception to be off a half step. Sometimes I hear a song in F# and think it’s in F, and realize I was wrong after trying to play along with my instrument.

I also heard that some people with perfect pitch can’t stand listening to a piano (or any) tuned quarter step down. For me that never happens. If a song in F was played on that piano, I perceive it as either in E or F. If someone asks me to sing F#, it’s a bit confusing, and can be a bit off. So my perfect pitch is somehow passive.

Also it’s interesting that I can transpose what I hear if I focus. If I hear an Eb scale and keep telling myself it’s an Ab scale, I start perceiving that scale as Ab scale, and other notes played after as well(up fourth or down fifth). I can move my pitch up or down like this, and when I do this the “lyrics” of the songs gets automatically transposed as well, but this goes back to concert pitch if I lose my focus, and this is generally hard for songs with fast passages.

This is quiet convenient when I change the key of what I play, or change the key of the instrument. Kinda works automatically. I heard some people with perect pitch have difficulties with transposition, and I never had such a problem since transposition was automatic in a way. I play Bb sax, and while I generally hear everything in concert pitch, I hear everything a whole step up when I was playing my sax.

So I am guessing my perfect pitch is kind of flexible, just like relative pitch. Some told me what I have is relative pitch, so I tried the perfect pitch test from UofC website and got nearly perfect.

But I recently felt my perfect pitch is too blurred by playing a Bb sax, so I decided to work on a new fingering so that I can play sax like it’s in C. Before I changed my fingering it bothered me a little, because when I cut in and trying to play a note, I sometimes find myself playing a note that’s a whole tone low, and needed to change my pitch perception. There was a time I did try to move my original pitch perception a whole tone up, but realized it was impossible.

Then now I got quite comfortable with the new fingering, and feel much more comfortable with playing along or with others, since my pitch perception can always stay in a fixed pitch and I can play whatever I want to play at any moment without confusion.

Anyways, I feel like I talked too much about useless stuff. So, I was just wondering, are there any who has perfect pitch perception similar to mine? (not too perfect and flexible at the same time..?)
 

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I once had a keyboard that had a bunch of fancy settings and I could make the keys sound like cats. so, Do Re Mi Fa….so on became 'meow, meow, meow' etc etc. After a while I only used the cat setting. I dont hear notes at cat sounds, now, but when my cat meows I know what key on the keyboard it would be. I can make sounds on the saxophone that sound like a cat in distress, too.

So, maybe it's kind of similar.

Related; I think that perfect pitch is probably not 'not too perfect'. Otherwise it's just having a pretty good ear.
 

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Theres definitely different degrees. Ive known people with dead on perfect pitch. They can identify a tone everytime and tell you if its flat or sharp. One guy could pick out every tone in random clusters that we'd play on the piano. He later became an engineer. I have good relative pitch and usually can get close by singing a tone thats at the low end of my vocal range, an E or Eb, and figure out with relative pitch what the other note is. But really this is only good for figuring out what key a song is in when you dont have an instrument or something else to give you a note, since i figure out tunes in my head using scale degrees. I had a professor that somehow figured out one day how to identify a particular note--I think it was because when he heard that note he always heard a particular song--He gradually expanded this using relative pitch so now he has basically functional perfect pitch.
When I relax, if I think of a recording Ive heard a million times, i will hear it in my head in the right key. Usually when I test it, its right. But I have to be relaxed and clear minded and not have the song in my head previously or other distractions. Just now I did it with "Sweet Home Alabama" and then sang the note I heard in my head---dead on. So where Im going with all this is that I think there might be a way to train oneself to have perfect pitch.
Has anybody ever trained themself for perfect pitch? Remember the ads in the magazines about hearing colors? Ive never known anyone who tried that. I always wanted to but figured it was pure BS.
 

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The current theory is that Absolute Pitch manifests itself by the time a person is 3. It's been described to me as just 'knowing' what a pitch is, without any kind of reference, just like a person can see the color 'red' and say that it's 'red'. Anything less than this is considered relative pitch.

From what I gather, it's handy but can be a real bother.

I play with a hammond organist that has absolute pitch, but her pitch is at A=442--so that's what her organs are pitched to. She supplies us with a book of tunes, but she oftentimes only writes out the parts with no chords.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I would think that this would be relative pitch, wouldn't it?
I assume relative pitch is quite involved in my case, but my pitch perception IS fixed to some degree unless I intentionally transpose my perception or I am under certain circumstances.
 

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The current theory is that Absolute Pitch manifests itself by the time a person is 3. It's been described to me as just 'knowing' what a pitch is, without any kind of reference, just like a person can see the color 'red' and say that it's 'red'. Anything less than this is considered relative pitch.

From what I gather, it's handy but can be a real bother.

I play with a hammond organist that has absolute pitch, but her pitch is at A=442--so that's what her organs are pitched to. She supplies us with a book of tunes, but she oftentimes only writes out the parts with no chords.
For me, I instantly know what the notes are when they are played. I don't use any reference, the notes simply sing either Do, Re, Mi, Fa,....etc. to me. Like they have lyrics.

But as I said it is NOT a bother for me at all. I would listen to anything not tuned A=440~2 and not even realize they are off. For me there are no such notes as "wrong" as long as the relative pitches of the music is right.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Theres definitely different degrees. Ive known people with dead on perfect pitch. They can identify a tone everytime and tell you if its flat or sharp. One guy could pick out every tone in random clusters that we'd play on the piano. He later became an engineer. I have good relative pitch and usually can get close by singing a tone thats at the low end of my vocal range, an E or Eb, and figure out with relative pitch what the other note is. But really this is only good for figuring out what key a song is in when you dont have an instrument or something else to give you a note, since i figure out tunes in my head using scale degrees. I had a professor that somehow figured out one day how to identify a particular note--I think it was because when he heard that note he always heard a particular song--He gradually expanded this using relative pitch so now he has basically functional perfect pitch.
When I relax, if I think of a recording Ive heard a million times, i will hear it in my head in the right key. Usually when I test it, its right. But I have to be relaxed and clear minded and not have the song in my head previously or other distractions. Just now I did it with "Sweet Home Alabama" and then sang the note I heard in my head---dead on. So where Im going with all this is that I think there might be a way to train oneself to have perfect pitch.
Has anybody ever trained themself for perfect pitch? Remember the ads in the magazines about hearing colors? Ive never known anyone who tried that. I always wanted to but figured it was pure BS.
Right, I've met people who have more accurate perfect pitch than mine. There are differences in how sensitive they are.

By the way training perfect pitch you mentioned is more like tonal memory with relative pitch worked together, I believe.
 

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Here's a tutorial you might find interesting called "Perfect Pitch vs. Relative Pitch" by my friend Jay Graydon.

http://jaygraydon.net/articles.htm
Nice article. I do almost all the techniques he talks about.
Try this:
Without thinking about it, mentally play the sax in your head, whichever one you play the most. For me, its tenor. Move your fingers and play some of your favorite licks in your head. Stop on a note, then sing the note you were hearing in your head. Then check that note with an instrument or whatever. When I do this Im usually always right. The only times Im not are when Im distracted by something else and my pitch reference gets off--but I usually know what it was or what I did to get thrown off.
Ive never discussed this with other musicians but I would guess that if been playing for a long time you can do this.
 

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You dont have perfect pitch.
I agree! The original post is very confusing, but after reading it a few times to figure out exactly what was being said; It would seem that the OP has an okay ear and decent relative pitch.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You dont have perfect pitch.
I agree! The original post is very confusing, but after reading it a few times to figure out exactly what was being said; It would seem that the OP has an okay ear and decent relative pitch.
That's what some people said and I once thought so too, but over the years I found out that I am certainly different with those who only have relative pitch, so I tried this test recently:

http://perfectpitch.ucsf.edu/audio_test/audio_test.php

and here is my result:

View attachment 26227


You guys can try the test too if you want to know if you have perfect pitch.

And sorry for the confusion, my English is a bit of a mess.
 

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I have similar pitch perception. Not enough to tune to with absolute certainty, but more than just a good relative pitch. What I found and have been critisized before on is that I tend to rely on my ear, rather than on my knowledge of the fundamentals of the scales and chords.

Wonderful if you're classicaly oriented, less so if you're a jazzer. In some ways, I have to work harder to ignore my ear than I otherwise might.
 

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I once pitched a perfect game (in Little League). Also, if someone belches real close to me, I can usually identify their last complete meal -- although sometimes I'm a little off, like mistaking corn nuts for corn chips. That's kind of similar, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have similar pitch perception. Not enough to tune to with absolute certainty, but more than just a good relative pitch. What I found and have been critisized before on is that I tend to rely on my ear, rather than on my knowledge of the fundamentals of the scales and chords.

Wonderful if you're classicaly oriented, less so if you're a jazzer. In some ways, I have to work harder to ignore my ear than I otherwise might.
Thank you for the advise. I tend to rely on my ear a lot too actually.

I once pitched a perfect game (in Little League). Also, if someone belches real close to me, I can usually identify their last complete meal -- although sometimes I'm a little off, like mistaking corn nuts for corn chips. That's kind of similar, right?
Congrats!

lol
 
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