Anyone have perfect pitch? What's your experience?

Talking about true perfect pitch from a child, no learned later in life.
If anyone has had perfect pitch since childhood, whats the experience of recalling a note? And of hearing one?

Most people can recall close to pitch notes by remembering a song, though that’s nowhere near as instant as true perfect pitch. And often slightly off pitch.

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I don’t have first-hand experience, but if you haven’t yet, check out Rick Beato’s videos about perfect pitch and his son:


Yes seen that, an interesting video, I suspect it’s more due to the amount of connections in a baby’s brain rather than genetic. Allowing greater associations to be created during that time. Our brain removes most of these unused connection to become more efficient as we grow up. The fact that age degrades and even removes perfect pitch could be due to loss of brain connections. If that is the case it would mean learning it is possible, such as certain drugs have shown. A note by itself is very uninformative, all you really have is the oscillation speed. For example remembering a tune gives far more information points, more associations. And we can all do that, but an unremarkable lone note is just dropped by short term memory, not important enough to be saved long term.

My friend was a folk choir director. He told me that a singer with an absolute pitch was a total pain in the ass. When they sing a song usually they slowly drift in a pitch. Since they hear each other they unconciously tune to each other… except that one bastard who continues to sing according to his built-in camertone ))

Yep. People with a relative pitch could sing a note exactly and precise if you give them any other note, root for example. But without reference they can’t guess where is the ‘base’. So they could remember the song but there’s no guaranty that they would sing it in correct key unless you let them hear couple of notes from some tuned instrument.
People with a perfect pitch could sing any particular note without reference. You just tell him “give me F#” and they somehow sing the note correctly. Without any instrument. For me - it’s a kind of magic.

I don’t really think that there’re some great advantages having a perfect pitch. Well, may be it’s easier to tune your guitar ) or it could be useful for a violinists since they lack of frets


Easier learning of songs is a big advantage, jumping into a jam right away too.
I’m talking about songs you hear in your head, for the most part they are the correct pitch. Unless You alter that memory with incorrect vocal cord use.

Most people should be able to sing the correct starting note of their fave tunes. It’s in long term memory. But good luck sifting through songs you know the pitch to, to find the pitch of what note you’re hearing.

Hmm, how perfect pitch makes learning a new song easier? When learning new material there’s no difference in perfect pitch and relative pitch.
Jumping into a jam - same story. Well, almost the same. Usually I need to get at least one note to grab the key and voila - I’m playing with the band )

Well, I’m not one of them. From my experience I could easily shift a song up to fifth - down or up. Then I grab an instrument and feel myself disgraceful )

Adam Neely has an interesting video on perfect pitch. And, if I remember correctly, he supposed that his perfect pitch somehow related with his synesthesia.

As for me, I have different approaches when playing piano and playing guitar. On the piano I always know what notes I play (C,D,E,F etc) not because of what I hear but mechanically. But if I’m improvising some melody on my guitar or if I play some new song simultaniously with a radio or video - I often don’t know the notes. It’s like my fingers know what fret to use to get right sound. It’s a funny feeling. And if I start to have some doubts for a second then - Bam! - and I get a wrong note. I guess I should trust my fingers more )

Yeah, I don’t have perfect pitch, but I usually can imagine/sing middle C, and in most cases it will be correct, BUT I can’t be sure if I imagine/sing it correctly or not, until I play it on an instrument. Usually it turns out to be right though.

But if you play me any note without warning (i.e. without me remembering the middle C at first), chances are I won’t be able to recall the middle C after ‘any’ note was played. The played note will ‘confuse’ me.

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I don’t have perfect pitch but I have a cousin who has always had perfect pitch. I asked him if he’s going to use that talent to become a professional musician and he said that while he can hear the right notes in his head, his fingers are not all that coordinated on the piano or whatever instrument he’s trying to play. The point is, perfect pitch is nice to have but without the ability to develop a good amount of coordination in your fingers so that you can play the notes you want to play, that mental talent is almost useless without the physical talent as well to play music.

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Resume: perfect pitch is not necessary, it’s enough to have developed relative pitch which is - thank gods - is achievable at any age )

No doubt, though I’m very intrested in anyone’s experience of recalling a note, it’s associations, how it feels etc…

Adam Neely said that different notes have different colors for him so they are really different for him. I bet I could never have such experience.

I’m sure you’ve had various emotional feelings of nostalgia from certain music.
It’s the same thing, an association. Just people with non perfect pitch need more triggers.

My opinion is opposite. I think it’s a kind of additional sensation which you either have or don’t. Like if you try to explain what is ‘red’ to a guy who is blind from his birth.

I think problem is in the name ‘perfect pitch’. Some people think that you can have a ‘not-so-perfect pitch’ or a ‘perfect pitch’ which is better )
More correct terms, I guess, would be ‘absolute pitch’ and ‘relative pitch’. Since they are not worse or better versions of each other but totally different things.

I haven’t got fully developed Perfect Pitch but I’ve gone through almost the whole David Lucas Burge course and what I can do is sing every pitch without a reference (Aural Recall they call it) say +95% of the time and very rarely off to where it sounds out of tune next to the reference on an instrument, it rather jumps on to another “tempered” pitch if I’m off.

The cool part of recognizing pitches out of thin air works very randomly, sometimes it’s super obvious and sometimes it might as well be _____ < insert your own very weird sounding language here. Then again I’ve mostly practiced it on a keyboard using grand piano sounds and timbre is definitely a big factor in recognizing the “tone colors”.

How it feels is kinda hard to explain (how does it feel to see green?) but here’s my take: I’d imagine a song in my head or “mind’s ear” if you will and it feels good/comfortable when it’s right on pitch and weird/uncomfortable when it’s not, sorry to not be more specific but it doesn’t resemble much of anything else. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with how high or low a pitch sounds, and everything to do with their individual “character” (check out Jacob Collier talking about this if you haven’t yet).

Here’s my list of reference tunes just for fun (I use either the 1st melody or song note, unless specified):

|C|Bioshock 1 game start menu|
|C#/Db|FU B***h - Wheeler Walker Jr |
|D|Super Mario World “Demo”|
|D#/Eb |Today - Smashing Pumpkins|
|E|Caprice #1 - Nicolo Pagani|
|F|I’ll See You In My Dreams - Emmett Ray (Sweet and Lowdown)|
|F#/Gb |A Change Of Seasons “Section 2” - Dream Theater|
|G|Higher Window - Josh Groban|
|G#/Ab|All the Things You Are / Cinema Paradiso - Josh Groban Version|
|A|Westworld Opening|
|A#/Bb|You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban|
|B|A Change Of Seasons - Dream Theater|


I was sick a lot as a little kid and the only thing that would calm me down or make me feel better was music so my mother would play lots of music as I was on my baby blanket in front of the hi-fi. Everything from Segovia guitar, classical music, pop tunes, you name it. I was almost force fed a diet of interesting music between ages 1-4 every day.

Later on when I was a little bit older kid, I would “notice things”. I’d love it when my parents would drive the car over a certain bridge on the way to our grandparents place in southern minnesota because it would make a particular “memorable” sound. This is when I was a little kid, maybe 4-5 years old.

That same sound would be emanated by a small electric fan when set to low speed that was in my room as a kid. Same pitch/texture. Somehow it was comforting because I associated it with the fan being on at night and I could sleep to that sound.

And that same note was played in a two part bass line in a Rolling Stones song “Hang Fire” years later.

I don’t think I have perfect pitch because I never was given musical training until later but I could “summon at will” a photographic “sound memory” of a particular sound. If I listen to a piece of music a lot, I can “remember it”. It’s very weird.

So I don’t think I have perfect pitch because I can’t tell you always what the note is but I can pick up a guitar often and play a piece I hear on the radio because I can “hear what they’re doing”. Common guitar chords have a tone and texture that my brain just knows “They played a Eflat, a Bminor then a D followed by a C”.

But I still say I don’t have perfect pitch because it has to be connected to a piece of music sometimes and chords in relation to others not just going to a piano and playing a middle C. I might get it sometimes but not others. And some really complicated piece with a lot of jazz fusion type chords that I might not get either.

So I think I just have better than average relative pitch maybe.

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