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Dioxic

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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
Hey everyone I've just discovered Ted Greene not too long ago and I must say, wow!!! I'm a younger player (still in college), but I'm glad to have found him. Better late than never!

Anywho, I was reading an article on the website about how Ted developed "perfect relative pitch" by picking and memorizing his favorite pitch, E, and then internally comparing everything against that. 

Coincidentally before finding out about ted I also learned to recall E without any reference pitch. 

Does anybody have any information as to how Ted would practice solidifying his mental production of E without a reference and how he practiced using it as a reference pitch?

thanks!
James

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Posts: 275
Reply with quote  #2 
I discussed the perfect pitch issue with Ted in a lesson.  Basically, he suggested waking up in the morning, singing your best guess at the pitch E, and then checking an instrument to see if you got it right.  Also he said, throughout the day, you can carry a little chromatic pitch pipe, sing E either out loud or mentally from time to time, and check yourself with the pitch pipe.

All those years ago, I took his advice but not too diligently and developed "inklings" of remembering the E pitch, which I have to this day.  For example, over Thanksgiving my cousin handed me an old guitar and asked me to tune it.  It was pitched way low.  So with my imperfect, perfect pitch I heard the note E and tuned up the first string.  Then I tuned the rest of the guitar to that.  Soon someone with a cell phone pulled up a guitar tuner app and checked my perfect pitch.  I was right.  But other times I have been wrong.  So that's why I say "inkling."  I kinda have it some but I can be influenced by recent music or sounds to get it wrong sometimes.

My understanding of the research that has been done on perfect pitch is that nearly all musicians who have it began their study of music, and note reading in particular, at very young age, seven years old or less.  Apparently, a certain area of the brain is enlarged slightly in people with perfect pitch.  I believe it is very much like learning to speak a language with no accent.  Kids younger than seven can often learn a second or third language from exposure and speak it without an accent.  Older people who learn a language nearly always have an accent when they speak it, with very few exceptions.  The same early learning process - imprinting - is likely involved in perfect pitch.

There are also disadvantages to having perfect pitch.  It can be hard to transpose at sight.  One of my professors with perfect pitch was trying to develop his relative pitch.

All of us musicians have strengths and weaknesses.  There's only so much time so pick what you want to work on and improve.  Good luck!
DaveAnno

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Posts: 173
Reply with quote  #3 
I didn't really get into Ted until my mid/late 30s, I'd say you found Ted at the right time. [wink]


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Dave
Dioxic

Registered:
Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James
I discussed the perfect pitch issue with Ted in a lesson.  Basically, he suggested waking up in the morning, singing your best guess at the pitch E, and then checking an instrument to see if you got it right.  Also he said, throughout the day, you can carry a little chromatic pitch pipe, sing E either out loud or mentally from time to time, and check yourself with the pitch pipe.

All those years ago, I took his advice but not too diligently and developed "inklings" of remembering the E pitch, which I have to this day.  For example, over Thanksgiving my cousin handed me an old guitar and asked me to tune it.  It was pitched way low.  So with my imperfect, perfect pitch I heard the note E and tuned up the first string.  Then I tuned the rest of the guitar to that.  Soon someone with a cell phone pulled up a guitar tuner app and checked my perfect pitch.  I was right.  But other times I have been wrong.  So that's why I say "inkling."  I kinda have it some but I can be influenced by recent music or sounds to get it wrong sometimes.

My understanding of the research that has been done on perfect pitch is that nearly all musicians who have it began their study of music, and note reading in particular, at very young age, seven years old or less.  Apparently, a certain area of the brain is enlarged slightly in people with perfect pitch.  I believe it is very much like learning to speak a language with no accent.  Kids younger than seven can often learn a second or third language from exposure and speak it without an accent.  Older people who learn a language nearly always have an accent when they speak it, with very few exceptions.  The same early learning process - imprinting - is likely involved in perfect pitch.

There are also disadvantages to having perfect pitch.  It can be hard to transpose at sight.  One of my professors with perfect pitch was trying to develop his relative pitch.

All of us musicians have strengths and weaknesses.  There's only so much time so pick what you want to work on and improve.  Good luck!


Hey James,

I've been doing this for awhile and it's getting to the point where I can pretty consistently recall E, so now I'm attempting to be able to do it against interference or that sort of thing. I started music pretty late in life, but with enough rigorous training perhaps it's possible for me to get this down to a much more concrete degree.

I'd love to be able to use it for reference when transcribing or hearing progressions etc. and your example of doing it this thanksgiving is encouraging!

I'll attempt to work on it diligently for awhile and see what comes of it. Coincidentally I've been doing what you said Ted Suggested. First thing in the morning I think, "What is E?" and throughout the day I test myself with my smartphone (not quite a pitch pipe...haha). 

Input from others would be appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAnno
I didn't really get into Ted until my mid/late 30s, I'd say you found Ted at the right time. [wink]



I suspect anytime is the right time [wink] Glad we both found the light! haha
goldglob

Registered:
Posts: 61
Reply with quote  #5 
Always interesting this. I don't have the kind of 'perfect pitch' that enables identifying the pitch of say a trumpet or saxophone or piano note but I can (near enough) accurately sing a guitar low E before picking up the instrument, and can tell if a guitar is at concert pitch. I guess it's just memory of something very familiar.
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