Perfect Pitchs Downside in Hearing Music

Perfect Pitchs Downside in Hearing Music

Perfect Pitchs Downside in Hearing Music

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Perfect Pitchs Downside in Hearing Music

Q: I just bought both the Ear Training One Note Complete and Fanatic’s Guide to Sight Singing books and I am beginning to sift through them.

My question is: I already have perfect pitch. Will this program be more difficult for me as opposed to someone with no ear training, or will perfect pitch place me at an advantage in mastering your method? I fear my perfect pitch may make me lazy in fully grasping your theory.

A: I think the important distinction you need to make is you need to know more than just what the name of the pitches are. You need to know how they are functioning within a key. By knowing how they are functioning in a key you can make intelligent choices as to what scale(s) will fit over the notes you hear. This is crucial in composition and improvisation.

It definitely takes mental discipline to learn this other method of note identification when you already have perfect pitch. The rewards are great though. I have found that musicians with perfect pitch have to work even harder to become great musicians. While they can quickly identify notes that is only a small part of being a great musician. Sometimes because perfect pitch musicians have this great note recognition ability they neglect feel, sensitivity, rhythm, relative pitch knowledge, embellishment, common sense and other important music considerations to becoming a great musician.

So to answer your question: Yes it’s easy to get lazy when you have perfect pitch and it’s the downfall of many musicians that have such a great gift by squandering it because of lack of understanding and artistic commitment to music. Just about every great musician in New York City is either a friend of mine or a friend of a friend. You would be surprised how few have perfect pitch. I’d say about 5 percent. How many have great relative pitch? I’d say about 99.9. What this should tell you is that many of the problems I’ve mentioned about perfect pitch keep musicians from succeeding. Conversely it also tells you how important dedication and hard work are to becoming a great musician. Personally I don’t know a great musician that didn’t work like a dog to get to their level of ability. I think most students don’t realize this because most musicians don’t exactly like everyone to know that music wasn’t easy for them.

It is also recommended that you read Bruce Arnold’s Blog at his artist site. It contains more discussion of the musical topics found in these FAQs as well as other subjects of interest. You will also find the “Music Education Genealogy Chart” located here which shows you the historic significance of the music education products found on the Muse Eek Publishing Company Website.

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