Did you know that for centuries the world’s greatest musicians and composers have had a secret weapon that few others knew about? And even more astounding is the fact that every single person has this same ability lying undiscovered inside! This special ability is pitch recognition, more commonly known as absolute pitch and relative pitch. These two skills have been the guiding force behind some of music’s biggest names. Some top composers with this ability include: – Mozart – Bach – Beethoven – Chopin – And many more… More recently the skill of pitch recognition has helped musical greats including: – Frank Sinatra – Miles Davis – Mariah Carey – Stevie Wonder – Jimi Hendrix – Yngwie Malmsteen – And many more… Most professionals agree that a good sense of pitch is one of the most important qualities of good musicianship. Below are various quotes acknowledging some of the top musical performers’ absolute / perfect pitch abilities. Jimi Hendrix "Although Hendrix never learned to read written music, early in his career as a sideman he could learn a new band’s entire repertoire in an hour or two by just hearing the songs once. Again, this would be beyond someone without perfect pitch." Miles Davis "He talks about his Julliard years and says how he and his friend used to call out the pitch as soon as a sound was heard." Mariah Carey "Luckily, she discovered the art of singing and had a natural talent for it. Having perfect pitch she could sing back exactly what she heard at the age of four." Yanni "The interviewer began to randomly play pitches at the keyboard and Yanni, without hesitation, accurately identified every one of them."
Here are some interesting facts that you should know: 1. 10% of students at the leading music schools, including Julliard School of Music, have absolute pitch. 2. A symphony orchestra usually includes 20% – 40% of musicians with absolute pitch. 3. Numerous leading surveys have concluded that at least 50% of today’s top recording artists have either absolute pitch, relative pitch, or both!
Even today there are some universities around the world that teach their students that absolute pitch can’t be learned. You’re either born with it or not. Personally, I know this to be a completely false statement considering I learned this skill in my teens. So what exactly is absolute pitch (also known as perfect pitch)? It is the ability to hear a musical note or chord and name it. I predict that in the future universities will start to wake up to the fact that this is a skill that can be taught, just like language and art. Until then there will always be people that don’t try to understand it. Instead they simply dismiss it as a genetic defect. I guess the saying "People criticize what they don’t understand", applies to absolute pitch. To me I can’t help but laugh at all this nonsense. And hopefully since you’re reading this then you also know that absolute pitch is a skill that can be learned. That brings me to relative pitch. So what is that? Simply put, it is the ability to hear and comprehend the relationship between one note and another. In other words, a musical interval. For example, a perfect 5th is an interval. Now here is the funny thing, relative pitch is usually taught in universities… So at least they got something right!
I recently read an article about a scientific study done to try and determine why some people have absolute pitch while others don’t. And you know what they said at the end of the article? They theorize there might be a absolute pitch gene! I remember laughing my head off at that… What a load of BS. That’s like saying there is a special singing gene, or a guitar gene that only guitar players possess. Ah, so that explains why some people are singers and some aren’t… Yeah right! When I was born I didn’t know what the note C sounded like. I had no concept of music. And neither does any newborn baby. It is a learned skill, just like language. I was 16 when I learned this skill, so that is very strong proof that there is no special gene. absolute pitch can be taught to anyone regardless of their genetics or age. I have even taught this method to musicians who are in their 50s and 60s! It is simply a skill like any other. There is no such thing as a natural, only a student.
"They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m here to tell you that you certainly can!" My journey to mastering both absolute pitch and relative pitch began when I was 16 years old. At the time I was learning guitar and really wanted to step up my musical skills. I decided to ask my music teacher about absolute pitch and she told me that if you don’t already have it you can’t learn it. I remember my determination at the time thinking, ‘I’ll show her that I can learn absolute pitch’. For the next few weeks I thought long and hard about a way to teach myself this unique skill, then one night it finally dawned on me. I spent the next week creating a method that I used for the next 6 weeks. When I went back to my teacher and told her to test me, she literally flipped out. I can still remember the look on her face, it was pure envy! It’s funny because when I initially told her I was learning absolute pitch she rolled her eyes like ‘sure!’ Since then I have maintained my skill and every now and then I’ll test myself for fun. I always score 100%! It’s as easy as spelling my name.
Over the years I have talked to literally hundreds of musicians through email and direct contact on the issue of absolute pitch and relative pitch. Many of these musicians had actually tried to learn absolute pitch through…