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Relative and Perfect Pitch Audio Courses and 47 years old new to music

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Mustafa Umut Sa, Feb 10, 2018.

  1. Mustafa Umut Sa

    Mustafa Umut Sa

    Oct 20, 2007
    I found relative and perfect pitch audio courses from internet. Can 47 year old man , new to music playing and not gifted and talented learn them ?
    Bassbeater likes this.
  2. Mushroo

    Mushroo Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    Massachusetts, USA
    "Perfect" pitch is not a realistic goal for a beginner.

    "Better" pitch is a totally realistic goal! Practice hard, study with a good teacher, and you will get a little bit better every day. Start with easy exercises, so you feel good about your progress, like: learn to play "Happy Birthday" by ear.

    I gave some detailed advice from my own experiences in this thread: Developing Ear

    Remember: you don't have to be "perfect" you just have to be "better today than you were yesterday"! :)
    Mustafa Umut Sa and SunnBass like this.
  3. Ditto the above post by Mushroo. Perfect pitch at your age, IMO not going to happen.
    Good enough ear - comes with playing a bunch of songs. About 90% of what I play is from fake chord sheet music. If I waited for my ears to click in I would have given up a long time ago. If we just follow the printed chord and trust that the song writer knew what he was doing normally gets us asked back.

    Every Good Ole Boy Band I've ever played with played from fake chord sheet music. Yes 5 years in your ear will let you start jamming to what is being played and the music stand can stay at home, but, for right now my recommendation would be to play from chord charts, or fake chord sheet music.
    For example" SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW chords by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole | E-Chords.com Miss Peggy and Willie do a good job of this song.
    Google has always come to my rescue. Use these search words. Chords, name of the song.

    Now to do that you must know where the notes are on your fret board, and your fingers will have run the Major and minor scale up and down your neck a zillion times. Why? Scales get our fingers moving between the strings. But understand chord tones - notes of the chord played one note at a time to the beat of the song is what we do. So you need to know the chord spellings of the chord you are playing. http://www.smithfowler.org/music/Chord_Formulas.htm

    Take heart, right now just the root and the 5th - which is up a string from your root and over towards the bridge two frets - will play a lot of songs. If you need more throw in the 8 - it's right over the 5th on the next string up, same fret. A generic bass line of R-5-8-5 works on both major and minor chords. So if you have four beats to fill the ole R-5-8-5 would be a good place to start.

    After you get this down come back and we will get into the other stuff. There is enough stuff to keep you busy for the rest of your life. That's what I like about music, always something new...
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  4. RustyAxe


    Jul 8, 2008
    One either has "perfect pitch" or not. It isn't something that is learned ... and it's quite rare. Most who claim to have it ... don't. Relative pitch can most certainly be learned ... with ear training. The ability to identify that a note or chord is X number of steps above/below the root (or whatever the reference is) takes time and practice. You can do it if you determine to.
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Anybody can learn anything, all it takes is work. You put the work in, you get the result. There were a couple of guys of my acquaintance that used that "perfect pitch" course you used to see advertised a while back; one of them bailed cause he said he wasn't getting anything out of it, the other said he was starting to get a sense of pitch "color" for specific pitches. I don't know if he kept up with it though. Both of those guys had really excellent relative pitch to begin with.
    And ultimately THAT'S the skill that is really going to stand you in good stead; Lynn Seaton (jazz at whatever used to be North Texas State) related that the folks who HAD perfect pitch and thought that it would give them an advantage in the jazz program apparently quickly found out that being able to hear individual pitches and know what notes they were (or groups of notes) still had a hard time discerning chord function. Kind of not being able to see the forest for the trees kind of thing.

    Oh and my friend Jon doesn't have perfect pitch, but he does seem to have memorized the sound of a specific instrument playing a specific pitch ( I can't remember which right now) pretty accurately and that, given his excellent relative pitch, gives him the ability to transcribe live melodic lines without knowing the key of what's being played accurately.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  6. Yes and yes. If parrots can do it, humans can do it without crackers.
  7. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Apart from the debate about whether you can learn it or just have to be born with it, "perfect pitch" is vastly over-rated IMO. As a practical matter, the only time it would be useful to have perfect pitch would be if you somehow suddenly found yourself in the middle of a jam and didn't know what key it was in, in which case you would be able to ensure that the first note you played sounded good. That doesn't happen very often. In contrast, "relative pitch" is a crucial skill, especially when improvising, and surely can be learned. Theoretically, music is all about intervals -- the distances between the notes -- rather than whatever note was the starting point.
    Bassbeater likes this.
  8. Basic interval training using nursery rhymes, starwars themes and christmas songs has been more valuable to me than my attempts at individual note recognition. But... learning a few by heart is also helpful, especially if you can generate and recognize intervals from them. I recommend singing 440 A. into a mic and tuner setup. That one is pretty easy and will def impress your bandmates. ;)
    Lobster11 likes this.
  9. Lobster11

    Lobster11 Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2006
    Williamsburg, VA
    Yes! I think a great exercise for interval training (relative pitch) is to sit down with your bass and try to figure out how to play the melody of some tune that you know inside-and-out -- i.e., you can "hear it" in your head without needing to listen to a recording -- including children's songs, Christmas carols, TV theme songs, and so forth. You can test your "perfect" pitch by trying to find the key that sounds right, but that's less important than figuring out what intervals correspond to what sounds in the melody in any given key. (Plus, it's fun to be able to pull out something like the Addams Family or Brady Bunch theme during a lull between songs, or sneak it into a jam.)

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