Those cheesey 'Perfect Pitch' adverts in Bass Player mag

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Howard K, Sep 30, 2002.

  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I was so bored the other day I actually read one of these ads, you know the ones with the tacky 80's ROK guitarist in them?

    It seems that this product makes a very bold statement, they guarantee that you will have seen an improvement in your ability to recognise perfect pitch within 40 days of listening to the 5 introductory CDs... and if not you can return the CDs and get your money back, no questions asked!

    Obvioulsy there's nothing to stop you ordering the CDs, copying them and sending them back, so I presume that the product must work so well that people are happy to pay for it after the demo period?

    Has anyone ever tried this product? Does it really work as well as they claim?
    I mean $170 or whatever is not much to pay for perfect pitch, if it actually works, surely?
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Do you really need those CDs to develop perfect pitch? Not having developed perfect pitch I can't really say, but I'd imagine you could develop yourself without those things... just a thought.

    *Just noticed that Howard lives extremely near me*
  3. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Well that's what I thought, but I figured that they must have something or they wouldnt make any money. I'm just interested in whatever technique they use, I think it's something about seeing pitch as a colour?

    Don't tell me any more or I'll be round to steal your washing. Naah, kidding, honest. Whereabouts are you?
  4. ..Of course you can develop your ears without it.. but I have always wondered how that program works..
    have you seen the piano version of the advertistment? its the same guy.. check it out.. :D
  5. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I'm in Hook, if you know where that is. It's in Hamshire, about 20 mins from Reading, near Basingstoke.
  6. jaybo

    jaybo Guest

    Sep 5, 2001
    Richmond, KY
    Perfect pitch is a pretty useless skill if you plan on playing with other people, relative pitch is what matters. Not to mention the fact that it can't be learned, it's something some people (not necessarily musicians) are born with. The only practical application of perfect pitch in an ensemble that I've found is timpani players who don't need a reference note to tune their drum.
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I've heard of people acquiring perfect pitch
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Let's keep bumping this thread until someone answers it!

    Hook, rings a bell yeah. What kind of stuff are you into?
    If it's anything like my local band I'll PM you when we have our next gig (we're not very good mind!).
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I like a variety of things - Pop/Rock stuff like Beatles, Billy Joel, Sting/Police, Queen, ELO as well as Jazz/Soul/Funk stuff like Stevie Wonder, Jamiroquai, Bill Withers, Steely Dan, and general Jazz, in particular Herbie Hancock, but Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Weather Report (in particular Jaco), etc. At the moment Jaco's version of 'The Chicken', and various Steely Dan songs are what I'm playin along to. What does your band play?
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I think this is wrong?

    I understood that everyone (ie, the exception is for babies not to have it) is born with perfect pitch, it is what enables children to learn what are effectivley incredibley complex forms of speech. It allows them to copy intonation etc. Although perfect pitch is usually retained in individuals who use it frequently, such as musicians.

    On this basis I'd be prepared to believe it is something you could 're-learn'.

    Relative pitch is obviously more useful and easier to obtain/improve, yes. Ie, we can all learn to hear a minor 3rd interval easy enough, but can you tell what key it is in?

    This is what I thought was interesting, the idea of being able to hear precise tones, rather than tones in relation to others. Just interests me and I wondered what their method was?
  11. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    hey moley, you sound very talented, especially for your age, do you mind if i ask how long you've been playing?

    My Reading band plays ****ty punk rock, pretty crap I'd say, although as usual I see potential in the music!
    If you're playing along to Jaco I shant be inviting you to any gigs, I'd be too embarassed! :rolleyes:
  12. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Thanks Howard! Here's a rundown for ya on how long I've been playing

    Piano - longer than I care to think about... maybe 12 yrs ago I first starting fiddling with it.

    Trumpet - 10 yrs, though I've barely played it the last 2.

    Guitar - 8 yrs (though haven't really played it that seriously).

    Bass - Coming up for 5 yrs, but only switched to fretless about a month ago (glad I did it though!).

    Sax - Nearly 2 months. I've only been messing about, no lessons.

    I've been singing for ages too - but not singing *well* for ages :)

    Piano's my first instrument, but bass has taken over from trumpet & guitar and secured the second spot :) I write & record songs too.

    I doubt you've got anything to be embarassed about - you said in another post you've been playing for 12 yrs, which beats my 5 :)
  13. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Agreed - I can't stand seeing those double-page ads in BP with the 6-string wanker with the 60's hairband hair-do :rolleyes:

    From what I've read about research on the subject, "pitch" isn't a skill one "develops."

    From the research I've seen, two crucial factors emerge;

    1. It is a crucial survival mechanism we are born with when we are infants and we get our behavioral cues from pitch, intensity, volume, and other tonal/acoustic characteristics

    2. As we learn language, most of us lose our reliance on "pitch" and other acoustic/tonal characteristics. Content becomes more important than context or any other communication influence.

    BUT, if you started music lessons as a child, you don't lose your pitch skills, (or you lose less of those abilities). Pitch remains a vital skill for young musical students.
    At the risk of seeming prideful - As a relatively older guy here, my experiences to pick up bass lines and melodies quickly, and sometimes immediately, serves me well in bands that play covers.
  14. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I talked to this guy in er..another bass discussion site..:rolleyes: who said that he bought the course and that it works and lives up to the claims. He swears that now he can identify notes immediately with no relative pitch being played or whatnot. Could be blowing smoke, I don't know.

    Like the other guys said, you don't acquire pitch, but I think the idea is that they claim to somehow teach you a different way of listening to the notes and recognizing certain characteristics of each note that allow you to identify it. I never paid any heed to those ads either but after hearing that other guy talk about it I must say that I'm more curious now. I may end up checking it out some day...after all there is a money-back guaranty and we know that they aren't a fly-by-night, take the money and run company because those ads have been in there for years.

    brad cook
  15. incognito89x

    incognito89x ♪♫♪ ♪ ♪ ♫&#983

    Sep 22, 2002
    Royal Oak, Michigan
    I can imagine it being learned, I don't think it's impossible. I doubt the program is worth the money, but I feel that it could be possible.

    If you hear the same note over and over and over again, and keep drilling that particular pitch into your head, I think you might be able to recognize it. It certainly would be difficult and probably be an irrevelant skill most of the time, but I think it could be done.

    All the bass that I play I either learn by ear (which would be relative pitch, playing along and finding the note), or by playing the music I write myself, in which I'd already know what notes to play when.
  16. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    A comparison: Is that like saying that everyone has innate psychic abilities but just don't develop their abilites or they are quickly suppressed when they are still children b/c they are told it is wrong (such as having an imaginary friend)...Such we are born with "perfect pitch" and lose it as we get older due to environment if we don't keep developing our skills? And there are ways of developing your psychic skills so if this is a good comparison I wonder if it is true that you can develop perfect pitch.

    Hehe I tend to laugh off those Perfect Pitch ads. In that one the guy looks like a ventriloquist dummy! :D :D

    By the way, I usually 'see' colors in music but I definately don't have perfect pitch hehe :D
  17. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I believe one can "develop" perfect pitch - though, as some of you guys have said it may be something you kind of re-learn. Someone I know can recognise 1 particular chord (Emaj7 I think) because it is in a tune he played a lot and stuck in his head. I can very often sing a middle first time C with no reference note, because that has stuck in my head as being the first note of 'Hey Jude', a song I used to sing a lot. By the some token, I don't see why one couldn't develop such an ability for every note, and thus develop perfect pitch.

    At any rate, I think that it is an ability everyone is born with and everyone has the ability to 'develop' it as a skill, though it comes more naturally to some (i.e. people with natural perfect pitch).
  18. Today it's Goofy "Perfect Pitch" Ads
    Which are in the same league as Charles Atlas Ad's of 'yore.

  19. Chris A

    Chris A Chemo sucks!

    Feb 25, 2000
    Manchester NH
    Perfect pitch isn't always a good thing. Imagine listening to something played slightly out of tune. If you had perfect pitch it would almost be painful. More painful than it is to us who just thing it's out of tune.

    Chris A.:rolleyes:
  20. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    I have met many a musician with perfect pitch
    all of varying degrees.
    one girl I knew, could easily identify any note or string of notes, it just took her a little while...another guy I met could not only identify notes but he could identify random pitches perfectly too, like I took a spoon to the side of a metal framed bed, banged it together(the note only lasted a tiny while) he said F#...I did it again and check it...he was right.
    I've also met people who did not havea natural talent for pitch, but had been players pretty much their whole lives, and they could al leasily identify notes and stuff.
    I have pretty good pitch, I can identify a few notes really easily and I am pretty good at picking up lines and runs....but of all that
    I have perfect Major 6ths...I can Identify a major 6th interval in any key 100% perfectly
    something about it just stands out to me. and I always recognize it.