As you work along your musical journey, you may have witnessed friends, colleagues and others in the same field with a perfect pitch. They are able to tell you exact notes that are played just be listening to them and there is much more to having a perfect pitch. Many people thing that perfect pitch is something that you are blessed with and you can’t develop it. Though it is completely untrue. Perfect pitch can be well developed and it is likely to gain much easier when you work on it at a very young age or in early years of learning and practicing piano music. Similar to learning other music related skills, you would need to make some dedicated efforts and devote time for a gaining a perfect pitch.
What is a Perfect Pitch?
It is the ability of a person to hear tones exactly as they are played over an instrument without having an eye or hands over instrument and without any references given. So for instance when you play a “D” tone on piano, someone with an absolute pitch would be able to tell that you have played a D without looking or using piano. Perfect pitch is not truly common with all pianists and this is about training of your ears with attentive listening and knowledge of pitch. Perfect pitch is all about your sensitivity of music and a perfect pitch would further give you success with your musical goals.
Relative Pitch: A much more practical aspect of learning pitch is to learn relative pitch. This one doesn’t depend upon specific notes rather you need to keep your ears on intervals and distances that arrive between notes.
Tips for a Perfect Pitch on Piano:
Anyone can learn to develop a perfect pitch. Here are some tips that would aid you in developing a perfect pitch and thus would improve your sensitivity to music.
Piano & Pitch:
While you can learn a perfect pitch on other instruments too, piano is one of the good choices for the reason that each note that you use with this instrument would have a distinct tone and thus would aid in training and developing your musical ear.
- Work on your relative pitch: You are more likely to develop a perfect pitch and do have a musical ear, if you can tell differences and intervals between notes on your musical instrument.
- Begin with a single note: Don’t focus on everything at once or you will not be able to get a good grasp on anything. Slow and gradual learning is always the best method. So begin with a single common note. As you play that note on piano, try playing it from memory by keeping your eyes closed. Dive in to the sound of note and think of something when trying to play it. It could be any person, any event, any color or any other object that you can think of. Being able to associate the note with something would give you a feeling that you would be able to link the note with. Though in the beginning you may not become aware of it every time you hear or play the note but it would need practice and time.
You can ask a friend or someone to play some notes randomly and you can identify the note that you have just learnt as it is pressed. Your friend can tell you if you have identified the note correctly? This practice can be repeated multiple times with different patterns played to know that note well.
- Move to other notes: Once you have mastered on a single note, you can move to other notes and repeat similar memorization and practicing that you opted earlier. Though while doing so keep on practicing different notes so that you gain awareness and a good ear on identification of varied notes when played together.
- Practice using different tempos: One of the interesting aspect of ear training for a perfect pitch is to identify whether you can identify a note at different tempo or not? Practice playing notes at different tempos and understand the sensitivity of pitch to recognize differences in notes as they are played at tempos too low or too high.
- Practice with your own voice: If you want to learn piano seriously, you should try playing and practicing notes with your voice by trying to sing back. Though you would need someone or something to support and give feedback. You can get help from any colleague, instructor or can get a tuner that enables you to get control over your voice.
- Test with unintentional mistakes: You can test and improve your pitch by trying to have someone make some intentional mistakes when playing a piano tune. You may make some notes slightly flat while careful listening and exploring sounds that you are hearing. If you are able to identify inaccurate notes and can correct the tune error, you have gained a good ear on music and a perfect pitch. Though don’t worry if you can’t in the beginning as only practice and more practice will improve your pitch.
- Practice chords: Once you have mastered well with identification of single notes, move on to chords (where two to three notes are played together).
- Keep your mind alert: Even when you are not practicing and are only casually listening to some music, keep your mind alert while trying to identify pitches as the song is played.
Many musicians often make this mistake of not giving importance to pitch, though it is important for if you really want to become a successful musician. With a perfect pitch, you gain more sensitivity to notes and increased control over your voice. With continuous practice, you will gradually improve and reach your target pitch. Though during the phase of development, you will be making mistakes but keep yourself actively dedicated towards your goal of mastering a perfect pitch and it will aid in improving your musical performance too.