Music

Perfect (absolute) Pitch Test: Can you sing a C note with no reference?

Try this:

– Think of a “Middle C” note in your head.
– Then play it on a virtual keyboard here and see if you were right.

Hint: If you don’t know what a C is, without checking, try singing the first note from the Beatles song Hey Jude, which happens to be a C note. Hey = C, Jude = A. When you sing the word Jude in tune, your vocal cords are vibrating 220 times per second.

piano

Set an alarm and try it once per hour and keep track of your results. Are you flat? Sharp? All over the place? Can you find some notes and not others?

I’m interested to hear your experiences, so leave a comment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCwQiIqWpRY

Elvis sings it in a different key.€  His version, if you can find it, (deleted by Youtube) still starts with Middle C, but then he jumps down to a different key. Weird.

Xeno’s “Hey Jude” Method for Acquired Absolute Pitch

Day 1: After just one day of testing myself at random, here are my results: In about 10 tries today,€  I was correct about 4 times.€  I was sharp a few times, flat a few times. Each time I hit it dead on, I was shocked. The last time I tried today, I hit it and there had been a pause of 2 hours with no musical reference in the room, no humming in my head, etc. I really just pulled it out of the blue. Amazing. I’m in a fantastic mood about this discovery.

I could NOT memorize one note alone. I tried that for days once during a car trip and I drove my girlfriend at the time completely nuts. But it seems that two notes, especially from a song you know well, along with random quizzes throughout the day may be the key!

When you are wrong, compare the notes you sang wrong to the right ones. Pay attention to how they feel different.

There is, for me, now a growing subtle but powerful feeling I get when I hit the pitches and I just know for certain that I am singing Hey “C” — Jude “A”, — Don’t “A” — Make “C” — it “D” — bad “G” … and so on.

Tools: I recorded the first two notes of Hey Jude (using the virtual keyboard above) in the memo pad on my cell phone. This way I can test myself at any time during the day.

I’d like to build a little hand held device that quizzes me on notes and records my progress. That would make an awesome game for kids. It should show on a graph the notes you actually hit each time you tried and the amount of time since the last attempt.

Hey, if I can learn this, does that mean I AM one of those 1 in 10,000 people like Jason Mraz who genetically just has absolute pitch? Or does it just mean I cheated the system? The answer would be important because if it is not genetic, my method would work for many people. If it is genetic, this path I’m on would only benefit some people.

Related posts

avatar
600
38 Comment threads
22 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
37 Comment authors
meNot bozoByronthat guyBev Haulmark Recent comment authors

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  Subscribe  
Notify of
me
Guest
me

This is more like a method to teach yourself to have relative pitch… You can’t just learn perfect pitch.

Not bozo
Guest

I don’t know what label I am. I began choral singing as an adult, and just knew where to place myself for each note in any song. I am note perfect, but I have a hard time picking a melody out on a piano. I feel when I am on, and know when others are not. My most glorious times are singing with nothing but the song filling my consciousness and have felt definite spiritual shifts while singing. People who have no concept of channeling music think I am wrong, and feel competitive towards me, It seems if I am… Read more »

Byron
Guest
Byron

I found this post via google. Interesting discussion going on, but it seems the last post was made over a year ago? My own experience is that I’ve always been able to recall songs on key but I didn’t know what the notes were called, having only learned to read music as an adult. Being a piano player, I used lots of piano songs (as well as other songs I’ve listened to a lot) to make that connection. For example, if a song begins on D#, I would use that as a reference in my mind to produce the pitch.… Read more »

that guy
Guest
that guy

I think people who have claimed to learn perfect pitch may in fact have learned relative pitch by comparing a known note to the note they hear

Bev Haulmark
Guest
Bev Haulmark

I keep getting an error message when I click on the virtual keyboard. It won’t go where it’s supposed to go. 🙁

I’m an Arts Ed Director and would love to try this!

JV
Guest
JV

In order to have perfect pitch, you need to be able to sing the middle C out of the blue every single time. If you only did it 4 out of 10, then it was just guessing.

Izzie
Guest
Izzie

I can sing a C out of the blue, but sometimes it is wrong. I’m not sure what I have, because I can’t pick notes out of the blue; I have to sing a C first and then work from there. I can sing mostly perfectly in tune, and if people sing out of tune, I can’t sing with them. The other day I was singing unaccompanied with our school chamber choir. We were singing Tavener’s ‘The Lamb’ and I am absolutely certain that the top sopranos modulated into a different key when all four parts sang together. I had… Read more »

kim o'reilly
Guest
kim o'reilly

Yes I can, but I do have perfect pitch. I’m seventeen and I didn’t discover it, my mother did when I was five and could reliably sing a middle C on command. I don’t really count it as a gift, just something I can do. Recently I was studying a piece in a music lesson which was at baroque pitch, so the notes on the recording did not match the notes on the manuscript – totally screwed with my brain. My own personal take on it is simply that it’s a memory thing. From the first time I learnt the… Read more »

Brandon Haas
Guest
Brandon Haas

Yes i can sing a C out of the blue without a reference. Yes I do have Perfect(Absolute) Pitch. I have had Perfect Pith my whole life. The awesome part is that i am 14 years old.

Ted Mackey
Guest
Ted Mackey

I’m thirteen and I just found out I have perfect pitch two days ago…but I’m not very good lol I need to hone myself to recognize notes faster.

David Swanson
Guest

The answer, coming from both a perfect pitched musician and hypnotist lies in the training of the mind. Like color title associations to colors, pitch title association to audio frequencies is the answer. It is how I acquired perfect pitch and how I use the mind via hypnosis to RECREATE MY OWN EXPERIENCE IN DEVELOPING PERFECT PITCH with others! See my website address. If you are in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area, please consider working with me. Perfect pitch is a naturally developed talent that is void from the traditional views of being born with it. David Swanson Hypnotic Progressions White… Read more »

BrianW
Guest
BrianW

Apologies – several instances of ‘hear’ I seem to have typed as ‘here’ – I know better than that but somehow that doesn’t translate into my typing!

BrianW
Guest
BrianW

I think I’m getting there, so I thought I would pass on my experiences that might help others. I bought the “Absolute Pitch” 2.26 software. I concentrated exclusively on recognising C. First I restricted myself to Octave 4 (ie identify C4) and within a week I was getting quite good. I then recorded playing all the Cs ascending from C1 to C7. I recorded C1 to C7 using “Audacity” freeware and cut and pasted this a few times to give me several minutes of this. Whilst at work I listen to this. This reinforced my memory of C. I also… Read more »

BrianW
Guest
BrianW

Just a thought that I have never seen in the academic papers – If someone can consistently produce a known pitch perfectly by singing or whistling where the very first note that comes out of their mouth is correct – then surely the biological mechanism has to be ‘muscle memory’. Whilst ANY method that allows a person to produce predetermined notes without any external reference might be considered perfect pitch, this must surely be a different mechanism to that used by APs to recognise notes, or someone that has to listen to the note they produce and fine-tune it until… Read more »

Danny Pryor
Guest

I think a singer has a natural note they hit when they open their mouth and just blurt out, “La la la laaaaaa …” In my case, it’s always “F” below middle-c, without fail, every single time. Having a genetic propensity to hitting perfect pitch probably does not start with the mathematical equation on a keyboard, although with training, it may appear to be just that.

BrianW
Guest
BrianW

I’ve always been able to pick out middle C on the piano blindfold, so suspected I may have latent perfect pitch. HOWEVER, when only the white keys are used I now think the semitone between E and F gives me a subconconcious clue to make C stand out. So over the past week I’ve tried to teach myself absolute pitch. I’ve used “Absolute Pitch” software, carried around a C tuning fork and listened to a recording I made playing all the Cs on the piano in turn. Using the Absolute Pitch software I can easily pick out every time “C”… Read more »

Piano228
Guest
Piano228

I believe absolute pitch is genetic but I think you can achieve something similar to it with just loads of practice. I wasn’t born with it but occasionally I can sense and know what key a song I hear is in and then instantly play it in the same key on the piano. I’ve also noticed that for some reason it tends to be pieces in the keys of C, D, A, Eb and Bb. These are also the keys that I improvise in alot so I think I recognise them because I’ve become so familiar with them.

Lorelei
Guest
Lorelei

I am of the opinion that at least part of AP can be learned. The only thing I have to prove this, though is my own experience. I have had passive AP for as long as I can remember, but I managed to learn the active component. This was done through a lot of sight-singing and solfege (specifically fixed-do). It must be taken into consideration, though that I was less than ten when this was done.

Lorelei

Wagnerlover777
Guest
Wagnerlover777

It was so funny to me, because I have any “C” that you could ask for from C1-C7 memorized, but only because I can sing them! To me, it’s weird, because if someone asks me to identify a note for them, then I’ll simply go ahead and listen to the note and then compare it in my head to another note which I had memorized (they are: C, D, B-flat, A, and E-flat), but it can take me up to 4 seconds just to give you the note. So, it’s more pitch-memorization to me (however, it’s long term, seeing as… Read more »

Merlin87
Guest
Merlin87

I’m sure it’s a time-saver for you, but I have to say I’m not real fond of the computerized voice. ,

annonymous
Guest
annonymous

i have perfect pitch but i dont think i was born with it. maybe its because i have been playing the piano since i was 3. i actually only officially knew that i had perfect pitch around 2 years ago when i was practicing my grade 8 aural with my teacher.

Connor
Guest
Connor

I can get all of the notes in hey jude and can sing a C, but whenever someone asks me what a note is, I can’t get it. Is there any way to improve this?

Richard
Guest
Richard

I have absolute pitch, however I was not born with it.

I can sing most notes without reference, I also recently tuned my guitar by ear and no i didnt just tune the low e string and then use that as a reference. I took David lucas burges course and I highly recommend it to anyone wishing to acquire this ability, thus avoiding ryan camerons futile version

Ollie
Guest
Ollie

I can sing all pitches most of the time but can’t really control it. I don’t think what I’ve got is genetic – had a lot of practise very early and have a good sense of tuning.

DeeDee
Guest
DeeDee

Yep, I have perfect pitch so it doesn’t matter what note it is. I have had many people test this on the spot and i have never been off. It’s not bragging, believe me. It’s actually annoying if you’re in a chorus or an orchestra. With so many people singing or playing there are always bad notes. And I hear every one of them. People start to get pissed if you tell them and no one wants to sit next to you lol.

John
Guest
John

I can produce the following pitches from nothing: C, D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb, Eb. I learned from songs. I am in band. When I think of songs I have performed, I typically remember the first note. Another method is to sit infront of a tuner, turn the pitch on, close your eyes, and write the name of the pitch on a piece of paper 100 times (the words overlap a lot). Also, think about what the pitch makes you think of. And by the way, from the pitches i can make, I can just move them up or… Read more »

Chris
Guest
Chris

I have had perfect pitch since I was very little. I thought that my brother was retarded because he couldn’t guess notes on the piano, and he was 3 years older! haha I can go beyond that though and notate chords and clusters of pitches with relative ease. That part probably comes from the fact that I was playing piano at a very early age. I think that anybody can develop it. It is very similar to colors: I know that a color is blue, but a really good artist can tell what shade of blue it is, like how… Read more »

om
Guest
om

so I tend to sing hey jude with an e i think.
the other really working tip is to learn the c-scale and memorize it, which you do when playing instruments. repeat doremifasolatido etc

om
Guest
om

but it gets better with training. I have good hearing so sure, I can sing a C an A out anytime, but the db ab is not easy..then again if I checked it up with my piano/instrument I could probably remember it and sing it out loud. I haven¬¥t checked for over a year. then again its sort of a matter of taste, because what it you don¬¥t like to spontaneasly sing “hey jude” with a middle C but with a different key? I tend to do that, higher. ONe important remark is that a middle C is really hard… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I’ve been able to do it since I started learning music, so I guess I was born with it. If it makes a difference, I’m Chinese and they say our tonal languages make a difference.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

I can sing a C out of the blue anytime, anywhere. Same with every other note, although it takes a bit longer for some flats (e.g. A flat)

Saaaaaarrraaah
Guest
Saaaaaarrraaah

i can sing an a out of the blue because thats the note i tune to everyday in orchestra!!

Mark
Guest
Mark

I can sing any note out of the blue practically any time, problem is im quite young so i cant control it…it tends to turn its self on and off, which can be a nuisance :/

^^

:D
Guest
:D

I CAN sing an F sharp out of the blue 😀 HAHA. such a horrible note to start with

Anahit Camacho
Guest
Anahit Camacho

I can’t sing a middle C note out of the blue, but I can sing a B and an E (and control which octave) out of the blue. I think this is because I tend to sing songs that start with B or E. I don’t think my case is genetic. A year ago, I wouldn’t dream of being capable of perfect pitch of any kind.
Hope it helps. 🙂

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!