Electronic Music personal: pitch
Written August 17 2011 , Tags: pitch
Discerning pitch is my failure. So many times I try to figure out a tune and ... can't get the pitches right. We're talking I look at the waveforms on the screen and count the zero crossings and still, nothing. I'm great with rhythm: can always figure out drums riffs, etc, but pitch, feh, it owns me:
(or should that be pwnz me? ;) )
i kinda feel the same way ... i can tune a few of my synths, and then when i play em they are moving out of tune even within a single octave.
,.... i think though... maybe you should elaborate on what you might mean, cause .. at least in my case .. its cause these darn things are 30 years old and kinda busted
id be absolutely hopeless at trying to work out the pitches in someones tune by listening to it- something ive never tried to do
I feel like learning to sing and play guitar (a project I've been doing for only a year and a half) has really improved my pitch. I think having a body connection to pitch, feeling it in your throat, chest, and hands, really helps. Before, I could hear a pitch in my head, but when I tried figuring it out on the keyboard, it never sounded quite right. I'd try to get it down, but I would lose it too fast. Learning other peoples' songs helped me be able to get it out, made the tune in my head more formed.
Also, singing tunes in my head while running. It's always worked. I don't know why, but if I start singing to myself while running, I usually end up with something cool at the end. I dunno, maybe something about feeling the music in the body or making it more physical or some other new age-y thing explains it.
Counting the zero crossings seems ...... strange. I would think the only way that would work is with simple waveforms.
A good bet would be to look for the root note of a song or part (the key it's in).Then it gets a little more complicated.
Learning a song by ear is trial and error but it's a little easier on a guitar sometimes ,learning music theory aspects like scales & modes are a big help.
Also you could download midi files or use a spectrum analyzer plug in.
there are lots of pitch tracking softwares out there. off the top of my head, pd has the fiddle~ object.
Anyway, i'm one of those lucky people who hears a tune a few times and has no trouble whistling/humming it after. It's actually kind of annoying when my wife sings and gets it wrong. I'll say, "no, you have to go up at the end and hold it longer." She'll respond, "Quit your yapping."
My 10th grade english teacher told me that E flat is the first note of Oh Canada. (I went to high school in Canada). I can sing E flat now whenever I want.
B flat is the first note of twinkle twinkle, then F is the second and G is the third. So, I know those pitches now. No problem.
That, to me, is the trick behind perfect pitch. Just learn what the pitches are in songs you can already sing. Though, if you can't sing at least a few songs by now you might be a lost cause.
try recognizing intervals first. start playing a tune you know on the keyboard until you figure it out till the end, without listening to it. you still have an uncertainty regarding the absolute pitch of the tune. then try matching the first note. discerning absolute pitch (e.g. 440Hz) is hard and actually not all humans are equipped with the firmware to do it (try to get support from _that_ manufacturer!).
after intervals, move on to simple chords. that's slightly more difficult, but it's very good ear training that eventually helps you figure out where all frequencies are. singing or humming or whistling are also helpful.
Signup to comment